Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

They must have thought they were in the clear.

When Starbucks released its latest Holiday Cups, you sensed that the coffee chain was tired of accusations that it was anti-Christmas. Or even anti-Christian.

So the latest cups seemed to feature every possibly Christmas trope in a cornutropia of happy Christmas symbolism.

Yet simultaneously, Starbucks released a video featuring the cups. In it, a lesbian couple hold hands. 

\n

Somehow, this didn't cause too much of a stir.

\n

Now, however, people are looking more closely at the cups again. At the top of the cups, more precisely.

\n

There, you'll find two people holding hands.

\n

What sort of hands are they? Other than human hands, that is. Could they be the same hands? Those very same hands? Could they be the same two, gosh, lesbian hands? 

\n

Great new #christmas campaign from @Starbucks featuring #lesbian couple on the Holiday Cup. pic.twitter.com/GJ6YGG0fGQ

-- Rufus Dowling (@rufusdowling) November 13, 2017
\n

BuzzFeed News noticed more of this sort of thing. Or, rather, decided to stir the cup all on its own.

\n

Now, one can only wait for the inevitable lash, emerging from the back of the social media auditorium.

\n

Wait, it's already begun to dribble through, yet with little force.

\n

The new Starbucks cup has lesbian couple on it. Rom 1:26 \"because of this,God gave them over to shameful lust\"...

-- Jimmy H Peralez (@h_peralez) November 2, 2017
\n

Can you get over your shameful lust for Starbucks coffee? Will you boycott? 

\n

This Year's Starbucks Holiday Campaign Features a Lesbian Couple https://t.co/EVxGYnNcNe

-- Conservative#MAGA (@farriskent) November 8, 2017
\n

Infuriatingly (for some, no doubt), the company won't say whether these hands on these here cups are a pair of lesbian hands.

\n

It merely offered this anodyne homage to universal hand-holding: \"Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.\"

\n

I fear, though, that this time Starbucks might not suffer as much as usual.

\n

I sense that, as the year comes to a close, there's a certain tiredness in the partisan camps.

\n

There has been so much, at such an intensity, that most people would surely just like to sit down and have an extremely peaceful Thanksgiving and Christmas.

\n

Without the usual socio-cultural rancor. 

\n

Is it possible? Let's hold hands and find out.

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His work has won many awards and MediaPost named him the Most Influential Person on Madison Avenue.","aut_footer_blurb":"Chris Matyszczyk advises clients about advertising and marketing through his company Howard Raucous LLC. His work has won many awards and MediaPost named him the Most Influential Person on Madison Avenue.","aut_column_name":"Absurdly Driven","aut_atyid":2,"aut_newsletter_location":null,"authorimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/100x100/2015_SP_CM-39_69112.JPG","sortorder":null}],"images":[{"id":331645,"sortorder":null}],"inlineimages":[],"photoEssaySlides":null,"readMoreArticles":null,"slideshows":[],"videos":[],"bzwidgets":null,"relatedarticles":null,"comparisongrids":[],"products":[],"keys":["Marketing","Wire","Chris Matyszczyk","Columnist"],"meta_description":"It seemed like it was going to be a quiet Christmas for the coffee chain.","brandview":null,"internationalversion":[],"imagemodels":[{"id":331645,"img_foreignkey":"498189922","img_gettyflag":true,"img_reusableflag":false,"img_rightsflag":false,"img_usrid":0,"img_pan_crop":"{\"x\":0,\"y\":230,\"h\":928,\"w\":2000,\"img_h\":1333,\"img_w\":2000}","img_tags":null,"img_reference_name":"getty_498189922_2000133320009280230.jpg","img_caption":null,"img_custom_credit":null,"img_bucketref":null,"img_panoramicref":"getty_498189922_2000133320009280230.jpg","img_super_panoramicref":null,"img_tile_override_imageref":null,"img_skyscraperref":null,"img_gallery_imageref":null,"credit":"Getty Images","sizes":{"panoramic":{"original":"uploaded_files/image/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230.jpg","1230x1672":"uploaded_files/image/1230x1672/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","1940x900":"uploaded_files/image/1940x900/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","1270x734":"uploaded_files/image/1270x734/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","0x734":"uploaded_files/image/0x734/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","1150x540":"uploaded_files/image/1150x540/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","970x450":"uploaded_files/image/970x450/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","640x290":"uploaded_files/image/640x290/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","635x367":"uploaded_files/image/635x367/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","0x367":"uploaded_files/image/0x367/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","575x270":"uploaded_files/image/575x270/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","385x240":"uploaded_files/image/385x240/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","336x336":"uploaded_files/image/336x336/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","300x520":"uploaded_files/image/300x520/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","300x200":"uploaded_files/image/300x200/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","284x160":"uploaded_files/image/284x160/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","155x90":"uploaded_files/image/155x90/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","100x100":"uploaded_files/image/100x100/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","50x50":"uploaded_files/image/50x50/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg"}}}],"formatted_text":"<p><a href="http://www.inc.com/author/chris-matyszczyk"><em>Absurdly Driven</em></a><em>&nbsp;looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.&nbsp;</em></p>\n<p></p>\n<p>They must have thought they were in the clear.</p>\n<p>When Starbucks released <a href="https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/starbucks-releases-half-finished-holiday-cups-yes-its-tired-of-killing-christmas.html">its latest Holiday Cups</a>, you sensed that the coffee chain was tired of accusations that it was anti-Christmas.&nbsp;Or even anti-Christian.</p>\n<p>So the latest cups seemed to feature every possibly Christmas trope in a cornutropia of happy Christmas symbolism.</p>\n<p>Yet simultaneously, Starbucks <a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53EgSWqQOwE">released a video</a> featuring the cups. In it, a lesbian couple hold hands.&nbsp;</p>\n<div class="youtube-embed-wrapper" style="position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%;padding-top:30px;height:0;overflow:hidden;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/53EgSWqQOwE?rel=0" style="position: absolute;top: 0;left: 0;width: 100%;height: 100%;" width="640"></iframe></div>\n<p>Somehow, this didn't cause too much of a stir.</p>\n<p>Now, however, people are looking more closely at the cups again. At the top of the cups, more precisely.</p>\n<p>There, you'll find&nbsp;two people holding hands.</p>\n<p>What sort of hands are they? Other than human hands, that is. Could they be the same hands? Those very same hands? Could they be the same two, gosh, lesbian hands?&nbsp;</p>\n<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Great new <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/christmas?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#christmas</a> campaign from <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/Starbucks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Starbucks</a> featuring <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/lesbian?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#lesbian</a> couple on the Holiday Cup. <a target="_blank" href="https://t.co/GJ6YGG0fGQ">pic.twitter.com/GJ6YGG0fGQ</a></p>-- Rufus Dowling (@rufusdowling) <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/rufusdowling/status/930048177184624640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 13, 2017</a></blockquote>\n<p>BuzzFeed News <a target="_blank" href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/venessawong/is-starbucks-new-holiday-cup-totally-gay?utm_term=.ndRblYamA#.lhNJDRLpg">noticed more of this</a>&nbsp;sort of thing. Or, rather, decided to stir the cup all on its own.</p>\n<p>Now, one can only wait for the inevitable lash, emerging from the back of the social media auditorium.</p>\n<p>Wait, it's already begun to dribble through, yet with little force.</p>\n<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The new Starbucks cup has lesbian couple on it. Rom 1:26 "because of this,God gave them over to shameful lust"...</p>-- Jimmy H Peralez (@h_peralez) <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/h_peralez/status/926054835580895232?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2017</a></blockquote>\n<p>Can you get over your shameful lust for Starbucks coffee? Will you boycott?&nbsp;</p>\n<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">This Year's Starbucks Holiday Campaign Features a Lesbian Couple <a target="_blank" href="https://t.co/EVxGYnNcNe">https://t.co/EVxGYnNcNe</a></p>-- Conservative#MAGA (@farriskent) <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/farriskent/status/928101874154266624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 8, 2017</a></blockquote>\n<p>Infuriatingly (for some, no doubt), the company won't say whether these hands on these here cups are a pair of lesbian hands.</p>\n<p>It merely offered this anodyne homage to universal hand-holding: "Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season, and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world."</p>\n<p>I fear, though, that this time Starbucks might not suffer as much as usual.</p>\n<p>I sense that, as the year comes to a close, there's a certain tiredness in the partisan camps.</p>\n<p>There has been so much, at such an intensity, that most people would surely just like to sit down and have an extremely peaceful Thanksgiving and Christmas.</p>\n<p>Without the usual socio-cultural rancor.&nbsp;</p>\n<p>Is it possible? Let's hold hands and find out.</p><script charset="utf-8" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" type="text/javascript"></script>","adinfo":{"c_type":"article","showlogo":true,"cms":"inc198187","video":"no","aut":["chris-matyszczyk"],"channelArray":{"topid":"25","topfilelocation":"marketing","primary":["grow","wire"],"primaryFilelocation":["grow","wire"],"primaryname":["Grow","Wire"],"sub":["mktg"],"subFilelocation":["marketing"],"subname":["Marketing"]},"adzone":"/4160/mv.inc/grow/mktg/mktg"},"seriesname":null,"editorname":null,"commentcount":null,"inc5000companies":[],"inc5000list":{"id":null,"ifl_list":null,"ifl_year":null,"ifl_custom_data_description":null,"ifl_filelocation":null,"ifl_sharetext":null,"ifl_data_endpoint":null,"ifl_columns":null,"ifl_rows_per_page":null,"ifl_filter_columns":null,"ifl_permanently_hidden_columns":null,"ifl_extra_large_hidden_columns":null,"ifl_large_hidden_columns":null,"ifl_medium_hidden_columns":null,"ifl_small_hidden_columns":null,"ifl_extra_small_hidden_columns":null,"ifl_currency":null,"ifl_enable_accent_rule_topflag":false,"ifl_enable_accent_rule_bottomflag":false,"ifl_table_accent_rule_color":null,"ifl_table_header_background_color":null,"ifl_table_header_text_color":null,"ifl_table_row_stripe_color":null,"ifl_enable_filterflag":false,"ifl_filter_background_color":null,"ifl_filter_dropdown_border_color":null,"ifl_filter_dropdown_text_color":null,"ifl_enable_pagination_topflag":false,"ifl_enable_pagination_bottomflag":false,"ifl_pagination_bar_color":null,"ifl_filter_reset_button_color":null,"ifl_methodology":null,"ifl_pubdate":null,"ifl_default_sort":null,"companylist":null},"companies":[],"buyerzonewidgets":[],"photoEssaySlideModels":null,"custom_article_footer":null,"ser_footer_blurb":null,"dayssincepubdate":700,"trackingpixel":"","promotions":null,"inline_script_tags":["<script charset="utf-8" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" type="text/javascript"></script>"],"loadedFully":true,"promoimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/970x450/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","largepromoimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/1940x900/getty_498189922_2000133320009280230_331645.jpg","pubdate":"2017-11-18T07:00:00.000Z","author":"Chris Matyszczyk","authortwitter":"@ChrisMatyszczyk","articlesection":"Grow"},"server1290743":{"id":232803,"inc_homepage_headline":"Amazon Just Made a Shocking Admission That Should Truly Worry Every Customer","inc_homepage_headline_ab_test":"","inc_headline":"Amazon Just Made a Shocking Admission That Should Truly Worry Every Customer","inc_filelocation":"https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/amazon-just-made-a-shocking-admission-that-should-make-every-customer-truly-concerned.html?cid=readmoretext_aut","slideshow":false,"tilefeatureimage":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/300x200/getty_151368933_20001333181884347263_396539.jpg","tilefeatureimageX2":"https://www.incimages.com/uploaded_files/image/600x400/getty_151368933_20001333181884347263_396539.jpg","loadedFully":false},"server1290744":{"id":230211,"inc_homepage_headline":"KFC Ruled the Roost. 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