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

It's that time of year when we ask the truly important question: Is Starbucks going to offend God again?

In years gone by, the ravishingly liberal-leaning chain -- with occasional illiberal tendencies -- has attempted, in some eyes, to take the Christmas out of its Holiday Cups.

Who can forget the plain red cups that seemed to say: "Christmas? What Christmas?"

What, then, has the chain done for our fractious times this Holiday Season?

Has it reined in its revolutionary bent?

Perhaps a cup featuring Santa declaring he's keeping the gifts for himself and the one-percenters?

Or a reindeer with the speech bubble: "Climate change? It's just December, you idiot."

Sadly, the chain has pulled back hard and created mostly conventional receptacles.

There are four designs. Each, in its way, looks like wrapping paper from years gone by.

Perhaps that was the inspiration. Why waste time reinventing Christmas? 

Surely traditionalists will be pleased. 

Surely Starbucks has resisted needlessly needling anyone with its alleged godlessness.

But wait.

The chain also announced a very special Holiday Cup. A fifth wheel, if you like.

This one is, gasp, recyclable. There they go again with their environmentalism.

Oh, but there's more. Just look at it. Doesn't it look startlingly similar to the plain red one that caused all the controversy a couple of years ago?

Starbucks says that anyone who orders a holiday drink tomorrow will get this "free, limited-edition iconic red reusable cup."

Then, if you try and reuse it after 2 p.m. any day until January 7, you'll get 50 cents off your 16-oz beverage.

Who won't want to carry around their plain, iconic, non-Christmassy holiday cup as a sign of their rebellion against Christmas and naive keenness on saving the world from self-destruction?

I fear accusations of subversion. I fear protests. I fear clashes between Christmas-Cuppers and Plain-Cuppers. 

Oh, Starbucks. Did you have to?

Published on: Nov 1, 2018