Rewards are nice, but recognition is better. So if I'm one of Starbucks's best customers, I want to have elite status, as I do on American Airlines. I want shorter lines, better freebies, special seating (Aeron chairs, preferably) and electrical outlets reserved just for me and my laptop. [E.A.]
A creep, no? It's one thing for Starbucks to give Lieber free wi-fi and discounts. It's another to reward him by undermining the essentially egalitarian experience that's part of the appeal of a good American "third place." ...
P.S.--The Welfare State Angle: Lieber's elision of consumerism and snobbery is similar to the mistake doctrinaire Democrats make when they defend universal Social Security receipt as an egalitarian institution just like universal health care. It isn't--because getting health care is an actual communal experience (going to doctors, chatting in their waiting rooms, complaining in their waiting rooms, etc.) while getting Social Security checks is just ... getting checks. It's only money. A little more money for well-off Social Security recipients isn't going to bolster solidarity with the working poor any more than a little discount for Lieber is going to destroy the vibe at his local Starbucks. Letting him flounce around in his Aeron in the roped-off Starbucks Select VIP section, on the other hand . ... well, things could get ugly! ...
"I'm glad to report that Starbucks is indeed considering some sort of elite status," says Lieber. Next: Skyboxes? ...
P.P.S.: [Isn't Lieber just clinging bitterly to his Starbucks status because of stagnant middle class living standards?--ed Don't be condescending.]
Backfill: Lieber also wants to be invited to "a members-only party when new products come out." Wow. You can be condescending now. ... [Backfill via Gawker ] 3:02 A.M. link
Phillippe Reines Memorial Item explaining why there's no Hillary post-mortem in kf: "We don't comment on campaigns that are utter and complete failures." ... 2:19 P.M.
The numbers suggest that McCain's image has suffered after a competitive GOP primary in which he renounced some of the moderate views on immigration popular among many Latinos.