March 04, 2009

Random Commuter Observeration

There is one thing to be said for being a hopelessly predictable regular at my coffee stop: When my jaw is frozen solid from my morning walk from the metro and it's hard to articulate, it's awfully nice just to be able to nod at my usual barista and know that she'll get my triple venti latte going for me with no further need for communication.

Not that I'm allowing myself to be assimilated in to the Starbucks Collective, you understand. I'd be perfectly happy getting the same service anywhere else. Starbucks just happens to be the shop on my line of march.

And speaking of rejecting the Starbucks culture, I've finally reached the point where I feel I must protest. For those of you from different planets who haven't been into a Starbucks recently, among other things they flog a line of CD's, displayed prominently at the counter. Since some time prior to Valentine's Day (I think), the selection has included a CD called Sweetheart, a purported collection of "favorite" love songs. Here's the cover, which stares at me every day when I shuffle into the shop:

Starbucks Sweetheart.jpg

Now, as they say, what's wrong with this picture?

Want a clue? Observe the young lady's fingers streaming in the water. Observe also which way the wake from her fingers is moving. By that motion, the canoe is coming toward you.

"So?" you say.

Soooo, I reply, either one of two things. On the one hand, the guy may be sitting in the bow of the canoe and paddling backwards. Rowing backwards is the prerogative of boats' crews. Canoe paddlers sit facing forward. On the other hand, the guy may, in fact, be attempting to paddle forward, but for whatever reason of bad seamanship or freak physics, the canoe is moving in the wrong direction.

In either case, one is led to one of two conclusions: Either the paddler is an utter moron who shouldn't be trusted with a rubber ducky in a bathtub, much less a canoe on open water, or else the artist (and whatever chain of mid-level suits who vetted the thing) are utter morons who don't know the first thing about boating and basic hydrodynamics.

Now you may think this is a piddling matter, and perhaps you're right. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive, being a former oarsman myself. But to me this CD cover is the ocular equivalent of a bad tune that one can't get out of one's head, and becomes more and more irritating every time I see it.

Thank you for indulging my vent.

UPDATE: Now, if you want the real thing (both in terms of boating and the proper attitude towards goo-ey sentimentality), start at about 35 seconds into this clip:

Posted by Robert at March 4, 2009 09:40 AM | TrackBack

Now that is Marxism I can get behind.

Posted by: rbj at March 4, 2009 07:34 PM

I always look at the pictures first. (Yeah, ADD.) So I looked at the pic before reading your rant. Definitely saw it coming towards me, so I assumed he was rowing backward...which, yes, makes him a goob cuz he's not in position for that.

Posted by: Key at March 8, 2009 12:31 PM