Skip to main content

Sarah Palin acting like a Starbucks' whore (8 July 2009)

whore

photo by arimoore

On today's Hardball, Joan Walsh scorned Palin for acting like a Starbuck's barrista, saying, specifically, "to up and quit with 2 weeks' notice like you're a barrista at Starbucks . . .?!"

Joan, I wish you'd said "like a McDonald's employee," for it would have made it beyond clear that your comparison may not just have worked to lessen Palin, but also to make barristas seem even more than they now do like low-life transients, without any commitment to their job, without any real warrant for any solid societal' respect. There might just be some people who enjoy working at Starbucks, who believe they provide an essential service, one worthy of respect, who would credit that there's a lot of turnover, but would prefer not to made the perfect "example" to set-up Sarah Palin as a wanton, flouncing, tramp.

Do we really want to create a cultural climate where a lot of those who work at minimum wage jobs end up considering switching to military service, just so that they can be seen, beyond doubt, as employed in something worthy of a dignified reference? Could happen. Let's not the left be party to it.

Link: Hardball

People don't put in two weeks notice at McDonalds, they storm out mid shift throwing their apron or hat, whichever, on the floor.

That doesn't help, ocularnervosa. Can you say something nice about them?
People at McDonalds? I worked there for three months and it really encouraged me to crack down on the books.

Starbucks? Never been there.

That's the best I can do.
But, Patrick, you know that Starbucks isn't the point.
"Sarah Palin acting like a Starbucks' Whore!"

Um... I don't think she's acting.
I do think it works to essentialize Starbucks' employees in a harmful way, at a time where this cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed. Anyone working at a minimum wage job right now, is not just accorded little respect: we've pretty much set them up so that they're "untounchables"--people so lowly you don't want to be associated with them, people so lowly it doesn't really much matter what happens to them. We live in an age where increasingly if you don't find yourself going to the right schools, in the right professions--you lose: drawbridges are up, sucker! I aim to do what I can to help "correct" this situation.

I know what she was up to, but kind-hearted Joan kinda meant to disparage Starbucks' employees there. I felt it. That's what bothered me. She's most certainly a very good, warm person--but she needs this kind of feedback. Many good people in "Washington" need it--Coming to mind also is Hillary Clinton--who I like--arguing that today's youth need to start working harder, to stop being slackers, which had me thinking, hey, the youth of today grew up in an age of diminishing expectations, of accumulating societal cruelty--they were fucking abandoned: ease off!

Thanks for the comment, emma peel.
patrick - you raise a wonderful point. except, i dont think mcdonalds is a good analogy, either. people work to have food, and it should not be criticized. i am sure joan didnt plan to say it, or she would have made her point differently. i personally think that the lack of respect that accompanies minimum wage jobs is half the reason for the drug sellers. i mean, why work for minimum wage and no respect? i wouldnt, if i had an alternative.
I've always thought that jobs like barista and fast food employee were, for the most part, transitional - something we do while we're attending college, or waiting to be hired into something we'd rather do. Thanks for the reminder that for some people, it's a career and/or longtime position, a way to earn money to support themselves.

I suspect that Joan was just thinking on her feet - those interviews provide little opportunity for word-searching and that was probably the first thing that popped into her mind. She's not a mean person - I'm sure she didn't mean it in a derogatory way.
Hi jane smithie.
If she referred to a mcdonald's employee--synonymous with "as low as you can go"--it would have called attention to the fact that her reference was, to a certain degree, participating in/exacerbating a cultural trend to set-up the minimum waged as near-untouchables. She didn't because she doesn't go to mcdonalds--she goes to starbucks, and, you know, probably hasn't the highest of regard for the people who work there. I most certainly am not saying Joan isn't mostly warm and kind, though. She is that.
Thanks for the challenge.
Thanks, Patrick, I wasn't happy when it came out of my mouth, but McDonald's wouldn't have been good either. I was looking for a job where people are reasonably easily replaced (although my favorite baristas are not, and our local Starbucks lets us take in Puppy Sadie) so...I just apologize all around. But: I didn't refer to Starbucks whores!
I think that was what emma peel was getting at, umbrellakinesis. And I think what you both say is mostly true. But she belongs amongst/associates with those who would be very uncomfortable if their children ended up at Starbucks, unless "it" was clearly delineated as NO more than just a summer job/experience (which would be democratic and fine--very nicely part of the accepted/socially acceptable life storyline). Her immediate company (though not for the very most part, Joan herself) is still that who profess/and most often display sympathy with the "downtrodden," but who also spend a great deal of time making sure that every life step they take evidences their genteel and clean constitution, evidences how they in no way can be counted amongst the horrors, the disposables, who've strayed from the defined path in such a way, to such a marked extent, that forever after they no longer count. If she spends more time following along/participating in OS, this will help her--it's a more ranged sort, here. Most of us don't have book deals lined up, and likely never will, which is why some reputables prefer to keep their distance from us, whatever they say to the contrary.
people who work minimum wage jobs aren't untouchable because of walsh's comment. any regular job would have made a good example because the comment was about the complexity of your role there, not whether or not you took pride in it. how do you begin to take the reins as governor during someone else's term?

shoot, i sold diamonds for a living, and i was eminently replaceable. i wore a suit everyday, and they'd boot you in a second for failing to wear panty hose. the cultural climate you're talking about is already here. people were nicer to me when i delivered pizza.
Seriously, Patrick, you doth protest too much. I mean come on. I think you can acknowledge that quitting a job as governor might be just a bit more of a career statement that leaving a job as a barista. Most people I know have nothing against Starbucks' baristas one way or another. This idea that there is a some kind of bourgeois movement against working at jobs that aren't necessarily life-long careers -- not that there are many these days anyway -- is stretching it.
Hi Joan. Good people here like emma peel and umbrellakinesis are pointing that out, are coming to your defence. And that's great. It would certainly be nice if the reputation of those working at service jobs which involve a lot of human contact, were all very well regarded. Seems like they ought to be. Their jobs are near moment-to-moment human touch--which is just amazing! If they got their appropriate right regard, then there would be nothing more to say about your reference than that is was wonderfully apropos: people at Starbucks are probably, for the most part, transitionary, which is NOT what we expect from elected officials. It just so happens right now, that a lot of people in work like that are held in pretty low regard--and this really pisses me off.
You didn't liken them to whores, but Palin plus low wage service sector jobs, brings certain connotations to mind. I may have encouraged some to think you suggested as much. I'll think about that. Feedback affects.
Best to you.
Actually I don't think a lot of the people who work at McDonalds or Starbucks just up and quit frivolously (as Palin looks to have done), cuz THEY need the $, such as it is. (Don't have a suggestion for what Joan 'should' have said, tho.)
Let's not forget that Starbucks does offer health insurance to their employees, something I am fairly certain McDonalds does not. Personally I have a lot of respect for Baristas. I wouldn't last one day trying to keep all the various beverages straight. I would be the Lucille Ball of baristas!
emma peel: It may not be worth a gigantic protest, but, you know, it's just the kind of thing that too many have passed over, for it now never to seem, simply just an incident. If you've got a job with a uniform, and you're not with the government, with the military, you're suited up for service to the genteel, and all that that entails--that's what came in with Reagan, and has been accumulating ever since. Joan regreted her reference, immediately afterward, you note. The last time society divided so markedly into the haves-and-have-nots, being a clerk meant being a likely prostitute--or at least a "would-be" one. I wonder if in that moment afterward, some sense of this other association, slipped into mind.

All this said, i'm not interested in creating an environment where people are afraid to give voice to what strikes them in the instant as being most apt/true. Still, discussions like this--if not too accusatory, if the protest doesn't prove TOO much--might shift associations around in people's minds so that the next time they heep praise on a well delivered Obama "note," for instance, it's in reference to the great "vibe" procured by that terrific americano barrista, two weeks' last.
wow patrick, i'm wondering, reading your comments, if this post doesn't say more about you. starbucks + palin = implied whore?

people say enough weird shit without adding invisible inferences to these equations.
Playboy knows better: girls of starbucks/mcdonalds/walmart: They're there to please; they don't have much future, so they're probably desperate; and they're always in-and-out, so treat them as you will. Palin's "no commitment/no obligation"+ Starbucks + Joan's scorn=tramp/whore.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   


2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

"The Zookeeper's Wife" as historical romance

A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.

The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …

Full conversation about "Bringing Up Baby" at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club

Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…