Thursday, December 20, 2007

Grounds for Doubt

My father just received the following urban legend e-mail, which has apparently been circulating since 2004.

Recently Marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them know how much they liked their coffees and to request that they send some of it to the troops there. Starbucks replied, telling the Marines thank you for their support of their business, but that Starbucks does not support the war, nor anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops their brand of coffee.

So as not to offend Starbucks, maybe we should not support them by buying any of their products! I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this war might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground fighting street-to-street and house-to-house.

If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you can discard it and no one will never know.

Thanks very much for your support. I know you'll all be there again when I deploy once more.

Semper Fidelis.

Sgt. Howard C. Wright
1st Force Recon Co
1st Plt PLT

When contacted by collectors of Internet folklore, "Sgt. Howard C. Wright" couldn't verify anything to justify his call for a boycott that involved specific military units or representatives of Starbucks who allegedly turned them down. Many websites claim that he subsequently apologized for his rush to judgment.

I'm interested in the fact that the same story was told about Oscar Mayer hot dogs in a similar e-mail. What semiotic substitutions transformed java into wieners?

(Thanks to Sam Losh for the e-mail.)

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