As you no doubt know by now, Howard Schultz is stepping down as CEO of Starbucks and handing the reins to… another white dude. And you know this because it’s what the mainstream media told you. But the official story about this supposedly peaceful transition of power is clearly a smokescreen for something much bigger. And all of the clues are right in the photo Starbucks included with the press release (seen above).
Start with the coffee mugs. The mermaid on Schultz’s is facing away, almost as if she can’t bear to look at him (1.). And the other guy (is it Chad? He looks like a Chad) is holding a mug in which the mermaid is barely visible (2.). Is she hiding, as if in shame… or is she burying her face in his chest, as if seeking comfort of some kind?
Look between their heads (3.). “Oh, that’s just a bored barista trying to remember how to spell a customer’s name,” you think to yourself. Until you look closer and notice that eerie halo around her head. Maybe you’ve seen something like that before—on the Virgin Mary. No big deal, just the mother of Christ, photobombing the new Starbucks boss (maybe it’s Brad. He could definitely be a Brad). Or is she LOOKING OUT FOR HIM?
Then there’s the issue of what’s going on above Mr. Schultz’s head (4a. & 4b.). Any frequent Starbucks visitor recognizes those as bags of small batch, decaffeinated Peruvian Christmas Blend. But consider the placement in the context of this particular photo. Might they be, I don’t know, horns? Red horns, to be more precise.
I think you know where this is going now. See the customers in the back of the store? Take a gander at the logo behind them (5.). From here doesn’t it look a little like a cross? Hey, I’m just pointing out the facts, people.
Now, let’s finish with the clothing. While both men are wearing conservative blue suit jackets, Schultz opted for what appears to be a black dress shirt (5). Seems a little somber for what should be a celebratory announcement, right? Conversely, his replacement (Kevin! It's Kevin Johnson!) is wearing a light dress shirt with a white crew neck T-shirt (6). No grown man wears a white crew neck T-shirt under a dress shirt and expects to be taken seriously, so clearly something else is going on here. And here’s what it is: That swatch of white cotton is, without question, meant to look like a clerical collar.
That’s right: Howard Schultz (depicted here as the devil) is being pushed out for allowing Christ (or his snowmen disciples) to be removed from Starbucks’s 2015 Christmas cup. And he’s being replaced with a wholesome, nonthreatening man who will bring the godless company back to the light.
You heard it here first!