Handcrafted aggrandizement

I’ve always been irked by the Starbucks invented term “Barista.” It’s the equivalent of Walmart calling their workers “associates.” It means nothing except to delude the workers that they are something more than slave-wage, unskilled workers.

Barista might imply that someone who serves coffee has a cultural legacy, shielding the subject from their more relevant historic socio-economic legacy: low man on the totem pole.

Recently I’ve been hearing a locally owned coffee joint using some of this psycho-syntax to its own advantage. “Handcrafted coffees.” They’re made by hand, obviously. But unlike a parking ticket, or a shaken welcome mat, a “handcrafted” coffee inplies the work of a craftsman.

While it’s certainly a nice sentiment, wouldn’t we all like to be thought craftsmen of our own realm? It doesn’t matter that it’s a delution of what it means to be a craftsman. Rather, it’s a lie. Shit by any other name would smell as sweet.

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