Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I didn't realize that the Starbuks logo had been changed a couple of times, here is a cool article on the mermaid...
"This simultaneous attraction to and fear of female sexuality as the underlying logic behind the mermaid is actually confirmed by other mythological half-humans. The male counterpart to the mermaid, the triton, lacks the mermaid's mystery and seductiveness; he is actually a sort of aquatic satyr (a kind of male nymphomaniac). Other prominent half-man and half-animal figures, including the Minotaur (with a bull's head) and the centaur (with a horse's body and so also its genitalia) all exaggerate masculine phallic power while the mermaid represents and amplifies what men fundamentally lack. It is only the holiest of masculine figures like Christ who are both born of the figurative mermaid and maintain a direct symbolic connection to their aquatic origins. (Even the Buddha shows such a connection, since he is the son of Maya, who is associated with the moon. Many representations of the Buddha include webbed fingers as one of his divine markings.)"
"The truth one learns from the mermaid/siren is that patriarchy, especially the Judeo-Christian variety, is a relative latecomer in human history. The new religions could not, and can not, ever overwrite the undercurrents of the more ancient traditions that preceded them, regardless of how concerted their efforts to do so.
And so the Starbucks logo is a brilliant piece of design, which, oddly enough, resonates with much of what I've discussed above. The original logo made quite explicit that Starbucks was using the lure of female sexuality to draw the customer to their coffee, but now you can see that the coffee is linked to the double lure of ultimate wisdom and the pleasures of the flesh. The name of the company, about which there is relatively little deep inquiry, actually makes the connection even more interesting."