This is a work of fiction. Sort of.
It's still the standard (even in this era of Fake News) to state from the outset:
“This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people,
places, or events are entirely coincidental.”
But that’s not true here.
The book is what some call: Magical Realism.
So it's true to say that some similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental. Some of them. But often it’s just the opposite. The similarities are fully-intended fictional accounts --often over-the-top and sometimes satirical-- of real people: some famous figures and others … not-yet famous.
Is anything, ever, entirely coincidental?
As an author, I seek engagement. If you are mentioned in this book by name, consider this a non-coincidental love letter: me reaching out to you … to imagine what is possible! Consider it synchronistic to your present pursuits. Serendipitous, even. This is particularly true of Howard Schultz, the one and only person who is now and forever linked to Starbucks and its Siren logo. With this book, I am opening up new possibilities for Starbucks to fulfill its potential as articulated in the inspired corporate mission.
So, truth be told, this work features real actual people, places and events, some famous and some ... fascinating, but not yet famous. Some quite obscure … until now.
Finally, this work is largely based on real historical "encounters" with real actual people … and other amazing beings …in real places.
Most of these encounters occurred in the third dimension. The others were still somehow grounded in that dimension, but they had different magical qualities that have deepened my ponderings about what is really real.
So if you’d like to sue me and thus contribute to the publicity of this work, please do so. You’ll be advancing the purpose of The Siren Society to earnestly, but playfully, support Starbucks’ execution of its own mission: To inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a ti
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
... & Warning
You are about to enter into a story unlike any other. I call it a phenome-novel.
THE MORE YOU READ, the more you become part of the story, and shape it. And the further you read, the more connected you will be to other readers, who, like you, will augment the story. In an unpredictable way.
This web of readers that you are joining, are participants in the discovery and unleashing of a powerful but strange symbol: Starbucks’ green mermaid logo, which the company calls The Siren.
The Siren may be seen as a double-sided mysterium.
Many view her as the most widespread symbol of controlling “corporatism” --a dis-embodied, by the numbers, destructive force. Corporatism is a force propelled by profit projections, that seeks dominance, squashing diversity and creating a mono-culture. Its suppressive, extractive, exploitative practices are emblematic of what many call Patriarchy. In this view, Starbucks' usurping of seductive goddess imagery for patriarchal profiteering is the ultimate in disgraceful exploitation.
Unbelievable ... and so infuriating!
But once set free, The Siren herself has the potential to become a most ubiquitous symbol of flowy eco-feminist “Gaiaism”—emergent, embodied, in the moment, deeply honoring, delightfully reveling in the wilds of our planet and our bodies. Gaiaism is the ripening of what was just blossoming in the late 60s: the rediscovery of Goddess Spirituality with all of its reverent practices of Earth stewardship and Earth magic. In this view, the global spread of Starbucks (30,000 stores by 2020!), serving millions of cups daily --every one emblazoned with a crowned green water goddess-- is a preparatory stage for the re-emergence of a deeply nurturing network of matriarchal goddess temples.
Unbelievable ... and so intriguing and inviting!
I call the form of this story a “phenome-novel.” The word "phenomenon" refers to a “rare or important event.” While there is currently no word for what we are up to here, at its heart this is a story; with a beginning, middle and end. The middle of the story, however, is still unfolding. And many of you will shape it, and participate in bringing it to life, off the page, and into your local Starbucks.
You are not here dipping into just another story, but co-creating a once-in-a-epoch global event –rare and important-- culminating in three-years on a full-moon coinciding with March 31, 2021, Starbucks' 50th Anniversary.
By deeply listening to this muted mermaid and by visually activating her enigmatic goddess symbolism, you are joining forces with like-hearted kindred spirits in shifting our civilization from Corporatism to Gaiaism. By engaging in this story, you are joining the quest for the Bliss Brew, essential for re-awakening humanity to sacred water consciousness ... before it’s too late.
Two more things … First: Please note that I, Jakob Zim, am both author and supporting character: I’m telling this story but I’m also in the story … about midway. So understand that my take on everything is from that perspective; from the almost center, the cresting wave, the moment before climax.
Second: Be prepared for non-linearity. This story doesn’t always move in a linear way. It’s actually anti-linear for it seeks to attune your mind to the Gaian vortex perspective of "fluid dynamics" a vortex is a fluid region in which the flow revolves around an axis line, straight or curved. Vortices form in stirred fluids and they can be observed in smoke rings, whirlpools in the wake of boat, or the winds surrounding a tornado.
As you read, you’ll be introduced to something called Mermaid Mind, a state of mind, heart and body that awakens sacred water consciousness. Mermaid Mind attunes you to feel, to honor and to "be" the three aspects of the magical translucent fluid that powers our liquidy and lush planet, called The Flow, The Love, and The Wow. This is all very different than the step-by-step BiPedal Mind that dominates our civilization.
But don’t worry; the way I’m telling the story, on the surface, is mostly straightforward. Mostly. If at times you feel a bit confused about the direction the story is taking, well that’s only to be expected. Just say “I’m confused” or “What the …?” relax and keep moving.
Now, let’s open this thing up… Ready?
Starbucks' Logo: Four Epochs in The Siren's Evolution
The Original (1971-87): Adapted from image in book of mythology.
The Current Logo (2011-): Released for Starbucks' 40th Anniversary
Short descriptions of key people, events, and places, as they appear in the story.
- AARON KURZWEIL Professor of Jewish Mysticism, Harvard University. Under pressure to complete his magnum-opus on The Shekhinah, the feminine aspect of divinity in Kabbalah. His career is at stake.
- DEJA PASSION-FLOWER Performance Artist (as Blue Morpho), Eco-Sexual, Environmental Activist, Certified Sexual Therapist & Tantrika.
- JAKOB ZIM Berkeley-based consciousness researcher & writer.
- JAMES LOVELOCK Author, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning (April 2010). Independent scientist who conceived of and popularized the “Gaia Hypothesis” in the 1970s.
- BAR BORNSTEIN-KURZWEIL Investigative Journalist. Wife of Aaron. Went missing June 2010 while investigating the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon fiasco in New Orleans.
ROCKY Former student of Aaron Kurzweil and up to something strange in New York City.
ZADIE Grandfather of Aaron Kurzweil. Went missing and presumed dead since 1973.
LAUREL JAMESON Aspiring anthropologist. Human Resources Specialist at Starbucks Headquarters in Seattle.
RAYMOND “STINGRAY” STONE Long-time lobbyist and consultant in “corporate security.”
HOWARD SCHULTZ Starbucks, Chairman & Former CEO; Long-time leader of Starbucks’ global expansion and notable champion of corporate responsibility.
- ODYSSEUS Legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. Following Circe's instructions, Odysseus plugs his men's ears with melted beeswax and then instructs them to tie him up so as not to be seduced by The Sirens’ enchanting songs … which lure sailors ashore to their death.
ROBERT M. GATES Starbucks Board Member (2012-2018); Secretary of Defense, Pentagon (2006-2011); Director of Central Intelligence, CIA (1991-93).
… and introducing: SPACEY, STAR, JONESY & GIGI …as well as: OPRAH, NORAH JONES, TERRY GROSS, ERIN BURNETT, JUDGE JUDY & SCARLETT JOHANSSON.
SANTA BARBARA OIL FIASCO: January 28, 1969
A blowout from Union Oil's offshore rig six miles away from Santa Barbara, California led to a smelly oil smear along pristine beaches, stretching twelve miles. It took 10 days to seal it up. The first major offshore oil disaster in United States waters, this fiasco now ranks third after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (1st) and 1989 Exxon Valdez (2nd).
- PROJECT MK- ULTRA: 1953-1973 A top-secret CIA project in which the agency conducted hundreds of clandestine experiments—sometimes on unwitting U.S. citizens—to assess the potential use of LSD and other drugs for mind control, information gathering and psychological manipulation. Details of the program didn’t become public until 1975, during a congressional investigation into widespread illegal CIA activities within the United States and around the world.
TRANSFORMATION AGENDA MEETING: October 2008 Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz returns as CEO, after an eight-year hiatus, during the financial crisis in 2008. Almost 10,000 managers attended the event in New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Schultz promised “seven big moves” around a three-part strategy and replaced the old company-focused, coffee-centric corporate mission with something bold and daring…
BP DEEPWATER HORIZON: April 20- Sept 19, 2010
Oil gushed from an offshore wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, due to a blowout on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. It took five months to stop it up, after almost five million barrels (210 million U.S. gallons) polluted the Gulf. Deepwater Horizon is the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. While the well was declared sealed on Sept. 19, 2010, reports in early 2012 indicated that the well site was still leaking.
THE ARAB SPRING: 2010-2012
A revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, riots, coups, and civil wars that began late December 2010 and faded mid-2012, as many demonstrations were met with violent responses.
STARBUCKS 22nd ANNUAL MEETING: March 19, 2014
- STARBUCKS 1.1 CHURCH STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA
STARBUCKS 1.2 CANAL & CHARTRES, NEW ORLEANS, LA
- Across from Rubenstein’s.
- STARBUCKS 1.3 LEXINGTON & E 24th MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NY - Across from Baruch College.
- MCCAW HALL SEATTLE, WA. Site of Starbucks’ Annual Meetings.
CREMA CAFÉ BRATTLE STREET, CAMBRIDGE, MA