Avast, mateys! Spoiler alert for Moby Dick.
I read somewhere that the name Starbucks was conceived from Herman Melville’s whale of a tale and indeed it was. The company’s website says, “the name, inspired by Moby Dick, evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders”. I tend to stay away from the pirating monopoly, but like Starbuck and can see why his name was chosen.
Starbuck was a good guy and too good of a ship’s mate because despite his better judgment he obeyed his monomaniac captain. He had no problem calling Ahab out or trying to get him to stop the hunt and did so on several occasions.
“Vengeance on a dumb brute!” cried Starbuck, “that simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous.”
There were enough mixed feelings about taking on the White Whale that Starbuck could have led a mutiny. A sensible sailor, Starbuck would have made a fine captain. But then the ending to the great hunt would have been different and Moby Dick wouldn’t be as good.
A large coffee with a shot of espresso sounds really good at the moment. Maybe I’ll stop by my local, privately owned coffee shop before work. I’m going to need it.