Monday, September 21, 2009

StarBucks - what it means to me

Do you feel the way I do about Starbucks?  I have this impulsive dislike for the place, and yet, I do believe that the founder and CEO is a good person.

I always come across liking him when I read articles about the company. They suffer from the success problem.

We love to tear down constructs when we feel that they have gained too much power, this can be anything including celebrities and institutions.

Starbucks vibe has a corporate, NPR, smuggest elitist faux intellectual attitude, I think Starbucks is guilty of fulfilling a pop will eat itself circle jerk, with its attempt to sell this music to its customers.

I suppose in the Starbucks fantasy, it goes something like this,  

person nonchalantly enters building, waits 15 minutes in line, pretending not to be outraged that one has to wait 15 minutes for over priced burnt coffee, pretends to suspend their very existence, and ignores every instinct of sanity that is telling them, that what they are participating in is a masturbatory journey of ego through perceived self-worth luxury spending and reward/treat for oneself, and self illumination into the perceived world of people-on-the-go, ladder climbing ritualistic duty and isolated purchased camaraderie of this third place, “they called my name” / “PRESENT!” scam.

As they stand there in paused reality, they again, with an attempt of casual aloof detached engagement, pick up a CD of middle of the road, non committal, otherwise bargain bin music compilation from the Starbucks music publishing division, and have visions of themselves, maybe having a few non-existent friends over to their house, that same music imagined, gently flowing in the background, your very non-existing yet imagined friends seeing you as you see Starbucks, and to top all of this BS off, the Skinner-esk reward of all this theatre, a chemical reaction in your brain from the one thing that helps anchor the illusion, yes coffee, even when surrounded, sold, exaggerated, still does contain caffeine, and it is a drug, and it is a good one. In a sea of wasteful bunkum, there is an anchor at the end of this false cord.

Even if we are wise to the corporate charms, this anchor, this caffeine does its magic, and that conceals and or makes it real.


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