Wednesday, June 4, 2008

suck it, Starbucks!

I recognize that my posts tend to be general and abstract. This one is not.

I hate Starbucks. Like a plague of rabbits, they have multiplied until they sully every street corner. Most of my friends question my hatred, seemingly irrational as it is. However, to me, Starbucks represents everything wrong with today's Western society , compounded by combining it with coffee.

I love coffee and coffee shops. I practically live on caffeine during school and find coffee soothing any morning--even in the 80 degree Arizona mornings.

But Starbucks had to ruin it. Now coffee shops all mirror the fast-food style counter and chairs, stifling differences in order to connect with the "Starbucks consumer," a breed who can not cope with irregularities or individuality in their coffee consumption experience. The Starbucks-style coffee shop extracts social interaction and local pride from the picture. They strive for international conformity and don't even offer free wifi, a coffee-shop staple!

When I go to a coffee shop, I want a hub of community interaction: local artists displaying their work, locally purchased furniture, alternative music, political conversation. Sure it's idealistic, but I doesn't have to be. I've frequented many coffee shops that provide all those things along with an atmosphere conducive to creativity and free exchange; places that emphasize the experience and not the five dollar drink. But they are slowly dying. No, people prefer the in-and-out, I'm-too-busy-to-care, just-give-me-caramel-flavored-caffeine-before-work experience.

So, when the day comes, I will weep for the death of the bohemian coffee shop. But for now, I fight back the only way one man can in a capitalist society: the money vote. Money spent at a Starbucks is praise for their soul-less, corporate agenda. My bank notes will never grace that sold-out counter. The battle for independent coffee rages and I find myself on the front line--anywhere, a block from a Starbucks.

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