Thursday, February 28, 2008

Starbucks Turned Me Into a Self-Hating White

Why is this goddamn Feist song stuck in my head? I'll tell you why, because I am so vanilla that I don't have my own tastes anymore, I am a product of one too many trips to the Starbucks at the bottom floor of my office building.

(Do-do-do-do...I feel it all, I feel it feel it all, I feel it all...)

Last night, both the DS and Colbert did a peice on yesterday's premature shutdown of all Starbucks nationwide, so that they could re-train their baristas. Correspondent Jason Jones reported live from the streets of New York, and decided to try any alternative to a Starbucks trip that he could find. He went to a convenience store, ordered a cup of coffee, and had a panic attack upon attempting to lounge in the cramped, flourescent-lit shop:

"Wait a aren't playing Feist...and where are all the douchebags with laptops?" he said, desperately.

He then proceeded to rummage through a trash can and found a used condom within a Starbucks cup. The condom was filled with coffee--and he drank it. It was the most vile thing I've ever seen on Comedy Central.

I don't need to tell you that Colbert's account of the "caffeine eclipse" was just as absurd. After the stores re-opened, he was shown showering in a cup of house blend, and then lathering with cappucino foam.

This made me reflect upon the soul-crushing cultural impact that the "McDonald's of java" has successfully thrust down the throat of the masses.

According to USA Today:

"The kingpin of pricey coffee is intent on ranking among the top
trendmeisters before the decade is out. Something like: If you love the taste of
our coffee, you'll love our taste in pop culture, too. 'Call it the
Starbuckization of society,' says George Ritzer, sociology professor at the
University of Maryland. 'Starbucks has created the image that they're cutting

Schultz is dead serious about taking his company Hollywood -- and
beyond. Starbucks Entertainment, formed two years ago, has 100 employees and is
relocating to Santa Monica, Calif. It retained the William Morris Agency to help
link the brand, via marketing ventures, with films, music and books. In some
cases, Starbucks will have a financial stake."

Don't get me wrong, I understand that the global caffeine pushers are doing a lot of socially innovative things with fair trade and sustainablility--both for workers and the environmnet--but the whole William Morris/Hollywood strategy creeps me out. Is this what pop culture is being reduced to? A facet of modern Americana only available through the filtration and distribution processes of an international chain of fast food coffee lounges?

I digress. I recently discovered that coffee is the #1 thing that white people like:

"White people all need Starbucks, Second Cup or Coffee Bean. They
are also fond of saying 'you do NOT want to see me before I get my morning
coffee.' White guys will also call it anything but coffee: 'rocket fuel,'
'java,' 'joe,' 'black gold,' and so forth. It’s pretty garbage all around.

If you want to go for extra points - white people really love FAIR TRADE
coffee, because paying the extra $2 means they are making a difference."

I always prided myself on being very non-white culturally. But then I found that all of the things listed that white people like, I like. I found numbers 8, 63, 72, 75 and 77 particularly applicable to me personally.

This despite the fact that my father once laughed at me in high school for my "whitebread" boyfriends, after which I fought hard to regain his respect, and the fact that a Vietnamese friend in high school said I was the most non-white white person she'd ever met, going so far as to give me her "Asian Pride" hoodie. And we were on the dance team together, so she was familiar with my sense of rhythm.

I blame Starbucks for brainwashing me into being too white. Oh Asian pride, where have you gone...


Sean Wraight said...

You are hardly vanilla Amity; More cinnamon or nutmeg or a combination thereof. You might be on to something though. Perhaps you should put your ardent reporting skills to uncovering a more devious Starbucks plot. Remember how Kentucky Fried Chicken was mentioned in the Mike Myers comedy film So I Married an Axe Murderer? According to the character of Stuart McKenzie (played by Myers himself), Colonel Sanders was not only involved as part of a theoretical "Pentavirate" that controlled every form of media in the world, but also placed an addictive chemical in his chicken that caused eaters to crave it "fortnightly."

I’m thinking similar powers at work here; This time using mind control through Feist remixes. Eeeeek, blame Canada, again!

Send me an email, I’ll gladly send you some “reprogramming” music.

And yes that Daily Show piece put me off coffee for at least two days now…


Picture Editor said...

I liked the other picture better.

amityb said...

Well thank you Sean. I need a mix stat! I STILL have the song in the head. Haha I remember that KFC theory, and believe it has yet to be disproved. A man who worked at a mom and pop cafe near my house once told me that Starbucks strategically over-roasts the house blend to ensure consumers will be as cracked out as possible, thus providing reason for a speedy return to fight the withdraws.

Dear picture editor: Thank you for your input, and at 5:57 in the AM no less!

However, I think the point of the new picture is that it has white people in it. With prominent displays of Starbucks coffee. I like the other picture better as well, but if I could only find an Escher imitation with white people in it, that would be ideal...

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