Friday, February 18, 2005

More on Coffee

Roanoke is finally getting a Starbucks, the ultimate symbol of legitimacy...or capitulation, depending on your perspective.

I confess, I do patronize the Starbucks down the road semi-frequently, so my rants and complaints against their evils are not quite as powerful as I'd like them to be. Starbucks is not a bad place. I've been on a quest for the ultimate coffee shop here since September, and the Starbucks at the corner of Briarcliff and LaVista has met most of my coffee shop needs. They don't kick you out in the middle of reading insane amounts of Calvin, the people are generally friendly, the music is decent (especially compared to 3 HOURS of Bob Dylan at Java Monkey), they have ample indoor seating available, and my apartment is only 3 minutes away.

Still, Starbucks is the epitome of capitulation to consumer culture. My roommate, Katie, is desperately addicted to coffee, making it three or four times a day for herself. She HATES Starbucks with a passion. "Drive-thru coffee," she cries, "completely misses the point! Drinking coffee is supposed to be a restful moment, that's why they call it a coffee break !"

In addition to their bastardization of the act of drinking coffee, Starbucks, as I'm sure you know, is notorious for their unfair trading practices, keeping coffee bean farmers in poverty, sacrificing local economies at the feet of the ultimate bottom line. Not to mention the fact that the stores are EVERYWHERE. Including, now, my hometown in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.

Apparently, "Starbucks is a recognized brand name that gives you a level of confidence that your community is like everybody else's." Because, let's be honest, everyone really only wants to be just like everyone else..."maybe that's why an old Krispy Kreme kind of town like Roanoke is finally worthy of a Starbucks."

Yep, we've capitulated.

2 comments:

Erudite Redneck said...

:-) Any town with a paper that can deadpan a reference to "the" mall is my kind of town, and my kind of paper. :-)

J said...

I am Jay Johnson, and I approve of this message. (about starbucks at briarcliff and lavista)