Today, I own two pieces of Starbucks’ merchandise. Well, kind of. And I hate myself for it. Well…kind of.
One is a t-shirt. The other is one of those little re-usable, “re-enjoyable” plastic cups – you know, the ones made from recycled Tanzanian baboon feces, or some other such “green” material which serves to continue to secure Starbucks’ reign as the environmentally friendly ubermensch of the billion-dollar-corporation world, and who’s shimmer and shine and promise of re-enjoyability engages in the usual abject overreaching apropos of all things Starbucks.
I realize the irony of course. Last year in Camden Market in London I bought exactly ONE thing: a shirt that read: “STARSUCKS COFFEE: Drink Our Coffee or We’ll Break Your Legs!” And I was really proud of it, and that I got it for a mere five British pounds because I bartered the heck out of the Indian guy. And then I came back to the ol’ red, white, and caffeinated and wore it around and swore up and down that Starbucks is the shittiest piece of suburbia you can find – that they are the corporate Satan, their coffee from hell and whatnot, brewed by a bunch of pseudo hipsters out in Seattle, all of whom basically recklessly profiteer from middle class America’s retarded obsession of ordering coffee with an Italian/Spanish word in front of it.
And then I heard something about Starbucks not donating coffee to the troops in Iraq a few years ago (which I’ve still yet to validate, and am not going to stop writing to search, so I’ll leave as hearsay, likely propagated by Hannity or Sarah Palin on some half-baked Fox News rant). But when I heard the Seattle-ites stiffed the troops, that was it. Starbucks was dead to me.
But they got me. They got me and now they’ve got me good. Two reasons. Well, one very good reason, and one marginally fatuous excuse.
- 1. Starbucks is open late. Make that later than Panera. But not as late as the Buffalo Wild Wings across the street. I keep late hours these days. So it’s either: chug $3 Coors Lights and stock up on carrots and celery at B-Dubs, or dip into Starbucks for some late night latte, and…
- 2. Girls. I hardly know where to start here, but the fact is: the cute girls hang out at Starbucks. All of them. All the time. And they’re usually the artsy, smartsy, sassy ones. Which is to say, the best. Smart, and in sundresses and cute sandals in the summer, or chic North Face and Ugg boots in the winter. And though I used to equally despise Uggs as much as I railed against Starbucks, my hypocrisy only goes so far. I like pretty smart girls. And they happen to hang out at Starbucks like it’s their job. (Because usually it is.)
So I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t care. I don’t care that Starbucks represents overpriced douchery as daily manifest in lazy moms and corporate zealots coming in for their morning fix and the subtle reassurance they are, yes, still cool enough to say “Grande” like Graaaaand-AY, instead of, “Uhhh…a big one?”
It’s capitalism at it’s personal finest. As long as the Seattle hipsters stay open late and keep the cutie-clientele rolling in, I have no choice.
That’s not to say I don’t hate myself for it, or realize the pathetic irony of writing this, on my laptop…on the couch…in Starbucks.