March 06, 2005

Fixed Focus and Starfucks.

I actually fixed something on the car, namely that pesky paint chip, so it wouldn't get worse. I know, I'm nuts, etc. But it bugged me, and I wanted to be sure that my technically-challenged person could actually fix something on the car. I did. It worked. It's over. Hallelujah. It's going on at Blog Collective, too, but the wife and I have been talking a lot lately about why people hate Starbucks. A new one opened at our university over the summer, and it employs the nice mother and daughter team who worked at the previous crappy-coffee-place that closed at 2:30 p.m. and had terrible coffee. It also competes with one of those places that is "independent" and serves the shittiest coffee you could ever spend $3 on. The coffee is organic and served from a cart, and you are supposed to be impressed with the earthiness of it. If earthiness means that the coffee tastes like dirt with copious amounts of intermixed insect scat, okay. They don't clean their gear properly, and you can taste it and smell it and see it, which is only made worse in their ultra-thick foam cups with an unintentionally 70s retro print on them. It's a thick, foul sludge, and I have not gone near that stuff in over year. More than once, I chugged a few Cokes, rather than get caffeine there. Yeah, it's that bad. Anyway, we've known a few people who won't go into the new Starbucks at school, even though it's actually run by the school, the cash-strapped place that educates us, who makes some dough from the new Starbucks. Everyone has their reasons. Some people are anti-corporate, and I can respect that. After all, I'm the one who won't buy from animal testers and who doesn't wear leather. If people want to shop with principles, even loose principles, that can't be a bad thing. We could all use a little of that, I suppose. But I can't stand when these folks who claim to hate everything corporate still shop at Wal-Mart and still tote around their fucking iPods and still sport their GAP duds. I can't stand when people just decide they hate Starbucks or Wal-Mart or Fox or Google or Microsoft just because they want to be cool or intellectual or heady or contrary or just to be an asshole. If someone has a real beef with Starbucks, who am I to argue or judge? People usually leave me alone about the meat and leather thing, so I try to reciprocate to the rest of humanity. If a person has a real reason to hate Starbucks, fine. What's a good or real reason? I don't know. But hating a company or brand or store just to be a member of some in-crowd or ultra-coolness-gang is just fucking stupid. I hated Starbucks for a while once, too. Then I realized I was being an idiot and that I hated it for no reason and that my caffeine affection is Okay with Starbucks and got over it. I know, I'm essentially saying that hating some entity for no reason is wrong, even though I totally do it all the time. Whatever. That's not what I mean, since hating Starbucks to be cool is not hating it for no reason is it? No. It's not. Thank you. Nor do I have anything against people who don't like Starbucks or who hate it or people who hate corporations. Everybody hates something, and everybody's got their reasons. Yeah. Some of my favorite people in the world hate Starbucks, and that's cool. None of them hate it just to be awesome, though. So don't leave comments calling me an asshole for hating on Starbucks haters. Hate what you want; I don't really give a shit. But realize that you're a tool if you hate shit to be cool. Hey, that rhymes. I apologize for the rant. I just had half of a French press full of Starbucks coffee, and I suppose the rapid rapid rapid fingers show, huh? Personally, I don't hate Starbucks, and I don't always love it, either. It's there. I need coffee. I don't always feel like bringing it with me. I know better than to skip my afternoon fix. We're friends for now. Oh, and check out one of my favorite Starbucks posts, from one of my new favorite blogs.


Neighbor Girl said...

I'm not so fond of Starbucks prices, but they've given me great ideas on how to make my overly creamed and sweetened coffee at home. And that Sumatra is addictive.

Pragmatik said...


Stasyna said...

There's a company or corporation for everything under the money tree. But, there's also a bunch of smaller companies poking their head around

McDonalds - fast food
* harvey's
* burger king

Starbucks - coffee
* second cup
* tim horton's
Microsoft - Computer Software
* Google
* Apple

(only one's that come to mind - i'm a canuck also!)

So no matter what, there will always be massive companies ahead of competition (it's what keeps the competition, competition) - That's how consumerism works. So perhaps prices are high, but because demand is so high and society's ideals (i.e trends) are ever so changing, people will buy for whatever it costs. I purchased an iPod over 3 years ago, and over the past year and a half they've exploded from a music player to a MUST HAVE fashion accessory. You can also say that people go to starbucks to brag that they go to starbucks, it's a social thing for sure. Another factor which can be included is the convience factor. Since there's so many damn Starbucks/Walmarts/McD's/etc around, it's only a short drive or walk away. It's monopoly, in real life. SCARY!

Nancy said...

My beef with Starbucks is that 90% of the time people working there don't seem to know how to make a good espresso drink. The milk is flat, overheated, re-heated too many times, etc. You would think that a big corporate daddy like that would spend time and people on plenty of training. Maybe they do, but it doesn't stick. Better to rely on press pots at home, methinks. /Nancy (Jumbo Barking)

Pragmatik said...

Yay! French press!

And you are right about training, Nancy. There are people at our Starbucks whom I won't order anything but coffee or tea from, since they seem to screw it all up. There is this one guy, though, who makes the best mocha ever. He's a godsend.

Anonymous said...

My only beef with Starbucks is I don't think they're coffee is particularly good [and their prices are very high.]

I still go there, mostly when I have no other choice or I'm at the Barnes & Noble library.

John, I didn't know you eschewed flesh. I used to be vegetarian, back in the 80s. [Worse, I was macrobiotic!] Now, I'm eagerly awaiting an In-N-Out burger when I go to California in May.