About fifty years later, there are dozens of coffeehouses in every major city in the United Statesbout fifty years later, there are dozens of coffeehouses in every major city in the United States .... They are all called Starbucks .... Starbucks is a state for our day, a commercial society organized within psychographic, rather than geographic, borders--parameters that are now more meaningful than the old rivers, mountain ranges, roads, and lines of longitude and latitude that cable TV, the Internet, and cell phones render moot .... The Starbucks habitués are united [by ... ] the aspiration to belong to the young, white, moneyed community that we all perceive Starbucks to be .... As a class, Starbucks's various compilation CDs are the audio equivalent of those trade paperbacks that impart the hundred and one things a person needs to know to be culturally literate.
Where does The New Republic find these people to write such nonsense? The independent coffee shop has hardly been supplanted by Starbucks, complemented perhaps. A state for our day? Isn't there just a bit of a difference between a chain of commercial outlets for a nutritionally neutral, if mildly addictive and enjoyable, beverage that millions of other people manage to do without; and the nation state that compels our behavior through taxes, laws and violence? And the clientele? Isn't this going to be highly dependent on which branches of thousands the writer visited?
Cultural criticism meeting the mass market is never a pretty sight.Posted by eroberts at July 31, 2006 2:32 PM | TrackBack