Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

The Politics of Starbucks

with 7 comments

When I was home in Cincinnati over Thanksgiving week, I found myself hanging out with some kids best described as Hippies (plus one agoraphobic Christian youth minister). They were delightful, and gracious, so I kept my snark inside when a few of them launched into a minor spiel against Starbucks. I actually found the spiel kind of delightful, too, since it’d been so long since I’d last heard any serious leftist anti-Starbucks sentiment. Made me a bit nostalgic.

I put it out of mind until I read Wendy Sullivan’s latest post on LadyBlog today, which was devoted entirely to right-wing anti-Starbucks sentiment. Something about how Starbucks serves up white liberal guilt along with it’s brew, and she’s not gonna take it (who says free add-ons are the way to drive sales in this economy?)

Starbucks: foe of hippies and cultural conservatives alike! Which, come to think of it, seems like a pretty decent business plan to me.

As I’ve said before (and, apparently, I’m going to say again), Starbucks has always seemed entirely utilitarian to me. It’s comfortable, but not charming. If you live in the city, there’s one on every corner, so it’s often the easiest option. It’s quick (usually), and you know there’s not much variance from one locale to the next (a fact which some people,I guess, see as a flaw, but I find comforting). This is all by way of saying I find anti-starbucks sentiment utterly baffling, in the most amusing way possible.

starbucks2But what do I know? Clearly, I am too deluded by the soul-crushing patriarchal Big Coffee agenda and my white liberal mochaccino guilt to think clearly on these matters.

[P.S. Contrary to what this picture may have you believe, while I may be a tool of the coffeearchy, I do not usually look elfin.]

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Written by Elizabeth

December 8, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Posted in City-Dwelling, The Best Things

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7 Responses

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  1. I don’t have to love my drug dealer. I just have to pay him $6 for a cup of coffee.

    Wendy

    RightGirl

    December 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm

  2. foe of hippies and cultural conservatives alike!

    I AM STARBUCKS!

    Suetonius

    December 8, 2008 at 6:59 pm

  3. I just find the coffee inedibly dark.

    Freddie

    December 8, 2008 at 7:14 pm

  4. I’m with Freddie, it tastes like it was roasted with a flamethrower.

    Jamelle

    December 9, 2008 at 12:10 am

  5. Jamelle, Freddie—that is a perfectly valid reason not to drink starbucks.

    I like the taste of burnt, though. Sometimes I even burn my food on purpose.

    Elizabeth

    December 9, 2008 at 11:10 am

  6. […] Jacob Grier, Starbucks Because I am apparently now committed to blogging about Starbucks at least once per week: I thought this article by Jacob Grier, “The Rise and Fall of a […]

  7. […] production methods. Localism. More urban and tech-savvy than your typical hippie, less likely to irrationally hate Starbucks. Knowing at least one person who has, since the beginning of the economic turmoil, packed it up […]


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