Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Consumption Wars: Starbucks - Here, and Across the Pond

A hectic day at the office, so forgive the evening posting. Thanks to Arts and Letters Daily, I noticed two articles which discuss varying attitudes towards corporate standardization of coffee products (id est, Starbucks), more or less.

On this side of the Big Pond is the latest work by Rebecca Solnit on the lost art of getting lost:

We live in an increasingly standardized environment, bouncing from one branch of Starbucks to another, and it's almost impossible to get truly lost thanks to technology. Solnit believes that our fear of not knowing where we are is partly due to our inability to read the language of nature. "There's an art to attending to the weather, to the route you take, to the landmarks along the way. . . . And there's another art of being at home in the unknown, so that being in its midst isn't cause for panic or suffering."

And some thousands of miles away, a London-based writer pubically admits to a consumption addiction:

This isn't a particularly easy thing for me to admit, but then dark confessions so rarely are. I have a certain predilection, shall we say, for Starbucks. Granted, I'm not overly proud of being a regular, sometimes daily, visitor to the coffee house's answer to McDonald's, but I must be a fairly loyal one. My pocket calculator tells me that, rather obscenely, I spend somewhere in the region of £440 a year in branches across London.

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