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My love affair with Starbucks…

My love affair with Starbucks…

I don’t really drink coffee. I’m not a particular fan of global consumer mono-branded capitalism like McDonalds. And yet, the sight of a Starbucks mug fills me with pride and joy.

It’s a unique combination of solid working-class workmanship – this is a big chunky mug for drinking out of – and branded middle-class aspirations – I’m drinking in a funky trendy cafe.

One recently fell into my hands, and I’m very reluctant to let it go. It just sits there on my desk, and I feel a very odd sense of pride when I do end up drinking out of it. I’ve found myself making more cups of tea just so I can drink more out of it.

and what other chain can promote themselves on the basis of “Oooh, the red cups are back!” ?

Starbucks disses the UK

Starbucks disses the UK

It’s almost become a science-fiction staple to depict dystopian futures where corporations are running the world, as opposed to countries. Which doesn’t mean it hasn’t already happened.

Despite Starbucks seeming to own every other coffee store in London and Edinburgh, it’s still not doing very well. Which hasn’t stopped the Starbucks chairman from describing the UK economy as being in a “spiral”. As usual, like someone pointing out the Emperor is somewhat naked, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson defended what’s left of the British economy, apparently launching a tirade of four-letter words towards Schulz in private. But then (as any follower of British politics knows), he’s never been one for the calm timid retiring speech.

I’m personally getting somewhat tired by capitalists and economists bleating on about the media talking down the economy, and that if only we had some common faith we’d get past this recession into a bright sunny future. If the economy is doing so badly that the only thing stopping it falling apart is delusional talk, then the sooner we can reboot the system and start again, the better.

Just as long as I get to keep my job. Unemployment is no fun.

It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas…

It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas…

Be warned. I usually hate it when bloggers go on about how much a song means to them because of certain lyrics. But hey. It’s November, nearly December, and a time of year when holding back from sentimentality can be a futile gesture.

That irrestible siren, Starbucks

That irrestible siren, Starbucks

This is the thing. I’m a (reasonably) ethical consumer. My energy comes from green suppliers, I try not to drive, and I use Ecover. I don’t like using multi-national corporations, like Tescos and Microsoft. They make too much money. Especially Starbucks.

But … this is the thing …

I like their coffee shops. I like their coffees. I like their inoffensive quasi-community (without actually having any community) style which manages to be bland but slightly quirky and trendy at the same time. I know it’s all part of a ruthless clever marketing strategy and it’s a huge colossus which is stamping out small entrepreneurs and innovation in the coffee marketplace. But I don’t really care, I like it that much.

I could walk into any $tarbuck$ and feel utterly safe, relaxed and even slightly trendy with my thick white mug. I could die for a six-pack of frappucinos to take home and stick in my fridge. I even harbour a desire to start collecting $tarbuck$ mugs, and work as a barista in one asking whether you want chocolate sprinkles with your coffee.

Why ?!

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