Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Starbucks Luxe

Before I shut down my laptop to pack it up I'll throw up one last post. Saw a brief thing on Slate
in Kausfiles (Mickey Kaus' weblog):
Venti Snooty Latte: A new threat to social equality--the frequent-customer snob. The NYT's Ron Lieber doesn't just want freebies for his repeat Starbucks patronage. He wants something more:

Rewards are nice, but recognition is better. So if I'm one of Starbucks's best customers, I want to have elite status, as I do on American Airlines. I want shorter lines, better freebies, special seating (Aeron chairs, preferably) and electrical outlets reserved just for me and my laptop. [E.A.]

A creep, no? It's one thing for Starbucks to give Lieber free wi-fi and discounts. It's another to reward him by undermining the essentially egalitarian experience that's part of the appeal of a good American "third place." ...
Gross. I already find Starbucks annoying enough that I generally avoid it. Which luckily, I am easily able to do since I live in Seattle. There is a veritable plethora of coffee alternatives in this city that serve espresso that is MUCH better than Starbucks, such as Vivace, Cafe Ladro, Top Pot, Herkimer, and Bellino to name a few. Several of those places are also within walking distance of my apartment (lucky me!) and NONE of them has a velvet rope or VIP section. I'm really not feeling this sense of exclusive individual entitlement that seems to be permeating society today. Is everybody turning into Paris Hilton or something? Do people really believe that driving a luxury vehicle makes them a more worthy person?
I certainly enjoy nice things and tailored services as much as the next person, but I don't think these things are necessary. Nor do I expect them from such regular things as getting coffee in the morning. Or afternoon, or evening. I'm not against Capitalism, but I do have a problem with Consumerism. Blech!

1 comment:

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Just like the SUV-loving assholes getting their comeuppance this year thanks to gas prices, this situation should work itself out, as well. Like you, I can't believe the sense of entitlement people have displayed while we're in a recession.

Lemmings who march into Starbucks four times a day aren't ever going to seek out the quality coffee shops, which I appreciate; it's like Social Darwinism. 400 idiots walk into Starbucks, and we get to seek out the authentic businesses that employ espresso artisans, play good local music, remember your name--otherwise, those people would be at Vivace, and I would be murdering them.

That being said, what the eff am I saying? I don't even drink coffee.