Patrice Riemens on 28 Aug 2000 19:55:58 -0000

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<nettime> Jehovah-capitalism, or the demise of the Golden Arches...

... in favour of the Starbucks symbol, writes Martijn de Waal in the Dutch
daily 'De Volkskrant'. His article, redolent of the 'loony leftists
sniping at Wired' spirit dear to our Californian friends is 'critical' of
the West Coast (and the USA in general) 'jehovah capitalism', and of its
lack of 'depth', of the European kind of course... The 'new' in the 'New
World' is apparently the same as 'new' in laundry powder: more

" 'An extra large cappucino please, half of it decaf. Non-fat milk, oh
well, make it soja-milk. And keep it dry, I mean loads of foam, little
milk. With hazelnut flavor, please.'

Ordering a coffee is no simple matter in the US. You'll have to go thru
5-6 'decision moments'. And it's 'to go' of course, in answer to the
standard querry in the catering trade: 'For here or to go?' You do not
drink this designer coffee with friends around a table in a cafe. Coffee
(in the US) is something you take away in a steary-foam mug that fits
exactly on a pull-tray under the dashboard of your car. 

It cannot take very much longer before Starbucks French Roast Coffee will
displace the Big Mac as the informal symbol of the United States of
America.  These days, the Tall Decaf Iced Latte is much more
representative of the New World than the fatty topped-up hamburger.(...)
On one hand, a coffee mug is much more an appropriate image of the New
world denizen, a can-do individual making his/her own decisions, and
granted the freedom to make his/her life-style choices. But at the same
time, the stiri-foam Starbucks mugs symbolizes the functionality in
American society. Unlike with us, in the old world, coffee is not a social
adhesive there, or an excuse to engage in conversation with friends or
neighbors. It is an injection of energy, a double dose cafeine to get the
working day started for real. (...) 

Q&D transl by yours truly from 'De Volkskrant', August 26, 2K


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