Pg10 The Editor Saturday August 31st 2002
The week on the web
Starbucks - loved by those who want an expensive cup of coffee in the mornings, hated by anti-globalisers and those who despise the homogenisation of cafe culture- is, as always, a tlaking point on the net. A long article inlast Sunday's Washington Post about Starbucks was high on the Daypop internet charts. The piece described the legendary self-cannibalism business concept that powers the chain. In a reversal of normal business practice, it opens a lot of branches near ech other, so coffeee drinkers simply go from one Starbucks to another instead of other cafes. Perhaps thats one reason the chain inspires sites such as Ihatesterbucks.com and Starbucked.com.
At the former site, disgruntled customers and Starbucks employees complain about their jobs, the coffee, the rules. One writes: "I don't understand the whole phenomenom, it's just coffee - you know, the kind you brew in a little pot at home that takes 10 minutes. It's nothing spectacular and the prices are so jacked up, it's a total rip off." A customer complains: "I can't stand SB because I have recently become addicted to their coffee. So much so that even when my budget does not support it, I keep on going. Sure, you want to be in the 'in' crowd that canb afford to pay the ridiculous prices for the coffee - the shops are usually in trendy areas (you can't afford to live there, but, hey, dann it, you get to look like you do). It's early in the morning and you feel 'grown up' when you 'must' have that cup of coffee before anything else."
At the Organic Consumers Association site you can find details of next months worldwide week of protest against "Frankenbucks". But the website we really liked was at Space Hijackers. It suggests various games you can play in Starbucks, including musical chairs (change seats every two songs, an armchair is worth 20 points, a chair at an un occupied table 15, a chair at an occupied table 5, and the first player to 100 points stands up and yells. "Help I've been Starbucked")...
Bibi van der Zee