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What Makes a Starbucksist (or how to fight Islamo-fascists with the power of our ideas)?
What Makes a Starbucksist (or how to fight Islamo-fascists with the power of our ideas)?
This is wonderful, I thought to myself. Again, I had cosmic confirmation that Starbucks was more than just a store – or even a brand – but rather a way of life, a way of thinking… (I search for the write word)…
Wednesday, July 25,2007 10:24
by Shadi Hamid Democracy Arsenal

This is wonderful, I thought to myself. Again, I had cosmic confirmation that Starbucks was more than just a store – or even a brand – but rather a way of life, a way of thinking… (I search for the write word)…an ideology (yes!). Well, it started when I got bored at the huge 6-person Starbucks table, and my eyes began shifting around restlessly. I was sick of democracy promotion and didn’t want to look at the screen. And then I saw it, "The Way I See It #267" (Look at your Starbucks cup).

This time a quote from Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, who tells us that "music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears – it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But many of my neurological patients, music is even more – it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity." No, not a great quote to be sure, but good enough to make me write this post. Look, but then look closer, at the brown wrap-around holder that hugs your cup oh so snugly. It says "Starbucks is committed to reducing our environmental impact through increased use of post-consumer recycled materials. Help us help the planet."

You want words, not just deeds, say you? Well, we are informed just below that this is not just any cup. This is a special cup. Maybe even a northeastern, studied-at-an-ivy-league, self-aware, I’m a liberal-and-proud-of it cup. "First-ever 10% post-consumer fiber cup/ 60% post-consumer fiber sleeve." What the hell is "post-consumer"? No more posting! Post-Islamist (AKP), post-Secularist (no idea), post-religious (everyone in Europe who isn’t Muslim), post-Christian (the guy across the table from me), post-Republican (Ron Paul), post-Democrat (not gonna happen). But what exactly does "post-consumer" mean? Whatever it means, it sounds fresh, new, and above politics. Best of all, it sounds like something a liberal would say. Good then - I’m on board.

So you have it all. In short, a Starbucksist is someone who:

Is open to a multitude of opinions, even controversial ones. Pluralism.

Is not afraid to express his views (the brown snug holder says "After you read ‘The Way I See It,’ tell us how you see it"). Freedom of expression.

Has watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and is currently doing all he (or she) can to do something about his (or her) carbon footprint. Pro-environment.

Believes in artistic expression (music saves and opens). If you don’t think this is a big deal, then start hanging out with conservative Muslims who think that playing a guitar is forbidden (also known as CSS, "Cat Stevens Syndrome").

Has a laptop (signifies economic development).

Supports free-range eggs (Look at the food section next time).

Supports labor rights, especially in South America (Starbucks is all about that).

There you have it: A vision. A narrative. A way of life. The terrorists are going down, goddamn it.


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