Patrice Riemens on 28 Aug 2000 11:24:09 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] 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 efficient...

" '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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