Dunkin’ Donuts and ToGo’s went bankrupt? Just when I thought the news couldn’t get worse, I received the second blow: Starbucks is rumored to be moving to Liacouras Walk.
Please tell me it is not true, that it’s some grand and elaborately concocted lie perpetuated by gossiping students. Please tell me the largest international monopoly next to Microsoft is not coming to our campus with their fowl tasting fast-food beverage idea of a coffee shop.
The truth about Starbucks is that college students cannot even afford the cost of walking through the door. How can an impressionable customer avoid the revolutionary coffee thermoses priced at around $50? Who can resist the trendiest new board game available for you to play right there in the store? Or the neat little doodads, notebooks and candles that say “I love Starbucks Coffee?”
If it is possible to dodge this maze of marketing paraphernalia, then one may actually arrive at the counter to find the list of fair trade (imagine that) coffee blends from places like Sumatra, Indonesia, Kenya and Costa Rica starting at $1.75 for the tall.
One of the more popular selections, however, is the multi-flavored Frappucino, a glorified, coffee-like milkshake injected with what I believe are discreet amphetamines ignored by the government in exchange for campaign finance deals.
The addiction is not so evident at first, but then one notices something of Pavlov’s dog effect at the sight of green or someone carrying a freshly brewed cup of coffee with the Starbucks logo.
If you had a large Frappucino at $4.25 five days a week, for about 28 weeks while college is in session, you could spend an astounding $595 the whole year. This is the cost of a semester’s worth of books, a flight to Europe, a used appliance such as a refrigerator or a washing machine, and countless other items.
The fact is that Starbucks, within weeks, may have the students wheeling in their IVs and having the caffeinated libation injected directly into them like pathetic, trembling addicts. It’s the unaffordable inevitable.
All I want is a pleasant cup of coffee at a moderate price from Dunkin’ Donuts to start off my day right (and affordably). I don’t want atmosphere, I don’t want whip cream, caramel, Cranium, a camping coffee kit, a Starbucks compilation CD and perky cashiers who ask what I want and pretend like they are dying to know.
I don’t want pretentious, mafia-like artists congregating at all hours of the day and acting as if it were a legitimate hang out. And I certainly don’t want to see one more corner occupied by that obnoxious green logo.
One critic on epinions.com called Starbucks a “putrescent indulgence for tasteless bourgeoisie” in the form of a “caffeine-fueled fairyland.” Now courtesy of cultureless consumerism, Temple’s very own students may be able to enjoy the McDonald’s of the coffee world at exorbitantly high prices and not even resent it. As far as I’m concerned, Starbucks is both unwelcome and uninvited here.
Erin Cusack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.