Thursday, January 20, 2011

Starbucks, fuck yeah!

If you watch this video, you'll be able to get a sense of just how much of our daily life is the product of American culture. In my case, I use American software and drink coffee from American franchises while typing on American websites about American football. Of course, it goes both ways, like the instructive email forward I got about shoddy Chinese products, no doubt written on a computer with Chinese-made parts inside a house filled with Chinese-made things.



I spent a month in China a while back, but the sort of assholish bullying I saw in Xinjiang province seemed more like a strong country proving its strength, basically a person at the DMV lording whatever power they have over you, but in the form of a country. My three hours in Shanghai, dutifully if not alarmingly detailed in this space, were more of an eye-opener.

All of a sudden, America didn't look so bad, for while its border guards are also unmitigated assholes, at least they're professional assholes. I don't mean professional in the sense of being upstanding or concerned, but professional in the sense of being people who are assholes for a career. Chinese state-sponsored assholes, I found, were often confused, lacking in knowledge and generally were not backed by a system that allowed them to be assholes to their full potential (which is immense).

At any rate, Andrew Sullivan here reports on the new Starbucks trenta, a 900 ml drink that exceeds the capacity of the human stomach. As much coffee as I drink, I've long been flummoxed by people who order the largest size (I can't bring myself to say that term) at Starbucks. Barring people who work in a circus because of their ability to drink scalding-hot liquids, by the time you finish 600 ml of tea or coffee, it will be lukewarm at best, and that's assuming all you do is sit there and drink it.

Unsurprisingly, the drink is only available in America for now. Only cold drinks will only be dispensed in thirty-ounce cups, if only for safety reasons. A lot can be said about this representing a further decline in Western society, which personally felt more decadent when I watched TV. By many measures, we're more moral today than we have been in the past, though this generally doesn't fit by-the-number op-ed pieces about moral and societal decline.

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