This post was brought to you by a highly caffeinated beverage.
I stand there, iPod headphones sprouting from my ears, waiting patiently in line. I ponder my role in society, and whether or not what I do, and what I buy, really could have an effect.
I’m in Starbucks, you see, that oft-maligned company (I was going to say ‘institution’ – damn them and their clever marketing) slowly spreading, virus like, across the globe (although I’ve yet to have a bad coffee from there). I know all about their business practises, and always feel that pang of guilt when I wander in. I am a hypocrite, but does that matter? I’m a sellout, but does it make a difference? And on what scale is that difference.
It seems it’s no longer OK these days to do anything without global considerations. I can’t buy Nike because they use sweatshops. I shouldn’t buy from Starbucks as they are putting local coffee shops out of business. I should look harder for that Fair Trade logo.
Honestly, it’s a wonder that I manage to go shopping at all. It’s almost enough to send me to McDonalds for breakfast.
Now I know that it is possible to completely avoid branded products, not buy from anyone or anything affiliated in anyway with a global corporation, but what I don’t get is how much impact I/we can have. What kind of groundswell would it take to reverse some of these trends of globalization? Half the country? It’s that old futile feeling, akin to the “cancer? it won’t happen to me” feeling that pervades society. I’m pretty sure that a lot (most?) people think or feel the same way, so why don’t we DO something? Pah. Apathy sucks.
Do you make a conscious decision to avoid brands, global corporations? Should I re-read No Logo (I can’t recall if it answered this question or not)? Why do I have these kind of thoughts whilst standing in line in Starbucks of all places? And does that say more about me than I care to admit?
On the other hand, it’s Friday. Where are the cakes?
Addendum: The previous sentence says it all I think. I ponder the issue for a while but I’m easily distracted, and LET myself become easily distracted by anything trivial. I don’t really want to answer those questions, to face the reality of the world we live it. It’s just too hard. Especially for a Friday morning.