Lessig on Starbucks


The game is sold, not told...

what exactly _is_ Starbucks, anyways? Most of the value of the corporation is in the brand name itself. This is most valuable and must be protected by the owners.

Imagine the business idea and how preposterous it must have sounded to the original investors of the Starbucks franchise... "I have an idea for a coffee shop, where people go and pay a gigantic price for coffee" most people would probably think "no thanks, I can make my own coffee with my coffee machine at home, thank you very much" but people actually made it a success. I don't understand how-- I don't even drink coffee myself, but I recognize the brand name as something valuable to people.

I remember an episode of "The Sopranos" where Big Pussy and one of the henchmen are trying to find the guy that stole the car of the 5th grade teacher of Tony Soprano's son, and they're in a Starbucks(-like) place. Big Pussy gets all offended at all of the Italian references being used to sell coffee in this shop, with all of the posters on the walls of "authentic European" this and that.... The henchman he's with gets the tip-off from the girl behind the counter, turns to Big Pussy, who is still complaining, and says, "would you stop with the rape of the culture bull****? Let's go" and the henchman leaves first, but before Big Pussy leaves, he looks around his shoulder to see if someone's looking at him, and swipes a silver coffee maker machine from a display shelf and stuffs it inside his jacket to take with him. And he's got this mean scowl on his face.

In other gangster tv/movies, there are scenes of mob-run restaurants where, if some of the customers start taking pictures of each other, enjoying their celebration with their friends, they could very well be under-cover cops.

Maybe the mob likes to hang out at Starbucks, and that's the real reason?

You know, at least they don't make you take off your shoes when you walk in the place. But it's their place, so what can you do? --Well, in this case, quite a lot I guess... this rule of sorts is pretty hard to enforce, and I suppose it wouldn't be that hard for random, gurellia style drive-by shootings of Starbucks, all over the world. If you wanted, you could run rampant and steal their soul--

You know, this could be a veritable _religious_ issue, really. You wouldn't make fun of the religions in India (is it Hindu?) that don't like it when you take photographs of them, because they believe you are capturing their souls, would you-- even though you don't necessarily believe that your photographing them would actually capture their soul or not, you still respect their beliefs right?

I wonder... what would happen if a devout Hindi was photographed inside of a Starbucks, with the corporate logo in the background?

This is all very silly.
Thanks for this very good article ... Can i translate this and insert on my site in Poland?
Seriously, dude, is it that hard for you to hit Google and find out the distinction between Hindi, Hindu, and Hinduism? The first is a language and the second a follower of the third which, incidentally, is the religion you seem to have invented some bizarre concept for. Pray (no pun intended) tell, where did you pick up this claptrap about Hindus not liking it "when you take photographs of them, because they believe you are capturing their souls..."

Add a comment:

Ignore this:
Leave this empty:
Name is required. Either email or web are required. Email won't be displayed and I won't spam you. Your web site won't be indexed by search engines.
Don't put anything here:
Leave this empty:
Comment text is Markdown.