Wednesday, June 29, 2005

In a surprising development, some neo-puritans have bypassed alcohol and attacked coffee. A college employee is encouraging college students to stop drinking gourmet (read: expensive) coffees, and buy a coffemaker instead. She recommends you visit a calculator site to see how much you could invest.

If this works, she should use a similar calculator to help people find out how much smoking costs them.

What's really interesting is the following from the calculator site:

I, too, have been amazed by folks who bring in coffee from a Starbucks or convenience store every single day instead of just contributing to the local "coffee pot fund".

This isn't about fancy coffee! It's about the declining "coffee pot fund" funds! Always follow the money.

Seriously, though, this is just another example of how well we have been marketed to. Instead of drinking Folgers or Maxwell House, we've fallen for the seductive lure of "big city" coffee over home coffee. That's why Budweiser is the number one beer in the country, instead of your local brewery's beer. That's why wine snobs in this country tell me, "I think Texas wine is a contradiction is terms." (True story! I tried to point out that in France, most folks buy wine from their local vintner, and that's what we should do too. Mario Batali has a theory that the wine you drink should be from the same place you get your food, because they will compliment each other.) That's why Lincoln has an SUV and a Hummer costs $150,000!

We've become a nation of brand obsessed consumers who wouldn't be caught dead using the "wrong" product! We've allowed Madison Avenue to define who we are through the goods we buy. We've become addicted to working 40 hours a week to live up a life style that exists only in commercials.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be listening to my MP3 player while watching BBC comedies on my plasma tv (because American comedies are so. . .American), and eating my pasta, with Emeril's gourmet sausage, and sauced with Emeril's pasta sauce.


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