Friday, August 18, 2006

Now they've gone too far

I’ve tried to spare the British feelings when commenting on Euro-trash attitudes toward America and American culture, but now I fear they have gone too far. British movie star Rupert Everett has branded the Starbucks coffee chain a "cancer".

The actor is backing a campaign to boycott a new branch close to his home in Bloomsbury, central London. It will be the first major chain to open on Lamb's Conduit Street, which is famed for its small, independent shops.

Everett said: "Starbucks is spreading like a cancer. Nobody in the neighbourhood wants it, including me. There are plenty of diners and coffee shops there already."

Everett, who starred in My Best Friend's Wedding, has joined with 1,000 other residents to sign a petition expressing "deep concern" about plans for the new Starbucks.

Ash Ranpura, who helped organize the campaign, said: "Lamb's Conduit Street is a rarity in central London, having a genuine village atmosphere where locals know each other, stop and talk -- and rally round when their community is under threat."

Well, I have to ask my Starbucks pals: John, Erin, Fred, Angela, Dr. Dave, Lori, Tom, Sue, Glen, Rori, Jill, Bob, Judy, Angelo, Mel, Dan, China Jim, Steve, Mark, Chuck, Barry,… Don’t we know each other? Stop and talk, and talk, and talk…? Rally round? And love our Starbucks? The heck with those snooty Brits!

Starbucks said the new store would provide more than 10 jobs.

But, much like their Wall Mart hatred, the libs have identified Starbucks (a big donor to the Democrat Party) as a globalizer, danger to the eco-system, blah, blah, blah. They even have a web site ( devoted to Starbucks bashing. Here is a typical comment:

“I thought it would be cool to work at Starbucks, and I have to admit they have good benefits....but man was I wrong in the \"fun\" part. Starbucks is a greedy corporate dynasty with little to no remorse for the more \"intimate\" private coffeehouses they trample! The whole purpose and integrity of the \"coffeehouse\" has been lost! Thank you Starbucks for proving once again that we Americans are gullible, mindless sheep, who stupidly mistake convenience for QUALITY and TASTE!”

Angry fella! I know I’ve been concerned about the integrity of the \"coffeehouse\" whatever that is.

But there’s more to be concerned about in Britain than coffeehouse integrity.

Animal rights activists have described as "sick" a live art performance involving a naked woman Kira O'Reilly cradling a dead pig for four hours.

James Green, director of the Newlyn Art Gallery in Penzance, southwest England, defended the show. "In terms of the gallery's view, we feel very strongly that we should provide audiences in the region with opportunities to see the kind of works that they have to go to London to experience," he told Reuters.

But a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called the performance "sick".

"As Miss O'Reilly seems to depend on the shock of using a murdered pig as a prop, perhaps lacking the talent to make it as a proper artist, may we suggest she take up a day job instead to pay the bills," she said. "Cruelty is not entertainment."

O'Reilly calls the performance "a slow crushing dance with a pig for one person at a time. The work left me with an undercurrent of pigginess, unexpected fantasies of mergence and interspecies metamorphoses began to flicker into my consciousness."

I guess this is what passes for culture in Merry Old England these days.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill--you ruined my day. This is very serious stuff. Where do we picket to support Starbucks?

6:51 PM  

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