Letters of Consumer and Social Concern


Foreward: this is a note to the Reverend Billy (www.revbilly.com)–who you may know as the star of “What Would Jesus Buy” and a man staunchly opposed to Starbucks Coffee, to the extent that he has been arrested I believe more than 20 times for “exorcising” a corporate Starbucks cash register.  He has a forum on his website which acts as a confessor to his congregation and I sent him this, which I believe also belongs in the Letters of Consumer and Social concern, as it details one of the positive attributes of the company, whose brand is a mermaid.  Though she doesn’t have nipples.  He runs the church of stop shopping; I met with him several years ago at Burning Man and continue to follow his paths of righteous indignation.

reverend billy… i rode with you on the green bus this past burn, out to the temple, stood at your side as you prepared the playa for forgiveness; thank you, falafel, or bless you, for i have sinned.  good.
the main sin i would like to discuss involves starbucks; it might be a form of encouragement as well… for those disheartened in your congregation (our congregation) about the mermaid without nipples.  i watched some of your videos, in which you peacefully “exorcize” (?) demons from the fateful corporation’s cash register.  i almost cried as i watched your arrest(s), and thought to myself, something is terribly wrong here… we’ve got a misunderstanding.  starbucks just wants to be starbucks, you know, the mermaid without nipples, employees without determination, megalomaniacal corporate world domination, etc. and you just want to get those demons out of the cash register… and somewhere between these two seemingly harmonic interests, there is a disconnect: i.e. managers prohibiting your ingress onto store properties, and arrival of police, etc.  (this is where my confession begins…)
i have known, intuitively, for years, what you have recently made explicit for me about starbucks: that something is wrong… i just thought their coffee tasted burnt… when really it’s the spirit of the coffee turning over in its afterlife, rising up against the corporation (bitterness, bad aftertaste) IN SPIRIT because of corporate transgressions against its origins: i.e. ethiopia, etc. and fair treatment of its farmers, branders, fathers, really.  this is what i know now thanks to the church of stop shopping, halalujiah, jalapeno.  nevertheless, i have been subconsciously aware of this for years and i believe subconsciously transferring this understanding upon the mega-entity the whole time.  as you know (my confession is beginning here…) there are starbucks on every fifth block of every city grid-printed upon most of the continents of EARTH.  and, as you probably also know, being a fellow meek global traveler, this grid upon EARTH does not offer up too many public bathrooms…  i don’t mind making water outside (pee), especially in france and spain where almost anyone does so, perhaps to the slight chagrin of the authorities, but nonetheless not against the law.  now, to make earth pass, or, in other words, to do one’s duty: this cannot be so easily accomplished on the public thoroughfare of just any city, anywhere on earth and, as you probably know, nature can sometimes press a man in urgent ways.  i must confess that, in travel, even in my own fair home town, when away from the holy ghost of my own domestic toilet, the nearest one–when nature pushes its turtle head at the back entrance to the temple–there is always a starbucks nearby!  do you read my meaning, father?  falafel!  EVERY FIFTH BLOCK!  so i feel that you may have overlooked this incredible capacity–CAPACITY–that starbucks has!  one simply walks in and very politely asks the employee at the demon ridden cash counter for the key to the restroom and–since every good natured yuppie and insouciant shopper known to man has been through that line–the employee hands you the glorious key and the clean, well kept, PRIVATE PROPERTY, nicely tiled bath room becomes all yours for those few precious moments while you commune with mother earth, and offer her back your gift of pure gold!  and you offer it to starbucks too!  and in the end it is not even necessary to purchase coffee.  i confess that i have done this many  times without purchasing coffee, father.  forgive me, for i have sinned!  amen, falafel!

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