Hightower Lowdown

Gotta love ol’ Mr. Jim Hightower. In his latest Lowdown he writes:

If you’ve ever entered an enclosed, industrialized hog facility where hundreds of fattening porcines live out their short lives, you know that the smell of pig excrement completely redefines “stink.” This stench will knock you to your knees, sear your lungs and brain, and make you scream for mercy. For nearly eight years, the White House has been a confined hog pen for corporate porkers, right-wing ideologues, imperialists, autocrats, and other swinish mess-makers. America’s next president must not only set a new direction but will also have to clean up the mess and eradicate the stink left by the Bushites.

I enjoy Hightower’s way with words. It’s good to see a Texan (Hightower) speaking this way because so many people see Texas as total Bush country. Can’t wait for some fresh blood in the White House, just hope it’s not McCain’s, I guess his blood isn’t that fresh though.

The Lowdown also points out the irony that Starbucks is now yearning for the image of cool, independent hangout that it spent the last 20 years trying to drive out of business. Hightower writes:

About a year ago, a stinging message was delivered to the corporate honchos of Starbucks, the mega chain of costly coffees.

The writer decried the “commoditization of the Starbucks experience,” bemoaning the fact that outlets “no longer have the soul of the past and [instead] reflect a chain of stores vs. the warm feeling of a neighborhood store.” He’s right, of course. You go into a Starbucks these days, and the barista who used to make your cup is operating an automatic pushbutton coffee machine.

This commoditization of the corporate experience is a very powerful tool and I have seen it lure even the most “progressive” and “liberal” thinkers into their snare. I myself am occasionally tempted to indulge in the $4.50 mochas and be part of the starbucks team.

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