Tuesday, October 30, 2007

to have and to have not

regular readers of the mouse probably know that one of my pet peeves (in other words routine rants) is the commodification and/or homogenization of life on planet earth - I just abhor how capitalism exploits human desire and seeks to convince people that desires are needs.

at the university where I periodically 'hang,' the internet 'home page' is msn, yesterday there was a 'pot calling the kettle black moment'* when I encountered this story (which I agree with 110% and consider most worthy of thought and attention!):

But while globalization has made it easier than ever to explore exotic destinations, it has also exacted a price: generic creep. As the world becomes smaller, mega-corporations extend their reach and begin to intrude on local businesses and culture. Today, it’s possible to voyage to the far ends of the Earth without ever leaving your comfort zone. From Singapore to Switzerland, you can get coffee at Starbucks and a burger and fries at McDonald’s. Coke and Pepsi are available in the peaks of the Himalayas and the depths of the Amazon jungle. The Hooters girls just posed on China’s Great Wall to celebrate the opening of yet another outpost there.

Residents of Beijing expressed the same consternation about a Starbucks in the hallowed confines of the Forbidden City, and in July, they did something about it. Half a million people signed a petition that succeeded in shutting down the coffeehouse. The campaign was led by TV anchor Rui Chenggang, who said the chain’s presence "undermined the solemnity of the Forbidden City and trampled on Chinese culture.

you go rui!! congrats! I bet there will be no walmarts in the forbidden city either! (another pot calling kettle black moment here....anyone else thinking of the invasion of chinese goods? that we don't need - especially the ones with lead!)

*anyone else find it ironic that msn, child of microsoft, should be posting on mega-corporations invading every nook and cranny of human life?!

pictures: mickey d's dublin and paris -and on parnell street and the champs-elysées none-the- less! is nothing sacred? (yeah, yeah I know, it's true I take pictures of everything)

7 comments:

Len said...

I've long thought that advertising is the inversion of Buddhism. It seeks to instill the fear and desire that the good Buddhist is trying to extinguish.

Salty Miss Jill said...

I have been and ate in the very McD's on Champs D'Elyees of which you speak. This past July, in Paris, we got caught in a sudden downpour, ran in for some shelter and ended up ordering lunch. Hell, I'm not proud...

kimy said...

len - wonderful insight. I like that very much.

smj - oh my you must have forgotten your parapluie! (your secret is safe with me!)

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I remain grateful that Starbucks haven't reached our shores. Wish I could say the same for MacDonalds.

I agree, brilliant insight made by Len!

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

It really bugs me to see buildings on campus named after corporations. I don't mind a Bill & Melinda Gates Building but not a Microsoft building. And now its happening with theaters in New York such as the American Airlines Theater. Just doesn't have the ring of the Winter Garden. The comic/blogger Julie Krausner had a parody video where a show was being done at the Avis-Rent-A-Car Theater, which we may see some day.

kimy said...

jt - I share your aversion re the naming of things - in fact I have a rant (and accompanying photos) all tucked away about this very subject to put up one day.... all so many ideas but so little time

Seraphine said...

"Capitalism exploits human desire" but also human desire exploits capitalism. It's a symbiotic relationship.