The Hess Report

Friday, September 23, 2005

Anything To Support The Hegemon! 

I used to feel bad about buying coffee at Starbucks. All the fruity leftist marketing. The hippies and hipsters hanging out, reading Mother Jones and tapping their toes to the craptacular soul-searching progressive musician of the day playing softly on the in-house audio system. Dudes behind me in line who are all ready with their "Venti Soy Chai No Foam" order. If it were me running a coffee place, I'd have things like that on the menu just to fool losers into ordering them. If you ordered anything more complex than "Coffee", "Decaf" or, well, that's it, actually... anyway, if you ordered anything more complex than that, a big boxing glove on a spring would fly out of the front of the counter and pump you a good one in the gut. Ordering a "Venti Soy Chai No Foam" would cause a foot-tall robotic ninja to pop up from behind the counter and totally wipe the floor with you. And just before it jumped back behind the counter, it would turn around and say (in a nice mini-robot voice) "Venti Soy Chai No Foam MY ASS!" Now that would be coffee shop worth hanging out in.

So, I always felt bad about supporting that whole limousine liberal culture by purchasing coffee from Starbucks. But not anymore. As I was leaving their shop today, I noticed a sticker on their door: "This premises protected by DIEBOLD Systems, Inc." Diebold systems! I thought I was in the belly of the progressive beast, but I was really amongst the tools of the Hegemon! In case you aren't aware, a small portion of the population of our country believes that Diebold Systems, who makes crappy computer-based voting machines, is a wholly owned subsidiary of President Bush and his eeeeevil Republican pals, and that they used their computer voting machines to throw the elections to the Republicans the last couple of times. They really believe that. In fact, it's a good test to see if someone you know is crazy or not. Say something to them like "My sister just got a job in R&D for Diebold." If they start getting jittery and looking around for hidden cameras, then you can be safely assured that they are complete nutters, and probably think Jeff Probst is full of wisdom and insight, too.

Don't get me wrong: I think that Diebold makes really shitty voting machines. Unfortunately, we don't have any way of knowing exactly how shitty they are. In order to assure the highest level of transparency in the process, as well as security, the software running any kind of computer-based voting service should be open source. That way anyone with enough skill can examine the underlying computer code for trickery, or stupidity. So yes, on a technical level their machines suck, but when has suckitude been a disqualifier for government procurement? Right. Never. And when has your relative level of sucking determined whether or not you were in a politician's pocket. Right again. We all know plenty of people who suck rather hard and aren't on anyones political tool list.

But knowing all this, I can now drink my Starbucks with pride. Depending on how I'm dressed, the hipsters might see me with my Starbucks and think I'm one of them. But it won't bother me anymore. I'll just smile, and know that I'm secretly supporting the perpetual fradulent re-election of Republican candidates across the country, with the help of my new comrades at Starbucks. And when the barrista asks me if I want room for cream, I'll wink and say "No friend, but leave a little room for irony."

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