On the news this morn (see date in upper corner) I saw a fluff story about Starbucks. They have opened a coffee shop inside the Forbidden City in China. I was aghast! All I could think of was the episode of the Simpsons where all the stores in the mall are turned into Starbucks shops. I was also reminded of the movie the Seventh Seal, and many bible stories. Surely this is the begining of the end. The Chinese, as I understand it, are fiercly national. The Forbidden City is arguably one of their greatest national landmarks. The one bright spot in this travesity is that Starbucks is not allowed to display signage outside the shop, so at least a small amount of dignity has been retained. For the Chinese government to stoop to such corporate pandering seems odd to me. Are they that desperate for foreign trade? China has a history of self reliance and independence from foriegn influence. Will they culturally absorb Starbucks like they did the Mongols? Starbucks truly has their mitts in everything. I won't be surprised when I see their banner ad over the pale olive drab banner of E2.

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