Chapter 8 + 10 Wrestling with Starbucks

 

Chapter 8:

Fellner uses chapter 8 in Wrestling with Starbucks to argue whether Starbucks really is the amazing source of fair trade caffeine it claims to be. When the movie Black Gold came out quoting Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union in Ethiopia’s general manager Tadesse Meskala stating that coffee farmers struggle with making ends meet. This comment and others in the movie lead to the depiction of the Starbucks as the villain. At first this was so controversial to what Tadesse had previously said that Starbucks was sure it was a mistake. However, Tadesse later confirms that though Starbucks “is arguably the most ethical major coffee company in the world.. It also uses its reputation to avoid sharing real power”(164). This revelation of information called into question the credibility and overall values of the Starbucks company. For, despite their increased purchasing price and purchasing of fair trade only, Starbucks has successfully created a monopoly in the coffee industry. Which, there reputation allows them to hold.

The next argument against Starbucks is that its globalization is pressing western or Americanized culture onto other countries. With nearly 3,000 company owned and licensed stores outside the united states, spreading over the distance of thirty-seven countries, this is not a far-fetched concern. Chinese reporter, Rui Cheggang, made the claim that the presence of Starbucks in the imperial palace was a “symbol of low-end U.S. food culture” and an “insult to Chinese civilization”(165). In addition to this, due to its global recognition and presence, it is stated that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or other significant figure heads should recognize the importance of peacekeeping between Isreal and Lebonnon upon the Starbucks coffee houses in that location and the beverages that they serve. The argument against these negative accusations In relation to Starbuck’s global effect are the adaptively of a Starbucks coffee house. There’s the obvious benefit of globalization such as language efficiency and cultures learning from each other, however Starbucks allows for more than just that. By being adaptable to the areas, Starbucks and incorporate some of the local cultures into there products and procedures. For example, Taiwan and Japan have had a “chilled cup” advertised to them by Starbucks to accommodate for the local passion for canned coffee beverages. In these ways, Starbucks is able to market itself as of that of “universal appeal”(166).

Chapter 10:

Chapter 10 in Wrestling with Starbucks dives deeper into the concept of capitalism and its effect on the coffee industry. Fellner effectively captures the reader’s attention and persuades our opinions using a very prominent presence of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. By telling the reader her own foundation in economics and why she is so adamantly supporting of capitalism. In her description of her childhood, Fellner makes clear the respect she has for concepts such as “ time is money” and “being accountable for our own behavior and responsible for the general well-being of the larger community”(206). By backing up her history on the topic, Fellner solidifies her ethos as someone who has experience on the topic. As she makes clear how long she has been working in economics and how she learned her economic values and ideals as a kid first hand.

Fellner’s approach of using her childhood also creates a pathos connection between the reader and author by relating to the similar characteristics and naïve approaches to life that most of us can connect to. Examples as, wanting better, newer clothes so she could be like everyone else is a experience many can relate to. Also, by pressing upon the reader that her approach to economics was founded in her childhood she creates a more real depiction of herself. By doing this, Fellner creates a pathos connection with the reader who now is more willing to relate to her emotions and experiences.

Lastly Fellner uses Logos in the ending of this chapter by following her description of his childhood with many facts and quotes to further her argument that capitalism is in fact the system that should be used in the coffee market. Fellner furthers her credibility when she gives the appearance of an unbiased approach by mentioning arguments for and against capitalism. By mentioning the comparison of capitalism to a fire, hard to control but can be beneficial if used wisely. She also leaves the subject open by pointing out that although capitalism isn’t perfect, it’s the best system for this objective. The topic is left not completely answered as Fellner and others propose the concept of a variation of what capitalism consists of now. For the success or failure of capitalism is directly connected to the individuals and system.

Max Havelaar Questions remain

The question that remained for me since the very first few pages to now  is who is the narrator and how are the characters connected? Now having read the entire book, I come away with some answers but also a increased desire to reveal the hidden connections linking the characters and significance of these connections. Multatuli admits that the flow of the book and transition between narrators is difficult to understand and follows no format. For this reason, the narrator is purposely almost never completely obvious. One exception to this being Multatuli’s interjection at the end of the book. Declaring “I, Multatuli” repeatedly to ensure that the reader not wonder, for the first time this entire book, who in fact is speaking.

This question of the connection between characters and the difficulty in telling the narrator’s apart begs the question, was it meant to be that way. Multatuli claims the form he used suited his need, perhaps one of his needs was to depict three main different types of people in a way in which they all stood apart but also could blend. The three types of people identified on the last page are the Havelaars, The Slymerings, and the Droogstoppels.

When I first began to categorize the characters and connect Multatuli to his different fictional creations, I noticed Multatuli seemed to connect in some way to all three groups. In the very least, he understands them. It is fairly clear to me that Scarfman, Max Havelaar, and Multatuli can all be considered Havelaars. Havelaars, in this sense, are the minds who dare to question the world. They value people knowing the truth over their own self interest. The Slymerings are the regents and government officials who take advantage of their people. The Droogstoppels are people like droogstoppel and the regents people who blindly accept everything the Slymerings say as truth.

However, It is in the similarities between Multatuli and Droogstoppel that I remain uncertain to what Multatuli is trying to say. Perhaps among all the Droogstoppels there are Havelaars wanting to question what they hear. Perhaps among the Havelaars are those who want to believe or are tricked to believe blindly like a droogstoppel. Either Way, meaning to or not, Multatuli drew a connection between these groups. Maybe this is a call to arms. Telling people to stop blindly believing like a Droogstoppel because right in front of you is the truth but you are being to stubborn to see it.

Max Havelaar Multatuli’s Final Remarks

The elusive, sufferer of much pain, Multatuli, writes himself in for the final pages of the book. Interrupting Stein’s dramatic ending to Max Havelaar’s story, Multatuli jumps in before the final pages of the book. This last minute interruption of the author proves to be so that Multatuli could reveal to the reader his objectives for writing the book. He states that he wrote Max Havelaar in order to leave behind a legacy or heirloom for his son and daughter and to simply be read. The writing and grade of writing was insignificant to Multatuli. All that really mattered was that his ideas and points were heard by many.

Multatuli acknowledges the difficulties we, the reader, suffered in our attempt to follow the narration as well as who was narrating during our reading.. However, he refuses to apologize for it. He states that this “chaotic” and “disjointed” format suited his needs perfectly fine in reaching his objectives. Multatuli justifies valuing the content over the format by comparing it to shouting “stop thief” during a robbing. Both ways the information is in need of immediate attention so the format of telling others is insignificant. Multatuli also makes it very clear that he does not care whether his book is well written, only that it is well read. He emphasizes this by pointing out negative comments about the book readers have made and claiming that “the more loudly my book is condemned the better I shall be pleased, for so much the greater will be my chances of being heard” (319). Multatuli continues defending his work as well as simply putting down the critics by comparing them to the petty and narcissistic character from the book, Droogstoppel. Stating that he just wants his work to be read, Multatuli claims that whether by kings, (as implied by the mention of dedicating the book to King William the Third) or “by thousands and tens of thousands of specimens of the tribe of Droogstoppel, who- continuing to grind their own little axes in well-known fashion…”(318) it makes no difference.

Multatuli makes clear his determination for his words to be read and heard by many. He promises to translate the book into as many languages as he knows, as many as he can learn and if that is not enough, he will have it translated into any and every language possible. Multatuli out right states his book is not formatted well, written well, or written in the aim to be entertaining the audience. He even goes as far as to make a direct comment to educated readers who may have expected better writing, saying he is not to be viewed as a colleague (equal) or competitor, for he is not a writer. Accusations of not achieving or changing anything or changing enough, plainly show how unpredicted Max Havelaar’s eventual success and global influence was when first written and published. Now credited with the ending of colonialism and bestowed the title of “The Book that Killed Colonialism”, its safe to say Multatuli more than accomplished his goal of simply ‘to be read’.

Wrestling With Starbucks Ch 3 Quotes

  1. “Alfred Peet, acknowledged godfather of the high-end coffee business” (47)
    1. Despite the fact that this is one of the very first sentences, it holds key importance to both what it implies and to emphasizing how different the coffee buying and selling industry is than first perceived. To begin with, the use of ‘Godfather’ is a form of ethos by connecting to and identifying a key audience through the use of a movie reference. It also stresses just how serious the industry is, for it to require a head powerful figure. Through this simple interjection of a sentence, the audience’s attention is already captured and any pre-existing ideas or perceptions have been challenged due to such a cut-throat comparison. This sentence also foreshadows later descriptions of just how competitive and physical the coffee trading floor or exchange can be in general.
  2. “Unlike their counterparts on the Stock Exchange, their not in suits; comfortable shoes and zippered windbreakers sporting trading-house logos are the prevailing culture”(60)
    1. Page 60 and 61 are completely full of eye opening details and observations that make coffee exchanging sound more like back alley exchanges or stock brokers fight club than a necessary process in procuring the beverage we drink everyday. fist fights dismissed because they “happen(s) all the time.”(61), riot like transactions, and the absent of many women or older traders. In fact the presence of a man in his 50’s is rare because that makes him “one of the rare traders to survive beyond his youth”(61)
  3. “What was different about thanksgiving coffee was that i put my coffee roaster right in the center of my coffeehouse and roasted coffee in front of people.” (63)
    1. I found this quote to be significant because as we have learned from previous readings and discussions, it is often difficult to have the consumer choose fair trade coffee over whatever is cheapest. I believe Thanksgiving Coffee was inventive and ingenious to roast the beans right in the open. By doing this, the consumer would have a natural idea that the coffee is fresh and therefore that is why there is a slight price difference. Also, the coffee roasters themselves may have added to the coffee culture atmosphere. In addition to this, people may have even been drawn in from the streets just from hearing about the coffee house and or from smelling the freshly roasted and brewed coffee. I also found this quote significant because it allows a small glimpse into the coffeehouse culture and creative concept that is what draws people into cafes rather than ‘drive thru’ even now.

The Ant

The significance of Sajah’s story in Chapter 16 is to serve as a fable or lesson to those who hear it. The narrator of this section catagorizees this area as one of man “monotonous story(ies)” belonging to Lebak, Havelaar, and the Javanese Saïjah. The story itself describes the repetitive attempts of a small ant trying to carry its winter supplies up a mountain. Presuming this is an ant hill in which the ant plans to store food for the winter, the reader can infer that it is seemingly a mountain to the ant as opposed to a literal mountain. None the less, this ant continues its journey uphill carrying “a loud much heavier than its own body”. Having already barely been able to drag the load on level ground this far, the task itself already seems impossible. The ant, however, continues on. The ant is said to fall over or back or down or any other way many times, but continues attempting the journey over and over. With a relentless determination, the ant endlessly attempts to complete her or his task, despite any obstacle. Towards the end, even when the ant falls down the abyss. The ant is said to remain for a second and to feel pain. In consideration to the life span of an ant and the pain it has previously experienced, one can infer that this second and this pain was much more severe in the ants eyes. The ant gets to its feet and continues again.

This fable or story is symbolic of determination and overcoming every difficulty. No matter how impossible the task seemed, the ant got up every time. The task at hand for the ant wasn’t even at question as if its ability to drag the supplies wasn’t an option. It had to be done so it would be. This is the lesson I learned or the way in which I connected the ants experience to my own.

However, the narrator of this section took it to another level entirely. The narrator brings up the fact that the ant ignored its own pain and own suffering to complete the task much like humans who sometimes will “shun emotion and wish to avoid the pain of pity” (245). The narrator goes on to express pain in relation to how people in the world view those of different skin tones, however I believe the point itself is significant on its own. That, human beings sometimes value the opinions of others or how strong they are seen much more than their own health. For it is pride that can hurt us the most.

This segment and lesson relates back to the book as a whole in multiple ways such as pride, determination, approaching difficult situations in different ways, and opening your eyes to different possible perspectives. However, the most significant I believe, is pride, especially considering the rest of this chapter. Droogstooppel, who narrates later on, is very keen on all readers knowing that he doesn’t agree with many of the written points as well as many of the approaches to the simple topic he wants to discuss which is coffee. His pride is in consideration here as he insists multiple times that he isn’t to blame for the points made despite insisting that it is his book. So, like the ant, Droogstooppel, is attempting to bury his anger about how Stern is going about writing this book and instead simply reminding the readers that he is not to blame for insignificant or complicated approaches to the overall subject of coffee.

Max Havelaar Chpt 1-5

In the first five chapters, Max Havelaar seems to be about a coffee bank broker, Droogstoppel’s, use of a free thinking writer, Scarfman’s writing in application to Droogstoppel’s book. Despite Droogstooppel’s judgment of Scarfman’s clothing, mannerism, family style, family, and nearly everything else, Droogstoppel does admit to finding interest in some of Scarfman’s writing, specifically those to do with coffee. Despite the enlightened writing that clearly inspired Droogstooppel, he still remained steadfast in his initial view that Scarfman was unexperienced and ignorant to the ways of the world. This is shown specifically when Droogstoppel judges Scarfman from the moment he is reacquainted. Droogstooppel even tests Scarfman “I asked what time it was, he did not know. Those are things a man pays attention to when he has visited the exchange market for twenty years and has experienced so much.”. Droogstooppel continues to develop his opinion of Scarfman through his own worldly standards, such as his clothes. Multiple times Droogstooppel refers to Scarfman’s lack of shirt and extremely buttoned coat as indicators that Scarfman was of a lower class than he. Even the attitude of Scarfman’s children and home style fail to meet Droogstooppel’s standards as his first reaction was that to judge his wife “her clothing appeared really indecent to me, and it was even stranger that she moved easily, as if she found it quite proper. The woman did not appear to know that she did not look like other women.” Even without these judgements, it is clear that Mr. Droogstoppel planned to capitalize of Scarfman’s work as if Scarfman didn’t himself know what he had stumbled across. Droogstooppel, interestingly, doesn’t seem to realize that since he learned from Scarfman’s writing that Scarfman may in fact have more knowledge and logic than Droogstooppel seems to credit him for.

However, this book could also be about the juxtaposition between the coffee broker with narrow world view and selfish priorities like Droogstooppel, in contrast to the intellect who brings forth new ideas to the world and values that above what money can buy, like Scarfman.

Sebastio Salgado’s Artistic Implications

Hired by Illy Coffee company, Sebastio Salgado traveled around the world to different regions with prominent coffee producing farms. In the many pictures captured within the 14 years of travel, many different themes become obvious when looking at the collections as a whole. The motif I found most interesting was the use of lines and their purpose in the artistic perspectives reflection.

In this first picture, Salgado uses the lines in the growing coffee plants arrangement to show their uniformity and the implication of continuing forward endlessly. This picture also takes advantage of the use of the uncultivated forest area on the other side of one of these distinct lines. This shows another artistic implication of the juxtaposition between man’s uniformity in growth in comparison to nature’s lack of organization and its simple need for growth.

This next image portrays a similar concept of simply coffee fields with distinct rows of crops in a systematic form in order to produce the most efficient growth. These lines, whether curved or straight draw the viewer’s attention to their distinct separation of areas as well as there complete contrast with the natural world. Which is random and unpredictable. In this picture as well as the one before, the cultivated growing area seems to stretch out forever. This is done as an artistic choice in order to display how vast these field stretched. Once again the use of lines seemingly pointed up help give the image that illusion.

Lastly, in this picture we see the symbol of natural vegetation meeting the coffee plant’s neat perfect rows. In this image however, it is the mountain range that display nature’s unpredictability and lack of uniformity rather than trees. As for the lines, they seem to be present in every layer of the image. from the crop rows close up, rivers coming down the mountain, and in the mountains themselves, seemingly reaching for the sky.

Starbucks and Colonialism

In Wrestling with Starbucks the risk being taken is the risk of offending the readers. What I mean by this is that in the introduction of Wrestling with Starbucks Fellner mentions multiple times the preconceived notions that come with starbucks. So, right off the bat the author must battle what her audience already believes. Through this already identified concept of how Starbucks is viewed, the author runs the risk of not having her opinion or perspective viewed and therefore her discoveries will fall upon deaf ears and all be for nothing. What the introduction of this book was attempting to accomplish was showing both sides of the view of starbucks. By doing this, the Author is portraying an unbiased front which may help her lower the risks of offending people who have strong opinions regarding starbucks.

In the Introduction of Wrestling with Starbucks, the pitch seems to be about the author. The introduction leads the reader to believe she is equally skeptic however unbiased when approaching the subject. It is also significant that we believe the author has ethos as she has traveled to learn more about coffee as well as been present for many significant coffee moments. The complaint of this segment is whether Starbucks is good, because health insurance and many jobs provided, or bad because underpaying coffee workers. Lastly the moment for this piece is within the last 40ish years of the growth of starbucks from a small single store to the worldwide company it is today.

In The Book that Killed Colonialism the author identifies the risk at that period of time as the risk of colonialism and the need to conquer territory in order to obtain its resources and therefore its wealth. The piece itself, written by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, was attempting to inform the readers of the spread of western culture and how its drive to conquer and to claim eastern land was based on the spices they associated with wealth and therefore desperately wanted.

In this piece, the Pitch was that the publication of “Max Havelaar” is what prompted people in indonesia and eventually the rest of the world to fight back against colonization. The complaint of this reading was the reaction to the publication of “Max havelaar” and the reaction to the effect of western countries imperialism of the rest of the world. Lastly, the moment of this piece is imperialism in the 19th and 20th century.

‘Dukale’s Dream’ Response

We joke around about coffee and its connection to hard work all the time. In fact, I myself has most definitely found myself thinking or saying that I can’t survive without the drink or I that I can’t even bring myself to work. It are these lightly made comments that are really put into perspective after watching Dukale’s Dream.

Dukale and his family’s survival is completely dependent on the beverage I have grown up viewing as a simple part of my morning routine. Given what he goes through growing a harvesting each bean, I once again am amazed by the ignorance of our consumer society.

 

The effort put into each cup of coffee and the meaning of each bag of coffee beans takes on a whole new significance. however, the aspect of the movie I found most interesting was the benefits Dukale’s family received from the methane gas converter. For while I have experience witnessing and assisting in the farming of coffee beans, I have never fully understood methane gas converter or how helpful it can be.

While most Americans or people raised in first world countries would imagine to ask for modern technology or machinery from world vision, Dukale proved to have a better idea. With the Methane gas converter they were able to have a new source of energy, less smokey house, therefore a healthier environment, productive use for cow manure, no need to cut down trees, and more free time due to not needing to collect firewood. 

One other point I found intriguing was the significance of selling the bean to the buyers. As I mentioned before i have had the fortune of visiting a third world country and helping with the farming of coffee beans. However, there, the coffee beans sales were dependent on online sales. in contrast I was very interested to see a whole new level of work that is put forth in order to have these farmers actually receive enough money for their produce to survive.

 

How I Can Respond More Analytically: What is Enlightenment ReDo

In response to the comment made by Dr. Colabroy “Interesting. To be immature is to “not argue”. Hmm. I’m thinking of Petition…” I plan to re read and re interpret “What is Enlightenment” and see whether my theory holds together or not upon further inspection.

During my first analysis I choose to use the segment found in the beginning if the fourth paragraph to summarize the author’s thinking. While this may not have been the right segment, I hold true to my choice for the idea. I say this because the idea of speaking one’s mind and forming one’s own thoughts freely is mentioned multiple times throughout the piece to being what prompts men and women to begin exercising reason and opening their minds towards enlightenment. The passage I choice to begin with was relatively long. This is because I found it also crucial to include the concept of the world denying us this freedom each day in order to avoid chaos or conflict. When put together like this, this repeated idea comes to imply that in order to reach our full mental ability, we must find away to argue and debate share our thoughts despite the consequences.

So Kant’s course of thought and question at this point, I believe, is how does one find the happy medium. The article gives multiple reasons to why, “obedience is imperative”, despite the fact that it silences one’s thoughts. for example, “it would be very harmful if an officer receiving an order from his superiors were to quibble openly, while on duty, about the appropriateness or usefulness of the order in question. He must simply obey”. So there are limitations to the freedom humanity is gifted in the way of freedom of speech but if one knows how to exercise and practice their reasoning and thinking, enlightenment is still achievable. Kant reasons that man may ‘indeed argue without harming the affairs in which he is employed for some of the time in a passive capacity.’ So, by continuing to make observations, voice thoughts on the impropriety or even injustice, and do so like a scholar, one can reach enlightenment and push past immaturity without hindrance to one’s standing in society or duty at work. 

So in a sense, it is immature to sit there and not question the world before you. If we never argued with what we heard or what was accepted as true, the world would never move forward and enlightenment of any sort would be impossible. Upon my first reading I disliked Kant’s statement that enlightenment was the emergence from immaturity. at first this implied to me that only immaturity existed prior to the age of enlightenment. However, after thoroughly examining the text again, I understand what kant meant. That, being like a child and accepting everything you hear as truth is immature. It isn’t until we begin to think for ourselves and question everything that we can reach a whole new level of thinking.