Starbucks is crap and the corporate machine is the devil. Yada, yada, yada. When I hear shit like this, I usually feel like punching the nearest hippie. Of course, we all know Isla Vista is lacking in that department, so it’s difficult to assuage my desires. Life’s hard.

Really though, I do – and always will – support local shops. That is, if they’re good. If they serve an inferior product, I’m not going to go there out of principle alone. You will never stop me from getting coffee at a place just because it happens to be spawning across the globe as quickly as herpes through Francisco Torres Residence Hall. Sure, it’s a bit disconcerting, but knowing there’s usually a Starbucks at every major intersection really comes in handy when you’re trying to direct Auntie Shirley from out of town. Obviously I’m not the first person to talk about the spread of Starbucks. Lately, it’s become the brunt of many jokes. In the Mike Judge film, “Idiocracy,” Luke Wilson’s character wakes up in the year 2505, only to find out Starbucks now gives hand jobs. The future never looked so bright.

What really fascinates me about the place isn’t the fact that you can find three or four of them on one city block, but instead that this monster of a conglomerate is really not as evil as my liberal mind wants me to believe. Is it possible that a company with this much power and money might be as successful as it has become because it actually runs things better than its competitors? I know it’s a crazy notion and the sheer audacity might make all you Java Jones fans shudder in disgust – but yeah, I said it. I think Starbucks has become what it is because the place makes good, publicly accessible coffee. Honestly, what 10-year-old doesn’t want to sip on a Frappuccino while his mom tries to ward off her menopausal headaches by downing a couple lattes? If that’s not ingenuity, I don’t know what is.

And if the good-tasting coffee – yes I said good, this is a fucking opinion piece – wasn’t enough to draw me in, Starbucks went ahead and started promoting really great music too. No, I’m not talking about that local act that plays the bongos and chews on morning-glory seeds, but rather a great collection of musical genius ranging from the Who and Ray Charles to Diana Krall and Beck. I’m not going to buy the music, but I appreciate the fact that they promote it when they could easily be making more money giving away signed copies of the “High School Musical” soundtrack, or some equally nauseating garbage.

Another thing I love about Starbucks is there is almost always a bathroom in the store. Fine, so the one here in I.V. doesn’t have one, but that’s just because the management knows all the toilet paper would be stolen. While McDonald’s has earned the honor of best pit stop for highway driving, Starbucks has become the number-one place to stop and go when you’re street shopping or cougar hunting. Plus, once you get in to use the restroom, it’s hard to pass up on a coffee or snack. Again, it’s plain ingenuity on the management’s part.

But the company overcharges on its less-than-great quality coffee and food, you say. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the extra 40 cents isn’t exactly holding the masses back. I feel like the people bashing Starbucks only do so because it’s become trendy, not because they genuinely dislike the place. It’s a bit like hipsters who wear cheap clothes and talk about obscure indie bands in an attempt to be anti-conformist, when in reality they’re just conforming to their own self-prescribed idiocy.

If Starbucks is not for you, fine. Just quit making such a stink about the place. Like I’ve said, I realize Starbucks is taking over the coffee world. But I think life would be a lot easier if people would stop bitching and just embrace it. Besides, the minds behind the place must be doing something right if it was named the 11th best corporate company to work for by Forbes Magazine in 2005. So, what have we learned? Globalization isn’t for everyone, Starbucks is not the devil and now I’m tired and thirsty. Where to go? Where to go?