Misconstrued Perception

Is consumerism and commercialism altering perceptions on the art of coffee and music? In my opinion…without a doubt.


What is “indie”, or “indie rock” for that matter? I used to think that I knew. I used to think that indie music was short-form for independent music. The genre of indie rock is now more of a fashion for consumer culture and another way for capitalists to turn music into a commercialized product. They play with the label of indie rock, attributing it to underground culture and counterculture. Just another way to falsely assure the masses that they are “individual”, “unique”, and part of a countermovement to mainstream culture. It is used now to incorrectly describe the bands sound in affiliation with their independent label, or means of production. It’s a blanket term that covers many artists, grouping them into a category that appeals to a society who is constantly looking to rid themselves of characteristics of the collective; conforming to a symbol of individualism, despite the fact they are doing the exact opposite. Indie has been appropriated by commercialism to mean something that was originally not intended; it has new meaning now. It was only a matter of time before someone was smart enough to see that they could market this idea.

I’m not judging anything about the music itself. There are many artists coming out with the label of “indie” that are wonderful to listen to, and by no means should artists be judged by their label. Also, I’m not saying that there are not truly independent bands emerging from various music genres. I just wish that truly independent musicians wouldn’t get tagged under the genre of “indie”. Am I symbolically representing myself through the music I listen to? Most likely… but I would say that their is very few that could get away with saying no. Do I mean to? Not necessarily… I did for a long time, and now realize there are definitely more important things in life than defining yourself by symbolic culture. Althought I’ll never get away from it.

Now what about coffee? How have peoples perception of coffee changed? There are about 13, 000 Starbucks around the world, and in multiple countries; opening Starbucks every 6 minutes… About 44 million people a week go to Starbucks. Starbucks coffee is the most caffeinated coffee on the market. So what am I trying to get at? I want to argue the fact that Starbucks is altering people’s perception of coffee from something that is a taste sensation, to something to feed an addiction. Among other things that I think is horrible about Starbucks, this is what I’m going to try to argue. Usually when I talked to people about coffee, the response is usually something like this: “I really needed a coffee this morning, I had a horrible hangover and needed to get picked up.” Where is the enjoyment in that? Doesn’t it seem as if people are using coffee strictly for the caffeine, as a means for energy? I’m sure that symbolic imagery also has some sort of ties, but my opinion leans more towards coffee as a means of caffeine. It really is a shame that more people don’t take the time to appreciate all things that go into coffee and all aspects that change the qualities of coffee. We need to remember that we are trying to make something consistently that naturally doesn’t want to be consistent. Starbucks and other coffee chains have constrained coffee to something that can be repeated over and over again with very little frequencies of variability. So what Starbucks is doing is dealing caffeine legally and consistently. Of course this is just my opinion, and I would love to hear discussions!!

And for some neat indie rock picks, check out: Pavement, Guided by Voices, Built to Spill, Jesus and Mary Chain, Polvo, and solid old Sonic Youth

(Am I secretly representing myself symbolically through these bands?? Fuck… This just gets confusing.)


6 Responses to “Misconstrued Perception”

  1. I liked this one. I was worried it would just be another rant about how everyone drinks Starbucks and globalization and blah blah blah, but I haven’t heard someone talk about this yet. It is pretty lame to see a company turn a treat into a necessity for people. and I really can’t stand self-proclaimed coffee addicts, especially those who call themselves such so they have an “interesting” vice.
    Also I want to try that Turkish business ASAP. I am looking into it.

  2. Starbucks is just a upscale Tim Hortons. I see people everyday greedily drinking coffee, and it’s gross that they’ll drink anything as long as it has caffeine.

    I’m a big fan of the Penny coffee since I started dating Joey (who is currently is an employee and has introduced me to a lot of new types of coffee). Starbucks just tastes gross to me, same with the coffee we have at work. The greedy customers just need caffeine and love the overly caffeinated coffee that we serve even though it is extremely bitter.

  3. Urvil hates a lot of people.

  4. noisenoisenoise Says:

    Dead right.

    “Indie has been appropriated by commercialism to mean something that was originally not intended; it has new meaning now.”

    I would respectfully delete the word “new” and add “no”

    Cheers for adding me to your blogroll.

  5. Stop ranting – I LOVE INDIE – and if you don’t like starbucks cofee, go suck on a lemon instead.

  6. Heddapeddajedda Says:

    I Love indie to , but I agree with everything, it’s so true, And that starbucks thing to. . . I get really tired and sad when you discover things you do is just like everyone else and you are, like, traped in a world full of meaningless things, and that you dont give a fuck about the people that really dies at this moment becouse you are so fucking absest with money . .. Sorry my bad spelling, im not from an english contrey. But im shore you get what I mean.
    Have a NÄJS ( as we say in sweden 🙂 life

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