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Luckily, the brochure's graphic style says what the copy cannot.
Whereas the newsletter the
coffee-drinkers call home is a muted, hairy recycled-paper
production, the bean-serf brochure is all
gloss and vibrant color, offering the usual picturesque,
colonial take on the third world. There are
"primitive" designs of trees, hunters, and elephants (whipped up
in Photoshop or Painter,
no doubt), there are the photo-safari snapshots depicting a
sepia-toned spectrum of smiling faces:
a Guatemalan woman filling a bucket of water; two Kenyan
children reading a comic book; an Ethiopian woman wearing
a bright red headband; an Indonesian woman and
her baby. These are simple, elemental folk, the pictures and
graphics suggest, with a special relationship
to the land that makes them perfect candidates for grueling
field work. In the same way that North
Americans are born to lives as entrepreneurs, retail clerks,
and knowledge workers, these Guatemalans and
Africans are born to lives of low-paying agricultural servitude.
Yes, they may have to walk three
miles just to get fresh water while the Espresso Elite gets their
coffee "now" and with "minimum effort," but
behind their wan smiles, they show a placid resignation to their
fate: it's just how things are.
They are the bean-serfs, and we, the coffee-drinkers, are their kings.
Their lives are marked by drought, famine, and high infant mortality rates. Ours are marked by extensive counter space, dinner parties, and peerless golf clubs. We are the chosen ones, inheritors of aristocratic privilege, sippers of coffee. It's just how things are...
Given such wonderfully uplifting thoughts, is caffeine really necessary?
Indeed, when you're a king, sometimes even decaf will do.