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Your Coffee Has a Life Outside of You, You Know [3/22/2007 01:20:00 AM]:
While I'd really like to think I'm all deep and political from time to time (see the old blog over here), the truth is that in reality I'm generally one of those ever-annoying e-activists. Yep, if I get a bulletin from some group or another with an easy-peasy link to click & some fields to fill out to send a form letter to my senator, I'll do it; fire off the e-mail & forget about it. It's cheap, it's easy, it probably has about as much impact as me yelling at the TV when Bill O'Reilly or that smarmy Glenn Beck prick're on, and it makes me feel vaguely empowered. Sad, yes, but there it is.

(And to her credit, one of Texas's two senators, Ms. Kay Bailey Hutchison, actually sends me a paper form letter back for every freakin' one. If they do that for everybody, even non-party-liner reprobates like me, my hat is off to her staff; that's not a job I want, believe you me. John Cornyn, on the other hand, has never replied.)

Despite my inherent laziness, though, I do occasionally attempt to venture out of the house to do something vaguely political, and this is one of those cases. Oxfam, a group I tend to like (not least because I found Ffangs The Vampire Bat and the Kiss of Truth at one of their thrift stores in Ealing), is currently promoting a movie called Black Gold, which apparently delves into the lives and working conditions of the folks behind your/my steaming cup of morning coffee. The film follows the manager of an Ethiopian coffee cooperative as he tries to get a fair price for his co-op's crop, in a long journey 'round the globe that sounds both brutal and illuminating.

Now, I must confess that I'm currently on a break from coffee -- my recent bout of stomach flu forced me to cold-turkey on all forms of brownish liquid, including my AM work coffee and twice-daily Pepsi (one of my other few forms of political "activism," by the by, is boycotting Coke, my former carbonated love), and surprisingly, I feel okay. No headaches, no fogginess, nada; all I can figure is that I happened to hit the DTs right when I was feeling godawful anyway, so I didn't even notice.

Even still, while I'm not currently drinking it, I do love coffee. I love the mystique of it, the flavor, the whole thing. I can't claim to be a connoisseur, but I've read enough to be able to recognize decent coffee when I find it -- arabica beans all the way, yo, and Eight O'Clock Coffee is king (outside of the 5-lb. bag the wife and I bought once in Fez for $0.50, at least, which was the best coffee I've ever tasted). I'd heartily recommend Mark Prendergrast's Uncommon Grounds, by the way, if you really want to know the history of the stuff and how to know what's good & what's bad (beyond just drinking it, that is)...

Anyway, the movie's playing locally at the Rice Media Center (on Rice campus, naturally), and it'll be running March 23rd to March 25th, which doesn't give you much time to go check it out, so go see it while you can, eh?

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