Ode to Mediocrity and Failure

Freya’s day. Moderately not-unpleasant in the park. A bit humid. Wind low. Had to shuck top layer. But not quite conducive to contemplation while walking.

I ran across an article [Link] purporting to define the “perfect” hamburger.

And I began to roll on the floor laughing. And gasping for breath.

The hamburger is an abomination of foodstuffs. It is on the level of paleolithic (pre-pottery) soups. 

You start with ground beef. That’s second rate meat that has been pre-masticated to remove all of the texture and much of the flavor. Actually the flavor is still there but it has been so thoroughly mixed that there are no colors of flavor, only gray. And not fifty shades.

Then you heat the meat in a sanitary fashion. That means some specified temperature for some amount of time. This is the same process that a blacksmith uses when he wants to temper iron. Make it tougher and homogeneous, that is. So now the flavor is destroyed by thermal decomposition of its molecules.

Next you put the flavorless meat on a lifeless bun, probably baked in a steam oven, add vegetable and fruit bits made tasteless (even negatively tasting) by chemical preservation and coloration. And you add compotes of various vegetables and spices that have been produced in great factories to a standardized formula using low bidder ingredients.

Rather reminiscent of the Challenger experience, isn’t it. Except for the freezing of various key components. Oh, if you buy the burger at a fast food restaurant, the meat was also frozen, wasn’t it? So it is like the Challenger experience. Except the explosion is disappointment. 

Modern Amerikan Capitalism has reduced the hamburger, never a great thing to begin with, to just another salt-sugar-fat processed food. No different from breakfast cereal or cookies or tv dinners. 

Yes, if the burger is warm and fresh and you are hungry there is a mild pleasurable sensation. But for a real meal you have to have stuff with flavor and texture and more than a bit of risk.

Yes, the hamburger is a fitting symbol of the contemporary mediocrity of Amerikan society.