True: Fast food is not my thing. Said not as a foodie or politically or with a concern for nutrition. I simply don’t like most of the stuff. Sue me. Cross-examine many fast food complainers and you’ll find they aren’t abstainers by a long shot. But not me; I’m pretty damn close: My window for fast food is exceedingly narrow: precisely one day a year, on the first leg of my drive to Maine for my annual holiday. And sometimes, if circumstances are right, not even then. And so when I do approach a McMuffin, it is always with something close to fresh eyes.
Which brings us to way early yesterday morning. Me, a micro McDonalds, coffee that, insanely, was the temperature of the Sun’s surface and the aforementioned Sausage McMuffin With Egg. Let’s be clinical and say this–it’s a product reverse-engineered as a profitable solution to a multi-faceted problem that includes focus groups, business model, consistency, speed, mass manufacturing, distribution and imperviousness to preparer error.
As a response to all of these challenges, Sausage McMuffin With Egg is a complete success–but that doesn’t makes it acceptable food, merely a solution to McDonalds’ tangle of concerns and my specific circumstances–in the middle of nowhere, with nothing else open and my better judgement clouded by the remaining tendrils of last night’s dreams.
The McDonald’s muffin thingy is food in precisely the same way that what NASA provides astronauts is food–“food” understood as simply being the “best response.”
In this, a Sausage McMuffin With Egg is a Taylor Swift song in my mouth. It stems from the same same set of challenges–for instance, take “Bad Blood.” It’s a piece of pop music reversed-engineered as a profitable solution that takes into account audience, music business model, catalogue consistency, beats-per-minute, studio time, the lower fidelity of downloads and the demands of Taylor Swift’s touring presentation.
As a response to all this, the wildly annoying “Bad Blood” is a complete success–but that doesn’t make it acceptable as anything approaching good music; it’s merely a solution to the concerns of an ultimately disposable pop star. “Bad Blood” is great pop music in the same way a football chant is.
Which, I suppose, also explains why the only time I might suffer through Taylor Swift is precisely one day a year, on the first leg of my drive to Maine for my annual holiday. And sometimes, if circumstances are right, not even then.