Saturday, July 23, 2011

i don't like hot dogs

a steaming hot new york style frankfurter from a street vendor with ketchup and mustard and onions and relish and all that - that's culture. i can enjoy that for what it is. that's not what i'm talking about, though.

someone's got to make those hot dogs.

i worked in a hot dog factory for about a month after my first year of college, just before landing a programming job with a local business software company where i was living at the time.

there's the popular adage that hot dogs are made from pig lips and assholes. i don't know how true that is. what i do know is that the stuff that goes into the edible casing and is cooked, machined, steamed, and packaged into vacuum-sealed plastic in a box to ship off to a grocery store refrigerator near you - that stuff that goes into the hot dog is a liquid - liquid meat.

i could not eat a hot dog for a while after working that job.

in some ways i find myself in a similar situation now, with business practices that i can't help but feel are just a bit abusive for my tastes being touted as the norm in this industry.

maybe these are the price we pay for relying on hugely complex interconnected global systems that have to be constantly maintained and upgraded so that millions of entrepreneurs can all create value and get rich, tiny fractions of pennies at a time, millions of times every second.

the whole notion of latching onto an existing business model or the next [insert name of latest success on everybody's mind] to me is the hot dog. we eat it unquestioningly, because it's "all-american", or something. and it's tasty with ketchup and mustard and onions and relish and all that on top of it, steaming hot from the street vendor.

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