An Evening At Dinner

This is pure propaganda, my ideas poured into a lovely little story that you won’t be able to resist sharing with your loved ones. You are, if you think carefully, going to help me infect them with loving and rational skepticism of ideas, to cripple their ability to think simplistically, to make them hardened cynics in analyzing ideas and proud of it, a defining light in their souls.  You have been warned.

Wonderful wife and I decided to splurge and went across town and out of town to a very nice steakhouse that looked out over a valley with part of our section of megapolis.  Sun went down, lovely view. This is a high-end restaurant, to have better food, you have to go full French or Italian.  It is easy to pay more $ for meals, but only in the downtown areas. We didn’t skimp, one dessert and coffee, 2 glasses of house wine, nice steak and lamb shank, $180 with tip.  Everything was quite good, I thought they could have gotten away with lesser food, as the vista at sundown with city lights was so spectacular.

My wife greeted one of the senior waitstaff by name, he stopped by our table later, discussed his mother and other relationships between our families for a few moments.* The restaurant is on the manufacturing side of town, more blue collar and different ethnic groups predominate than ours, even in our blue collar and working class rental neighborhood.

Customers were a very mixed group of people, but most were celebrating, birthdays and anniversaries we heard near us, people were friendly and talking across the isles with each other.  My wife and I are accomplished people watchers, tagged the older European couples as mostly retired, all senior engineering people in manufacturing, small business owners, … There were a good few of the older, retired and beyond, couples, this restaurant has been a favorite for years, our first time there.

There were a few younger, European couples.  Dress of a few  in this group was pretty formal as tho they came from some event, but all were at least casual business executive.

Then there were people from that side of town, and I love the neutral ominousness of the phrase.  There was an obviously Mexican** lovely young woman with lots of tattoos and an evening dress that revealed them with a young man who looked completely European features and skin but Mexican dress, hair style.  It is part of blending cultures, I think. He was in baggy jeans with a hanging chain, but we don’t know that side of town, it is different.

There were East Asian couples, business-owner class, we thought, mostly Vietnamese. And also younger Mexican business people in several different styles of dress. No dot-Indians, I believe, as their taste in spices mean they find American food far too bland.

Wait people all grew up in the US, I believe, but my wife’s acquaintance was also, they spoke native, and I bet many of the wait-staff could, it is that kind of world and that kind of area.

Everyone was polite, friendly. Busy night in an efficient restaurant with great food and people celebrating, many different kinds of people to watch.

While waiting for a check, I went onto the deck to get away from the band.  I stood there looking out over the city, trying to identify landmarks. Another woman, 60s or maybe older, also came to a viewpoint that was convenient for being out of the way of the stream of waiters.   I made some comment, a low-key conversation started, she told me that a large blob of light in front of us was a particular shopping mall, etc.

I commented that I found the mix of customers very interesting.  She agreed, and my memory of that, when inspected afterward in the light of what followed, has hints of considerable dis-approval.  Engineers aren’t so sensitive to such things, so I told her how impressed that I was that so many various kinds of ethnics owned businesses or were otherwise doing so well they could patronize a high-end restaurant, how nice it was to have many different ethnic foods and stores available.

She told me she liked the simple life, the kind of people she has been around all her life, that living in her small town was easy, comfortable and satisfying.  She made it clear she did not approve of our multi-ethnic world, was being very polite in saying so. I equally politely expressed the opinion that we lived integrated with many different groups, our world could not work without them, we enjoyed the experience, and I saw no particular problems.

I didn’t ask what brought her to the excitement of the big city, at that point my wife came out and said we had to pay the bill, our waiter wanted the table back.

That has always been the role of cities, a place people to meet, to go for the excitement their economies don’t yet allow at home.

But the thinking about the issues is awful.  TV and the internet change the meaning of ‘small town’ and ‘big city’ for individual lives continuously. Also the base American culture that we want to believe is so traditional and defines us never existed, and what we now have is thoroughly modern with institutions that were last changed last evening and are the reason for so many of our social ills.

Multiple ethnic groups is not the source of our problems, it is our lawmakers and opinion leaders, the power they have to disrupt our lives via the school system, as an example.  All of us are victims of those.

And the supposed conflict is just another Divide and Conquer psyop campaign rulers and minions against the rest of us.

*So that is the first multi-cultural point, ethnics infiltrate businesses everywhere, and my wife gets us spectacular advantage in nearly every situation.  Friends to the head of the line for surgery by head of the department at a nearby big-name hospital, you know, pull, social power.  They all came from societies of scarcity, and know how the favor game is played. We get invitations to so many parties because we are friends with the caterers.  People are nice to friends of people like that. I long ago learned I was only loved for my wife’s cooking, even people who were friends before she came into my life.

Do I need to keep harping on the propaganda inherent in all this, in the complete uselessness of such advice in your life?  On the fact that points of view are dangerous, and that they are best contemplated very dispassionately so as to not be able to seize your mind in unbreakable grip?

**I am lumping all as ‘Mexican’.  Our Mexican friends can tell Salvadorans from Hondurans from Guatamalans, etc, but we can’t.  Also, it seems to me that there is an evolving “SW Spanish” style of clothing and manner, but fashion is not my business, I may be imagining that is what I saw.

This is amazing propaganda.  It is especially serious because it is absolutely true, just as it happened.  I swear it as an honestly honest member of the Honest Party, would not mislead anyone about matters of fact.  Even if the fact is only in my memory now, and the woman I spoke to who so politely and mildly disagreed with me so much.

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