Is John Oliver a shill? Yes, and much more.

John Oliver is a comedian, television host and political commentator.    Born and raised in England, Oliver is now a permanent resident of the United States and has his own HBO program titled, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He honed his comedic skills and earned a reputation working with John Leibovitz and Stephen Colbert on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Leibovitz). Oliver even guest-hosted The Daily Show for eight weeks. While Oliver can occasionally be mildly funny when he pokes fun  at establishment figures, he is clearly a paid shill and an establishment tool. Like all the other shills who have recently been uncovered, Oliver has removed his mask and is now blatantly showing Americans, and the world, what he is.

It always surprises me when Americans aren’t suspicious of English nationals coming to America and getting high-profile positions in the media. Don’t we know our history? The British have been invading us and meddling in our affairs for well over 200 years, and yet we give them the benefit of the doubt.

Recently, I thought we had learned a lesson with the Piers Morgan debacle, but now  we have this little weasel  Oliver, who lacks comedic talent, is ugly and obnoxious, shills for Hillary Clinton and mocks the truth community. His fan base, unsurprisingly, is heavily skewed toward urban lefties and hipsters, the same demographic group which propelled Leibovitz and Colbert to their heights of stardom.

Oliver’s wikipedia entry gives very little information on Oliver’s life before his comedic career. However, we are told that his paternal great-great grandfather was a bishop and court chaplain to Queen Victoria, so we know that his family is connected to royal bloodlines. Furthermore, we read that Oliver attended Christ’s College, Cambridge where John Milton and Charles Darwin studied.  Only 450 undergraduates attend Christ’s College; I think that fits the definition of ‘exclusive.’

John Oliver, scion of elites in England going back at least 200 years, a  graduate of an elitist college connected to Cambridge, and all-around liberal wanker who has probably never held a real job in his entire life, now postures as a wise-cracking ‘commentator’ who ‘speaks truth to power.’

What else do we know about Oliver? He has stated  that he is not Jewish,  but in a stand-up routine told his audience that he has always ‘tried to look Jewish.’ Indeed, his facial features  and nose do have a certain Hebraic appearance. My guess is that he is a crypto-Jew like many of his brethren in the mass media and Hollywood. Judge for yourself:

8482959_600x338

Being that Oliver has attained a high-profile position in the Jewish/Zionist media/Hollywood empire, we would also expect him to be gay. Officially, he is married, but this woman Kate Norley could just be his beard. They don’t appear very affectionate in the few photos I’ve seen of them together. And then we have this photo, straight from his wikipedia page:

john_oliver_wyatt_cenac_hug_shankbone

Let’s take a closer look at what Oliver says and does on his HBO show. First, he sits behind his desk and yells. His whole monologue is presented with him screaming at the camera and talking very rapidly. I can only watch him for a minute or two before I have to turn him off. His entire presentation is incredibly irritating to watch. But even more important than what he says is what he does, specifically with his hands. Now that we have nearly every big name Hollywood, music, and athletic celebrity flashing the ‘666’ and Baphomet  signs, Oliver has decided to join the club! I have watched a number of his videos, both his stand-up routines and his HBO program, and he usually flashes the ‘666’ sign within the first ten seconds. He then makes the gesture at least a half-dozen more times during the monologue. Remember, the elite occultists who run this world communicate through SYMBOLS, NUMBERS, AND COLORS. Once you learn this simple fact, decoding what these people are doing becomes child’s play. Turn off the sound and pay attention to the numbers flashing across the screen, the colors in the background and what gestures and symbols are being thrown in your face. They’re  always Freemasonic and Satanic. When Oliver isn’t throwing up the ‘666’ with his right hand,  he is subtly making  the Baphomet horns with left hand. This is all to cue people in to who he is really working for, the Synagogue of Satan.

maxresdefault

Supposing you can actually look at and listen to the weasel, what does he say about the important issues of your day? He came out against Brexit, of course. So anti-establishment! I guess people didn’t hear enough anti-Brexit propaganda from the BBC, the British government and every mouthpiece in the mainstream press. They needed even more propaganda spewing from the mouth of elitist John Oliver. While his pieces on  Trump were, relatively speaking, on point, why weren’t those satirical arrows directed at Hillary Clinton as well? Could it be because of Oliver’s connections to the Clinton Foundation?

His transparent hit piece against so-called ‘conspiracy theorists’ on youtube was a new low for Prince Oliver. He stooped to mocking conspiracy researchers, when a good portion of his listening audience most likely watch many of the mentioned videos. Again, with the mainstream press already producing hundreds, if not thousands, of hit pieces on conspiracy researchers, why did Oliver find it necessary to jump on the pile.? The elitists, through their mouthpiece and talking head John Oliver, are trying to discredit truth seekers. It’s not working.

The first conspiracy Oliver tried to mock was the Denver Airport/Illuminati connection. He yelled and laughed as if the very idea was so silly it wasn’t worth discussing. Hmm, really? Actually, the Denver Airport is, without a doubt, the creepiest airport in the United States, and possibly the world. It is stuffed to the gills with illuminst symbology and anyone who takes five minutes to research this can verify it. Yet, Oliver thinks this is all made up by wacko ‘conspiracy researchers.’  You can tell he is just reading from a script, but it’s a sad and pathetic sight.

Naturally, his show uses a laugh track. It has to. As I stated, Oliver is not funny in the least. I watched a full 30 minutes of his routines while researching this article, and I never chuckled. Not even once. Yet, the laugh track produced huge belly laughs for every single line he uttered. This is Monarch mind control, brought to you by the CIA. You laugh when we tell you to laugh!

 

An American expat’s view of the U.S. election

The 2016 U.S. presidential election is finally over.  People have called U.S. elections many things: a horse race, a dog and pony show, a charade, a farce, grand political theatre, a tedious and tiresome process, a meaningless exercise in grandstanding, and many others. They all describe the elections accurately; I don’t believe there is a single word, phrase, or idiom which can give an all-encompassing view of the elections.

I quit voting after the 1996 election. I was a Jesse Jackson supporter for a time in the early ’90s, and later on supported Ralph Nader’s campaigns. But by 2000, it had become clear to me that my vote didn’t matter. I sensed that the whole game was rigged from top to bottom and the 2000 results confirmed that when Al Gore didn’t challenge the results  and the Supreme Court selected the president.  The absurdly antiquated electoral college made the so-called ‘democracy’ of America a joke. When I read that vote counts were now being  done on machines made by Diebold, a company with links to intelligence and the military-industrial complex, any illusions I had about the ‘democratic process’ were shattered. Furthermore, I had also decided that never again would I vote for ‘the lesser of two evils.’ One of the more intelligent comments I’ve read about the elections was from a gentleman who posted this: “I’ll start to believe my vote is actually being counted when they give me a paper receipt after I cast my ballot.”

Every time there is a U.S. presidential election, people say that a nadir has been reached. It can’t possibly get any worse. And then it does. Even more money is spent and even worse candidates are trotted out in front of the electorate. The so-called debates become even more superficial and look more like game shows. I threw away my television years ago, so I don’t actually watch any of the crap that passes for political debate and discussion in the U.S. I also don’t read the CIA’s newspapers like the Washington Post or Zionist garbage like the New York Times, so I see everything from a good distance.

I have lived abroad during the two most recent elections and I pay as little attention to them as possible. However, I was aware of the new round of puppets the illuminati were parading across the stage- the billionaire buffoon Trump and the arch-demon Hillary. Hence, I was as curious as anyone to see who was selected, oh I mean ‘elected.’ For a week after the big day, most of my acquaintances and friends, and even many strangers, asked me what I thought about the results.  That’s interesting because I never discuss politics with my friends here. However, this particular election had been so polarizing that everyone was dying to know if I was elated or dejected.

Since I know that the President of the United States has no real power or authority and is simply a figurehead (and has been since at least 1974) , how could I be happy or sad? A new face in the White House will change nothing, certainly not the AGENDA. Any intelligent and thinking person knows this. Having said that, I will admit to some guilty pleasure when I saw the results. First, I like surprises and I was as surprised as anyone. Trump is a pathetic zionist stooge and he will do nothing good for America, but he might just be fun to watch. Hillary, on the other hand, is evil incarnate. The thought of enduring  the wicked witch sitting in the White House was a bit too much to bear. And watching the Hollywood liberals and the mainstream media stare in disbelief at the final vote was pure, unadulterated joy.

I really believed that Trump would wait until his first month in office to stab his supporters in the back and renege on every promise he made during his campaign, a la Barack Hussein Obama. As cynical as I am, I didn’t imagine that he would start to do so just a few days after the election!  He talked so much about ‘draining the swamp’ and then he immediately appointed  to his transition team nothing but beltway lobbyists, senators, and congressmen.  He, and his buddies, are laughing in the faces of the American populace, and in particular in the faces of those who voted for him and expected something to change.

Liberals speak of moving to Canada now that Trump will soon assume office. I remember my liberal friends saying the same thing when Bush Jr. was elected. They were sure that he would provoke WW3 and the U.S. wouldn’t survive him.  At the time, in 2000 and 2004, New Zealand was a popular choice for those dreaming of expatriating. Somehow, America  did survive Bush Jr. , and Obama, and somehow the U.S. will survive Trump. After all, he’s just a (Zionist) puppet on a string.

 

 

The Problem with textbooks

Few people outside of the field of education are aware of what has happened to the textbook industry. A small percentage of parents who take an active role in their children’s education have some idea, and perhaps some politicians who are involved  in education know a bit as well. While many in academia see the downward spiral of textbook quality, few are speaking out about it.

The trends in textbook publishing affect all levels of education, from preschool to postgraduate studies. Public and private schools, rich and poor, urban and rural, all draw from the same pool of textbooks. They have little choice in the matter; the textbook industry has gone through the same relentless wave of consolidation as almost every other industry over the past few decades.

The textbooks I am most familiar with are ESL (English as a second language) books since that is the subject I am currently teaching. However, I have looked closely at my students’ textbooks for their biology, physics, chemistry, history, and health classes, and I see the same design and content changes occurring everywhere.

First, the overall dumbing down of the texts is undeniable. One rarely encounters a word that requires  a dictionary to understand. In the secondary school texts, the lexical, grammatical, and syntactical level seems to be stuck at around the 6th grade. At the university level, it’s not much better.

Much of the content presented in modern textbooks is thinly disguised corporate propaganda. Textbook publishers are reluctant to divulge how much of textbook content is taken directly from corporate sources, but we can be sure it is substantial. Corporations are known to write entire and complete legislative bills which they hand to congress for approval.  Corporate lobbyists write speeches for politicians. Transnational corporations now control everything of value on the planet, so it follows that they are writing textbooks as well. Some of this corporate propaganda is subtle and woven into the content unobtrusively.  In some chapters, the propaganda is more blatant, such as when biology texts discuss GMOs. Monsanto definitely has its dirty hands in the education field.

Besides the obvious propaganda pushing GMOs , Darwinian evolution, quantum physics, and space exploration, there’s also the social engineering type of brainwashing. This includes the celebration of rampant consumerism, transgenderism, homosexuality, multiculturalism, hi-tech, celebrity culture, shopping, social media, and general superficiality. Parents who have not looked at an English textbook for 20 or 30 years would  be appalled at what they see. Nearly every page of the ESL text which I used for a recent course discussed one of those subjects. Consumerism and high-tech gadgets such as smartphones are especially popular topics for learning. The not-so-subtle message being taught to students, outside of the embedded grammar lesson, is this: The only meaning you can derive from life is through shopping, consumerism, acquisition, and the acceptance of a multicultural and inclusive world. The only pictures one sees on the pages are photos of models,  smiling and joyful in their sleek modern offices, making loads of money which they will spend in fancy restaurants and department stores.  Traditional families are absent. Pictures of rural life are nearly absent as well. The world is presented as one giant playground, basically. It’s filled with exciting and exotic cities which  you can visit on your next ‘holiday,’ and return home with giant shopping bags filled with the loot you collected overseas. Oh, the joys of being a yuppie! That, essentially, is the dream being sold. Everyone can be a rich yuppie, living in a high-rise in some ‘bustling’ metropolis.

Every page of modern textbooks must have a photo. On some pages, more than 50 percent of the total space is filled with photos. The people in the photos are utterly fake. Most of them are models. They looks about as real as a GMO tomato. They’re always smiling and laughing, of course. They’re always attractive. They always seem to be on holiday. They’re usually talking on their smartphones and striding confidently to their next high-powered business meeting.

Do these photos contribute anything to the lesson being taught? Do they enhance the subject matter or clarify important points? No, they do not, not in the least. They’re just filler. Publishers insert them because they claim that students will not look at a page filled only with text. Actually, the publishers are correct when they state this. I once gave my students a book to read. It had no pictures. They gasped audibly and complained loudly and bitterly to me. How could they possibly read a book with no pictures? It would be so boring….

We must ask, though, how our kids became so frightened and/or bored with a page of text. Television and computers deserve the bulk of the blame, but parents and educators have done too little to instill a love of reading to students. Education publishers help to create this problem, and then turn around and state that they are merely responding to market demand.

The hundreds or thousands of photos placed into a typical textbook today drives up the cost of the text enormously. The expensive and glossy paper on which the photos are placed is considerably more pricy that simple paper for text. Moreover, it’s not just lots of unnecessary, ugly, and fake photos that one sees on textbook pages. Graphic designers now play a role even more important than content writers. Every page must be a different color. Oh, yes. Pages must be multi-hued with flashy background themes. Black text on white background, white text on black background, green on black, blue on yellow-whatever. Every page must now resemble a website. Many pages are so repulsive to look at that I ignore them when working through a chapter. I don’t want my students to look at something so ugly and so manipulative.

Students coming up through the system today have no idea that textbooks used to be different. With their immaturity and lack of perspective, they naturally assume that things have always been this way. They are unaware that students used to read books with no pictures! And sometimes those books were hundreds of pages long, and filled with highly technical details.

In conclusion, I regard modern textbooks as abominations. They are filled to overflowing with shameless propaganda, touting GMOs and transhumanism, among other things. Their slick and glossy pages, designed by well-paid graphic designers, are all about style, not substance. Content has now receded into the background. Actual text now coves less than half of most pages and the lessons are presented in small doses so as not to stretch students’ minds too much.

 

 

The absolute horror of cover music.

When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, I was familiar with cover bands. These were what we called ‘garage bands,’ a group of guys who enjoyed occasionally getting together to perform gigs at parties or special events for friends. The band members were proficient enough on their instruments to learn popular songs and play them well, but they weren’t songwriters. Some cover/garage bands were better than others. The best ones spent a lot of time rehearsing and could play a cover song with real gusto and flair. My brothers had cover bands play at their weddings,  and they put on great shows.

There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with a band playing and singing the music of other bands. If people don’t have the opportunity or the money to see their favorite band perform live, then seeing a cover band play those songs at a show can be a satisfying alternative.  I have had many enjoyable evenings listening and dancing to cover bands.

However, in the last couple of decades, an entire industry has been created to record and market cover music. This industry has nothing to do with weekend garage bands. Like all big industries, it is all about money- big money. The epicenter of the cover music industry is in Asia, where people are absolutely infatuated  over cover music. How and why this came to be I have no idea. Cover music is now so ingrained in the culture of Asia that it’s almost become part of the scenery.

I know this because I often visit restaurants, coffee shops, lounges, and bars,  and cover music is played in the majority of these establishments. Managers arrive in the morning, press ‘play’ on the computer screen where there is a ten-hour long playlist of cover songs and then forget about the music for the rest of the day.

Cover music, specifically the recored playlists which are widely played in eating and drinking venues, is an abomination, for many reasons. People, particularly Asians, need to wake up to this fact and demand to hear real music again.

First, the songs which are covered are all from English-speaking bands, usually from the United States and England. Most of the people in Asia listening to this music have not the slightest idea what the songs are about. The lyrics are unintelligible to them. Even locals who have a moderate grasp of English can’t understand the vast majority of songs which are played on the sound systems at their jobs. Even worse, they don’t even try to understand the words. The music, being played all day, every day, just becomes background noise, something that is not worth paying attention to.

Second, the young Asian crowds listening to the songs are wholly unfamiliar with the original songs. They know they’re listening to cover songs, but haven’t a clue who wrote the song in the first place. And they couldn’t care less. They don’t know that the original song was sung nothing like the cover version and had a completely different feeling to it.

Third , the bands whose songs are being covered, recorded, and marketed are not given their rightful  share of royalties. The musicians who wrote the songs don’t have the time, money, or energy to travel around the world with lawyers and try to rein in the huge and ever-growing cover music industry. Intellectual property rights, contracts, and royalties are not the concern of customers who sit and listen to cover music for hours on end in coffee shops in Seoul, Tokyo, and Saigon.

Next, the songs are all covered and sung by young women who change the tempo and feeling of the songs. You see, in Asia, they love what is called ‘relaxing’ music. Music in Asia is seen as  something which should calm the nerves after being out in traffic all afternoon. This is the main reason why Kenny G is a god-like figure throughout Asia. So, in the cover music factory, probably located somewhere in the suburbs of Tokyo or Seoul, the female singers take the songs and sing them in a mellow and ‘soft jazz’ kind of style. Now, that might work for some songs, but the cover music managers have their singers do this for all songs. I’ve been in Asia long enough now to realize that probably every Billboard Top 100 song from 1965 to the present day has been covered, recorded, and sold.  I used to think that they just preferred to cover the ‘soft rock’ hits from the 70s and 80s, like the Carpenters and Terry Jacks, but now I’ve heard nearly every genre covered.

For example, I recently heard the famous hit from The Police, ‘Every Breath You Take,’ being played as a cover song in a Japanese restaurant which I frequent. That song was always creepy; after all, it’s about a stalker. Sting sang it with just the right amount of menace in his voice to make it work. However, in the Asian cover version, the female crooner turns the song inside out and tries to make it into a mellow  love song! “Hey, I’ll be watching you, la-la-la.”

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of Bob Marley’s songs on cover playlists. The gourmet market where I shop has been playing this list frequently in the last month. It is bizarre to hear some young Asian female singing “I remember when we used to sit….in the government yard in Trenchtown.” (From Marley’s famous song ‘No Woman No Cry.’) That woman singing the song probably couldn’t even find Jamaica on a map. It was always bad enough to hear cover songs from the Carpenters, but now they’re covering Reggae and Grunge music!

Herein lies the rub: these companies pumping out cover versions of famous songs can copy the melody and the lyrics, but they can never duplicate or replicate the feeling or the soul of the song. They know this, and they don’t even try. They slow the beat down on every song and just tell the girl to sing it like it’s a lounge song. It simply doesn’t matter if the original feeling of the song is obliterated in the process. The cover music  industry managers do this to every song. Hell, I recently heard ‘Come as You Are’ the famous song from Nirvana played on a cover playlist. It’s not a very good song; it’s completely nonsensical  and the only reason it had success was Cobain’s hoarse and edgy voice and the thumping bass line.

I’ve asked various people over the last few years, both customers and restaurant managers, why they were playing and listening to cover music. After all, since the original versions of the songs are available, for free on the internet, why not just play the originals? Why listen to a 20-year-old Korean girl sing ‘No Woman No Cry’ when you can just play the entire ‘Exodus’ album from YouTube and hear Bob Marley sing it? I’ve never gotten a clear answer. The customers don’t pay any attention to what’s playing, and the managers always say something like, “Well, we like cover music. Her voice is so good. It’s so relaxing. The customers like it.” Or, “My boss likes this kind of music.”

It appears that cover music has taken over Asia. Not only are the original songs being lost, but the indigenous music of Asia has receded so far into the background that it, too, risks going extinct. I protest as much as I can, but I’m just one person. Unless people demand an end to this nonsense, this is what we will be living with in our future: Soul-less, corporate junk music which will continue to lobotomize the public into a permanent zombie state.

 

 

 

 

 

Five disturbing trends in the restaurant industry

There have been a numerous new trends in the restaurant industry over the past decade, and, unfortunately, all of them are bad. Restaurant owners have proven to be susceptible to all the recent technological fads and have  contributed to the generalized dumbing down of society.

  1. Menus with photos.

This trend seems to be most prevalent in Asia and probably began here.  Almost every Asian restaurant that I visit now has a picture menu. Even the most basic, simple, and elementary dish requires an accompanying photo. Take, for example, the classic Vietnamese dish, Pho. It is sold on every street corner of the city, in every Vietnamese restaurant and in every shopping mall. It is eaten in every Vietnamese home. Yet, restaurant owners apparently believe that customers need to see a picture of a soup bowl with noodles inside next to the word ‘Pho.’  A can of coke requires an accompanying photo. So does a bottled water.

These elaborate picture menus require considerably more expense and effort than a good old-fashioned written menu. The pages must be much thicker; indeed, many of these menus are printed on cardboard instead of paper. Or, they are laminated with hard plastic. Picture menus  are often extremely large and one needs to carefully use the entire half of the table to open it. And because fewer items can be printed on each page, thanks to all the photos, the menus must be considerably longer as well. The longest menu I have seen in Southeast Asia was 70 pages.

Picture menus are for children. They have no place in any respectable restaurant. No owner with any sense of pride in his establishment and respect for his customers would have a picture menu. The photos are unnecessary and are a waste of space, time, money, and effort. In the ‘old days,’ owners had to spend time writing creative descriptions of their dishes for their menus. Nowadays, they take the easy way out and slap a photo next to the item. ‘Idiocracy’? We’re living in it.

2. Big Screen Televisions

Televisions in restaurants used to be associated exclusively with sports bars. The idea was to draw in customers who were traveling and wanted to catch their favorite sports team or watch a special game. Sports bars had their place the scheme of things and I never saw much harm in them. One day, though, some restaurant owners who were looking for a new gimmick to increase sales said to themselves, “Hey, maybe we can get a piece of that action. Why should sports bars be the only ones to have televisions? Let’s put a big screen tv up behind the bar and see what happens. We’ll keep everything else the same, but now we can say that we provide a television for the local sports games.”

And so it went. Pretty soon, every other restaurant, reacting to the competition and the trend, installed giant flat screens in their bars and dining rooms as well. The old clearly demarcated line between sports bars and fine dining was obliterated, almost overnight.

Once the televisions have been turned on, managers don’t like to turn them off. As an experiment, I encourage my readers to go to their favorite local restaurant and ask the manager, politely, to turn off the television and see what kind of reaction you get. He will most likely look at you as if you are insane.

A couple of years ago I visited my family in Washington D.C. My brother took me out to a trendy neighborhood with dozens of upscale restaurants. I asked him to take me one without televisions. He thought about it for a moment and replied, “You know, I can’t think of one. I’m pretty sure every single one of these places has a screen.

The invasion of televisions into restaurants has reached a height of absurdity unimaginable even a few years ago. Some resto-bars have a dozen televisions playing, along with music. Combine that with loud customers and street noise and you have a chaotic scene. Even though not a single customer can be seen who is actually viewing one of the screens, managers refuse to turn them off. They are now seen as ‘ambience.’

I have attempted to talk with managers and owners about this, but my protestations fall on deaf ears, always. I point out that having televisions does not bring in customers. I mention that nobody views them anyway. I argue that they are energy hogs. I tell them that they destroy the ambience of the dining experience. No matter. The trend has been set and now there is no turning back.

In researching this article, I did a google search on televisions in fine-dining restaurants and was heartened to see numerous articles written about the subject. There is a debate about it, but it needs to be much broader and reach a much bigger audience.

3.  Free Wi-Fi

Although flat-screen televisions had already mostly destroyed the ambience of many restaurants, the installation of free Wi-Fi put the final nail in the coffin. Once again, we saw  restaurant owners tripping over each other to be trendy and caving in to fickle and superficial customers who just wanted their damn Wi-Fi! Dude! Owners took the short-term view versus the long-term view. The short-term view means giving customers what they demand, now. The longer-term view, I argue, involves preserving something called the ‘restaurant experience,’ which involves far more than eating  delicious food. It encompasses the entire experience of eating out, from the moment you enter the restaurant until the moment you leave. When a customer is able to eat exceptional food in an elegant, relaxed setting and engage in stimulating conversation during the meal, the experience can be almost transcendent.

The availability of free Wi-Fi guarantees that customers will never be able to enjoy that kind of experience. A quick glance around the dining area of any restaurant today will show more than half of the customers with their heads bent down at unnatural angles, staring into the bright screens of their smart phones, their faces eerily illuminated. Conversation is entirely absent. Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends ignore each other entirely for the duration of the meal.  A person can choose not to use a smart phone while in the restaurant, but there is no way to block out the surrounding customers who exist in their zombie cyber-world.

4. Servers using iPads and smartphones to take orders

I experienced this loathsome trend last week in the Bangkok airport. The nervous young girl who waited on me didn’t want to talk at all; she was nervously focused on her hand-held device, using her thumbs to carefully enter in my order, which was, apparently, sent at the speed of light to the kitchen a few feet away. What idiotic owner really believes that supplying his waitstaff with computers is going to improve service? The device creates a totally unnecessary barrier between the server and customer. The server’s eyes and attention are now entirely focused on the gadget and away from the customers, where it should be. The ability of the server to engage in conversation, banter, and even flirtation with the customers is severely hampered.

I recall a rather humorous experience I had a few years ago in Seattle when I first observed this trend. I was eating in an Indian restaurant for lunch. My table was just a few feet from the kitchen. Indeed, I could see the chefs through an opening in the wall behind the register. The owner decided to take my order and he entered it onto his hand-held device. It was clear to me that he was immensely proud of his high-tech way of taking orders. He assured me, with a broad smile, that my order would be received ultra-fast by the chefs in the kitchen and, hence, I could receive my food that much quicker. Alas, I was not impressed. I told him, flatly, that I thought his gadgetry was unnecessary, silly, and pretentious. Furthermore, I told him that I was not in a particular hurry and if I wanted ‘fast food’, I could go to McDonald’s. This portly owner seemed to regard efficiency as the highest goal in the restaurant business.

5. Servers unfolding the customer’s napkin and placing it in his lap

This may not be a new trend. Perhaps some fine dining restaurants have always done this. I’m not sure. But if it is a new trend, I hope it will disappear as quickly as possible. I remember clearly the first time a waiter grabbled my napkin and attempted to put in my lap. I was so shocked at the action that I didn’t know quite what to do or say. All I could manage at the moment was, “What in the hell are you doing? Do  I look like a baby?”

What kind of sheer nonsense is this? Customers now need assistance unfolding their napkins? Only babies and incapacitated geriatric patients should need assistance like this. The servers don’t ask customers, either. No. They simply come to the  table and with a big smile place the napkin in customer’s  laps.

I was in a nice Italian restaurant a couple of weeks ago when the server attempted this silly maneuver. I kept repeating, ‘What are you  doing? What are you doing? What.. are… you… doing…?’ She didn’t answer and continued to unfold the napkin and reach over to place it in my lap. I finally had to forcibly grab her arm and shove her away from me. Really, if owners and managers think this pretentious little dance is necessary, then why stop there? Why not have the server sit at the table and lift the fork and spoon for the customers? It’s the logical next step.