Words, Food for Thought

I love dining and my selection of restaurants is based on the food, the ambiance because the experience is just as important as the food. I’m not at all interested about the workings of the kitchen so long as what comes out of the kitchen is a delight to my taste buds. Chicago has a lot of restaurants that serve the purpose of ridding one’s appetite, but only a select few have a certain je ne sais quoi about them.

It seems odd how the biggest complaint giving regarding Barak Obama is that he’s a great orator with no substance. Recently, Hillary Clinton stated that “Speeches don’t put food on the table. Speeches don’t fill up your tank, or fill your prescription, or do anything about that stack of bill.”

The GOP has placed aim on this same issue. They do so because let’s face it, no one would mistake Hillary Clinton or John McCain for great speakers. But what is missing in the attack of Obama is that words actually do matter.

If you think about the great leaders of our time, a familiar trait that many had was the ability to communicate with their followers. Not only did they communicate well with constituents and supporters, they inspired them. We don’t pay much attention to Winston Churchill’s day to day decisions during the war. But we do remember his speeches. Ronald Reagan wasn’t called the “Great Trickle Down Economics President”, he is referred to as “The Great Communicator”.

Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, John F Kennedy… all had a vision, political philosophies and ideas… but what set them apart was their ability to inspire, to lead to connect with masses. A leader must have the ability to influence people to action. There are no shortages of ideas and great leadership is not measure by how many bullet points one can come up with to solve problems.

There is a reason why millions tune in to watch the State of the Union address then completely ignore the Ways and Means Committee meetings that airs on C-Span: we have no interest in seeing the making of sausage nor do we want to listen to someone describe how sausage is made. Tell us about the dish. Tell us about the ambience; the music playing in the background, the wine selection. Inspire me to the point where I am anticipating a great dining experience.

I have no doubt that all of the candidates are capable of slaughtering a cow (i.e. present legislations to Congress) and we have two candidates saying with a bad Russian accent, “Come, watch me slaughter fat cow and I feed you,” and another saying “Our featured meats are seasoned to perfection over an open flame to capture their individual flavor to be savored in atmosphere reminiscent of the Rio Grande do Sul of Southern Brazil.”

All serving steak… but I’m dining at the Rio Grande do Sul… bone apatite.

Note: Part of the description comes from the Fogo De Chao website. If you have never dined at a Brazilian steakhouse, you are missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.


3 Responses to Words, Food for Thought

  1. Tanai Says:
    It's funny, I do PR for restaurants (including Fogo de Chão) and what you are saying is soooo true! People want to feel good about what they are eating, not just that it has been cooked. One thing I would add is that the best descriptions in the world can only bring people in; but only great ingredients can keep them coming back!
  2. Sharon Says:
    Hey James,
    Make that a table for two will ya?!
  3. nosthegametoo Says:
    I don't know when was the last time you were home in Chicago, but I also recommend Brazaa as another Brazilian steakhouse. It's on dearborn street downtown.

    And I must agree with your point. If words mean nothing, then why do we have to hear the "Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR...DOWN... THIS WALL", quote over and over and over again.

    I guess words only mean nothing when the other guy is using them.