Friday, June 8, 2018

Anthony Bourdain, R.I.P.

When I got up this morning I thought I’d be writing a post about Joe Rogan. And in that post I figured I’d mention his conversation with Anthony Bourdain. Instead wake to find that Bourdain is dead, an apparent suicide at 61.

I don’t know what to say. You never know, do you?

Bourdain was one of the good ones. Muhammad Ali took boxing beyond boxing into politics. Anthony took food TV beyond food. He took food into adventure and, above all, into culture and society. Food became a way to explore the variety of human life, to explore the multiplicity and richness of human nature.

Food as philosophy?

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Thinking about it, for some odd reason I sort of thought about Bourdain as my own secret discovery. He’s mine, mine, mine! And so it’s just a little – but only that, just a little – surprising to see the coverage of his death all over the place, including top of the ‘front page’ of the (digital edition) of The New York Times (did he make that front page of the print edition?). He meant a lot to a lot of people.

Of course, it’s absurd that I should have thought of Anthony Bourdain as my own personal discovery. For one thing, I didn’t know about him until last year, which is rather late in the game. Once I’d discovered him I watched a bunch of his shows on Netflix (mostly the early A Cook's Tour and the more recent Parts Unknown). And I watched scads of interview clips on YouTube. I knew perfectly well that lots of people had discovered him and obviously valued and were touched by his work.

It’s in spite of that knowledge that I thought of him as mine, mine, mine! I wonder of others felt that way as well?

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I suppose my favorite episode of Parts Unknown is the Congo episode. Here’s a brief post on it. If you’ve got Netflix, here’s a link to it.

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