Friday, June 8, 2018

Anthony Bourdain by Tosh Berman


The passing of Anthony Bourdain out of our (my) world is a depressing thought. I don't know Bourdain, nor have I read any of his books, or care about food shows, or even cooking, yet, one of the few joys I have is watching Bourdain's Television shows. I don't have regular TV, so I tend to see his programs a year later, or even a decade late. Nevertheless, his openness to other cultures and his acceptance of odd and strange food dishes is something to marvel at in the time and age of such hideous figures like Donald Trump, who finds McDonald's the ultimate dining experience. His embracement of Rock n' Roll artists and culture and his excellent taste in politics and social mores was a very nice commentary on the world. As of this week, I was thinking of actually getting regular TV services so I can watch Bourdain's programs on CNN. A glass of wine and I'm transported to a foreign area of the world, and I'm perfectly happy. Even though I'm a vegetarian, I do enjoy another's eating habits, which I thought to myself, "How long can he live after eating so much meat?" I also enjoy his programs when he goes to Japan, a country that I love, and it seems he captures that culture in such a compelling manner. And also note that his commentary on the Israel/Palestine issue is refreshing with respect to the Western World ignoring the open wound that keeps pumping out the poison that is Israel's policies toward Palestine. He was the little strong light in the world that turned entirely into darkness by the dark forces that all of us are facing on a daily basis. 
I followed his Instagram because I'm fascinated by individuals who travel on a consistent basis. He would shoot his various hotel rooms throughout the world, and there was something slightly depressing about that existence. On his TV shows, he never talked or showed off his hotel existence in such a clinical manner. It was the flip side of Bourdain's landscape, compared to the outside world, which he wandered like a hungry Situationist. In the hotel room, there was no sense of life. Like David Bowie, he was an original made up of parts that are known, and I love. The adventurer, the traveler, the writer, and sort of an Errol Flynn attitude toward the world, in that spirit that seems masculine, but not in the straight jacket mode of a Trump or any of that sickening mode of a human. This morning I decided not to get cable or a new streaming series. I'm going to spend more time listening to vinyl and reading books. And writing of course. - Tosh Berman

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