Saturday, June 09, 2018

On Anthony Bourdain...

A version of this post has been published on Facebook.
OK, my turn…
I would often stumble upon Anthony Bourdain's TV show when channel surfing. I would pause for awhile, watch him eat yet another type of food in yet another country and, as always, proclaim what wonderful food it was. Huh? This is interesting? I would then continue my channel surfing.
Then came SXSW 2016. Because I spoke at SXSW 2016, I received a Gold Badge permitting me to attend any event of the Film and Interactive Festivals, and, lo and behold, I stumbled upon an on-stage interview of Anthony Bourdain. The huge room was packed, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay, but I spotted an empty chair in the back row and sat down. (In the photo below, that is Anthony in the distance, barely visible on stage in the lower right hand corner and, at left, on the big screen in the room.)
Wow! I was blown away. I heard and saw in this man things one hears and sees in people all too rarely. And I began to see what his television shows were all about — something I could not detect from my prior superficial stop-ins. 
Many people shared many wonderful stories about Anthony yesterday. One of my favorite posts appeared in the New Yorker (see "Anthony Bourdain and the Power of Telling the Truth" -- the video at the end of the article is a gem).
I retweeted a tweet of mine from November of last year — one I authored after stumbling upon a sequence of his TV shows when, once again, channel surfing: 
Obviously, that time — and every time since seeing him in person at SXSW — I didn’t pause briefly and react with indifference; instead, I stopped and soaked it all in.

A painting by Adrian Arias, inspired by Anthony Bourdain's suicide: "when the wave hits for the last time"