A Brief One by Doug Draper
Posted on June 10th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
What a blow to humanity.
It was bad enough waking up this past June 8th to the realization that Doug Ford had actually won the Ontario election, but to get the “breaking news” around 8 a.m. that Anthony Bourdain was found dead at age 61, reportedly after committing suicide, made the morning too damn much to take.
If you don’t know who Anthony Bourdain was, to say that he was a chef with a television series on CNN called ‘Parts Unknown’ hardly gets to the essence of what endeared him to so many millions of people, including this person who doesn’t make a practice of watching so-called cooking shows.
He was an author and an intellectual with a true insight and passion for politics and learning about differing cultures and the diversity of people who live in them.
On his television program, he would hardly ever take you to the usual tourist places you can read about in any tourist brochure, but to the more off-beat places of whatever country he was visiting where you could be introduced to a whole cast of colourful, off-beat people.
He could engage as well with a homeless drug addict he would meet in the street as he did with a character like punk rock idol Iggy Pop, who he was once filmed walking a Florida , or former U.S. P:resident Barack Obama, who was showcased having lunch with him while both were in Vietnam a few seasons ago.
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi Beer.’ This is how I’ll remember Tony,” Obama said of Anthony Bourdain in a brief statement this June 8th. “He taught us about food – but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.”
I certainly will, along with all of the great adventures he took us on with that rich voice of his doing the narration, and so will my wife, Mary, who has been mourning the news of his death as if she has lost an old friend.
There are a lot of bad actors out there these days. We can ill-afford to lose good people like Anthony Bourdain.
This coming week, I will be visiting some friends on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and while there, I will head out to the tip of the Cape to one of North America’s most off-beat communities, Provincetown. I will be thinking about Anthony Bourdain while I am in P-Town, walking past some of the seafood restaurants he worked at during the summers in the 1970s.
I will be sure to put on some of Curtis Mayfield’s music in my car – one of his favourite artists – as a tribute to him.
To watch a brief segment from Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’, featuring him having lunch with ‘the godfather of punk’, Iggy Pop, click on the screen below –
To watch a clip about the episode where Anthony Bourdain meets up with then U.S. President Barack Obama in Vietnam, click on the screen below –
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