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Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by hobbsyoyo, Jun 8, 2018.

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  1. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    He died of apparent suicide on location for his show Parts Unknown. He was a really interesting character and his travelogue/food shows were entertaining. He started as a line cook in a restaurant, worked his way up to chef and through some fortunate circumstances (I don't remember the details) wound up writing a really popular book called Kitchen Confidential about what goes on behind the service counter. He kicked a heroine habit and dealt with depression on and off throughout his life.

    He was a great guy and will be missed.
     
  2. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    And I flubbed the title. Awesome

    Moderator Action: Title corrected as requested. leif
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2018
  3. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    My favorite thing about him was how he savaged Henry Kissinger
     
  4. GoodEnoughForMe

    GoodEnoughForMe n.m.s.s.

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    This one has gotten to me worse than any other celebrity deaths, really. I've had the incredible, extremely rare fortune of having travelled a decent amount early in my life. All over the US, Australia, Europe, and SE Asia. There was a time in my life when his travel shows really helped me focus on a passion that actually gave me something in life to look forward to when I had nothing. There were lots of weekends when I would be horrifically depressed or anxious and turn on his travel shows and watch a few episodes and start to think I had more to live for. I'm at a time in my life now where travel is, essentially, over, as I no longer have the financial means, but I still watched his show and dreamt of having the opportunity again. I appreciate his self-correction and re-evluation, and he's spent his last several years championing the MeToo movement and trying to get the toxic, gross, crap-talking and more masculinity out of cooking, as well as trying to shed a light on US crimes abroad and war victims. He's not perfect, and some of his humour could be pretty borderline edgy, but the guy was genuinely passionate about humanity, people from all walks of life, and had an insatiable curiosity (he said it was his only virtue) that drove him to want to keep learning, which, honestly, curiosity and love of learning is about all I can hang my hat on too, so I feel him. I'm going to miss his show and his wit and seeing places and people I never will, and the fact that he really did make us a bit more connected and a bit less afraid, and a bit more willing to examine ourselves and others and try to do the right thing, even if it meant coming to terms with our own mistakes. And damn it, the dude was entertaining as hell. I'm going to miss him a lot.
     
  5. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Man that sucks. I used to like no reservations back in the day. I stopped watching his shows but every now and then read or watched some piece about him in the news. He seemed to be doing well, dating some Italian actress and traveling the world looking for good places to eat. RIP.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    Anyone who has worked in kitchens in the US can tell you what a tall order this is. It's literally unbelievable how horrible kitchen staff and restaurant owners are in general. Like I tell people the things I've seen and had happen to me or coworkers and people don't believe me. Toxic work environment is understatement - most kitchens would qualify as superfund sites.
     
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  7. Synsensa

    Synsensa Warlord Retired Moderator

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    Based on the stories I've heard from girls who worked at restaurants and cafes in their teens, you would think many managers and owners are just pedophiles-in-training.

    Although perhaps this is not the best tangent to follow in this thread...
     
  8. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Is it my impression or have celebrity suicides really increased in the last years? Or maybe there is a general trend of increased suicides, and celebrities are just part of it?

    Anyway, sad. Goes to show that even a guy who lived in what for most looked like eternal vacations also had his demons.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  9. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Warlord

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    I always found Bourdain to be extremely relatable. He was several years older than I am, so it wouldn't be quite accurate to call him a peer, but in many ways he was the kind of guy I could easily have hung out with, at various stages of both our lives, if I had met him. He presented as kind of world-weary, even cynical, and yet his life was defined by a sense of adventure and a love of people, art, music, and food. He seemed to enjoy spending time with someone's Vietnamese grandmother, David Johansson, and the cast of The Wire equally. I occassionally play "celebrity dinner party" over beers with friends or colleagues, or on a web forum like this one - If you could invite N celebrities to a dinner party, who would they be? - and Bourdain was always on my list.

    Newsweek, 8 June 2018 - "U.S. suicide rates: CDC report reveals 'disturbing' rise in deaths across almost all states"
    The Washington Post, 7 June 2018 - "Suicide rates rise sharply across the United States, new report shows"
     
  10. civvver

    civvver Chieftain

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    Suicides in general are up 30% in the last 20 years. I blame social media. Teen depression rates are way up. We don't connect with people individually/in person any more and an always on presence online means you have no retreat from peer judgement. It's like living in a glass house in a way. You can choose to opt out but then you feel like you are missing out socially. And now you can compare yourself to everyone too. Tons of studies show increased depression and less happiness goes up with more time spent on social media.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/suicide-rates-are-30-percent-1999-cdc-says-n880926
     
  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I got one thing in the OP wrong. He did not start as a line cook, his career began as a dishwasher. To come this far and then end it all. :sad:
     
  12. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    It just goes to show, mental health is a constant struggle. People who suffer often do so alone, due to fear (fully justified imo) of being shunned or misunderstood or blamed for their illness. All we saw was a man of empathy, who truly treated everyone at every table, no matter how fancy or plain, as equals. But his life apparently became too intolerable for him to continue in it, despite from outward appearances being damn near perfect.

    We humans need to do better. Starting with realizing that what we see of one's life on television probably doesn't reflect anything even remotely close to reality. That's not to say Bourdain was in any way not genuine in the way he presented himself, but that's just one small part of who he was.
     
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  13. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    While this is obviously true, I wonder if television altering from reality is really an issue. Bourdain traveled the world with a crew. That usually produces some of the tightest relationships people ever have, but apparently they didn't see this coming. He just completed the rounds of promotional interviews, and among the interviewers there were some of his reputedly 'best old friends' and they didn't see this coming.

    I think one of the most insidious aspects of depression is that it demands to be hidden. The deeper it gets the stronger that demand, and the more practiced at the hiding the victim becomes. So when it is reaching the bottom, where life itself becomes meaningless, it is at the hardest point for detection and intervention.
     
  14. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Bourdain was always so talkative of "dark" parts of his life, like drug use or, more recently, his complicity in what he was denouncing as a deeply sexist culture in restaurants. I wonder why he kept quiet about depression (if indeed he was depressed, not everyone who kills themselves are clinically depressed).
     
  15. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Warlord

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    Right, that withdrawal and isolation is hard for anyone outside to see. We might lose touch with a friend or a colleague and not think anything is unusual. They stop showing up for the weekly game, they aren't on Facebook much anymore, they missed the big summer barbeque. It happens. We're busy. They're busy. Maybe you get an email or a text - "What's up? Sorry, can't make it this weekend :( " - and it isn't until you compare notes with some friends that you realize nobody has actually seen so-and-so for 6 months. Or maybe you get together with the old gang from the hometown or from college and everybody asks what so-and-so is up to and you all realize that none of you have spoken to so-and-so in years.
     
  16. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Another drone in the hive mind

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    The withdrawal and disappearance is one thing. I was more thinking about how a guy like Bourdain has contractual obligations and really can't withdraw. That team he travels with, for him there is no avoiding them, he had to be able to face them and still not let them see. He had to be able to prep an interview with Anderson Cooper, who has traveled with him and has led a similar work life, and was reportedly a genuine friend, and either fend off concerns or not cause any. Very insidious, and I don't know if we really can "be on the lookout" with any real success. Certainly calls for making the effort though.
     
  17. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    It's also worth pointing out that in plenty of cases of severe suicidal depression there are obvious warning signs. So certainly it is not futile for society or for us as individuals to do what we can to stay vigilant to help our friends and family members out when they need it.
     
  18. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Irma Rombauer, cookbook author was a suicide survivor. It was 1931, so finding a job would not be easy. To raise money, Mrs. Rombauer collected recipes from friends and neighbors and edited them into The Joy of Cooking.

    J
     
  19. GoodEnoughForMe

    GoodEnoughForMe n.m.s.s.

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    Not to derail the thread, but this is too reductive. The rise started happening in the 90s before social media, and it has hit demographics that show still limited interaction with social media. Relationship problems, upcoming crises, and substance abuse are still the the three leading contributers outside of actual mental illness, and obviously the substance abuse issue has been contributing in unheard of numbers with the opioid epidemic. Some of the factors are decidedly economic; suicides related to fear of losing your house/living space doubled during the great recession. I don't think people realize but depression and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of disability adjusted life years globally. Only heart disease is worse. It outpaces cancer, end of life illness, subtropical diseases, any given STI, etc., etc. This is a global epidemic at this point and the lack of resources, public and private, going into it is astoundingly low.
     
  20. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Also worth pointing out that suicides appear to be rising fastest among age demographic that is not known for its heavy use of social media.
     
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