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RIP Anthony Bourdain

By guest editor Richard Caldwell

Posted June 15, 2018
RIP Anthony Bourdain
RIP Anthony Bourdain: By no means your typical TV foodie. (Check bottom for credit)

The R&H pays tribute to Anthony Bourdain, who died this past Friday (8/6/18), aged 61.

Noted travel writer and culinary expert Anthony Bourdain has passed away, apparently from an act of suicide.

A real-life 'most interesting man', Bourdain deservedly garnered international acclaim for his No Reservations TV series, which would later evolve into his Parts Unknown programme for CNN; unarguably the wisest contract the channel has cultivated in many years.

Never the fish out of water regardless of his ever-changing surroundings, Bourdain was perpetually as cool and collected as Rod Serling, as fiercely independent as George Carlin.

He was clearly at ease working elbow-to-elbow with the finest chefs of France as he was sharing a smoke (and perhaps a bottle) with their dishwashers in the alley out back or living it up with survivors of the New York City punk scene.

With partner in crime Asia Argento, a well-established actress and director herself, Bourdain was never intimidated from using whatever platform was at his disposal for activism, advocacy and social awareness.

His TV programmes themselves were generous with keen insights and witty observations about worldly cultures, introducing western viewers to wondrous diversity surprisingly without any hint of highbrow classism bullshit.

Yet he could certainly hob-knob as needed, serving as the tattooed rebel among banquet halls stuffed with hand-tailored suits or as the stylish storyteller among ragged third-world villagers.

For a famous guy, he could also be quite anti-Hollywood, seeming to prefer the stories and company of real people living real lives outside of the spotlight and bringing those stories home for much-needed perspective for the rest of us.

A modern-day adventurer, he gladly shared his notes of the world at large with the world at large.

Reading any of his books, one is left with the idea that the extraordinary can actually be rather ordinary, and the ordinary can actually be the most extraordinary.

And that come day's end, every last one us just wants a little something sweet.

I've no idea of his shoe size, and with his taste his shoes could likely have all been alligator skin or some-such, but suffice to say he's leaving a big pair behind to be filled.

RIP Anthony Bourdain, 25/6/56 to 8/6/18

Cheers, Richard. Along with Time Team's Prof Mick Aston, Anthony Bourdain was one of the very few people on the telly that I actually liked and I would've happily bought him a pint if I'd bumped into him in some far-flung exotic location, such as Hanoi, La Paz or Exeter. After all, while his name will be indelibly linked with food, there was much more to him than just gobbing off about grub.

As well as being the former executive chef of some posh restaurant I've never been to, he was also an original New York punk with a dry wit and a cutting sense of humour. Moreover, he was also a very gifted writer and it is this particular hack's opinion that readers should check out some of his books, especially
Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour, if they have nae done so already.

Consequently, you didn't have to be some cheeseboard Charlie to enjoy Bourdain's work. The prime creator of some truly captivating travelogues, the man just came across as really sound and interesting, which is why I am personally very saddened by his sudden demise, whether or not it was by his own hand or, as some have asserted, the result of crossing the Clintons.

Not exactly keen on Trump, Bourdain is said by some to have roused Hitlery's ire by speaking out against her lovely liberal buddy and financial backer Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly raped, among others, Bourdain's partner Asia Argento. Adding weight to all this, Bourdain tweeted this past May 2 that he was "in no way" a fan of Hitlery (aka HRC), having "been on the receiving end of her operatives' wrath", something which he said "ain't fun".

Furthermore, there is currently a meme going around that purports to show another tweet in which Bourdain apparently stated: "I have information that will lead to the arrest of Hillary Clinton." This particular tweet is supposedly dated June 5 this year (three days before Bourdain's death), although if he did genuinely send it rather than somebody just knocking it up on Photoshop for whatever reason, it is no longer visible on his still-extant
Twitter feed.

So, was it suicide or was he suicided, another addition to the so-called Clinton Body Count?

Who can say for sure in this illusory world of smoke and mirrors? Not me, anyway. However, there is one thing of which I'm certain. Bourdain had some great taste in music. So, here's
Five Foot One by his mate Iggy Pop, which was used in a No Reservations episode filmed in Sweden. Listen to the lyrics and try to work out why.

See also Belting out the good word, posted 9/5/18.

Richard Caldwell
used to write for the now sadly defunct New Comics Day. Fortunately, his writings still abound elsewhere on the interweb, such as on his flippin' ace blog that you are strongly advised to check out here.

Engage with the Rake & Herald via Minds, Vimeo, FaceBook, Twitter and/or YouTube if you can be arsed. Better still, buy a Rake Clag T-shirt here, yeah?

meat is dinner t-shirt
T-shirts! T-shirts! Click the pic for T-shirts! They're totally kimo-kawaii. © Ignatius Rake

Picture credit

Anthony Bourdain by Peabody AwardsThis file has been extracted from another file: Un Kyong Ho - Anthony Bourdain - Cynthia Hill (14451629524).jpg, CC BY 2.0, Link.

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