It’s been a rough week, and lots of us seem to have been hit pretty hard by today’s news about Anthony Bourdain.
But between 1. the story on the upcoming Mr. Roger’s documentary I found over on HuffPo:
2. this sweet and good video clip from that article (which absolutely made me ugly-cry tonight!), in which our friend & neighbor Mr. Roger’s talked about the ways folks on TV can have an effect on our lives—for good or for ill:
And 3. all the folks—here on GT, and other places online, and on my own favorite radio station (MPR) who have been talking about how *this one* is hitting them harder than most celebrity passings (same here),
Let’s celebrate some GOOD!
Bourdain-related good, if you want, or just regular ‘ol, big-or-small, happy, good, *Good Things.*
Bring what you want, as many or few as you want, big stuff, small stuff, whatever you’,d like us to help you celebrate
For me, aside from the things above, I’ll bring these:
And although lots of folks have mentioned the Vietnam episode, the 2006 Beirut episode of No Reservations was what truly & initially endeared Bourdain to me—because to me, that episode was when Tony really found his message to carry.
It was about the food, yes.
But it was also so much MORE. It wasn’t JUST “What do people eat?” Or “Where should tourists go?!?”
It became SO much more— “How do people *live their lives* here?,” “In what ways can we see *ourselves* in their humanity?,” “How are we similar, not different?”
Rather than, “Look! A food show! Let’s learn what *strange things* people in other places eat & drink!”
Tony brought us HIS humanity, by showcasing the human stories of the people he met. Like he said about “Whoever gave those Marines the day off duty to just go talk to people & show them their humanity...” Bourdain, with his gifts of writing, conversation, & storytelling, showed us the HUMAN side of the people he met in his travels around the world.
And to me, *THAT* was what made all his shows, and his interviews SO interesting & so much fun to watch.
Like his conversations & joking around with Chef Ripert—who he so clearly loved as a friend & who loved him right back—there was just *magic* to Bourdain’s storytelling.
He had an absolute gift, for making millions of us feel like we were a trusted & beloved friend, who he would regale with his travel stories. We got to share in his adventures, and through him we got to “meet” real people, just like us, and then hear THEIR stories.
Not many people are THAT good at getting themselves out of the way as they tell someone’s story.
Bourdain was one of the rare few (imo, like a modern-day Studs Terkel) who *excelled* at it.
My heart aches for his daughter, his partner Asia Argento, his friend Chef Ripert, and all the rest of his loved ones.
If the real-life Tony was anything like the man we knew through his words, he was one helluva good guy—rough patches and all. He may not have been an *easy* person, but he was ALWAYS willing to learn & listen—by many accounts of him—and that takes a lot of courage.
I hope that the outpouring of love that folks are showing is at least able to soften at least a tiny few of those sharp & jagged edges for his loved ones.
The Beirut episode, for those who didn’t get to see it: