(ELF Op-ed) — I feel compelled to write about Anthony Bourdain. Not because I feel an otherworldly connection to a celebrity that I never met. Not because I obsessively watched his shows. Not for any reason, really, other than he seemed to be a great guy who seemed to have a great goal with the work he did.
Bourdain, was found dead in his hotel room in France on Friday morning. He was working on new episodes of his show, Parts Unknown.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN said in a statement. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink, and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Bourdain previously struggled with heroin and crack addictions. He is survived by his daughter and girlfriend, Italian actress Asia Argento. Argento spoke out against Harvey Weinstein, accusing the disgraced film producer of rape, with Bourdain’s full support.
In his recent work life, Anthony Bourdain went where others wouldn’t and showed Americans a glimpse of the world they rarely get to see using the common thread of food. Anthony went places like Gaza and Iran and showed Americans that these places are full of living, breathing humans with thoughts, opinions, and favorite meals. He showed the humanity of cultures Americans think of as “them” in the seemingly never ending us vs. them climate this planet seems unable to escape from.
Anthony Bourdain had one of the only shows on tv that tried with all its might to teach Americans not to be scared of other people.
— Allison F.🦉 (@ablington) June 8, 2018
Sure, it was his job. He got paid to do it. But he didn’t have to do it. He could have been judgmental while he did it. He could have refused to go to certain countries. He could have avoided touching certain people. He could have acted like he knew it all. He could have been an ass. But he wasn’t He went to learn and experience and brought us along for the ride. And hopefully he opened some eyes and hearts along the way.
Bourdain never treated our food like he "discovered" it. He kicked it with grandma because he knew that HE was the one that needed to catch up to our brilliance.
I wish so much for his legacy to take hold in western (mostly white) food media culture. What a loss. I'm so sad.
— Jenny Yang 👲🏼👲🏼👲🏼 (@jennyyangtv) June 8, 2018
Below are a few quotes, stories, clips and photos of the late Anthony Bourdain.
“Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands.You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking… While Henry continues to nibble nori rolls and remaki at A-list parties, Cambodia, the neutral nation he secretly and illegally bombed, invaded, undermined, and then threw to the dogs, is still trying to raise itself up on its one remaining leg.”
Frequently, I’ve come to regret things I’ve said. This, from 2001, is not one of those times: pic.twitter.com/1NiHlupJkL
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) February 5, 2018
Anthony Bourdain has my eternal respect for helping the world see Kissinger more clearly. pic.twitter.com/QbrC0osj3L
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) June 8, 2018
Watch: “Iran Is Not What I Expected”
“I was really knocked sideways by how well we were treated in Iran and how delicious the food was and how hospitable ordinary people were to us.”
Bourdain revealed his Jewish ancestry in the opening monologue of the episode in which he traveled to Israel and Gaza, “I’ll be seen by many as a terrorist sympathizer, a Zionist tool, a self-hating Jew, an apologist for American imperialism, an Orientalist, socialist, a fascist, CIA agent, and worse.”
You can watch Bourdain’s Gaza experience here.
He was a master baby whisperer, and a master storyteller, having rocked my 7 month old to sleep in the middle of shooting our episode of @PartsUnknownCNN in #Gaza. RIP @Bourdain pic.twitter.com/APDUA84bc5
— Laila El-Haddad (@gazamom) June 8, 2018
The death of Anthony Bourdain is terribly sad. Many will remember him for his courage to go to Gaza and the West Bank in 2013 and show Palestinians as human. He wrote: “I'm particularly proud of this one — as it's sure to piss off just about everybody.” https://t.co/pQqYkOXKni
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) June 8, 2018
In 2014, Bourdain received an award from the American Muslim Public Affairs Council for his episode on Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank. Bourdain’s acceptance speech was full of wisdom:
“I was enormously grateful for the response from Palestinians in particular for doing what seemed to me an ordinary thing, something we do all the time: show regular people doing everyday things, cooking and enjoying meals, playing with their children, talking about their lives, their hopes and dreams. It is a measure I guess of how twisted and shallow our depiction of a people is that these images come as a shock to so many. The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity. People are not statistics. That is all we attempted to show. A small, pathetically small step towards understanding.”
As we reflect on the legacy of #AnthonyBourdain, let's remember how he used his celebrity to shed light on the struggle of the Palestinian people, not something popular for a CNN host to do. https://t.co/NQtg3QRdll
— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) June 8, 2018
Anthony Bourdain on Gaza: "The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity." #RIPBourdain https://t.co/KzFdQXpFAD pic.twitter.com/qbbw9wpRyx
— Huwaida Arraf (@huwaidaarraf) June 8, 2018
“I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women,” Bourdain wrote in an article published last year. “Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage — as much as I’d like to say so — but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories.”
https://t.co/aTtfOfx2QU Nauseating, chicken-hearted enablers all.
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 6, 2017
“In these current circumstances, one must pick a side. I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women. Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage — as much as I’d like to say so — but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories.”
Where’s the loud, vocal support for these women? Mostly a shameful silence https://t.co/vWc63nd7bU
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) October 7, 2017
Anthony was my best friend. An exceptional human being, so inspiring & generous. One of the great storytellers who connected w so many. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart. My love & prayers are also w his family, friends and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/LbIeZK14ia
— Eric Ripert (@ericripert) June 8, 2018
“I don’t really care about what people say about me when I’m gone.”
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This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. Anti-Media republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect Anti-Media editorial policy.
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