Anthony Bourdain.

Well, goddamnit.

Most celebrity deaths come when death is supposed to come — at the end of a long, productive life. Those don’t hurt. The ones that do are when death comes too soon, and the worst of all are when it comes by one’s own hand. I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain, but he was only 61, and leading an enviable life that showed no signs of fading. He had wealth, rewarding work, a beautiful girlfriend.

Be kind to the people you meet today, because everyone is carrying a great burden.


If you scrolled this far, a poem for today.

Posted at 8:21 am in Current events |

52 responses to “Anthony Bourdain.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2018 at 8:41 am


    [returns to usual non-profanity position.]

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  2. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2018 at 9:02 am

    But I do have to add this, from 1968, to Nancy’s photo of Bourdain.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Damn indeed. Another family shattered. Words fail, which is why we have poetry. I grew up listening to the Simon & Garfunkel version:

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  4. Dorothy said on June 8, 2018 at 9:05 am

    That poem. That picture. I’m so sad.

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  5. Sherri said on June 8, 2018 at 9:56 am

    There’s no amount of money or achievement that will ever quiet the voices in your head or make the abyss within any less terrifying.

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  6. Suzanne said on June 8, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I am saddened by Bourdain’s death as well as Kate Spade’s. I first knew the Richard Corey poem as the song, as referenced by Julie.
    A celebrity suicide always puts me in mind of all the people in the world with similar mental health issues but no money and have to go to some dead end job every day to keep a roof over their head. Or not. Explains all the homeless.

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  7. LAMary said on June 8, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I watched his program on CNN a few weeks ago. He was visiting Georgia. Not the one in the US. It was the best thing I’d seen on television in a long time. He was a brilliant guy.

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  8. Jolene said on June 8, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Gawd, Nancy. That poem.

    Kate Spade never really had a place in my head, so, though, of course, I felt her death was sad, it didn’t hurt. Bourdain’s hurts.

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  9. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Homeless or in jail, I don’t have the figures but a huge percentage have mental health issues and/or substance abuse issues. The latter usually an attempt to self-medicate the former.

    And if you have an adult child with problems and they don’t want help, there is absolutely nothing you can do except watch them self-immolate.

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  10. Little Bird said on June 8, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I hadn’t even gotten out of bed when I found out about Bourdain. He was amazing. This one is hitting me kind of hard.

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  11. beb said on June 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    I loved it when Bourdain was asked what he would serve to Pres. Trump if asked to cook him a meal. He answered ‘Hemlock.’

    Bourdain had a wonderful voice for narration and a keen eye for situations and people. He always seemed to enjoy talking to the people he met.

    My heart goes out to his 11-year old daughter. He should have stuck around a little longer for her.

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  12. MarkH said on June 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Heartbroken here about Bourdain as well. Both ‘No Reservations’ and ‘Parts Unknown’ were must-see and so well done, using food as an avenue to new cultures. He was always learning and it was contagious. Anyone who has worked in the restaurant biz latched on to ‘Kitchen Confidential’. RIP.

    As a diversion, we had an E3 tornado in SE Wyoming Wednesday afternoon. It’s rare to see one captured on video unfold like this, and it was spectacular. No injuries, relatively little property damage:

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  13. Heather said on June 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    His death is hitting me hard as well. It’s hard when people who seem so full of life take their own. I’ve never really been depressed–I struggle with anxiety and sadness, but not hardcore depression, so it’s hard for me to understand. I had a taste of what it must be like the day after Trump was elected–I felt blank, hopeless, like there was no point and no way forward. If that’s what it’s like, it must be hell.

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  14. Jolene said on June 8, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Wow, MarkH, that is some amazing photography. Am glad there was lots of open space for that tornado to blow through.

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  15. Icarus said on June 8, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t know who Anthony Bourdain was. I am not the only person who doesn’t know someone who battles mental illness on a daily basis.

    When Robin Williams killed himself, buttmunch Matt Walsh wrote a tone deaf piece about how you always have a choice. Even his own self-righteous flock, dumbasses who believe everything Fox News sends their way, tried to explain to him how depression shuts normal thought processes down to no avail.

    Depression overrides all the normal “Lines of Code” in the human programming. You can be having a great day with no Crisis of the Week bothering you and then suddenly you are hit with a wave of depression (or anxiety or whatever) and life feels completely hopeless.

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Julie, stats range from 50-75%; I lean towards the 75% end. Hunt online the charts for inpatient residential mental health beds, and incarceration, correlate the lower axes for 1970-present: they’re mirror images. We closed asylums (yay?) and built prisons (boo).

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  17. Colleen said on June 8, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Sherri is right. The Dark Place is horrible. It tells you that leaving wouldn’t have an impact on the people in your life, that they may even be better off when you are gone.

    It also reinforces the idea that one should never envy another’s life. We don’t know what burdens that person is carrying, and chances are it is something you wouldn’t want to deal with.

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  18. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    What a thing to wake up to on nn.c this morning. Internet has been sketchy most of the day but I was able to get connected this morning.

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  19. Sherri said on June 8, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    One of the things I learned is church basements was “Never compare your insides to other peoples’ outsides.”

    Heather, that is what it is like, with the addition that you feel worthless. Depression feels like an active malignant force that has taken over your brain and is trying to kill you, whether quickly by suicide or slowly by just draining the life out of you so that nothing matters. When I was at my worst, I didn’t feel sad or afraid, just empty and dead. I didn’t tell anyone that I was searching the internet for ways to kill myself until after I made the decision that I wasn’t going to kill myself. None of that felt scary until I started getting better, and then it was fucking terrifying. Still is. I take my mental health and my sobriety very seriously.

    I’ve become increasingly open about my disease, because there’s still such stigma and shame around it. I don’t think people always realize how often high achievers are driven by depression, trying to shut up that voice in their head that tells them they’re worthless and not good enough. It’s exhausting.

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  20. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Not sure what happened, I had way more to say than what showed up in my comment (I can’t even see a number for the comment). I don’t want to rewrite it all over again and then possibly lose it again. Internet access sucks on my iPhone in Abiquiu.

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  21. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    what I said in my comment above and didn’t show up was about this interview that was replayed on Fresh Air this morning. I only heard it intermittently because of bad reception on the car radio.

    Also, William Styron does an excellent job of describing depression in his book, Darkness Visible.

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  22. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I can’t get the link to post of the 2016 interview with Bourdain that was replayed on Fresh Air this morning.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on June 8, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    I denied the report…no, I did not just hear that. Then I heard it again in passing…I asked Carla Lee; she said yes he did.
    Seconds before I clicked into here, I posted this on Facebook:
    Anthony Bourdain lived a glamorous life full of adventure and fun. I guess at age 61 he had decided he had had enough of the world…or whatever it was that compelled him to off himself. One thing I’ll always wonder about: does possession of many millions of dollars create a certain type of fatal depression? Warren Buffett is old as hell and happy as a child with cotton candy, Bill and Melinda Gates are very happy plotting ways to give their billions away… but then some rich folk are just messed up to the max.

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  24. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I encourage you to listen to the Bourdain Fresh Air interview, don’t just read it on the Fresh Air website because they leave out the whole part about his teen years which gives an inkling into how he could be compelled to suicide much later in his life.

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  25. susan said on June 8, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Wow, MarkH @12, that is one big-assed dust devil! Holy cow. Those tornado-chasers are nuts. But I’m glad they record these things so we can see them!

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  26. David C. said on June 8, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    His show with President Obama in Vietnam was some of the best TV I’ve ever seen.

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  27. LAMary said on June 8, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    His death makes me sad because he was such a brilliant and accessible voice. There are so many awful dolts out there using up bandwidth these days.

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  28. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Dexter, your comment about wealth and happiness makes me think, people I know personally with lots of money are no happier than you or me. The adage that money can’t buy happiness seems to be true. But Bourdain had so much acclaim, more than money, he had so much recognition for his creativity, his writing skills and on and on. That is the hard part to understand, for me, how can someone like that feel worthless?

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  29. Charlotte said on June 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Oh Bourdain. I dated a hunting and fishing guide for about a year. It ultimately didn’t take, but we’re still close. He was Jim Harrison’s guide for 20? years — and Bourdain’s fixer when he came out to do the Livingston episodes. That winter Danny and I were together, when I was still very broken after the death of my brother, and Dan was so kind, we watched Bourdain fail to catch a fish in episode after episode. “I could get him a fish,” Dan would say — and he did. First fish Bourdain caught on camera. My favorite bit of that episode, Danny with that look of utter joy he gets sometimes, and Bourdain with a fish, and Jacques the dog helping in the boat. Bourdain kept in touch with Danny, who said once that it meant the world to him that Tony would pick up his call, no matter where he was in the world.
    Depression is a killer. It got my beloved brother. It’s skulked around the edges of my world. It haunts my Dan, and so many of my friends. And sometimes in the dead of night it convinces someone, falsely, that the solution is to check out. I hope this is the end of this run, but suicides can be contagious. We had a winter 3 years ago where we lost 5 people in town in about 6 weeks — two of them kids. Lighting sage and candles for everyone tonight.

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  30. Sherri said on June 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Deborah, it’s never enough, because you never really believe it. Depression tells you that the acclaim isn’t true, that if people really knew you, they’d hate you, that you are unlovable.

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  31. basset said on June 8, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    And sometimes, that’s true.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Everyone knows that Bassets are loveable!

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  33. Joe Kobiela said on June 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Couple things that might cheer everyone up, Tomorrow is national naked bike ride day, huge ride in Chicago Saturday night, to bad Debs in N.M or she could give a first hand report, also Justified runs for the triple crown Saturday and if you watch you will notice wheels up will be on the silks, thats the company I fly for. We are sponsoring and you should see our name quite a lot.
    Cheers to all
    Pilot Joe

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  34. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve never heard of the naked bike ride, it sounds painful.

    I sent another comment earlier about depression that never showed up. There has been very sketchy internet service in Abiquiu today.

    We actually had a few drops of rain today but mostly it was that kind of rain that never actually hits the ground. The name for it is the Spanish word for veil which I can never remember.

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  35. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Actually it’s the Spanish word for virgin, vierge. But it has something to do with veil. Like a virgin bride’s veil?

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  36. Deborah said on June 8, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Charlotte, were you there?

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  37. LAMary said on June 8, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    The word for that rain is virga and it comes from the latin for twig or branch. It’s in the weather reports here all the time. It’s common at high altitudes so it’s frequently part of the mountain weather.

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  38. Joe Kobiela said on June 8, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Basically virga, is rain that evaporates before hitting the ground.
    Pilot Joe

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  39. Charlotte said on June 8, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I wasn’t at the dinner they filmed … a dinner in which Harrison and Russ Chatham got so furiously filthy that Bourdain had to cut most of the conversation. But that was the first trip he made out here — and the Dan he mentions is my Dan. He was a lovely guy by all accounts, and we all just gathered to have a little toast in his honor. It’s been a rough stretch … we’re getting a little tired of eulogy mode.

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  40. Jolene said on June 8, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    The NYT has created a “best of” piece re Bourdain containing links to his own writing, interviews, tributes to him, and info re where his work on television is streaming. Check it out at:

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  41. Jolene said on June 8, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Another Bourdain compendium,this one on his favorite books.

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  42. Dexter Friend said on June 9, 2018 at 1:50 am

    I have seen footage on YouTube or someplace of naked bike rides. Titillating Not. The SF online newspaper used to offer up clicks of their naked riders…I guess maybe it’s that I am older, but I won’t go searching for naked bike riders today. I will be glued to the TV to see Justify go for the all the marbles.

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  43. Linda said on June 9, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Here’s Bourdain in a whole other light, also tying him in with another previous subject in this blog on the Olive Garden restaurant review. It’s an instance where he stuck up for the lady who wrote the review, and what it meant to her when she was the subject of much snark:

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  44. ROGirl said on June 9, 2018 at 7:06 am

    This article resonated for me. I have been depressed, not to the point of ending it all, therapy has helped.

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  45. Dave said on June 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Pence makes me crazy when I see him looking at Trump. Colbert’s take on the water bottle behavior:

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  46. susan said on June 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    A personal view of suicide, by Roxanne Roberts at WaPo.

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  47. Deborah said on June 9, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    I watched the Parts Unknown about New Mexico, Season 2, episode 3 for those who have Netflix. It brought me to tears, even though the first part is about guns he has a way of conveying the thrill of that as almost understandable (almost). In Santa Fe he goes to the Five and Dime and has Frito Pie which Nancy has mentioned here. There are lots and lots of familiar views of Abiquiu, particularly around Jeff tmmo’s beloved Ghost Ranch. In fact they show views of that when they talk about other places in NM, but understandably it is gorgeous so why not. I love the way he talks about America and Americans, I wish we could get back to that (as if we were actually there preTrump, ever).

    Charlotte, so cool that Bourdain mentioned your guy publicly like that, that is something to be quite proud of.

    We are planning a road trip this summer from NM culminating at Uncle J’s in northern IL for a birthday bash. We are hoping to go round about through Livingston, MT, so would love to have coffee there with Charlotte, or a drink depending on what time we get there. Much to still decide and plan, this will be towards the end of July.

    On the down side, I finally ordered a wheelchair for LB, we aren’t sure what is going on, she’s has had X-rays that were inconclusive and she’s now gotten approval for an MRI. It has caused her much pain in recent months, she hasn’t had much mobility because she doesn’t drive and her boyfriend doesn’t either so she’s been cooped up in her apartment unless we are around to take her places and then when she gets to her destination like Whole Foods or Target she needs to use those scooters. It is depressing for her. We don’t know if this has something to do with her neurological condition or what, but she feels ok about the wheelchair as it feels to her like something is happening instead of endless wondering and tests.

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  48. Deborah said on June 9, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I should say that LB’s pain is in her hip and her dr has given her muscle relaxers but nothing takes the pain completely away. I know a lot of you and I can relate to that. For some reason I couldn’t get the edit button to work.

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  49. Dexter Friend said on June 10, 2018 at 12:23 am

    My gawd that chestnut colt is so beautiful and lively…I’d take him home if I had a barn. And a billion dollars, because Justify the chestnut colt is now a Triple Crown winner, just the 13th. Wire to wire, me waving at the TV with awe, as he held off the hard-charging Gronkowski to win at Belmont, NY. That nearly 2 1/2 minutes was more fun that the tiresome NBA Finals Friday.
    I just regret I’ll not see him on TV anymore. I saw him on TV back in April and I picked him to win The Derby, and he has brought so many so much joy, just watching this magnificent animal. And his name is Justify, and he is King.

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  50. Jolene said on June 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

    It appears that all seasons of Parts Unknown are available through OnDemand. Tonight, CNN is showing the already scheduled episode, set in Berlin, at 9 PM, with a memorial show following at 10 PM.

    There’s a 12-hour marathon showing of Bourdain’s earlier show, No Reservations, on the Travel Channel beginning at 7 AM today.

    I watched several of what CNN described as Bourdain’s favorite episodes last night. Very sad to see him smiling, laughing, enjoying people, places, and food and imagine him gone.

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  51. bb in de said on June 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Thoroughly OT (okay, that pretty much describes every post I make to NN.c) but I have inappropriately happy thoughts connected to that E.A. Robinson poem. I’ve taught Intro to Lit roughly a zillion times, starting with fiction, then plays and ending with poetry, and in the last poetry class we discuss song lyrics as poetry. After reading through the couple songs that most Eng. 102 anthologies include in their poetry sections I then play a recording of the songs so the students can hear them. (You’d be surprised how many 18 to 22 year olds have never heard “Elanor Rigby.”) Anyway, Sir Paul did a version of the Simon & Garfunkle tune on one of his live albums (“Wings over America” maybe?) that the kids seem to like. Since that’s the last poetry class before we review for the final, every time I read the Robinson poem it feels like the end of the semester.

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 10, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    “Eleanor Rigby” has stuck with me from first childhood hearing and marginal comprehension through years of being Father Mackenzie and wondering various thoughts as I walked away from the grave; what I think would be even better for young adults to hear is “She’s Leaving Home.” That’s a brilliant short story with even more packed into it than “Rigby.”

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