Another Evening with Tony

[I am a long time fan of Anthony Bourdain and inducted him posthumously into the Silverback Hall of Fame. The recent documentary, ROADRUNNER is now available for streaming. It has provided numerous writers and cultural observers the opportunity to revisit all things Bourdain. I will spare you my thoughts, other than to say that my wife and I both gave the documentary an enthusiastic thumbs-up. SB SM]

This is from the newsletter The Time of Monsters by Jeet Heer, published on Substack.com. (By the way, if anyone out there in The Jungle understands the virtues of publishing a newsletter on Substack, please be in touch. This is yet another addition to the list of things that baffle me. The links in this article are extremely intelligent and interesting. SB SM.)

“Anthony Bourdain’s suicide in 2018 was a shock, not just to his loved ones but to the many fans for whom the chef, world traveller and TV host embodied living life with gusto. Following the tragic news, my friend David Klion described Bourdain’s impact in a very fine essay for The Nation. This week, David joins me on the podcast to get into Morgan Neville’s recently released Bourdain documentary.

Both David and I have reviewed the movie for, respectively, The New Republic and The Nation. In my review of the film, I wrote: “For his many fans, Bourdain was a figure not just to admire but also to emulate. He bundled together a fascinating set of contradictions. He had an enormous appetite for life but that hunger for new experience was enriched and elevated by a genuine social conscience. He ate and travelled not in the spirit of a hedonist but as a humanist, someone for whom nothing human, not even the eating of a live snake’s heart, was alien. He was curious about the world and had the gift for making readers and viewers share his questing spirit.”

The documentary, especially in the decision to recreate Bourdain’s voice with a computer program that reads from his emails and also the decision to not interview Bourdain’s final romantic partner, Asia Argento.

In our conversation, David and I try to unravel these and other knots as we discuss what it means that Anthony Bourdain died, but also that he lived.”

(Post edited by Emily M. Keeler; podcast produced by Julia Elinore Peterson)

One thought on “Another Evening with Tony

  1. I knew Tony well, partially because of my time at The Nation magazine, but mostly because we were both far-too-frequent habitués of the greatest underground dive/chic bar in NYC known as Siberia. You had to know where the place was to know the place, and that place was a random door down a random stairway into a subway station at 50th and Broadway. It was the home to strippers, journalists, actors, artists, low-lifes…and Tony and me. For years, developers were trying to get their hands on the real estate above but to do so, they had to get rid of Siberia. Eventually a Japanese company prevailed, and Siberia had to go. Tony and I were there as all the regulars came in for one last night of fun, and destroyed the place with bats and sledgehammers. I took away one of the graffiti-filled bathroom doors and put it in my office. In outrage and protest Siberia’s owner Tracy shipped a Siberia toilet to Japan…and then chained himself to it outside the new owners corporate headquarters. That was the place, those were the times, and Tony was the mayor.

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