June 13, 2018

KYLE SMITH ON THE CULT OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN:

Bourdain was a wickedly funny writer well-served by his Hunter S. Thompson–like flair for hyperbole and gratuitous venom: “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn,” he wrote, calling them “the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for.” I salute him for exhorting his followers to go forth and revel in the delicious (except beer or wine, I suppose, which are just for getting buzzed). But for all of his Thompson-like stylings, he was more like the Anna Wintour of food. If he told everyone to wear cerulean, they’d wear cerulean. It was his personality that made his judgments stick, not the other way around. The judgments were beside the point; if he’d told people organ meat was vile and veganism was edgy, they would have happily switched sides and chided the tasteless losers who disagreed. Hey, he’s got arm tattoos, he must be right!

Read the whole thing.

Related: Jim Geraghty asks, “In hindsight, should we have been worried that Anthony Bourdain got falling-down drunk on camera multiple times?”