Fuck You Anthony Bourdain

My Thoughts On Written Profanity

I’ve long said that it isn’t a good idea to swear in any place that will get archived and come back to haunt you. Obviously, my use of the F-Bomb all over this piece conflicts with that. I’m sorry if you’re offended; there was truly no other way to adequately describe how Anthony Bourdain killing himself makes me feel. Fuck, you, Anthony Bourdain.
It’s been twenty-four hours since the news of Anthony Bourdain’s death broke. I’ve thought of little else since then.

I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain, and was only familiar with his work peripherally (although I’ve watched many episodes of Parts Unknown to pass time on Sunday nights if I had nothing else going on). Tony Bourdain seemed like he was living, as he put it, his best life.

And then he ended that life, and it’s taken me most of a day to get to what this makes me feel like: Fuck You, Anthony Bourdain.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I saw a piece Anthony Bourdain wrote almost twenty years ago for The New Yorker. Go read it, and see if you can ever think of restaurants in the same way again. And it wasn’t until this morning that I saw this absolute gem of Bourdainism. This is Better Than The French Laundry, indeed:

And goddamit, I’m angry at Anthony Bourdain.

Fuck You, Anthony Bourdain

For a guy who was living the life that Anthony Bourdain was living to end that life is utterly incomprehensible to me. Of course, to be fair, suicide is a deeply personal choice, and even more than most the kind of choice that no-one other than the perpetrator can understand.

But fairness has nothing to do with this. I’m hurt and angry and trying to make sense of Tony Bourdain ending his own life and after a day I have … nothing.

Some years ago, I wrote a piece at Answer Guy Central that remains to this day one of the most popular things I’ve ever written there. Bill Zeller took his own life in January 2011, and other than my sister’s death 18 months later I haven’t been this shaken since.

Why is death so jarring?

Dumb question, I know. A better one is why Tony Bourdain’s and Bill Zeller’s deaths hit so many people so hard — people who didn’t know them, me (obviously) included.

I don’t have to actually answer that one, right? Except maybe, with this?:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Fuck You, Tony Bordain.

Oh, but … thank you, too.


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