Last week I watched as System of a Down’s Serj Tankian and Anthony Bourdain ate and talked their way through a country I actually knew little about. That would be my ancestral homeland, Armenia.
He did not shy from the topic that defines Armenia, a Christian country struggling not only with the Muslim neighbors it’s surrounded by, but a century of official government (including the US) denial about a genocide that most definitely occurred. This denial hurts the whole world, not just one country and its people. Evil lives and even thrives until light is shone upon it to put it to rest.
How gently, respectfully and inquisitively he handled his host countries and societies.
With local cuisine as a baseline topic Anthony Bourdain brought out the richness and humanity of people we may have known little or nothing about, all around the world. But more than that, he was a guy I thought was just really cool and completely comfortable in his own skin. In short, a success on several different levels.
Just yesterday I went to do a skim of the fundamentals of a company on my watch list, Tapestry (TPR) and in that research found out Kate Spade (a name I’d heard, but had no clue the details about) had hung herself in her Park Avenue apartment. Another success, another suicide.
Back on Bourdain, in doing a little reading up on him I found out he had similar musical taste to mine. Roxy Music, Johnny Thunders and… BJM! Okay, I am sad and I am also wondering ‘WTF?’ with respect to the number of brilliant people going down this path (let’s not forget Chris Cornell and so many others). It seems to be becoming epidemic, and while the disease known as Depression is at the center of much of it, the hatred and evil gaining a media-amplified foothold in the world cannot be ruled out as an underlying pressure as well.