More Thinking About Anthony Bourdain

I recently watched an episode of “American Masters” on my local PBS
station (WNET Channel 13)
, regarding Jacques Pepin. I liked how the documentary made one have insight on Pepin as an immigrant who taught Americans how to think about food, and how to make and eat food. But, when Anthony Bourdain appeared as a talking head in the episode, I
was struck by how I sad I felt, as I was watching this after Bourdain’s passing. Bourdain was so smooth about talking about Pepin and the art of food. Bourdain was not someone who didn’t know what he was talking about; he was very much a part of the food and television community.

At least, CNN will be airing the last of Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. this fall. According to Time Out NY, in October, the Food Film Festival will premiere one of those final episodes, in which Bourdain checks out the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

I’ve been meaning to share this for the longest time – this fascinating essay by Thomas Wickersham, manager of The Mysterious Bookshop, from June 14, 2018, on Bourdain as a mystery writer, over at Crime Reads. (h/t The Mysterious Bookshop’s Facebook page post). Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised about that. As Wickersham noted, Bourdain’s style on his television shows, No Reservations and Parts Unknown, had a noir flair.
It’s still hard to fully realize that we won’t have more after Bourdain’s final episodes.

(cross-posted on

Happy Independence Day 2018!

Happy Independence Day. It’s been a tumultuous year so far in politics and current events in America.

(Current events being the first draft of history, as I’ve heard it been said, I think, by the late journalist Gwen Ifill).

Take a moment to reflect on the meaning of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and don’t forget that the Constitution does say we’re “to form a more perfect union.”

I mentioned this last 4th of July on Facebook, crediting the idea to WNYC’s Brian Lehrer: on America’s birthday, like any birthday, acknowledge it, warts and all, and hope (and work) for better.

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” – James Baldwin. Something to think about in these times.

See here for NPR’s traditional annual reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Yes, there’s “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” but as I get older, I’m more struck by the end of the document, when the Founding Fathers state: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

The Founding Fathers were about to do something dangerous, and they knew it. But, they went ahead together, in hopes of something good. Social contract theory meant something to them. The experiment continues, 242 years later.

NPR on Facebook shared a link to a feature from July 4, 2010, wherein NPR’s Guy Raz interviewed author and historian Ray Raphael on dispelling myths about Independence Day and the revolution.  The linked page notes: “America ended up with the 4th because that’s the day the Declaration of Independence was sent out to the states to be read. The document was dated July 4, so that’s the day they celebrated.”

As we lawyers say: just go by the effective date…

I’m sharing this on triscribe, as around here, every day is APA Heritage, but  I had this link laying around since May: Atlanta Braves player Kurt Suzuki, on being an Asian American in Major League Baseball. Baseball has long been America’s game, but it is odd that there aren’t a lot of APAs in major league baseball, for any number of reasons.

I’ve been terribly behind on blogging. We’ll see how the summer goes.