Fancy Coffee Friday: Hero Worship?

The Amusing Muse Fancy Coffee Friday: Hero Worship?I’m going to start off with this: last Friday sucked in a very, very bad way.

Mr. Muse met me for our breakfast date with a “Hello,” and “Wow… Anthony Bourdain killed himself, huh.” I realize that to the average reader, this reads as a callous observation, but let me assure you it wasn’t it. My response was less classy, “Are you fucking kidding me?!” He said that he figured I was listening to NPR (I was listening to my newest audio book) and that I would have heard. I sat for a moment and absorbed that information, murmured a soft, “Well…. Fuck,” and carried on with the breakfast date.

And as the day progressed, I thought about why I was affected by this celebrity death and not by the myriad of other celebrity deaths, and it came down to one thing: I think Anthony Bourdain was my hero.

That’s a huge thing for me to say, to myself or to anyone reading this blog. The last celebrity whose career I followed this closely was Bugs Bunny when I was a devotee of, and never missed a Saturday morning, Looney Tunes. My obsession went so far as me grabbing a carrot to eat while I watched. (For what it’s worth, I often watched while upside down on either the couch or in the recliner. I don’t know what that means about me, but… I was a kid and it’s what I did.)

When I talked about wanting to write more, a friend asked me in whose style I would want to be most like aside from my own. My response: Anthony Bourdain. I clarified that it was because he appeared in every way to be genuine, authentic, unapologetically sincere and blunt and crass and with a rough finesse that I found endearing in his shows. He was a celebrity who I was certain that if I ever met him, I wouldn’t be disappointed in the reality of them.

From what I’ve read over the last week – I suspect my theory to be correct.

I glommed onto watching his television shows early. The premise was fascinating to me because, though I watched Food Network, his show wasn’t necessarily about the food, though food always played a part. It was about humanity. It was about Us. The capital ‘U’, Us. It was a program that showed Us, that we humans are all just trying to live, to get by, and as much as we are different – we’re the same. He reminded us that we could have fantastic conversations with people who hold fundamentally different opinions from ourselves and be better for it.

He did not skim the touristy surface of locations which he visited. We got to see it all. He spoke to people as equals, and it didn’t matter what their background was. He wasn’t disingenuous. He was sincere. Those who watched his show welcomed him into our homes to show us parts of the world near and far, of cultures removed from our own, if even by only a few hours.

And, so, I found myself in the car last Friday afternoon, driving along, and mourning a soul who’d left before the rest of us were ready. I sang along with my heavy metal-to-pop play list and cried when certain songs played, the lyrics about loss and tragedy.

I grieved as I realized that I’d lost a hero I didn’t know I had.


The Amusing Muse is a writer, blogger, Office Ninja, and sometimes model living in Southern Wisconsin. She has to thank Anthony Bourdain for introducing her via his television program to Queens of the Stone Age, more travel ideas, and resolve to be absolutely authentic in who she is. She can only hope that when she travels, and writes about it, that she can translate that same attitude of curiosity to her readers and he did to his viewers.

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About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
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2 Responses to Fancy Coffee Friday: Hero Worship?

  1. John says:

    I was on my way to work, driving along, thinking “wow, it’s Friday, it’s gonna be a great day,” when the news broke. I had to pull over. I watched his show when I caught it, but yeah – everything about what he did made me want to be more like him. As Drew Magary wrote, despite what Corona might say, Anthony was the world’s most interesting man.

    And the world is a far sadder and less-interesting place now.

    • Agreed. I think the world needed him as he was able to bridge the gap between many factions, but, perhaps that is why he chose to leave when he did. Perhaps the need was too much?

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