Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain

Post by Turdacious » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:38 am

Good food, good eating, is all about blood and organs, cruelty and decay. It's about sodium-loaded pork fat, stinky triple-cream cheeses, the tender thymus glands and distended livers of young animals. It's about danger--risking the dark, bacterial forces of beef, chicken, cheese, and shellfish. Your first two hundred and seven Wellfleet oysters may transport you to a state of rapture, but your two hundred and eighth may send you to bed with the sweats, chills, and vomits.

Gastronomy is the science of pain. Professional cooks belong to a secret society whose ancient rituals derive from the principles of stoicism in the face of humiliation, injury, fatigue, and the threat of illness. The members of a tight, well-greased kitchen staff are a lot like a submarine crew. Confined for most of their waking hours in hot, airless spaces, and ruled by despotic leaders, they often acquire the characteristics of the poor saps who were press-ganged into the royal navies of Napoleonic times--superstition, a contempt for outsiders, and a loyalty to no flag but their own.

A good deal has changed since Orwell's memoir of the months he spent as a dishwasher in "Down and Out in Paris and London." Gas ranges and exhaust fans have gone a long way toward increasing the life span of the working culinarian. Nowadays, most aspiring cooks come into the business because they want to: they have chosen this life, studied for it. Today's top chefs are like star athletes. They bounce from kitchen to kitchen--free agents in search of more money, more acclaim.

I've been a chef in New York for more than ten years, and, for the decade before that, a dishwasher, a prep drone, a line cook, and a sous-chef. I came into the business when cooks still smoked on the line and wore headbands. A few years ago, I wasn't surprised to hear rumors of a study of the nation's prison population which reportedly found that the leading civilian occupation among inmates before they were put behind bars was "cook." As most of us in the restaurant business know, there is a powerful strain of criminality in the industry, ranging from the dope-dealing busboy with beeper and cell phone to the restaurant owner who has two sets of accounting books. In fact, it was the unsavory side of professional cooking that attracted me to it in the first place. In the early seventies, I dropped out of college and transferred to the Culinary Institute of America. I wanted it all: the cuts and burns on hands and wrists, the ghoulish kitchen humor, the free food, the pilfered booze, the camaraderie that flourished within rigid order and nerve-shattering chaos. I would climb the chain of command from mal carne (meaning "bad meat," or "new guy") to chefdom--doing whatever it took until I ran my own kitchen and had my own crew of cutthroats, the culinary equivalent of "The Wild Bunch."

A year ago, my latest, doomed mission--a high-profile restaurant in the Times Square area--went out of business. The meat, fish, and produce purveyors got the news that they were going to take it in the neck for yet another ill-conceived enterprise. When customers called for reservations, they were informed by a prerecorded announcement that our doors had closed. Fresh from that experience, I began thinking about becoming a traitor to my profession.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1999 ... ading-this

Crabby, entertaining with great taste, and could write his ass off. RIP.

Bourdain and Tom Wolfe-- this is shaping up to be a shit year.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by JimZipCode » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:08 am

Such sad news. My wife & I are big fans. You are right: he could write his ass off. His narration in the travel shows is brilliant.

It's dismaying in a more personal way. This seemed like a guy who had tapped into a way to enjoy the fuck out of life. He had a new-ish girlfriend, a smoking hot Italian actress; a 10yo or so daughter; a love of BJJ (and a high-profile win at a recent tournament); almost universal public affection and respect; real friends; and a creative job as an outlet for his thoughts & writing. All this to go with his zest for the earthy pleasures of food/drink/etc (he seemed like a guy who knew how to have a good time anywhere). The job had its downsides and pressures, a grueling travel schedule. But even so, he seemed like a guy who had figured it out and made it all work.

So, shit. If this could happen to THIS guy....

Not trying to downplay the impact of lifelong addiction & drug abuse, etc. It's just, there's a "philosophical" aspect to this one, that's distressing.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by syaigh » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:51 pm

I wonder about a few things.

1. I wonder if he was on any medications for depression. There is a correlation between some of those medications and suicide. I know at least two people who committed suicide after their medications were changed.

2. I wonder if the suicide rate is higher now or if more people are just honest about it. Ie, maybe its always been like this, but it was more covered up as it used to be a shameful thing.

3. I did read that suicide rates were higher in general and the disturbing thing is that it has increased in younger children, aged 11-14 which terrifies me. Wondering how much smart phone addiction, having the world at our fingertips, and never lacking for a comparison to someone doing everything better adds to this overall despair. First world problems, I know, but maybe we are mentally healthier when life is harder? Maybe that's why people continue to seek ways to abuse themselves even when everything should be easy?

Just wondering.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by johno » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:32 am

He murdered an eleven year old girl's father. Her name is Ariane.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Sangoma » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:03 am

syaigh wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:51 pm
I wonder about a few things.

1. I wonder if he was on any medications for depression. There is a correlation between some of those medications and suicide. I know at least two people who committed suicide after their medications were changed.

2. I wonder if the suicide rate is higher now or if more people are just honest about it. Ie, maybe its always been like this, but it was more covered up as it used to be a shameful thing.

3. I did read that suicide rates were higher in general and the disturbing thing is that it has increased in younger children, aged 11-14 which terrifies me. Wondering how much smart phone addiction, having the world at our fingertips, and never lacking for a comparison to someone doing everything better adds to this overall despair. First world problems, I know, but maybe we are mentally healthier when life is harder? Maybe that's why people continue to seek ways to abuse themselves even when everything should be easy?

Just wondering.
I highly recommend everyone to read Lost Connections by Johan Hari. It delves into the real causes of depression (they are similar for addiction). He was on Rogan's podcast earlier this year, so that's another option to get familiar with his work.

Medication for depression versus suicide is kind of a dog chasing its tail. Consider this: vast majority of patients who died of infection were on antibiotics at the time of their demise. Does medication causes patients to kill themselves? Or is it that people with serious depression get put on medication and in some of them it's not effective enough to prevent suicide?

In terms of kids' suicides, long time ago this quote struck me: How do children spell "LOVE"? - "T-I-M-E"...
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by terra » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:54 am

Sangoma wrote: I highly recommend everyone to read Lost Connections by Johan Hari. It delves into the real causes of depression (they are similar for addiction). He was on Rogan's podcast earlier this year, so that's another option to get familiar with his work.

Medication for depression versus suicide is kind of a dog chasing its tail. Consider this: vast majority of patients who died of infection were on antibiotics at the time of their demise. Does medication causes patients to kill themselves? Or is it that people with serious depression get put on medication and in some of them it's not effective enough to prevent suicide?

In terms of kids' suicides, long time ago this quote struck me: How do children spell "LOVE"? - "T-I-M-E"...
Ive edited this section of my post. I miss-remembered the Johan Hari podcast with Joe Rogan, and totally confused it with someone else that was on Rogan. I just listened to the podcast (again?). The guy makes GOOD points, worth hearing.

An interesting and helpful perspective, with a career and "at the coal face" work to back it, is Gabor Mate M.D. Although I'm not a fan of some of Mate's social views. His thoughts on mechanisms of addiction/depression and processing trauma do seem in-line with current directions of PTSD, Stress, Polyvagal Theory etc.

Bourdain seemed like the sort of bloke many would quite rightly aspire to. The news of his passing is surprising and sad. RIP.
Last edited by terra on Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Schlegel » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:24 am

He had a lot of drug problems in the past. My observation from having a family member with addiction problems is that drug use is often a symptom and not the underlying problem. Just because the drugs have stopped doesn't mean mean everything is now ok.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Sangoma » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:12 am

That's, again, is Hari's perspective. The msin reason for people using drugs for reasons other than recreational is to anaesthetise some pain in their lives. The trick to treating drug addiction is to figure out and sort out that pain.

To be frank, Hari came across as a genuine person to me. Fast talking, choking on words, jumping from subject to subject, not the calculated corporate type set out to profit.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by JimZipCode » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:11 pm

Sangoma wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:03 am
Medication for depression versus suicide is kind of a dog chasing its tail. Consider this: vast majority of patients who died of infection were on antibiotics at the time of their demise. Does medication causes patients to kill themselves? Or is it that people with serious depression get put on medication and in some of them it's not effective enough to prevent suicide?
Back in the early 90s, when I think there was only one study (16 teens in Chicago??) suggesting a possible link between anti-depressants and suicide, Peter Kramer hypothesized that maybe what was happening was that anti-depressants were giving these patients more energy or "initiative" before it elevated their mood. Before anti-depressants, they might have been mildly interested in killing themselves, but lack the energy to do anything about it. The med boosts mood and "energy level"; but if energy level spikes up first, you might get a patient who suddenly has the initiative to do something they've always had in the back of their mind. A suicide attempt, or suicidal ideation, might abruptly appear "out of nowhere".

I don't subscribe to the "anti-depressants are evil" view. But depression is tough; there are a lot of bad outcomes out there.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by The Ginger Beard Man » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:35 pm

It’s an inside job.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Sangoma » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:11 am

Anti-depressants are not evil. No drug is. The problem is with overprescribing.

There was one moment in Rogan interview with Hari that made me smile. Hari mentioned that in Chinese culture when people feel depressed they go out and do good things for others. This makes them feel better. Rogan just couldn't get his head around this: What!? Doing other people happy in order to make yourself happy!? Yet this has been around for a long time. As per one Teacher, trying to make yourself happy is similar to an arm of a compass trying to point at itself; you can interpret it in many ways. Doing things for others - without expecting anything in return that is - is more reliable.

And of course, happiness is an intrinsic property of tge mind that can be cultivated by many methods.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by knuckles » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:50 am

Being an alcoholic and drug addict, I always found it a little sketch that he continued to drink. At times, heavily ,it seemed. Like fucking rolling the dice that always comes up snake eyes given a long enough timeline. Yes, everybody is a unique snowflake rainbow and everybody that once used Heroin and drank themselves yellow, may actually return to day walker, earth person ,normal drinker. The odds are against it.Im pretty sure, if he was medicated, it isn't recommended that he knock it back with a nice bottle of red and a couple of green bottle beers. Im bummed he is gone. I read "Bone in Throat " over 20 years ago. Peace.

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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:17 am

I found that odd as well. My brother’s a chef and the addicts in that industry are pretty well enabled. Hearing about heroin issues and then also being a guy who still got boozy was always seemed odd. I know a lot of people who beat drugs or alcohol problems, but none who successfully dialed back to “heavy drinker.”

I thought maybe the heavier drugs were something he tried once or twice and then talked up later. He’d have the stories to borrow from coworkers.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by DrDonkeyLove » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:44 am

JimZipCode wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:08 am
Not trying to downplay the impact of lifelong addiction & drug abuse, etc. It's just, there's a "philosophical" aspect to this one, that's distressing.
I don't judge the man but he made a very wrong decision. If he saw the circus of his after-suicide, I think he'd agree.

In retrospect, his existential sadness in a chaotic meaningless universe proved too much for him. Facing an empty nihilistic void is too much for some people - probably most people. He's proof that enlightened intellectual hedonism isn't the answer to a fulfilled life. Epicureanism, Stoicism, Catholicism (east or west), Buddhisim, Taoism....some ism or another provide context and meaning to life. He was hanging on a thread of nothing in a world of nothingness. Brutal stuff.

In a weak moment Bourdain succumbed to a momentary (and eternal) lapse of reason and duty. He may have found peace (but not necessarily) but he unnecessarily left anguished loved ones behind. If life was too much for him, he should have at least hung in there until his daughter was grown or made his demise look like an accident.

It's pretty clear that for a long time he let bad thinking creep into his being, resulting in an impulsive disastrous decision. RIP as much as is possible to a good man.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by johno » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:35 pm

DrDonkeyLove wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:44 am
If life was too much for him, he should have at least hung in there until his daughter was grown or made his demise look like an accident.

Agree.

At least he didn't leave his corpse to be found by loved ones.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:55 pm

johno wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:35 pm
At least he didn't leave his corpse to be found by loved ones.
Ripert is his best friend. He's the one who found the body.

I mean, yeah at least it wasn't the 11yo daughter. But not completely impact-free, either.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by johno » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:30 am

JimZipCode wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:55 pm
johno wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:35 pm
At least he didn't leave his corpse to be found by loved ones.
Ripert is his best friend. He's the one who found the body.

I mean, yeah at least it wasn't the 11yo daughter. But not completely impact-free, either.

I've been on scene after a good number of suicides. Many have an element of hostility. At best, obliviousness to anyone else's feelings.

Now his friend carries this as his last memory of Bourdain.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by terra » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:02 am

Sangoma wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:12 am
That's, again, is Hari's perspective. The msin reason for people using drugs for reasons other than recreational is to anaesthetise some pain in their lives. The trick to treating drug addiction is to figure out and sort out that pain.

To be frank, Hari came across as a genuine person to me. Fast talking, choking on words, jumping from subject to subject, not the calculated corporate type set out to profit.
Just listened to the pocast, I think i've heard it before and confused him with another english guest who was a bit of shit-talker.
I totally agree with you Sangoma and edited/corrected my previous post. Hari's makes good points, most are inline with what I call the 'Human Zoo' view of our modern life.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Thud » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:00 am

johno wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:30 am
JimZipCode wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:55 pm
johno wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:35 pm
At least he didn't leave his corpse to be found by loved ones.
Ripert is his best friend. He's the one who found the body.

I mean, yeah at least it wasn't the 11yo daughter. But not completely impact-free, either.

I've been on scene after a good number of suicides. Many have an element of hostility. At best, obliviousness to anyone else's feelings.

Now his friend carries this as his last memory of Bourdain.
Johno was obviously being facetious.

I just can't imagine how complicated things must get in one's mind when they're on the brink.

For instance, I had an old college bud who I'd not kept in touch with over the years. Did see him about 5 years ago at an informal reunion. We had a chance to talk a bit, not so coincidentally, over some weed and beer. He had two teenage girls at the time. He confided that he and his wife were both battling depression, drug and alcohol addictions and a struggling marriage. But over the course of the 3 or so days the group of us were together, it was great to see him being his old, seemingly, happy-go-lucky self.

Fast forward a couple of years to learn he's blown his head off at home for his wife to find him. Word was, he didn't want his kids to see him any longer in the condition he was in (crying drug addict). So instead he left them with the image of their dad's head splattered on the living room wall. Somehow he reconciled that to be the better everlasting image of Dad.

As a libby-libtard I don't own a gun. But I sure hope Obama (fucking Obama!) wont make it hard for me to get one when I decide It;s time. I don't have a plan, but I've kinda reconciled that I'd either dig a ditch somewhere out in the wild and blow my brains out in it, leaving a note explicit as to where I was, and as to what, only trained professionals, should expect to find; or, I drive/jump off a cliff to feign an accident. Anything else is the ultimate spite/revenge -- or something else I just have not come close to wrapping my head around.

I can get the self-pity of suicide. There's an obviousness, perhaps even a seduction, to that. But the gruesome fuck you of "Is this proof enough how much I suffer? And don't you EVER forgive yourself!" is just too far to fathom. They might say that's not what it's about. But then... don't do it like that. Don't irrevocably scar someone you don't intend to hurt.

Johno, I don't know how you deal with that shit, even as an outsider.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by syaigh » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:10 am

johno wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:30 am
JimZipCode wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:55 pm
johno wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:35 pm
At least he didn't leave his corpse to be found by loved ones.
Ripert is his best friend. He's the one who found the body.

I mean, yeah at least it wasn't the 11yo daughter. But not completely impact-free, either.

I've been on scene after a good number of suicides. Many have an element of hostility. At best, obliviousness to anyone else's feelings.

Now his friend carries this as his last memory of Bourdain.
One of my former lifters (who I kicked out of my gym for being disrespectful/gross to me) offed himself in January what I can only think was the most hostile way imaginable to his wife. He was a daytrader and had maxed out a bunch of credit cards paying for hookers and hotels (he was seeing four different ones), training equipment, and testosterone from four different anti-aging docs. I don't think he knew what he was doing in regards to taking the test and this might have lead to his suicide if he didn't have his estrogen under control, but it seems he had been planning this for a while. He was being investigated by the SEC for fraud and was dabbling in some dark web shit, not sure what. In the months before he did it, he seemed to have a bucket list of sorts part of which was winning the masters division at a PL meet. He then liquidated all his assets, gave the cash (over 30 grand) to his favorite hooker, cancelled his life insurance policy and blew his brains out in his kitchen for his wife to find. The house isn't paid off and is incredibly run down. She never finished college or worked so can't pay it off or even afford to sell it at a loss. And no one wants to buy a suicide house, which must be disclosed to any potential buyers.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by Shapecharge » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:03 pm

Siggy, I have thought about what you wrote yesterday much more than I needed to. This is beyond understanding. I always try to find a thread of reasoning, no matter how convoluted it may be, as to why someone did the thing(s) they did. This is just damn near fucking evil. What could a wife possibly do to warrant this type of "payback"? This is absolutely crazy. And you knew this guy.

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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by johno » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:34 pm

^ Syaigh's dude was less destructive than the Vegas shooter. But it's the same sort of "Burn the World" hostility. IMO
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by syaigh » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:13 pm

johno wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:34 pm
^ Syaigh's dude was less destructive than the Vegas shooter. But it's the same sort of "Burn the World" hostility. IMO
when I found out all he had been up to my first thought was that he could have been the vegas shooter. a lot of commonalities between them. i dont know why he did that to his wife although I caught glimpses from time to time that there was something under the surface that was kind of disturbing, but mostly he acted like a big eager to please puppy.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by syaigh » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:42 pm

Wanted to add an addendum to what i wrote above because it doesn't really explain what I mean. When I first met him, he was an obese guy who had recently lost 80 lbs and was trying to change his life for the better. He seemed to be very fond and supportive of his wife who was doing a lot of stuff in the theater and singing. she was apparently quite talented, although also obese and kind of weird like him. He was always very submissive to me, ie, always saying "yes ma'am", but with a grin, which struck me as disengenuous and he was a 52 year old man. He was also very sneaky. He left for a few months to work on losing more weight and I find out that he has sought out one of my former weightlifters for training. Mainly because I refused to coach him on the olympic lifts because he lacked the flexibility and basic fitness and I told him he'd be better off getting strong first and focusing on the main lifts and general fitness. Anyway, he finally realizes and comes back and is complaining about my former lifter as if she wasn't as good as me at coaching. Trying to win me over by putting her down, but that's bullshit, she's a great coach, and for a beginner, it really doesn't matter as long as you are teaching good technique. I think the main reason he wanted to come back is that I coach mostly women and I think he is more comfortable around women because I honestly think he though he could manipulate us.

A couple of times when we were alone, he alluded to this idea that he wasn't who he seemed to be and if anyone really knew "the real Joe" they would step aside or be impressed or scared or something. It made me a little uncomfortable and he sensed that and pretended it was just that he had a sharp wit and a tendency to tell the truth. I thought it was weird.

Anyway, I'm all for a filthy sense of humor but his got personal and so on the day that I went upstairs (my gym is in my basement) to fix my kids some breakfast, one of my other lifters arrives and asks where I am, he annouces to the group that I am "upstairs fingering herself". So, he got kicked out.

He apologized profusely and begged to come back, but I couldn't do it. It was gross and disturbing the final of many similar comments, although this was the first directed at me.

I felt bad doing it, because I felt like he was just this lonely misfit with a bad sense of comedic timing, but he made people uncomfortable and that crossed the line.

I already had him signed up for a PL meet so I handed him over to BD to train online so that he at least had a coach. I saw him at the meet, gave him some pointers, wished him luck, and congratulated him when he won, but that was it. I never heard from him again.

And then two months later, I find out he had done this and I felt awful. Like maybe I took away his tribe or his hobby or the one thing he wanted to be good at. But that's bullshit, I had put him in touch with multiple people and multiple gyms and told him he needed to train with men because it would make him stronger, but I think he was intimidated by other men.

Anyway, and then one of my friends calls me and tells me that he is at his house helping the wife value all his lifting equipment and tells me the back story. And I felt a huge burden lift off of me because it was clear he had just decided to go out in a blaze of glory and had started down this path probably a few years ago.

I also don't understand why he did that to his wife. She always seemed very supportive of him. And he acted like he genuinely liked/loved her. Apparently, she asked him to leave when he refused to give up his hooker habit and that's when he offed himself. And I can see him saying "fuck you" as he did it.
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Re: Anthony Bourdain

Post by vern » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:56 am

Dieter Dengler did it properly. He had ALS and was losing the ability to move his hands.

He said goodbye to his wife and drove his wheelchair to the local fire department to end it.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Dengler
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