Op-Ed: Anthony Bourdain’s death has us asking the wrong questions about suicide
You’re already a good time when you’re watching Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown.” You learn about the people who live in the jungle. You learn about exotic countries and places, and then it’s the food. The food is often interesting, adventurous, and exciting — and then there’s the adventure, something to do with what happens to you behind closed doors with people who are just as adventurous and curious as you are and who are ready for whatever happens to be on the table when they walk up to the dining room.
When it comes to suicide, the entertainment industry can provide the exact kind of adventurous, curious, and interesting experience that a healthy mind requires. But it seems there is a disconnect about the line between normal and healthy when it comes to suicide and the world of show business.
Anthony Bourdain was a chef, writer, and documentary filmmaker who was beloved among fans of his show, “No Reservations,” which explores the various cultures and people of the world. He died by suicide on Monday, leaving behind a wife and young son. At the time, he was 61 years old. People lost their lives by suicide earlier this year — just not usually when they were featured on a cooking show, or when they were part of a cultural or political movement.
The entertainment industry — like any industry that deals with people — has to be careful, and careful about the things they show to the public. In the case of Bourdain, there is not much to be careful about. The world of show business is a very interesting place, filled with many people who are extremely passionate about what they do and willing to do anything to make it better. These people, who are on a mission to show their audiences a different aspect of the world, can often be incredibly vulnerable.
What makes Bourdain’s suicide interesting, when compared to the thousands of suicides that happen in the entertainment industry annually, is that he wasn’