Anthony Bourdain: My Uneducated Opinion About His Death
To begin this essay; I would like to acknowledge that this is strictly an opinion piece. It is born from my own observance and is not meant to stake a claim on what truly happened, or sway other peoples opinions about Mr. Bourdain and the heartbreaking way we lost this culinary icon.
It's a Dirty Little Secret; Was It One He Kept?
Suicide is sad. Any way it happens it is very sorrowful. Even so, it is with much regret that I share a little ugly truth with the ones in the world whom would not be aware of a dirty little secret that some people keep; some die by suicide but not on purpose.
I believe the beloved rebel of the culinary world, Anthony Bourdain, indeed, died of this little unknown practice. I do not believe he intentionally killed himself. Though, going into the realm of Russian roulette, he had to know it was a possibility. After all, it's how you play the game. You take a chance on death, and the embarrassment of the secret revealed if you fail. It is thrilling to some, but more than that, exhilarating to the people who love a struggle. What I understand about this man from watching him, and also the fact that he said himself that struggle is something he appreciated, this would make a lot of sense. Otherwise, for me, I would not understand his early departure.
Anthony Talking About Enjoying the Incompetence of Becoming a Success
Getting to the Mystery of What I Have Described: Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation
This must sound absolutely bonkers, yet there is a practice that has been going on for decades and decades. I was accidentally introduced to it when I was about 11-years-old, and my sister who had to be around 13 at the time, and her best friend, tried this crazy thing in front of me. At that time, I had no clue what they were trying to do. Their trick to this little game involved a towel and help from one another. This, I have now come to realize, was a safer way to play the game. If you are alone, you delve deeper into the thrill of it, because there will be no one there to save you, and the stakes are much higher. Let’s call this game Auto - erotic asphyxiation.
Unfortunately, folks, I believe this is how Anthony Bourdain died. I don't believe he wanted to die. I believe he committed suicide by accident. It was the first thought I had when they said death by hanging, and no one could get why he would do it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m just making an assumption from my own observation and knowledge of this little-known masturbation game. And, from what I understand, it can, indeed, be triggered by depression and anxiety. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the person intended death. It can be a release from the ailments without death for some people.
This is Famous Podcaster Marc Maron Talking About Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation on Conan 2012. Ironically, Bourdain Talked to Maron a Year Earlier on His Podcast
I Guess Haters Gonna Hate: I'm Just Trying to Sort This All Out
By now, I’m sure I have some haters for putting my theory out here for all to read. Nevertheless, after reading down through Mr. Bourdain’s tweets on Twitter, and finding one that mentioned this game of thrones type of risk to someone, I thought; could it be this ironic that what he mentioned and sarcastically wished on someone else would happen to him? Yet, how would he know about such game? I guess he could have innocently fallen into a situation like I did and found out about it by chance?
The Tweet Which Mentions Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation: Coincidence?
My mind kept asking the questions of did this make sense? It did; in all the descriptions his friends and colleagues told of him, and Mr. Bourdain himself speaking regularly about his thrill-seeking lifestyle of traveling the world, and enjoying the struggle of his favorite sport - Brazilian jiu – jitsu daily. He said, and his friends said, he never missed. His colleague at CNN, Anderson Cooper, even alluded to that fact when Tony, as they called him, was with him, he was always going to or coming from the place he practiced this sport. He loved the struggle of it!
Furthermore, Mr. Bourdain is a self-proclaimed former heroin addict. He explained in one of the episodes of his show “Parts Unknown,” that he can remember smiling at himself in the mirror after shooting up for the first time. He wanted the thrill of that drug. So, do you still hate me for the suggestion, or is it becoming more possible that I may be correct in my assumption?
My Final Theoretical Thoughts
Finally, whatever the real reason Anthony Bourdain died this way, it doesn’t really matter much. The reality is, he is gone, and we are left to wonder; and for me, exploring through all the known facts of his life to try to figure out his truth, is helping me along the way.
As a fan, but most importantly a person who suffers from depression on occasion since I was a small child, it is curious for me to look at someone like Anthony and not believe that he could have been depressed, yes, but that he was weaker than myself, NO! This man was not weak. This man was a survivor. He was not someone who, I feel, would have just given up. He was portrayed on television to be curious, empathetic, and strong in the risks he took; to seek out the human world stretching from places like Hong Kong to West Virginia. Talking to everyone with a passion of soaking everything he was learning in; cultures of hardship, but of beauty. This was who I think Anthony Bourdain was, and he wanted to live. But...that's just my opinion.
"I will be judged by the people who will remember me and will quickly forget me."— Anthony Bourdain
Goodbye Mr. Bourdain. We Will Never Forget You...
"THIS song from the score from tonight’s HONG KONG @PartsUnknownCNN is gonna stay with me"
What Do You Think About My Uneducated Opinion? Could Anthony Bourdain Have Accidentally Died Playing a Dangerous Game?
© 2018 Missy Smith