Bourdain

In the Heart of Darkness and Lightbourdain_congo_river

On June 8, 2013,  ‘Congo’ — Season 1, Episode 7 of Parts Unknown was aired on CNN.

“It is the most relentlessly fucked-over nation in the world, yet it has long been my dream to see Congo. And for my sins, I got my wish.” Bourdain starts the episode off on a dramatic note as he tries to recreate his favorite book, Heart of Darkness.

On June 8, 2018, he committed suicide while on location in France for Parts Unknown.  The suicide appeared to be an “impulsive act“.

anthony_bourdain_parts_unknown

Anthony Michael Bourdain, Artisan, ( June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) was an American celebrity chef, author, travel documentarian, and television personality who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition. He was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world.

Drew Magary, in a column for GQ, reflected that Bourdain was heir in spirit to Hunter S. Thompson. The Smithsonian Institution declared Bourdain “the original rock star” of the culinary world, while his public persona was characterized by Gothamist as “culinary bad boy”. Due to his liberal use of profanity and sexual references in his television show No Reservations, the network added viewer-discretion advisories to each episode

Artisans want to be where the action is; they seek out adventure and show a constant hunger for pleasure and stimulation. They believe that variety is the spice of life, and that doing things that aren’t fun or exciting is a waste of time. Artisans are impulsive, adaptable, competitive, and believe the next throw of the dice will be the lucky one. They can also be generous to a fault, always ready to share with their friends from the bounty of life. Above all, Artisans need to be free to do what they wish, when they wish. They resist being tied or bound or confined or obligated; they would rather not wait, or save, or store, or live for tomorrow. In the Artisan view, today must be enjoyed, for tomorrow never comes. [Please Understand Me II]

The Documentary Series, Parts Unknown, found Bourdain at the peak of his ability to convey a sense of place and community and connection over meals.  The show was filmed and is set in places as diverse as Libya, Tokyo, the Punjab region, Jamaica, Cambodia,  Los Angeles, Turkey, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Far West Texas, Vietnam, London, the Bronx, and Armenia.

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Provincetown, Massachusetts.  In this episode, the globe-trotting chef returns to his roots: his first job cooking in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It will be a hard, but important episode to watch at this moment, as it deals most closely with Bourdain’s history of addiction.

en·nui

noun
  1. a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
    synonyms: boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, weariness, enervation;

    malaise, dissatisfaction, melancholy, depressionworld-weariness, Weltschmerz
    “an ennui bred of long familiarity”

“Ennui” is how the Artisans become “depressed.”

Excitement (which may include simple restlessness) is not the end most ardently sought by the Artisans, but it can serve as a kind of substitute for spontaneity. To be deprived of their impulses is to be caught in a living death, so they will do almost anything to escape this ennui. The Artisan “ennui” is akin to boredom — they find themselves in grey and fog filled landscape, they are beguiled. To them, they feel in their gut, nothing exciting will ever happen again. It scares the Artisan…

Whether in Detroit or Colombia, New Jersey or Vietnam, Bourdain’s allegiances were clear; he gravitated to people dealt a bad hand by history, the victims of unjust political and economic structures. But he never let them just be victims. In the interior of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he finds a man who maintains an old library that has long since stopped receiving funding from the state. The librarian makes sure the grass is mowed, the floors swept, and the books kept in order even as they disintegrate around him. Bourdain is clearly moved by his seemingly Sisyphean work. The lush cinematography lingers on the fraying bindings, the decaying machinery, and the advancing damp, but it also takes in the palpable neatness of the man’s desk and the grace of his quiet resolve.

Other examples of Composer Artisans include: Larry DavidBill CunninghamDaniel Day-Lewis and Steven SpielbergCarole KingMarvin HamlischNora EphronDr. SeussMeryl StreepCher, and Bob Dylan.

Other Performer Artisans include: Yogi BerraRobin WilliamsMickey RooneySid CaesarSteve MartinBrittney GrinerJanis JoplinGene KrupaLouis ArmstrongAlex KarrasKim Jong UnPhyllis DillerJim CramerMagic JohnsonJosephine BakerWhitney HoustonMarilyn MonroeMichael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

Thanks, I needed that.

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry

I was surprised.

I was just eating lunch by myself in the cafeteria.  I am attentive, not expressive, kind of guy.  Besides this was the first time I was visiting MIT, as a part of Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference.  No, my SATs were not good enough to get into CalTech (or MIT), and I am a west coast guy, anyway.

But, lo and behold.  He sat down next to me.  Obviously, to strike up a conversation.

Marvin Minsky.

Ok, now I wasn’t a kid anymore.  I was industry-based AI researcher (Hughes Research Labs, HRL) working at the time on Autonomous Vehicle research.   Minsky didn’t know me, but, I knew a fair amount about him.

Marvin Minsky, full professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and “one of fathers of Artificial Intelligence”, came to my table clearly because he was curious.  Minsky, a Fieldmarshal Rational, had been very successful in promoting his graduate students to getting academic professorships across the lands. The list of his PhD students is more than impressive. He had government and university funding. MIT is a technological power house.  Money, People, and Companies have been flocking to MIT well before I was born.

I tried to make our conversation as interesting as I could.  Hey, Marvin was a legend in my field: Artificial Intelligence.

After about 5-10 minutes of conversation, me doing most of the talking about the autonomous vehicle project that I had been involved with, Marvin excuse himself, and wandered over to another table with a couple of people and joined in that conversation.

He didn’t get any useful out of me, in his mind, no doubt.
Next.
He moved on.

Thanks, I needed that.

I did get something useful out of the encounter.
A slow idea. But not a fast idea.  A hint on a part of an idea on how the world works.
It was a Kuhnian moment for me, I knew some things that Marvin couldn’t imagine.

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Gold and Diamonds

coin_crown

He did not want to do it, but he had to do his duty.

He wasn’t anything like his brother.

His brother was popular, handsome and witty, and well-spoken, and King.

Albert, wasn’t well spoken like his older brother, David  — in fact, Albert was considered rather dull compared to David —  Albert stuttered badly.

But,

All that is Gold, does not Glitter.

and She is Albert’s daughter.

It was evident from the start that Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was a dutiful daughter.

In Albert, King George VI‘s, reign characterized by war, social change and the beginnings of the dissolution of the British Empire, he was a successful king who raised the prestige of the monarchy, after he was propelled into the limelight, that he did not seek.  He left his daughter  Elizabeth, a stable throne and diamond studded Crown, but also a world heating up with a Cold War.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

NETFLIX has a new British period drama series chronicling the Reign Queen Elizabeth II.

The Crown

Family, country, and duty is of prime importance to the Guardians.

 

It was evident from the start that Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was a dutiful daughter.

On her 21st birthday, before she was Queen, she had decided to pledge to do her duty: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Other Inspector Guardian blogs: Lily LedbetterTrust Me, The Real Iron Lady.

What is the Presidency For?

“Then, what the hell is the presidency for!”
 “I have the power, now, and I intend to use it.”
— Lyndon Baines Johnson

HBO, All the way

Politics is War.

HBO premiered the movie “All the Way” on May 21. It is great film where Four Temperaments are clearly shown in action.

“November 22, 1963: John F. Kennedy was dead in Dallas, killed by an assassin. Jacqueline Kennedy, her clothes still spattered with her husband’s blood, stood beside Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson as Johnson took the presidential oath of office. Camelot was suddenly and shockingly gone. In the passage of a few jolting hours, King Arthur had been replaced by the crude, graceless, but equally energetic Lyndon Johnson, a professional politician from Texas.”  [Presidential Temperament]

LBJ_1
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Of a Strange and Distant Time

Strangers in Strange Lands

A gypsy of a strange and distant time
Travelling in panic all direction blind
Aching for the warmth of a burning sun
Freezing in the emptiness of where he’d come from

Left without a hope of coming home.
Gypsy — Moody Blues

He didn’t want to be a gypsy, he wasn’t really a gypsy by nature, but he left without a hope of coming home.

The world and himself made him a gypsy, an exile: a stranger in strange lands.

But he did push for the burning sun.  It technically is called RADIATION.  Order AND Disorder.

edward_teller

Lichtquanten — Albert Einstein
A Photon — a light quantum

And every one, except one of his mentors, his older fellow exiles, including Einstein, eventually disagreed with Teller Ede, making him an exile three times: a stranger in strange lands, all his life.

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That’s Good!

“You are who you are!  From the time you were born, and I don’t think it changes. It never did for me.”

“I don’t know what it is..

I don’t know..”

Yes, Larry, I know you don’t know: it’s called Temperament

“When you are working hard, and focused.  You don’t think about it.  You just do it.” — Larry

“If it is funny to me…”

yada, yada, yada…

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Chronicles of a Martian

“There are two kinds of people: Earthlings and Martians”
Dr. David West Keirsey

People who are generally observant are more ‘down to earth.’ – Earthlings

People who are generally introspective are more ‘head in the clouds.’ – Martians

This iNgenous Martian wrote a book.
anthropologist_on_mars
Author of: An Anthropologist on Mars

And he will have written and published 12 other books, including his autobiography, when he will die later this year. For he has realized he has terminal cancer.

“I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

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Maybe Crazy, but not Stupid

Ma Yun applied to study at Harvard 10 times and was rejected each time.

Yun had to deal with rejection many times in his life: born during Mao’s Cultural Revolution when schools and businesses were being destroyed, such that formal education and trade was at a low in China during Yun‘s youth.

He failed the entry exams for colleges in China several times and was also rejected for many jobs in China, including one at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Despite this, at an early age, Yun had developed a desire to learn English, so he rode his bike for 45 minutes each morning in order to go to a nearby hotel and converse with foreigners. He would guide them around the city for free in order to practice and improve his English. Later in his youth, although he failed the entrance exam twice, he attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Yun — his English name, Jack — Jack Ma started an e-commerce company in his apartment in 1999….

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Can We Talk

She sure could.

“I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”

“People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.”

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”

And her friend Barbara Walters accused her of “Frankly, she did almost anything for a laugh” — but Joan would definitely disagree, for she said of herself “I will do Anything for a laugh.”

In Memoriam
Joan Rivers
[June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014]

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

That’s not easy to do.Especially for the talented Performer Artisans.

For they are the happiest people in the world, but…

On the side of light: There are the highs, the higher highs, and the highest high.

On the side of dark: Then there are the lows, the lower lows, and the lowest of lows.

Creativity can be an addiction.
— Robin Williams

What happens when you feel that your creativity and grace disappeared, not to be found ever again? There is no faking(acting) fix.  No, the quick fix of drugs and alcohol can’t solve the problem, either.

The curtain rises on the scene
With someone shouting to be free
The play unfolds before my eyes
There stands the actor who is me.  

The Word that Dr. Keirsey used for this is Latin (via French): ENNUI

Freedom just another word for,
nothing left to lose.

en·nui

noun
  1. a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.
    synonyms: boredom, tedium, listlessness, lethargy, lassitude, languor, weariness, enervation;

    malaise, dissatisfaction, melancholy, depression, world-weariness, Weltschmerz
    “an ennui bred of long familiarity”

“Ennui” is how the Artisans become “depressed.” There are two kinds of “depression” (for two of the Temperaments) and they are quite different. Depression for the Guardian is painful and “red”: they are very sick and very tired: they are demobilized. The Artisan “ennui” is akin to boredom — they find themselves in grey and fog filled landscape, they are beguiled. To them, they feel in their gut, nothing exciting will ever happen again. It scares the Artisan

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