8 January 2023 Off By Pal Blanko

Heroes of the Written Word

[1] Anthony Bourdain

When Bourdain first swaggered into all our hearts, it was clear that this was a man with a book deal, who didn't give a damn about book deals. He wrote prose like a Head Chef takes command of a wayward kitchen crew; grabbing the language by the lapels, and shaking it hard; until it gave-up the goods.


Just like any top-class galley chief, he brought heat, and spice, and searing observation to his work. Bold, brassy, and savagely passionate about those things that he loved; with Bourdain there was no dimmer switch. The light is 'on' or the light is 'off': take your pick buddy. He never tried to be likable, and that's what made him so lovable. In nothing that he said or did, did he need you to buy-in to what he was selling, and that quality, above all else, sold me most of all.


'Follow me or don't follow me. I don't care. I'm going in...'  It's such a daring proposition - it can only come from someone who's set themselves free of the usual constraints, and of any desire 'to be popular'. Chuck Palahniuk (writer "Fight Club") famously said: 'Once you've lost everything, you're free to do anything' and Bourdain seemed to get this, on a cellular level.


Like all great heroes, Bourdain died before he got old. He died because, like all great heroes, he was flawed. Of this fact, he should not be ashamed.


It's no use having a hero that is pristine, snow-white and saccharine. It takes no courage to admire those who maintain such an artificial veneer of perfection. It's far better to praise someone despite their flaws, or even because of them. There's something more visceral and authentic about such admiration. One's heroes feel more real if they are imperfect. This, dear reader, is the apogee of laudability.


Brilliant, flawed and brilliant again - Ladies and Gentlemen: Mr Anthony Bourdain.


- Pal Blanko

Read this next: Hunter S Thompson

Pal Planko - Blog Post Thumbnail - Hunter S Thompson v4

Read this next: Malcolm Gladwell

Pal Blanko - Blog Post Thumbnail - Malcolm Gladwell


For Heroes of the Written Word [2]:

HUNTER S. THOMPSON, click here

For Heroes of the Written Word [3]:


For Heroes of the Written Word [4]:


For Heroes of the Written Word [5]:

GRAHAM HANCOCK, click here

For Heroes of the Written Word [6]:


Share this to...