Ronin-René Espinoza, my great-grandson, 8/10/2019 – 10/20/2019 being held shortly after his birth by my wife, his great-grandmother.
It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year.
A memorial video for my great-grandson done by my daughter.
So TV chef Anthony Bourdain recently committed suicide. As to “why,” there’s very seldom any understandable reason. I’ve seen a lot of Bourdain’s work, as my wife loved his No Reservations and Parts Unknown shows, and I got sucked into them as well. Then I ran across the YouTube series Raw Craft, which was about as commercial as Bourdain got. That was fascinating to me.
The thing about him that appealed to me was that he was very open about what he thought, but was open to pretty much everything. He listened.
Being an openly New York liberal, his basic beliefs conflicted with a large percentage of the U.S. population. As an example, in an interview he was asked what he would serve President Trump and Kim Jong Un if given the opportunity. His response: “Poison.”
Unsurprisingly, that offended a lot of people.
So for the first episode of his eleventh season of “Parts Unknown” he decided to forego the normal destinations like Uganda or Suriname and instead he went to someplace truly exotic and literally unknown: West Virginia. (Give that link a watch while it’s still available. It’s not quite an hour long.) From the show notes:
I guess for a long time I’ve been going to foreign locations like Iran, Liberia, Vietnam, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia where the culture and politics are very, very different than my own, and yet I try to go with an open mind and show some respect. And I like the idea of going to the heart of “Trump, God, and guns” country and looking at it in exactly the same way — with an open mind, as I’ve done elsewhere. It seemed only fair and only right.
I’ve gotta tell you, I was absolutely rocked back on my heels by, first of all, how beautiful it is, and how kind people were to me, and generous. I mean, in the same way that my preconceptions are upended so often around the world, I felt the same thing happening in West Virginia. In the stereotypical coal mining town in West Virginia — which is pretty much where we went, into the poorest area of West Virginia coal country — I was utterly moved and enchanted by the people and the place. And I like to think I came back from it with a more nuanced picture of what it means to be a coal miner, and why people voted for a sketchy businessman from New York who’s never changed a tire in his life.
You know, I went right at those things — guns, God, and Trump — and I was very moved by what I found there. I hope that people who watch the show will feel the same kind of empathy and respect, and will be able to walk in somebody else’s shoes, or imagine walking in somebody else’s shoes, for a few minutes in the same way that hopefully they do with one of my other shows.
Yesterday Rod Dreher posted a eulogy to Bourdain, A Tale of Two Tonys for The American Conservative. Give that a read as well. Dreher concluded his piece with something I cannot say any better than he did:
If you didn’t follow Bourdain’s work, I hope you will now. We lost a great American last week.
Hunter draws the e-comic Vexxarr! Here’s today’s:
So Hugh Hefner has passed after 91 years on this earth and uncounted platinum blondes.
I hope he got the death Tyrion Lannister wishes for:
I’ve got nothing to add to this post from 2003 except “Thank you” to the operators of the Internet Wayback Machine, and I’ll be sending them a donation.
Connie du Toit has passed. I just received a message from Kim. Connie has passed due to cancer, and now he’s got to pay off those bills. If you’ve spent much time around the gun blogs and gun boards, you’ll be familiar with Kim du Toit and his classic essays like “The Pussification of the Western Male” and “Let Africa Sink.” Kim & Connie were always ones to chart their own path, and that path has cost them. So if you’re so inclined, please consider contributing to Kim’s Surviving Life Without Connie GoFundMe page.
Just announced on his Facebook page:
It brings me great sadness to report that Brian Anse Patrick, pictured here with a great elk that he took down in Montana in 2010 (his favorite activity of all), known to many as the author of numerous books published by Arktos and elsewhere, as a Professor of Communication at the University of Toledo, as a championship target shooter and advocate for gun rights, as a CCW permit instructor, as well as through his many lectures and interviews on the subjects of propaganda and the American gun rights movement, passed away after suffering from cancer on the night of December 26/27 at the all too premature age of 62. As generous a soul as there has ever been, many of us who knew him can attest that our lives were made better through our friendship with him. Brian helped me through many rough patches of my own life over the course of nearly 20 years with his sage counsel and indefatigable drive to help his friends, as well as with his astute wit, which was matched only by the sharpness of his marksman’s eye. He was also the one who first taught this city boy how to shoot and appreciate the outdoors at his estate in northern Michigan, a true refuge from the ravages of the modern world where we would be regaled with tales of his wild youth and philosophically plumb the depths of life, the universe, and everything while quaffing the finest spirits. He was certainly the most fiercely independent individual I have ever known in both mind and action, and a man who benefited from a lifetime of wide reading and love of good books. I also never knew anyone else who could throw together a meal in half an hour from whatever was lying around his kitchen and have it taste like the best thing you’d ever eaten on every single occasion – and never be the same twice. His story, rising from a ne’er-do-well problem child with a GED to become a tenured professor, should be an inspiration to those who see academia as closed to the unconventional. He was representative of an archetypal type of primordial American which is becoming all too rare in America today. Brian, wherever you are now, you won’t be forgotten.
Professor Patrick is the author of The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage, which I quoted from extensively in my 2008 überpost The Church of MSM and the New Reformation. Someone sent the Professor a link to it, and after that we sometimes traded emails and he sent me proof copies of a couple of his later publications. Great guy and a stout supporter of the Second Amendment. Read his 2015 Daily Caller peice, A Martin Luther of Gun Rights?
Give ’em hell wherever you are, Professor.
It’s official: 2016 sucks donkey balls.
I’ve quoted extensively from Steven’s work at U.S.S. Clueless, and today I find that not only has Steven passed, but the archive of U.S.S. Clueless is gone as well. Both are major losses.
UPDATE, 10/27/16: Several commenters have noted that the archive is available on the Internet Wayback machine and in several other sources. Apparently a lot of people felt it was worth making a copy.