Monday, December 19, 2011

Jack Johnson put it so poetically in his song Cookie Car,

"I would turn on the TV but it's so embarrassing
To see all the other people I don't know what they mean
It was magic at first when they spoke without sound
Now this world is gonna hurt you better turn that thing down"

If I was to say I was anti television, that would be a lie.  We have a tv in the indie attic, albeit located under my bed, covered in dust, but there nonetheless.  Television can be informative, entertaining and well, addicting. So rather than hypocritically perch myself on my high horse, precariously placed on a soap box, I would like to give my support to choosing your television programs carefully. Look out! Understand the purpose of your program, monitor your time in front of the screen, justify your choice. 

With that being said, here is my justification for marathoning Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. 
  1. Sarcasm. A passage into adulthood, independence and more importantly, my friendship. Yes, I am suggesting that Tony and I would be bosom friends. The sharp wit of this tv host, photographer, world traveler and chef can cut deep into the essence of a country, culture or dish. I can only describe him with one word (and I happened to make it up), snarkitude. 
  2. Honesty. This plays along with the sarcasm but it is refreshing nonetheless. If Tony doesn't like a country or a dish, he will make it apparent. Respect has nothing to do with it and Tony firmly believes that you don't have to like someone to respect them.                                                                                        "If the people are really nice and yet have served me a steaming loaf of crap I will try my best to be gracious but I guess I'm just not going to morph into Rachael Ray any time soon. If the food is crap I'm gonna say so. I hate shows where the host lies to you."- Anthony Bourdain
  3. The concept of the show. No Reservations is the anti-tourist travel show. Live the life of a local
  4. Depth. Apprehending the culture and the experience to the best of his abilities. Asking the questions that people specifically avoid asking. Tony has a good time (like a really good, wake-up and you still can't feel your face good time) but none those experiences are taken for granted. Be socially aware of surface culture but put all your energy into discovering deep culture. 
I will keep my justification to four examples and I think that is enough to express my love for this show. Wonder how I know the capital of Cambodia? The national dish of Puerto Rico? The right of passage for boys in Ethiopia? What year did the Contras attacked the Sandinistas? 

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life - and travel - leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks - on your body or on your heart - are beautiful"

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