FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Cooking Show Suicides and Other Inanities

Recent information unearthed by CounterPunch’s crack investigative team has revealed that Anthony Bourdain killed himself in the wake of discovering he suffered from a terminal illness brought on by the breakneck pace of his work as an entertainer.

The condition, called disassociative camera-subjectivity disorder, or DCSD, widely afflicts people in the rarefied realms of the entertainment industry but is largely unknown to the general public.   The condition results from a pathological dependency on being constantly filmed and displayed as a mass-marketed product.

Researchers have only begun to document the profound human suffering of DCSD in its various stages.  In Bourdain’s case, it was well advanced at the time of his suicide.

It begins insidiously enough.  The patient, conditioned to the constancy of on-camera status, finds that life off-camera – which is to say real life, the daily existential ride, the self alone facing the joys and abysses of the rollercoaster – isn’t worth pursuing. One must stave off the boredom and idiocy of non-filmed existence with a hopeless abuse of alcohol and drugs, and with meaningless sexual conquests – the hedonistic treadmill.

This can go on for years before the patient advances to stage two.  The affliction moves toward the debilitative.   Without the camera eye cast in his direction and affirming his value as a person, the DCSD sufferer begins to find it difficult to move, speak, or think in any manner except to eat, defecate, and flip through cable channels looking for his own image.  (In the final stages of DCSD, these are the sole remaining pleasures of an otherwise vegetative mind.)

By stage three, all hope for treatment is lost.   The patient has been fractured into two wholly independent selves.  One is a drooling imbecilic immobilized mess; the other, activated only with the presence of rolling cameras and, ideally, a large gawking film crew – itself the stand-in for a large gawking global audience – ascends into mania.  He is bubbly, frenetic, talks ceaselessly, narrates the course of his day in excruciating, self-regarding, indeed narcissistic detail.   But the instant the camera lights darken, the patient is inert, as a robot that is shut off at the flick of a switch.

Finally, the only option left for the DCSD sufferer is self-annihilation.   The camera-addicted imbecile senses somewhere in his broken brain that he might free himself at last.  And so, with gargantuan will and utmost resolve, he breaks the chains of his immobility and presses forward, perhaps deep in his heart anguished that the cameras won’t document it, to consummate the final act of liberation.

Of course I jest.  Or maybe not.  Poor Anthony Bourdain, professional food clown for the corporate entertainment system, condemned to grandstand on such a silly matter as what restaurant to visit.   It is indicative of the low stupidity of our time that the mounting crisis of suicide in the United States gains a foothold in public consciousness only when useless famous people kill themselves.

More articles by:

Christopher Ketcham is the author of  “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West” (Viking-Penguin).  He can be reached at cketcham99@mindspring.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 22, 2019
George Ochenski
Breaking the Web of Life
Kenneth Surin
Boris Johnson’s Brexit Helter Skelter
Enrique C. Ochoa – Gilda L. Ochoa
It’s About Time for Ethnic Studies in Our K-12 Schools
Steve Early
A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War
Clark T. Scott
Sanders And Bezos’s Shared, Debilitating, Basic Premise
Dan Corjescu
The Metaphysics of Revolution
Mark Weisbrot
Who is to Blame for Argentina’s Economic Crisis?
Howard Lisnoff
To Protect and Serve
Cesar Chelala
A Palestinian/Israeli Experiment for Peace in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
No Deal Chaos: the Brexit Cliff Face and Operation Yellowhammer
Josue De Luna Navarro
For True Climate Justice, Abolish ICE and CBP
Dean Baker
The NYT’s Upside Down Economics on Germany and the Euro Zone
August 21, 2019
Craig Collins
Endangered Species Act: A Failure Worth Fighting For?
Colin Todhunter
Offering Choice But Delivering Tyranny: the Corporate Capture of Agriculture
Michael Welton
That Couldn’t Be True: Restorying and Reconciliation
John Feffer
‘Slowbalization’: Is the Slowing Global Economy a Boon or Bane?
Johnny Hazard
In Protest Against Police Raping Spree, Women Burn Their Station in Mexico City.
Tom Engelhardt
2084: Orwell Revisited in the Age of Trump
Binoy Kampmark
Condescension and Climate Change: Australia and the Failure of the Pacific Islands Forum
Kenn Orphan – Phil Rockstroh
The Dead Letter Office of Capitalist Imperium: a Poverty of Mundus Imaginalis 
George Wuerthner
The Forest Service Puts Ranchers Ahead of Grizzlies (and the Public Interest)
Stephen Martin
Geopolitics of Arse and Elbow, with Apologies to Schopenhauer.
Gary Lindorff
The Smiling Turtle
August 20, 2019
James Bovard
America’s Forgotten Bullshit Bombing of Serbia
Peter Bolton
Biden’s Complicity in Obama’s Toxic Legacy
James Phillips
Calm and Conflict: a Dispatch From Nicaragua
Karl Grossman
Einstein’s Atomic Regrets
Colter Louwerse
Kushner’s Threat to Palestine: An Interview with Norman Finkelstein
Nyla Ali Khan
Jammu and Kashmir: the Legitimacy of Article 370
Dean Baker
The Mythology of the Stock Market
Daniel Warner
Is Hong Kong Important? For Whom?
Frederick B. Mills
Monroeism is the Other Side of Jim Crow, the Side Facing South
Binoy Kampmark
God, Guns and Video Games
John Kendall Hawkins
Toni Morrison: Beloved or Belovéd?
Martin Billheimer
A Clerk’s Guide to the Unspectacular, 1914
Elliot Sperber
On the 10-Year Treasury Bonds 
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail