FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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 the forthcoming “This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism and Corruption are Ruining the American West,” out in July 2019 from Viking-Penguin.  He can be reached at cketcham99@mindspring.com.

February 21, 2019
Nick Pemberton
Israel, Venezuela and Nationalism In The Neoliberal Era
Chris Orlet
The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fair Taxation Scaremongering Tour
Bruce E. Levine
“Heavy Drinking” and the NYT’s Offensive Obit on Herbert Fingarette
Lisi Krall
This Historical Moment Demands Transformation of Our Institutions. The Green New Deal Won’t Do That
Stephanie Savell
Mapping the American War on Terror: Now in 80 Countries
Daniel Warner
New York, New York: a Resounding Victory for New York Over Amazon
Russell Mokhiber
With Monsanto and Glyphosate on the Run AAAS Revokes Award to Scientists Whose Studies Led to Ban on Weedkiller in Sri Lanka and Other Countries
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Fake National Emergency Moves America Closer to an Autocracy
Alex Campbell
Tracing the Threads in Venezuela: Humanitarian Aid
Jonah Raskin
Mitchel Cohen Takes on Global and Local Goliaths: Profile of a Lifelong Multi-Movement Organizer
Binoy Kampmark
Size Matters: the Demise of the Airbus A380
Elliot Sperber
For Your Children (or: Dead Ahead)
February 20, 2019
Anthony DiMaggio
Withdrawal Pains and Syrian Civil War: An Analysis of U.S. Media Discourse
Charles Pierson
When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb
Doug Johnson Hatlem
“Electability” is Real (Unless Married with the Junk Science of Ideological Spectrum Analysis)
Kenneth Surin
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Another Boondoggle in Virginia
John Feffer
The Psychology of the Wall
Dean Baker
Modern Monetary Theory and Taxing the Rich
Russell Mokhiber
Citizens Arrested Calling Out Manchin on Rockwool
George Ochenski
Unconstitutional Power Grabs
Michael T. Klare
War With China? It’s Already Under Way
Thomas Knapp
The Real Emergency Isn’t About the Wall, It’s About the Separation of Powers
Manuel García, Jr.
Two Worlds
Daniel Warner
The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize Winners Contrast with Australia’s Policies against Human Dignity
Norman Solomon
What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives
Dan Corjescu
2020 Vision: A Strategy of Courage
Matthew Johnson
Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him?
William A. Cohn
Something New and Something Old: a Story Still Being Told
Bill Martin
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail