Published on: October 24, 2014by Kevin Coupe
This morning, I'd like to refer you to a piece in Fast Company to a piece about Anthony Bourdain, a "foodie explorer" who has used a series of TV programs on various networks to visit a wide variety of countries, taste an astounding range of foods, and understand the cultures that produced them a little bit more. His newest show, "Parts Unknown," is actually doing something for CNN that the longtime news network isn't used to - generating ratings.
But I'm intrigued by Bourdain not because he has a dream job, in my opinion - going to obscure places and eating things like grilled whole chicken hearts. It's that as he gets older, he gets more restless and more impatient, rather than learning to settle and take the road more traveled.
"For Bourdain," the story says, "it has been a long evolution: from heroin-addicted chef to punk-rock-foodie author to global citizen on a mission to simply understand a bit about our world. It's a testament to Bourdain's work ethic and creative drive that after 14 years on television, he's still pushing to get better, go deeper, seek out complexity, avoid the obvious and conventional. At a time when he could simply coast, Bourdain seems as energized as ever."
Sometimes, that means taking a wholly unorthodox approach to both his subjects and the way he shoots them. "Not all of these experiments pay off," the story says, "and Bourdain is okay with that. The point is to resist the predictable, especially when it comes to TV's ingrained conventions. "The only thing that makes me upset and, really, a dick is if something is … plodding and reasonable," he says, spitting out that last word with palpable revulsion.
I kind of like that.
I was talking to a senior retailing executive yesterday who told me that one of the hardest things for many successful people to do as they advance in their careers is to continue to take risks - that it comes more naturally when one is young, but that with age and wisdom often comes some measure of satisfaction. it isn't exactly complacency, but it certainly is a tendency to not rock the boat as much.
Having had that conversation in a different context, I found the Bourdain piece to be enlightening. And energizing. And you can read the whole thing here.
It is an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: