Anthony Bourdain #6
By Michael Moriarty
“Food is the best weapon on earth to make peace!”
Our Maestro of Food on Earth, Anthony Bourdain didn’t say that. A Chinese multimillionaire in Shanghai said it.
And said it in the very, yes, very stupendous wine cellar he has created.
Vintages from every corner of the world!
And at a dinner table he is entertaining friends with. Anthony Bourdain in particular.
If you want to be intimidated by China, see this episode of Parts Unknown!
No one sits in a higher “cat bird seat” than Tony’s host! “We will bury you, America!” seems to be written inside every word he utters.
With so huge a variety of wines that he owns, our host now appears to be a billionaire.
“It doesn’t happen till you tweet it!”
These words out of Anthony Bourdain ring a clear bell within a young, exquisitely bilingual, Chinese professor. The two are agreeing about the speed of change in China: it is very disturbing.
Why? The government wants the new and is impatient with the old!
Another bright, young talent of China named Thomas, but, not being fluently bilingual, with a heavy accent, praises Chinese hacking because, in essence, he himself is a Chinese hacker. He sees nothing wrong with hacking into, say, the information secrets and most hidden corners of M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Couple that proud thievery with the wealth and power of Tony’s previous host?! You can see why America is becoming increasingly fearful over an “information highway” that seems to all be leading increasingly to Beijing!
When the conversation about hacking becomes too uncomfortable, of course, we change the subject back to that ever-safe subject without controversy: food!
In Shanghai, China’s biggest port, as Tony says, “You can smell the money!”
And the money, in a surprisingly American/Trump fashion, seems to be going increasingly to the middle-class!
Thomas and Tony crash a middle class wedding! It’s beginning to turn into a buddy film.
There’s something always very moving about a wedding, no matter where it’s happening. I tear up as Tony and Thomas enter the festivities. China, much like one of its biggest American fans, Anthony Bourdain, likes to drink, particularly at a wedding!
There is toast after toast after toast, drink after drink after drink!
In a revealing sidebar, Tony informs us, “Just booking the room for this wedding took two years!” The episode ends with a tribute to Chinese noodles that almost approaches poetry.
Actually, Mr. Bourdain appears to be transforming mysteriously and movingly into a bit of a poet himself!!
His series begins as a travelogue and turns into a pilgrimage, thence into a missionary vocation!
“The human race”, this program seems to be declaring, “must begin to know all about the rest of the human race!”
The truth that pasta was actually invented, not in Italy, but in the Orient is an unspoken lesson here. Tony asks rhetorically where not just China but where all of us will be going in the future and what will it look like. With impressive aerial photos of Shanghai, Tony tells us: “It will look like this!”
God, even though Tony doesn’t believe in Him, please bless Anthony Bourdain!
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.