A couple of months ago, a thread was created on Reddit asking Anthony Bourdain to "do an AMA." AMA, as you may or may not know, is short for "Ask Me Anything," and is a type of Reddit thread where a famous or interesting Redditor creates a thread and allows other users to do a sort of Q&A in the comments. These are also sometimes called IAMA, which is short for "I am a _________. AMA. Popular AMAs have featured people ranging all the way from John Colbert and Ken Jennings to government whistleblowers and full-time sex slaves.
As a person who loves to read about all the little corners of the world that I don't get to visit in person, I'm a big fan of AMA threads, but was particularly intrigued when I read that Anthony Bourdain would be participating in one. I'm a food geek, you see, and Bourdain has always been my favorite food personality - probably because he's just as much writer as he is chef.
Anyway, the Q&A video came out a couple of days ago, and Mr. Bourdain's answers seemed just as introspective, opinionated and entertaining as usual. And then he dropped this bomb on me:
I mock the Food Network, yet I work for Scripps Howard. I make fun of celebrity chefs. In fact I made a career out of making fun of Emeril, and yet here I am, part of the problem. I’m ambivalent about foodies and people who take pictures of food in restaurants, yet I’m one of the premier vendors of food porn.
Yes, I am aware of the contradictions. I experience mood swings of extreme happiness and excitement about the world followed by long hours of regret, uncertainty and self-loathing.
So is there an internal struggle? Yes. Yes there is.
And all of a sudden, I could finally put my finger on why a copywriter from Missouri could relate to a chef/TV host/author from Manhattan: We both hate ourselves for doing what we do. God damn it. Why does it always come back to this?
All creative whining aside, if you have thirty minutes to spare and enjoy food culture even a little, the full Q&A is worth a watch. Also, if you want to hear a nice Kansas City BBQ reference, just fast forward to 27:22.
The Thrity Rooms To Hide In Addition.
John and Tug talk with Master Jedi Luke Sullivan about his new book Thirty Rooms To Hide In, creativity and getting out of advertising. It's a great Sunday afternoon chat with almost no cursing and only minorly bothersome mouth sounds.
And stay tuned. 'Coming in August 2011: The American Copywriter Reboot.
Record a comment from your computer right now. Be pithy.