Between this and the news about Kate Spade, the CDC released a report indicating that suicides had gone up something like 25% since 1999, and 30% in over half the states. My wife and I were talking about it this morning. Figuring that people (not here – I mean in general) are going to draw all sorts of conclusions, I pointed out that internet use had also gone way up since 1999, and for that matter, so had the use of antidepressants.
My wife then pointed out that suicidal thoughts are a side effect of antidepressants (she’s an RN so I’ll defer to her on that). I figured that was the purpose (if not the whole point) of prescribing them!? (And I just checked to make sure neither of us were pulling that out of the air; there’s some evidence; but I didn’t know that when I brought it up – my point, like about the Internet, was about correlation vs. causality. Also I don’t presume to know what happened to Mr. Bourdain.)
I particularly liked the Parts Unknown when he went to Oman, because I’d been there myself, 6 years ago. It was a business trip, and I loved it there, and would love to go back some day. Most people couldn’t understand why I enjoyed it so much (including someone else who’d been on the trip – we really didn’t do a whole lot outside of work), but once that episode was on the air I could tell them to tune in and see. And I didn’t really even make it out of Muscat! He was all over the country: in the Hajar Mountains, in the desert etc. (The thing I don’t recall him describing, is that a traveler is unlikely to encounter Omani food outside of people’s homes. There are restaurants that serve it, but from what I gather, when Omanis go out to eat they want something else.)
(I’ve been to Ethiopia, too – my wife’s from there – and Bourdain made at least one episode there, but I figure more people are familiar with Ethiopia (one way or another) than with Oman.)