On the eve of one of the great events in the semi-brief yet storied history of The Big Lebowski, i decided to dust off the old Dudeist priest ordination and ruminate on the profound simplicity of Dudeism, the Dude, taking it easy and the whole durned human comedy. The catalyst in question would be the current Lebowski Fest New York, which includes the largest lead cast reunion to date, the Blu-Ray release of the film and Jeff Bridges’ new album debut.
It’s hard to fathom the cultural phenomenon that has surfaced and perpetuated around The Big Lebowski, with numerous books, fests, documentaries, (in)action figures, clothing lines, websites and even a religion all coming to light within the 13 years since it’s 1998 theatrical release. The fact that the movie didn’t even draw water until subsequent midnight screenings, followed by it’s appearance on video & DVD makes it even more stupefyin’. But perhaps it’s not as hard to believe as you’d first think.
Much of the Dude’s dialogue is composed of mantras for the deeply casual, or as it’s stated in the Coen brothers’ original script, the ‘rumpled look and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.’ Aphorisms such as ‘just take it easy, man’, ‘ah, fuck it’ and the paramount ‘the Dude abides’ all provide the necessary means for, necessary means for navigating the strikes and gutters of daily existence, allowing you to roll your way into the semis. These mantras take root in some of the world’s oldest philosophies and religions, including Taoism and The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzo, which shares the ethos of just taking it easy and going with the proverbial flow. It now has a Dudeist interpretation for our time and place called, appropriately, The Dude De Ching. Read more