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9 Sep 2008

The Dude Abides: Ten Years Later

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“The Dude abides. I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there, the Dude, takin' 'er easy for all us sinners.” - The Stranger

To abide is to accept without condition or question, and the Dude reminds of us that again in 2008. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of White Russians and 10-pin, of nihilists and thousand-dollar blow jobs, ringers and Larry Sellers, rugs and toes. This year marks a bowling frame's worth of Big Lebowski, one of the first real classics in a film era that's for the most part still too young to know which of its progeny will persist. The fact that the has achieved that status so soon-even five years ago, you could have made the argument–is a credit to the Coen brothers, their quirky plot and quirkier cast of characters. But, by and large, it's a credit to the Dude, but not for his amiable, stoner nature, nor for the frosty cream-and-kalua residue on his mustache. He is what we wish we could be.

Big Lebowski - 3For the driven, the career-minded, the productive or maybe just the normal-for you and me and nearly everyone else-the Dude's life would seem enviable only in fantasy, and possibly not even then. He's lazy. An oaf. A philistine, even, with no real direction or sense of cultural value. He smokes pot, pays his rent late or maybe not at all and participates in a "sport" that seems immovably lodged in 1950s middle American tradition. He writes checks for 61 cents for milk to stir into his glut of caucasians, and his only form of identification is a grocery store club card. If you were to imagine, with real-world constraints in mind, what his bank account balance looked like or how his credit scored, you might double check your own savings for peace of mind. But the point of the Dude isn't to be a stoner Credence fan, even if that facilitates how he lives his life.

Big Lebowski - 2For the Dude, life is water and he is the duck's back-it slides off without soaking him even if he does get a little wet sometimes. He's reactive to it, more than anything, something that we proactive types find difficult to fathom, yet somehow wish we could do. Maybe that's why Steve Buscemi says in a DVD interview, "Everybody wants to be the dude," even if no one can figure out how without losing their job.

Bob Dylan - The Man In Me:

Kenny Rogers - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In):

The Big Lebowski: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Big Lebowski - 1

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