Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

The Lebowski Decade

It’s been 10 years since The Big Lebowski first graced us with its presence.  I was one of the few people who saw it in the theater, knowing the Coen Brothers from the success of Fargo, and was one of the many people who walked out going what the hell did I just watch.  It was a movie I thought little of in the three years from its release to my first year in college.  But then something happened.  As if out of nowhere, everyone at my university was quoting The Big Lebowski to each other.  All of a sudden The Dude was showing up on Halloween in the chaos of Pacific Avenue.  Like a beacon of coolness in a world of over the top. 

The mounting popularity meant that I was often subjected to watching the movie in a variety of different settings.  And something clicked one day, this was maybe the single most profound piece of genius to come out of Hollywood in a long long time.  This movie was freaking hilarious.  Of course, it helps when the man who gave you life is, if nothing else, an almost exact incarnation of The Dude.  Even still, the archetype of a Philip Marlowe-esque romp through the streets of Los Angeles, looking for a rug that tied the room together, paired with the stoned, white russian drinking laid-backness of an old hippy makes for some of the most entertaining and strangely poignant moments in cinematic history. 
Last month, Rolling Stone wrote an article on the 10 years of The Big Lebowski.  The interesting part, for me, was how the writer tied in our current youth climate to the unprecedented success of the movie as an at home cult-classic.  How gatherings like Lebowski-fest inspire a kind of hope in my generation, a generation that is paying the price, in every sense of the word, for the excesses of the seemingly aware generation that preceded us.  I have grown up in a generation that will not see nearly the success that our parents saw, where the very planet we live on is turning against us, and it’s our fault.  But that’s the thing, it’s not really my generations fault.  Sure we’ve contributed, but not as heavily as the generation before us, the one that endured oil shortages and global warming when it first came to be.  The generation that protested and politically activated only to give it all up for a Lexus and a nice pair of Manolo Blahniks.  
My generation is paying the price for it, and doesn’t come with a $700 Billion price tag.  It’s so much more.  So we turn to the beacons of hope we can.  Sure, for the most part we’ve turned to Barack Obama as a pillar of light that might help us (though I’m not naive enough to think that he’s going to solve all the problems we have).  Instead, my generation has almost completely turned to The Dude.  We garnered college degrees that mean next to nothing in earning power (and let’s be honest about why most people go to college…to earn money).  We were promised better opportunities if we just spent the $50,000 for four years of education, and we’ve received nothing in return.  Sure, we can reference the works of Karl Marx and Judith Butler, but not one person I know can survive without monetary help from their parents…or the parental figure of Visa.  
So for us there is something refreshing about a man who shirks all societal responsibility.  Who sits in his bathtub and smokes weed as he listens to the dulcet sounds of bowling pins being knocked over.  A man who’s biggest concern is getting back a rug that sat in his single apartment.  A man who prays to the god of the seventies colored bowling alley and who’s biggest nemesis is a mexican pedophile in a polyester unitard who may or may not be able to out-bowl him.  
In a world where the potential leader of the free world likes to shoot animals from a helicopter and has foreign policy experience because she is close to Russia (not Canada mind you), we need The Dude.  We need him to teach us how to stop and sip the caucasian.  How to let the things go we cannot control.  Sometimes there’s a man, he’s the man for his time and place, and that’s The Dude…..  Sometimes there’s a man…….
Peace, Love, and Preferred Nomenclature,

October 7, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Haha, I really liked this, thanks. I’ll have to read that Rolling Stone article, too.

    Comment by chadhend | October 11, 2008 | Reply

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