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Sunday, March 14, 2010

All the Young Dudes

In a crowded and bustling auditorium in London the other night, i happily bumped into an old pal, who had disappeared for a few months off my radar.

Dominic, it had turned out, had been way out west in the USA...with a film production company doing a documentary, in the Southern States, on the rise and rise of that newest of American philosophies, Dudeism. In the US it is a growing *Business* and I put that in Stars, because *business* is the last thing a Dude would claim to be interested in.

In the light of Jeff Bridges (The Dude) finally becoming the first Jeff Bridges to win Best Actor Oscar for his 18th portrayal of a very slightly different version of himself, in "Crazy Heart", I decided, as the 70% fun loving Taoist I am, (the other 30% of me has a voracious untaoistic itch to create Art, that I have to scratch) to check out this slow moving Cult that seems almost the opposite of the normal G0-gettum and pound 'em, we're #1 American Dream.

Dudeism is a religion whose primary objective is to promote a philosophy and lifestyle represented by the character of "the Dude" in the Coen Brothers' 1998 film The Big Lebowski, played by the aforementioned Jeff Bridges.

Founded in 2005 by Oliver Benjamin, a journalist based in Los Angeles, California and Chiang Mai, Thailand, Dudeism's official organisational name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. As of March 2010 over 70,000 "Dudeist Priests" had been ordained via the church.

Although Dudeism primarily makes use of iconography and narrative from The Big Lebowski, adherents believe that the Dudeist worldview has existed since the beginnings of civilisation, primarily to correct societal tendencies towards aggression and excess.

They list individuals such as Lao Tzu, Epicurus, Heraclitus, The Buddha, and the pre-ecclesiastical Jesus Christ as examples of ancient Dudeist prophets. More recent antecedents include pillars of American Transcendentalism such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman and humanists such as Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain.

The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernised form of Taoism purged of all of its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of "going with the flow" and "taking it easy" in the face of life's difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people. It also aims to assuage feelings of inadequacy that arise in societies which place a heavy emphasis on achievement and personal fortune.

Consequently, simple everyday pleasures like bathing, bowling, hanging out with friends are seen as far preferable to the accumulation of wealth and the liberal spending of money as a means to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfilment.

And I'm not going to argue with any of that...though the guys who demand a mortgage repayment off me each month...and the Government who are nailing me for ever larger slices of my income pie, would have a vastly different opinion and would no doubt prefer me to get my sorry ass out into the Marketplace a bit more gingerly of a morning.

Sir Dayvd (who by complete irony is just off downtown to buy a new wallet, as his old one has completely disintegrated and scattered its contents all over the newsagents floor.) of Oxfordshire.


  1. Synchronicity. I was having a discussion with a friend a week ago about how we may be the only two people that just don't get the appeal of "The Big Lebowski." I thought it was an okay movie, but haven't gone ape shit over it like so many other people. We have discussed that maybe we need to watch it again.

  2. Synchronicity. I was having a discussion with a friend a week ago about how we may be the only two people that just don't get the appeal of "The Big Lebowski." (where have I heard this before?)

    Anway, I must watch this movie again and earn my PhDude.

    Sir Bowie -- who has been trying to go with the flow here at work -- of Greenbriar

  3. I see a movie night in our future!

    philosophical quotes? such as:

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams /
    Henry David Thoreau

    Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you /

    Never, never, never quit /
    Winston Churchill

    maybe I can be a dudette??

  4. I shared with Sir D, that I have been a Dude for my whole life. His comment was that I was too caught up in the business, success, etc world to be a true Dude.

    My response, "Success is only a by-product of my magnetic Dude personality!"

    I will let Sir Bowie and Lady Suzz give their unbiased endorsement of my Dudism.

    Sir Hook the Big D of Warrick

  5. LOL...not even close to a Dude in Dudeism terms.. ..Bub...LOL... being a dude in your own head doesn't count... like being cool.... You are more the Big Lebowski than the Dude LOL..

    and calling on your best buddy to back you up doesn't count either...
    actually...Bowie is closer to being a Dude...than either of us could claim to be...

    way to go B...:))

    Sir D, the capitalist Hippy of O

  6. All I can say is you better be a good Brit and start drinking that Spruce Beer, because this is one battle you're going to loose! LOL!

    Why do we hate it so much when each of us is right?! Part of being good mates!

    Sir Hook Who's D is Getting Bigger By the Minute (wait a minute, did that sound suggestive?...oh well) of Warrick

  7. LOL...i don't think so...a brit stands his ground...

    Your claims are classic the Vatican defending their vast riches and wealth to the Dude jesus...if showed up with the Eye of the needle script under his arm...
    "Honest....our successful materialism is all down to our following your cool socialst ways..LOL.." youre funny H...
    Youre a capitalist Hippy at me...not a Dude....we weren't the cool kid at school either no matter how much we think we were..LOL...

    Get to work running that Business of yours... i'm off out into the Marketplace...and will probably run-over a few dudes as i make my way round..:))

    Sir D.. ( Enjoying the debate tho ) of O

  8. Just sent Sir D my formal ordination certificate as a Priest in the Church of Latter-Day Dude.

    Bargument over!

    Sir Hook High Priest of Dude of Warrick

  9. ..........this makes me the..

    The Right Reverand Imam Arcbishop, Cardinal of the Higher Order of Granthi, Pandits, Marahishi Yogi of eastern orthadox Rabbis, Lord Holy Minister of the Gospel Tabernacle of Harlem..........and voodoo witchdoctor of the order of Shamens, then... lol

    Dude My ass LOL...

    the whole thing about Dudeism is you Abide... you don't join or do ( sigh )

    Pope Dayvd the vicar of Oxfordhire

  10. I think you forgot to add to your title, "Jessel the Trifeldge Gutenart and Keeper of the Holy Grenade of Antioch"

    Also, you're the one that brought this subject to our attention in the first place! LOL!

    Sir Hook Ordained Priest of the Church of Latter-Day Dude of Warrick

  11. ...this is true...and the real doozy in Dominic's documentry was outlined the full range of Dudeism from South Carolina over the Ashville moutains and on to Texas... People who live the values to the core who are complete and out and out slacker Dudes......and they also covered the thousands of Americas, who simply call themselves Dudes cos they think it sounds cool...but don't actually qualify as a slacker... hmmmmm. :)

    Sir D..( who knows he's not a Dude anymore than he is Chinese. ) of Oxfordshire