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Thread: Dudeism

  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Jesus H Christ's Avatar
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    Default Dudeism

    ABIDE.



    http://www.cnngo.com/bangkok/life/do...plained-206793

    People who intuitively perceive 2,500-year-old Chinese and Greek concepts, while knowingly nod to California's detached hippie philosophy and quote droll lines from “The Big Lebowski” are joining a revelatory religion that has illuminated its U.S. founder in northern Thailand.

    Dubbed "Church of the Latter-Day Dude," the group also invites "mellow, unflashy chicks who hang around in their bathrobes and take baths with candles and whale sounds," says the religion's Dudely Lama, Oliver Benjamin.

    "Everyone feels oppressed by society's pressures. Everyone wishes they had more freedom. Everyone wishes they could be more carefree, to worry less about money and status," he says.

    Oliver's church is heavily influenced by the Tao of Lao Tzu (6th century B.C.), Epicurus (341-270 B.C.), and the “The Big Lebowski,” a 1998 film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen which stars Jeff Bridges as a surreal, hilarious, ironic, marijuana-smoking, satirical, 40-something character nicknamed "the Dude.”

    Asked by a woman in the movie what he likes to do for fun, the Dude replies: "Oh, you know, the usual. Bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback."

    Chiang Mai-based Oliver says he thinks everyone potentially identifies with aspects of the movie, even if they may not wholly approve of the Dude's lazy lifestyle.

    "The Dude is an extreme case, but he provides an ideal which can help you to bring a little more 'Dude' into your life, without giving up on the rat race entirely," he says.

    "I grew up in the 1980s, which was a very ambitious and materialistic time -- the era of the Yuppies. Even as a youth, I found it frightening and false. The reason I embarked on a 10-year backpacking journey was so I could avoid being brainwashed by the machine of industry, and find the space and freedom to indulge my imagination."

    Or, as the Dude exclaims in the 1998 film, set in 1990: "It's all a goddamn fake. Like Lenin said, look for the person who will benefit. And you will, uh, you know, you'll, uh, you know what I'm trying to say."

    Eastern philosophy and Dudeism
    The Church of the Latter-Day Dude's website is ridiculous, absurd and lots of fun. But it also wrestles with questions and answers that have gripped humans throughout the ages.

    We contend that The Big Lebowski is actually a modern form of Taoism," Oliver says. "Taoism is probably the most philosophical religion in the world. Though there are variants that are heavily superstitious, the original tradition has virtually no dogma or rules of conduct. It suggests that there is a natural way of living that people can return to, if they just learn to sense it intuitively.

    "Though 'The Big Lebowski' is a story about an aging ex-hippie in Los Angeles who is trying to solve a kidnapping case, at its heart it's really a story about how to live your life, how to deal with conflict, and how to maintain peace of mind in a world that's gone crazy. So there's really no distinction between the movie and Eastern philosophy -- the movie is infused with it," he says.

    People who aren't cool, ultimately go crazy, Oliver warns.

    "Following Dudeism helps you to keep in mind what's important in life, what actually makes people happy instead of what makes them insane. Dudeism has a great deal in common with Epicureanism -- the original, uncompromised first draft -- which states that simple pleasures are best and that less is actually more."

    Born in 1968, Oliver grew up in Sherman Oaks, southern California, and got a psych degree from UCLA before working in graphic design for a few years and then traveling while writing three "bizarre" unpublished novels.

    He is currently a freelance journalist and photographer, based mostly in Chiang Mai, and plans to expand his church this year.

    "There are now over 100,000 ordained Dudeist Priests worldwide. Most are in the U.S., but it's surprisingly popular in the UK as well," Oliver says. "There's going to be a Dudeist Music Festival in York this summer, and there's a movement to get it on the U.K. census as an official religion -- as Jedi was, in the last census."

    'We're never going to compete with Christianity'

    The Church of the Latter-Day Dude was actually born near Chiang Mai, in the hip resort town of Pai, where Oliver says he became transfixed by visions.

    "In 2005, I was up in Pai at a small cafe, watching 'The Big Lebowski' with a crowd of people from all over the world. I had seen the film once before and enjoyed it, but this time the experience was totally transformative.

    "I felt as if I'd seen a story that put all the difficulties of modern life into a manageable perspective. And it was probably the most touchingly funny film I'd ever seen. Oddly enough, I'd long wanted to start a religion. During my travels I'd become an earnest student of religion and philosophy," he says.

    Wedging his church into a world crowded by older, cash-rich religions is not impossible, but it may remain a niche belief system.

    "Money is power. Dudeists don't tend to be the upper crust of society. So we're never going to compete with the really wealthy religions like Christianity.

    "Ideally, we'd like to help people find ways to earn money with less work, but of course that's always a challenge. Fifty years ago, everyone thought that robots would be doing all the work for us and people would be living lives of leisure. That this has not come to pass is surely mankind's biggest tragedy," Oliver laments.

    "One problem also is that too many people just think the Dude is a burned out hedonistic stoner. Nothing could be further from the truth. He's an intellectual with strong moral character and a lively, creative mind.

    "He's also a stoner, but that's not a bad thing. Too many people confuse Dudeism with anarchism or selfish laziness. Dudeism recognizes the need for organization and rules, and the laziness it touts is disciplined and determined.

    "Free time should be used to free your mind and cultivate inner peace. Not to play 'Grand Theft Auto' all day and gorge on snack food," he says.

    Asked if he financially benefits from having the church, Oliver replies: "I earn a modest income from the sales of some products on the site. We have plans to expand, and when we do, those increased profits will be used primarily to help spread the word of Dudeism via events and advertising, and maybe to provide jobs to Dudes who hate the ones they currently have."

    The church is evolving, and hopes more members will know each other in the biblical sense.

    "Perhaps it's not surprising that the Church is about 75 percent male. But we are trying to actively bring in more women. We think that women suffer even more than men do from the dictates of modern society," he says.

    "We hope to start a Dudeist dating service soon, and a chapter in our forthcoming book, 'The Abide Guide,' will be devoted towards Dudeist feminism. Incidentally, we don't recognize the word 'dudette.' We're trying to help promote the idea of 'dude' as a gender-neutral word."



    Ah, that must be exhausting.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  2. #2
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    Abide +1
    Little Dreamer

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    Default

    Duuuude.

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    Something about Chiang Mai that attracts the dude element. I haven't been up there in near two years, but am hoping to play some shows there end of the month. Chiang Mai abides.

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    Abide.

    This bumper sticker is currently occupying space on the back of my car as I type this, man.

    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

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    Quote Originally Posted by MF5150 View Post
    Abide.

    This bumper sticker is currently occupying space on the back of my car as I type this, man.

    far out


    Big Lebowski 2 ????

    http://snarkerati.com/movie-news/coe...ig-lebowski-2/

    and

    http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2011/01/...ki-2-wait-what
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus H Christ View Post
    Man. Thank you for posting that! I've heard the rumours about the Jesus spin-off but this is the first I have heard about a sequel being filmed this year.

    FUCKIN' A!!!!
    Last edited by MF5150; 02.01.11 at 04:07 PM.
    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

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    Will you just take it easy?

    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

  9. #9
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    Default 'The Big Lebowski' 15 years later

    Far out.



    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/05/showbi...ary/index.html
    (CNN) -- He's played singers, sailors and serial killers, but there's one role that die-hard fans of Jeff Bridges can't get enough of: The stoner.

    "Who knows? Mystery of the unknown," the Academy-Award winning actor tells CNN about the enduring legacy of "The Big Lebowski."

    "Maybe it has to do with turning someone on to something you dig; it is like turning your younger brother on to Led Zeppelin, when he's ready to get it."

    Sprinkle a healthy dose of "mans" and f-bombs into that quote and it could have been uttered by The Dude himself. "It's something that entertains people on a whole other level than most films," Bridges says, "and once they've enjoyed it, they have to share with someone."

    The sharing is certainly growing for "Lebowski." This March 6 marks the 15th anniversary of the movie's release. Hard to believe that the Southern Californian odyssey that opened to mixed reviews (The New Yorker called it an "irritatingly antic caper") is now considered among the best in the Coen Brothers canon and a bona fide cultural phenomenon.

    The appreciation goes way beyond the silver screen. Books are written about "The Big Lebowski," including one by Bridges himself. There are "Lebowski Fests" held nationwide where fans gather, often dressed as their favorite characters.

    The "Lebowski Fest" slated for Los Angeles March 22-23 features the actors who played Woo, The Malibu Sheriff and the Ralph's check-out girl who watched The Dude write a 69 cent check for a carton of milk. This past weekend, the now iconic bathrobe worn by Bridges throughout the movie was auctioned off for $22,755, according to Premiere Props in Los Angeles.

    There's even the "Little Lebowski Shop" in New York that sells merchandise ranging from shirts and mugs to action figures and a life-size cutout of The Dude.

    "Business has been good," says Roy Preston, the owner of the store. "I have customers coming in ranging in age from 8 to 70 and from all over the world. There's something universal about it that speaks to people."

    What's so universal about an unemployed slacker who wears bathrobes, loves White Russians and hates the Eagles? "He's the unlikely hero of our times," says Brian Balthazar, editor of the entertainment site popgoestheweek.com. "There are a lot of people that oddly enough want to be like him, to be completely intent in his apathy in life. And then have this guy embark on a crazy journey? It is literally the ultimate dude movie."

    A dude movie filled with memorable performances. There's John Goodman as the Vietnam veteran whose observance to the Jewish sabbath prevents him from bowling on Saturdays. ("I don't roll on Shabbos" he bellows from the lanes.) John Turturro is the rival bowler named Jesus, who also happens to be a convicted sex offender.

    Peter Stormare, who played both a porn star and German nihilist in "Lebowski" laughs when talking about the film's cult-like following. "I'm amazed because it's bigger than "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," he says. "I've been to two or three Lebowski fests and it's pretty bizarre to see 20 Karl Hunguses walking around. It's an honor and at the same time it's a little strange."

    Stormare is also surprised by the film's continued success. "None of us really thought the movie would do well because they didn't do anything big for it when it came out," he tells CNN. "They didn't really promote it, and then it caught on like a sleeper and came just roaring as the years went by."

    Bridges cautions that "Lebowski" may not be for everyone. "Your 12-year-old, or your teeny bopper, or most grandparents just won't get it," he says while making it clear it may be more of a "guy" thing.

    "I can just imagine how many older brothers wait for their younger bros to turn 16 or whatever perfect age for them to truly be able to soak in all of the pointless amazingness that the "Big Lebowski" has to offer! All the Dude ever wanted was his rug back!"

    The Dude abides, and 15 years later, so does the actor.

    "I don't see this ever stopping or slowing down," says Bridges.
    "The less I needed, the better I felt." ~ Charles Bukowski.

 

 

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