The Dude Abideth in Me and in Thee

On Friday I took a drone’s-eye view of myself from a couple hundred feet up and I dropped every ton of ordnance on myself that I could find.  After the debris cleared a few very good folk (and you know who you are) cleared me from the rubble, dusted me off.  I was OK.

Then I remembered the wise words of my touchstone, Jeffrey (“The Dude”) Lebowski, “Ah, fuck it.”

The scene occurs early in The Big Lebowski before we are quite aware that there are no reliable narrators in this LA noir that is not really about mystery.  Or rather it is about a larger mystery-the goddamned condition humaine.

The Dude is just trying to solve a simple problem-how to replace a rug that really ‘tied the room together’. Instead, his life gets rammed by a shit iceberg.  I hear you, Duderino, cuz you know I ain’t into no brevity thing. Here’s the scene where the millionaire Lebowski ‘teaches’ the Dude about real politik, the ‘true’ way of the world.

Here’s the transcript, too, for those of you who are still trapped in the Gutenberg Pause  or who might want to annotate something with some real teeth.

The Dude rises.

Ah fuck it.

Sure! Fuck it! That’s your answer!
Tattoo it on your forehead! Your
answer to everything!

The Dude is heading for the door.

Your “revolution” is over, Mr.
Lebowski! Condolences! The bums

As the Dude opens the door.

…My advice is, do what your parents
did! Get a job, sir! The bums will
always lose– do you hear me,

The Dude shuts the door on the old man’s bellowing to find

Some might argue that The Dude’s response to the real world is the coward’s way–to walk away from the intractable hell of other people’s lives. But we discover in the rest of the movie that this is not his Tao, not his path.  The Dude’s mantra is to always add a little bit more to those three words.  Later in the movie he says, “Ah fuck it, let’s go bowling.” Here, earlier in the movie, he doesn’t waste a single breath responding to the big Lebowski. He just steals back another rug that will tie the room together just as handily. He doesn’t bother with the weakness of words or as Beckett advises,


So on Friday I slammed the door in the face of the world and with a little help from my friends I spent the day on the farm dealing with another world that while just as indifferent is infinitely more…honest. I planted some seeds, I sat on the swing with my wife drinking coffee, I did some calligraphy and I listened to some music and generally said, “Ah fuck it.”

Of course, while the indictment by the Man, by the Big Lebowski, still rings in my ears, I have a better balance, a better grip on the maul as I make this path, this larger feldgang. Yes, the bums will always lose in this finite game, but we ain’t playing a finite game and this is what The Dude reminds me to do when someone micturates on your rug.

“Ah fuck it. Let’s go cut some wood and bring some flowers into the house.”

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