Friday, January 12, 2007


At almost the same time old friend PSaga sent me pictures of the recent birthday party she held for her boyfriend recently in Corvallis, Oregon-- a mini-LebowskiFest complete with Viking helmets, white Russians and mediocre bowling-- I was readying this YouTube post, the idea for which I blatantly stole from Bilge Ebiri. But you know, fun is fun, and so I decided to add a second bit of video for the weekend as well, both of them taken from recent LebowskiFests. The first is comprised of a couple of privileged moments with David Huddleston (“Your ‘revolution’ is over, Mr. Lebowski! Condolences! The bums lost!”) and Jeff Bridges (“Yeah, well, that’s just, you know, like, your opinion, man.”) from L.A. LebowskiFest 2005.

The second is from the recent L.A. LebowskiFest, a clip of Bridges himself sitting down and wrestling with a six-string and Dylan’s “The Man in Me.”

Just posting these has stirred the fires of desire to see the saga of the Dude and Walter and Donnie and Jeffrey and Maude and Jackie Treehorn all over again. Do you see what happens, Larry?

(Thanks, Bilge.)


Anonymous said...

Should I just leave it at "You're all a bunch of losers" or should I elaborate?

Man, has ever love for one simple movie gone so disturbingly awry? This is bordering on Star Trek/Star Wars convention status now, isn't it? Or it's already there. There is a new breed of nerd, and they think they're cooler 'cause it's not a sci-fi, but you're still a bunch of f'-ing nerds!

Sheesh, I hope I'm still able to enjoy this reasonably decent movie which at times succeeds in amusing. The Dude is a very appealing character, and that is the charm of the film, but the film itself is not that great, kind of one of their less perfect efforts (up to that point). (Yeah, I know, shut up, Pauline Kael! I retract the word "perfect.")

I will confess to spending quite a bit of time drinking White Russians at bars purely because of the influence of this movie and the coolness of the Dude. But you all are just taking this too fucking far and making me ashamed to be a human being who loves movies. Get a life, you fucking losers!!!

I suppose what I'm mostly disturbed about is the massively disproportionate levels of idolatry being placed at the feet of an entertainment product. When you're talking about actual energy and effort being expended (films being made!, nerds being gathered!, teasing hints of sequels being maniacally cheered!), that's when it crosses the line from harmless fun into soul-destroying shallowness. I think any time just one movie (entertainment product) interweaves itself too deeply into the actual fabric of your own life you have gone too far. Go read some T.S. Eliot! Sheesh! Man. Or some V.S. Naipaul. Any dudes who pretentiously use two initials instead of their name and you'll have made penance for this violation of the normal bounds of good, healthy living. (V.I. Warshawski doesn't count, but if you do go see that, I'd like to hear about it.)

P.S. - This post is not directed at any one individual(s), especially not the proprietor of this fabulous blog, but should rather be viewed as just an angry outcry from a bewildered bystander aimed at the vast, nebulous Lebowski fan blob.

- The Curmudgeonly Mysterious A.D\ri|an Bet.ama.x

Anonymous said...

QUINTANA-Are you ready to be fucked, man?I see you rolled your way into the semis. Deos mio, man. Seamus and me, we're gonna fuck you up.

DUDE-Yeah well, that's just, ya know, like, your opinion, man.

Quintana looks at Walter.

QUINTANA-Let me tell you something, bendeco.
You pull any your crazy shit with us, you flash a piece out on the lanes, I'll take it away from you
and stick it up your ass and pull the fucking trigger til it goes "click".

DUDE- " Jesus."

QUINTANA- You said it, man. Nobody fucks with
the Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I will ever recover from the damage done to my stomach during a case of acute prolonged uncontrolled laughter disorder suffered whilst being stranded for a day and night in an still-functioning movie palace in Norfolk, VA that only played The Big Lebowski over and over and over.

I Am The Walrus...

Shut the fuck up, Don.

Anonymous said...

Hey, curmudgeonly MAB! “Yeah, well, that’s just, you know, like, your opinion, man.” Aw, shit. Dennis already said that.

I have zero interest in a sequel. Does that make you feel any better? I think the movie fizzles at the end. Satisfied?

(Don't say it... I'm gonna say it...) Perhaps you're just uncomfortable with anything that becomes too popular? You lovable snob, you!

So I'll meet you at the bar. You bring your T.S. Eliot, and I'll bring my J.R.R. Tolkien.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

But watch out, PSaga and MAB, because as you well know, sometimes you eats the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you. (And PSaga, I'd leave the Gollum ears at home, if you know what I mean.)

MAB, there's no denying the outrageous level of enthusiasm fans of The Big Lebowski have for it. At the same time, I'm willing to bet that most participants in the Lebowski Fests (and I was one of them last year) reserve most of the outpouring of that enthusiasm for nights like these. It doesn't strike me as a life defining ethos (if you will) to the degree that other examples of fan devotion often do. (See Trekkies.)

But when I read your latest rant, I started thinking about that sandwich board placard I'm going to race right out and pick up for you, so you can wear it outside the Cal Bowl this spring and get the word out to those losers whose souls may not yet have been completely destroyed by participating in all this lethal shallowness.

And I'm afraid I'm going to have to second PSaga's detection of that whiff of condescension you seem to have toward not only the movie's amusingly overboard fan base, but now it seems the movie itself. By the time you are next forced to mention The Big Lebowski publicly, I suspect it will have sunk from "reasonably decent" and "not that great" to some variation on putrid, lame or perhaps even "soul-destroying." (After all, it is at the root of all this inexplicable heathen idolatry.) I wonder though, how is it that you can reconcile your apparent general mistrust of hugely popular movies (and their rabid fan bases) with your appreciation of a certain action filmmaker and his Oscar-winning 1997 opus? (Have I opened Pandora's box here?)

I can only counter by saying that my experience with the Lebowski phenomenon has become more pleasurable with each viewing of the movie. Although once is probably more than enough for me, I thoroughly enjoyed my night at Lebowski Fest 2006. As I hinted I might, I did some massive room rearranging Saturday afternoon and played the movie for some sonic accompaniment, and I was laughing all the way through, even though I was only intermittently able to pay attention to the visuals (ah, the joys of good writing and good performances). And while my family and I were on vacation in Oregon last summer, there were two separate occasions where my "Mark It 8, Dude!" bumper sticker sparked some lively conversation-- seems some Oregon gas station attendants and drive-thru coffee baristas are enthralled by the adventures of the Dude, Walter and Donnie as well (less so the Queen and her damned undies, I'd guess). I'm always tickled when a perfect stranger and I suddenly realize we have some common ground beyond the price of a decaf soy white chocolate mocha (no whip).
What's so soul-destroying about that?

Anonymous said...

You said: [[By the time you are next forced to mention The Big Lebowski publicly, I suspect it will have sunk from "reasonably decent" and "not that great" to some variation on putrid, lame or perhaps even "soul-destroying."]]

See?!? That's my point! Nerds are spoiling the movie for me! If this wasn't happening, the movie would stay comfortably in the "reasonably decent" zone! :) Lousy nerds!

I like things that are popular, but they have to be good films. I suppose if they are just okay, then my opinion of them can start to sink because of overpopularity. But if they are truly excellent then they'll be impervious to any exterior effects they create. (I'll leave aside that one you mentioned that I haven't revisited and wouldn't say I'd want to waste time defending anyway. I'd probably flip sides on it if I saw it again. Oh, wait. Boobies!)

I'll just put it really succinctly: when it gets to costume-creating (other than at Halloween) and outings and "themed" get-togethers that's when it gets problematic for me. So it's got nothing to do with it being popular. It's this nerdy type of popular that is fairly rare.

P.S. - J.R.R. - One initial too many. Sorry. :p T.S. Eliot is really confusing, by the way. Can anyone explain his crazy shit to me??

P.P.S. - D.C., I can't believe you resorted to the patented "Jonas last resort"!! Ha, ha.

P.P.P.S. - I love you both, you lovable nerds! Can't believe you went to LebowskiFest. So embarassed to have you for a friend this week. Well, there is a certain incredible Westerns triple feature playing this Friday at the Egyptian that you can attend with me to make up for this! :) (Boetticher anyone?) Then all will be right with the world again.

- Ze Mysterious Adria(e)n(nne) B(arbeau)etamax

Anonymous said...

MAB - Of course I scrambled to read the Egyptian's schedule. I like their "NOT ON DVD" designation, as if to say "Get your asses out here to the cinema because Netflix ain't got it, you lazy bums." (Reminds me of the guilt trips I get regularly from Paul "The Avalon" Turner here in Corvallis.) Course I'd like it even more if I were still local and could participate! Miss you guys something fierce. Thanks for taking me to see the Morricone whistler perform live. I'll take that kind of movie house added value over DVD extra features any day.

Anonymous said...

Z.M.: that was alot of wind to blow.

Dennis, just remember one thing, "dude, they peed on your fuckin' rug. This ain't Nam, there are rules here."

Thom McGregor said...

Dear MAB, aka (to me) Mr. Vault, why should what anybody else thinks influence how you feel about a film? And, p. saga, why won't you send us your address so we can send you the now-very-belated Christmas card featuring our little girls? Now, back into hiding for me.