The Big Lebowski and the Day of the Dude

I’ve been collecting tales of coincidences that have nothing to do with the Google algorithm listening to your conversations, because while I don’t doubt that many of our decisions are rooted in the way that advertising molds us, I also believe that some stuff just happens through some sort of randomness or providence.

On March 5, 2021, I resisted the urge to go to the “Goodwill Bins of Who the Hell Donated All of These Amazing CDs?” figuring that I have a lot of inventory to list already. I felt the need to get out and about though, so I signed into Uber Eats and delivered for about four hours. It was ok. Much like a couple of weekends ago, I ended up getting a delivery that was dropped off so near the bins that I could see them. I decided that since I was over there, I would just go take a look.

It was the kind of haul that would make Nathan cringe, because there were so many CDs and DVDs. DVDs are getting pretty close to a dime a dozen lately, but CDs have strangely gone back up in price in the last year or so. There was a point where I could consistently buy used CDs for $1 each. I still can, but not in as many places. Most places are averaging out at around $2 each. That’s still not that expensive, but when they’re around 50 cents each at the bins based on weight, I’ve since decided to buy CDs at the bins when possible. (Imagine the scene from “The Wizard of Oz” and Nathan with a green face.) I might tell you about my CD finds in later posts, but today I want to talk about the DVDs, one in particular.

Most of the DVDs I bought are things I have no real interest in, so they’ll be for sell on eBay when I get to listing. I found a nice copy of “Pink Floyd’s: The Wall” and a Bob Dylan concert set (I think it was 2 DVDs). I picked up “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” in case Nathan didn’t have it, and he said he would like it. I also found a copy of “The Big Lebowski” in good condition, and here’s where the serendipity happened.

I bought a lot of DVDs and some in the haul that I would like to watch. I also have a backlog of TV shows and movies to watch. I’m also reading a book or two. I had a lot of cool CDs I could have listened to. I could have even gone back out to deliver more food to people. After all considerations, I put on “The Big Lebowski.” This is the third time I’ve seen it, meaning that there was no specific urgency to watch it, and then after viewing it I went onto Wikipedia and did some reading about it.

As it turns out, it was only a few hours before the Day of the Dude when the movie was over. The movie was released in the US on March 6, 1998. I had no idea just how big of a cult following the movie had, until one night when Miguel and I decided to go see a showing at the Inwood Theater in Dallas. When we got there it was packed and sold out. At the time, this surprised me, but in retrospect we should have called and made sure there were seats available. We had a good time driving out there though, so not all was lost.

There is a semi-serious religion that has formed based on the beliefs of The Dude. It’s called Dudeism, and it’s sort of a modern version of Taoism. The basic beliefs are just to “take it easy” and “go with the flow” much like Taoism. They declared March 6 (the day of the US release of the movie) as the Day of the Dude, probably a play on the Day of the Dead.

I’m not sure what the odds are of finding a copy of the movie and watching it the day before the day of worship inspired by the movie 23 years after the movie came out with no prior knowledge of said day of worship, especially when the trip to the bins where I found it was predicated on the randomness of which delivery I happened to get on Uber Eats. It’s almost as if The Dude himself wished it and that I had no choice but to abide. That’s ridiculous, of course, because The Dude is more of a guru for the religion than a supernatural god… oh, and he’s fictitious. But you gotta admit it was steeped in coincidence no matter how you look at it.

I guess my final thought here will be just to talk about a takeaway I got from all of this. “The Big Lebowski” is a movie that seems to put some people off initially. I’m sure that some of those people stayed put off by it, but there were others who when they returned to the movie a second time found themselves engaging it the tale more profoundly. I’ve enjoyed the movie from the first viewing, but it’s the kind of thing that is made for my taste. One of my favourite movies is “Southland Tales” and I can see some influence taken from “The Big Lebowski.”

If you’ve seen the movie, I would like to suggest that you read about the carnivalesque literary mode. I’d never heard of it before reading the Wikipedia page of “The Big Lebowski.” Whether it was the intention of the Coen Brothers or not, the film fits every criteria nicely.

Chris McGinty is a blogger who has been known to bowl too. He probably should get out and do it more often. From Freddy Flintstone to Fred Astaire bowling is a beloved pastime, although I’m not sure that Fred Astaire bowled. Hello. Have you met me? I’m obscure and non-sequitur.

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