Articles

Hidden Meaning in The Big Lebowski – Earthling Cinema


Greetings, and welcome to Earthling
Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is
The Big Lebowski, written and directed by the prophets Joel and
Ethan Coen, hallowed be their names. The film served as the
foundational scripture for a religion called Dudeism, which was
essentially just Taoism sprinkled with weed and Kahlua. It was the
philosophy of going with the flow, “F*ck it.” or “chilling out maxing relaxing
all cool and all shooting some bball outside of the school.”
Dudeism, or the Church of LatterDay Dudes, became Earth’s primary
religion in 1998. The Book of Lebowski recounts the
trials and tribulations of slovenly Christ figure Jeffrey Lebowski or as his disciples call him, “The Dude” “That’s your name, Dude.” Hair – check. Sandles – check. Robe – check. Sunglasses – check. The Dude is a tumbling tumbleweed,
content to spend his days bowling, which is about 5% gameplay and 95%
sitting around drinking. But when his sacred floor covering is
befouled, “Not on the rug, man.” he sojourns to a higher power to seek reparations. ”They come, and they pee on your f*cking rug.” “They pee on my rug?” Then he gets mixed up in a whole kidnapping
situation before finally getting back to what’s really important:
sports. “Two oat sodas, Gary.” At the end of the film, there is no
epiphany, no social gain, no world saved, Class 7 or otherwise. The
Dude hasn’t fallen in love or retired to a beachfront property
somewhere. He hasn’t even gotten a new rug. So why did humans base
their entire existence on this film? If we look at the source material
the film is parodying, we can begin to unravel this strange and
harrowing mystery. “Where’s the f*cking money, Lebowski?” The Big Lebowski is, at its heart, a noir film. “We’ve got to have a fall guy. Somebody they can pin those three murders on.” “All you needed was a sap to pin it on, you just met me…” It
pays homage to Raymond Chandler’s crime novel “The Big Sleep,” even
going so far as to plagiarize two words from the title. However,
instead of the hard-nosed, rough around the edges private eye
Phillip Marlowe, we get exactly the opposite — a laid back stoner with
a penchant for home decor. Humans could relate to such a character,
as they had been unintentionally emulating him since the ‘60s, man.
One common element of noir is characters who are haunted by their
past, especially if their past involves a no smoking sign [clips
of noir detectives smoking a lot]. Many characters in this film are
stuck in the past: the Dude is stuck in the flower power movement,
Walter is stuck in the Vietnam War and his marriage, Jackie Treehorn
is stuck in the glory days of Hugh Hefner, Maude is stuck in the
Fluxus art movement, and Donny is stuck in a coffee can. “Goodnight, sweet prince.” Likewise,
most noir stories were set against the grim background of World War
II, but this film is set against the Gulf War, a low-stakes military
endeavor that ultimately accomplished nothing. “Nothing, Lebowski, nothing!” The type of
war that still lives in its parents’ basement. “This is what happens when you f*ck a stranger in the *ss!” The film taught Earthlings to embrace their true nature and
mellow the f out by deconstructing everything they previously held
sacred. For example, the generic notion of success. The Dude is
considered a failure compared to someone like Lebowski, “Get a job, sir!” but it turns
out Lebowski’s “life of achievement” is bogus, “This guy’s a fake.” just like
the pagan religions of old. And speaking of religion, that gets
taken down a peg as well. “Nobody f*cks with the Jesus.” Maybe even two pegs. A character named
“Jesus” is portrayed as a pedophile, “8 year olds, Dude.” which was a big no-no on
Earth. Walter claims to be a devout Jew, “I don’t roll on sabbos” but really he’s just masquerading as a Jew to be closer to his wife. “You’re not even f*cking jewish, man.” For more information on Judaism, please refer to the TV show
Seinfeld. Then there’s the concept of death, which to those
unfamiliar, is the inexplicable ceasing of life. When no one is
looking, Donny nonchalantly dies of a heart attack. Meanwhile, Walter’s
eulogy turns into a rant about Vietnam, the largest moon of
Jupiter. “These young men gave their lives, so did Donny.” In the end, the whole story is a
farce, just like life on Earth, and later, Mars. “What’s the point?” The Dude is still the
Dude, preparing for his bowling tournament as if nothing has
changed. “The dude abides.” Because nothing has, give or take a best friend.
If you scratch the surface looking for meaning, you will find none. The worst
thing we can do is relentlessly overanalyze everything until we’re
blue in the tentacles. As the Dude’s teachings dictate, in a
world of unchecked aggression, the best thing you can do is to
simply… imbibe. “The Dude abides.” I mean abide. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx
Wormuloid. To convert to Dudeism, click the subscribe button. Or not,
whatever. Who cares?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *