Dudeism Abides

May 31

Dudeism, Dudes! The new religion that’s not exactly sweeping the country, but could be the perfect theology for these troubled times.

Actually, it’s not that new: it was formed in 2005 by journalist Oliver Benjamin, inspired by the cult movie, The Big Lebowski, featuring The Dude, AKA Jeff Bridges. I just learned about it now from a feature on TV about a NYC employee who tried to get out of wearing a mask (or was it getting a vax?) by proclaiming that his religious beliefs prevented him from doing so. He, of course, is a confirmed Dudeist.

I’m not divulging the name of said individual to protect the innocent, but because I inadvertently erased the tape of the New York One segment covering the story. Just as well. Dudeism is decidedly not about condemning anyone for anything anyway. It’s about being laid back and carefree, and, according to the online publication Surfer Today, “staying true to ourselves and living a less worried life.”

WHAT, ME WORRY?

Billed as “the most easygoing religion in the world,” its credo is: “Life is too short for us to worry about it.” That does have the ring of truth, now doesn’t it?  And come on, would Surfer Today lie to us?

Dudeism has a “holy” day and everything! Every year, on March 6th, Dudeists celebrate The Day of the Dude because the film was released on that date back in 1998. Damn, we missed it in 2022. But why worry? Why not get into the spirit of the thing and celebrate whenever we damn please. To me, that would be the height of Dudeosity. Besides, there’ll be another March 6th, won’t there?

FYI: The guy who didn’t want to wear his mask or get vaxxed didn’t get a pass from the city, but that doesn’t mean that Dudesim isn’t alive and well and living, well, all over the place. According to Wikipedia, 450,000 Dudeist priests have been ordained worldwide, and in some states (although it doesn’t state which states), marriages can be performed by these “priests.” I’d love to be a fly on the wall of a divorce lawyer in the unlikely event that two Dudeists could not get along no matter how laid back they were.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

But wait! I have more to report. Direct from Wikipedia we learn:

The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernized form of Taoism stripped of all its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of “going with the flow,” “being cool headed,”and “taking it easy” in the face of life’s difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people. It also aims to assuage feelings of inadequacy that arise in societies which place a heavy emphasis on achievement and personal fortune. Consequently, simple everyday pleasures like bowling and hanging out with friends are seen as far preferable to the accumulation of wealth and the spending of money as a means to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfillment. As the Dude himself says in the movie: “The Dude abides”, which essentially means to just keep existing.

For your further edification, the religion’s official name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, and if I haven’t offended anyone yet, I’m not doing my job.

In case you were wondering, there’s even an equivalent to saints in this religion: the Great Dudes of History, which include the Buddha, Kurt Vonnegut, Walt Whitman and “pre-ecclesiastical Christ” (before, presumably, the church corrupted his teachings).

SO WHERE DO WE SIGN UP?

Well, at dudeism.com, where else, by filling out a simple form. (Of course, it wouldn’t be complex.) You get a certificate and everything!

But sorry, Dudes, this is where I draw the line. Even though I will always have a place in my heart for the man who taught me that a rug “really ties the room together,* I haven’t eschewed formal religion for all these years in order to join one now—no matter how loosey goosey it is. And, personally, I’m getting all the vaxes that heaven and CVS will allow, and wearing a mask in crowds, because I’d like to abide as long as possible. Besides, where are all the Great Dudettes of History? Marie Antoinette? Catherine the Great? Eva Peron? Cher? Madonna?

If any of this upsets you (god forfend), I suggest that you put on some Leonard Cohen and let Suzanne, a Great Dudette if ever there was one, take you down to her place by the river and give you tea and oranges that come all the way from China. That thought alone should chill you out and bring you in harmony with the finer points of Dudeism.

Or, you could just go bowling.

 

 

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18 comments

  1. Clarence /

    Dudeism is one of my favorite blogs! Hope you are well

  2. Audrey /

    Pat – You had me with “Church of the Latter Day Dude.”
    Where do we send our contributions?
    Do we light candles or joints?

  3. Lou /

    Funny and cool 🙂

    • Pat /

      It’s hard NOT to be cool writing about Dudeism! But glad you liked it.

  4. John /

    These folks are probably the least likely to cause problems, but “One never knows, do one?”
    In a recent HBO special, we were reminded of why George Carlin was worried about groups – “Cause pretty soon they have little hats. And armbands. And fight songs. And a list of people they’re going to visit at 3 am.”
    So, I too will try to abide, but not as a member.

    • Pat /

      But you won’t get one of those cool certificates!
      Oh well, as long as you promise to abide.

  5. Michelle /

    And don’t forget the Dude theme song “Doodly Doo”!

  6. Clare Rakshys /

    I remember watching that segment on Dudeism on NY1 too. I shook my head and laughed then, but even more with your take on it in this blog.

    • Pat /

      I love NY1! You get all kinds of interesting tidbits, and this was one of them.
      You can’t make this stuff up!

  7. L.B. /

    From one Dudette to another, you rock. Keep the silliness coming.
    L.

    • Pat /

      “There is not enough silliness in the world.” Anybody know who said this? Whoever. I second the motion and plan to do my part to keep us all from getting too serious.

  8. Good movie that I didn’t discover until maybe a decade after its release. I like how you worked the rug into your post. I wonder if the movie helped the bowling industry. The dude abides!

    • Pat /

      Lisleman, I always like your comments, and yes, a rug does tie a room together, and I too wonder if the film helped the bowling industry. Couldn’t hurt!

  9. Charles /

    A web site claims that there are 600,000 ordained Dudeist priests.

    People will believe anything as long as it’s a number!

    Call me skeptical.

    Still, I’m glad I finally caught up with The Big Lebowski a few years ago. And even if it does sustain anti-vax foolishness, I’m sure that on balance Dudeism is a force for good. I enjoyed this post.

    • Pat /

      What me, skeptical?
      I meant to mention that 600,000 claim, so let’s split the difference and call it a cool half million. It’s only a number and who knows how it was determined.
      Anyway, about the film: The Big Lebowski is not a great film, just one that gets under your skin, and lets you take things a little less seriously. At least for a while.
      But seriously, glad you enjoyed the post!

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