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Author Topic: Is the Dude lazy?  (Read 5115 times)

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Rev. Jimmy

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Is the Dude lazy?
« on: February 01, 2017, 05:16:02 PM »
The Stranger describes the Dude as laziest in Los Angeles and possibly laziest worldwide, but is he truly a lazy man? He certainly likes to do life on his own terms. In fact, without knowing it, I was somewhat Dudelike in high school. I got A's in subjects that held my interest and C's or D's in subjects I found boring. I don't know that I was lazy. I just wasn't interested.

There is the question of how the Dude feeds the monkey. We know that he is unemployed, but we don't know how long it has been since he has worked. It is possible that he is between jobs. He may be drawing unemployment, but I think it's unlikely that he is on welfare benefits. Recall that he writes a check at the grocery store. He doesn't use food stamps.

Though the Big Lebowski calls him a bum, I don't think he is. He is offered money by Big Lebowski, Maude and Jackie Treehorn. He is happy at the prospect of receiving the money, but he never asks for it without being willing to do some kind of work for it.

The Stranger disapproves of some aspects of the Dude (swearing, for example), even though he digs the Dude's style. Though the Stranger perceives the Dude as a lazy man, I think it is more the case that Dude has broken free of society's rules and hangups. He lives by his own values rather than let some "stranger" tell him what his values ought to be.

PriorRestraint

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 07:14:39 PM »
Well said, dude

I agree. If he fits the definition of "lazy", then that's a adjective I'd be fine self-applying. After all, we know he's devoted to his bowling practice and his friends, and he takes his self-care and contentment damn seriously (rug, bath, tai chi, etc.)

Anchorite83

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 12:28:22 AM »
The Dude just is. Lazy when he is, or motivated when he is.
- Rev. Guillermo

meekon5

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 10:07:14 AM »
It's all actually just a matter of perspective.

I am a Database Administrator (DBA) and Management Information Systems (MIS) Reporting specialist.

I spend all my day coding (T-SQL most of the time in MS SQL Server).

A lot of my expertise in these fields stems from a simple root, if I can get the machine to do it I will, why should i do the work.

As I've always said a good DBA is fundamentally a lazy DBA who knows how to work round things.
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
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Brother D

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 04:13:17 PM »
I wouldn't say that the dude is lazy either. I consider myself lazy, but seem to always be doing something.

The Dude looks for the bare necessities, a trophy life. He does what he needs and nothing more, answers to himself and is content. Maybe, he just knows that some things just aren't worth the effort.
 And for some, just tying your shit together, is a day's work in itself!

Strikes and gutters, man.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 04:26:38 PM by Brother D »

jgiffin

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 10:39:00 PM »

I don't know that I was lazy. I just wasn't interested.

You nailed it right here. The Dude's level of activity is directly proportionate to his level of interest. He's not lazy per-se (at least not categorically) but he certainly isn't your typical, Type-A, perpetually driven banker/lawyer/doctor/business owner asshole.

Is Dude interested in holding down the typical 9 to 5? Fuck no, Dude don't play that.

Is Dude interested in redressing the theft of his rug? Yep, Dude followed up on that shit.

Is Dude interested in displays of material wealth? Nope, Dude's car, home, wardrobe, etc. were all shit.

Is Dude interested in figuring out who stole his car? Yeah, Dude pursued that shit...though in a less than competent fashion.


BikerDude

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 02:39:03 PM »
The dude is a fictional character.
We are told in the opening scene that he is lazy.
What exactly is the question?

No really. I think the dynamic of his character in relation to the others depends on him being really and truly lazy with a capital L. I think it's meant to contrast with the other Jeffrey Lebowski who of course turns out to be a phony a gold Bricker. But he went out and achieved anyway! I can not solve your problems sir, only you can!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 02:42:01 PM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

jgiffin

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 10:59:30 PM »
However, that raises the question of narrative integrity. Should we necessarily believe what the opening monologue (by the Stranger, who is also a character in the movie) says about the Dude? Or should we take that into account but also consider what we see, first-hand, the Dude do? I think it's the latter. The Stranger's comments are as indicative of his personality as the Dude's personality.

But, c'mon, yeah, the Dude is lazy for the most part. The exceptions prove the rule.

meekon5

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 05:56:32 AM »
Quote from: jgiffin
However, that raises the question of narrative integrity. Should we necessarily believe what the opening monologue (by the Stranger, who is also a character in the movie) says about the Dude? Or should we take that into account but also consider what we see, first-hand, the Dude do? I think it's the latter. The Stranger's comments are as indicative of his personality as the Dude's personality.

Here I have to say that the film is not Holy Writ. It's not Dudeist Law.

The film is the source of an example of a particularly Dudeist individual.

I think we are back to avoiding dogma again.

Early in my life (some twenty to thirty years ago) I gifted a friend of mine "The Tao of Pooh" another fine example of an attempt to express Taoism in western terms.

He loved the book but when I next visited his house it was festooned with images from the Disney "Winnie the Pooh" cartoons.

He had completely missed the point, the Taoist point, and embraced what I can only call "Poohism".

A classic example of mistaking the finger pointing to the moon for the moon itself.

This I think is the case with the film, it is merely the finger pointing to the moon.

So in answer to your question;

Quote from: jgiffin
However, that raises the question of narrative integrity. Should we necessarily believe what the opening monologue (by the Stranger...

I would say it doesn't matter.

Again all IMHDO of course.
"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and  that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
Stephen Hawking

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Brother D

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 05:33:35 AM »
I suppose if you have your life tailored to suit your needs, then it takes less effort to keep on top of it, therefore less stress, more free time to do nothing and you can anticipate events and scenarios.

The dude doesn't really HAVE to do much; make it to practice, restock supplies etc and his daily routine reflects it. He is content and pliant enough to flow with unforseen circumstances that might mess with his Zen thing.

It might appear lazy to outsiders, but the dude just lives a simple life, has (mostly) peace of mind and is happy not chasing a dream he doesn't really want.

BikerDude

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 07:15:20 PM »
I still think it's pretty much black and white.
It's the characters introduction.
And the fact that he is lazy is stressed. Not just that he is lazy but in the running for the laziest world wide.
I don't find any reason to think that there is meant to be any nuance.

Go to the ant you sluggard!
Consider it's ways and be wise.

Out here we are all his children

jgiffin

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 09:45:14 PM »
Quote from: jgiffin
However, that raises the question of narrative integrity. Should we necessarily believe what the opening monologue (by the Stranger, who is also a character in the movie) says about the Dude? Or should we take that into account but also consider what we see, first-hand, the Dude do? I think it's the latter. The Stranger's comments are as indicative of his personality as the Dude's personality.

Here I have to say that the film is not Holy Writ. It's not Dudeist Law.

The film is the source of an example of a particularly Dudeist individual.

I think we are back to avoiding dogma again.

Early in my life (some twenty to thirty years ago) I gifted a friend of mine "The Tao of Pooh" another fine example of an attempt to express Taoism in western terms.

He loved the book but when I next visited his house it was festooned with images from the Disney "Winnie the Pooh" cartoons.

He had completely missed the point, the Taoist point, and embraced what I can only call "Poohism".

A classic example of mistaking the finger pointing to the moon for the moon itself.

This I think is the case with the film, it is merely the finger pointing to the moon.

So in answer to your question;

Quote from: jgiffin
However, that raises the question of narrative integrity. Should we necessarily believe what the opening monologue (by the Stranger...

I would say it doesn't matter.

Again all IMHDO of course.

My quoting of this is gonna be fucked up cause I don't know how to quote stuff selectively and interject my salient points. But, for the most part, I agree with this criticism. I don't think what the Stranger says is dispositive, either of the Dude or of Dudeism. And I certainly didn't mean to posit TBL, itself, as inalienable writ. It's illustrative, and entertaining, but only part of the much, much larger whole of Dudeism. But there is still much we can learn of ourselves, and our Dudeist and non-Dudeist tendencies, by analyzing the Dude and TBL.

BikerDude

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2017, 05:50:34 AM »
It seems to me that the movie may or may not be sacrosanct with respect to the tenants of dudeism.
But it clearly MUST be with regard to the character of the dude. The question is "is the dude lazy?"
The dude doesn't exist in the real world. He is a fictional character and 100% of what can be said about his character must be taken from the flick. The flick tells us unambiguously that the dude is lazy.

If we just want to attribute whatever attributes we find pleasing to the dude irregardless of all evidence then we might as well just be simple self deluded Christians.

There are rules. This isn't Nam.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 05:57:17 AM by BikerDude »

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Kanantus

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2017, 07:41:49 AM »
I once heard the phrase: "Economy of motion" in regards to martial arts but it also seem to fit The Dude. In martial arts economy of motion simply refers to only using the necessary force and energy to overcome an opponent and don't waste time/energy on fancy katas or what have you. That's kind of what The Dude does - he only uses the necessary force to get what he wants ie. to lie on his rug, bowl, white russians and occasionally some coitus. The problem is that in the West that's not good enough - you must be busy all the time and just do it! So in contrast to the Nike slogan The Dude may appear laziest in Los Angeles county and high in running for laziest worldwide.  ;)

Maybe he is lazy - I can't see The Dude spend lots of time cleaning his house (aside from when the goons trash it), do laundry, wash his car etc. We also never see The Dude cook or eat even if he owns a cookbook. So there is that.  8)

But the way I see it (and yes, I'm new to Dudeism) it's an attitude and not a time management planner. Just take it easy is in regards to your own life and is not about what others do.

jgiffin

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Re: Is the Dude lazy?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2017, 11:33:24 AM »
The dude doesn't exist in the real world. He is a fictional character and 100% of what can be said about his character must be taken from the flick. The flick tells us unambiguously that the dude is lazy.

I agree. But it isn't the flick that expressly says the Dude is lazy - it's the Stranger. (Unless we think it's only a coincidence that the opening narration is in the Stranger's voice and speech patterns). That's only part of the flick. We have to look at it in the entirety. And, in the entirety, at times the Dude is lazy and, at times, he's pretty damn motivated. So, sure, the Stranger's perspective is relevant to the inquiry (particularly given his quasi-omniscent role) but it's not conclusive.

 

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