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Author Topic: Hmm . . . that some kind of Eastern thing? Far from it.  (Read 2267 times)

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Nolan Hofstadter

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Hmm . . . that some kind of Eastern thing? Far from it.
« on: July 04, 2013, 04:22:53 PM »
Verily, verily I say unto those who have ears to hear, "Hear me now and believe me later!"

by 528-491=(p.)37 of GEB

"New information has come to light."  Fifteen fucking years later!   No wonder a sequel is not in the making.  For included in all of TBL's religious symbolism, the Brothers Coen embedded a retelling of a 1st Century Jewish Story -- The Gospel of John (euphemistically, the 'Gospel of Light').

Let's travel back in time to a place far from the East ("far from it," says The Stranger) to Ancient Palestine after the Exodus, to the Land of Milk & Honey (milk all over the toilet [remember Honey Buckets?]), to a place where there could have been a chariot repair shop named Ben Hur Auto Repair (the sign emblazoned with a Roman Chariot [Can anyone decipher the only non-English text on that sign?]).
The Coens delivered us to a cinematic koan (oy!).  You have to relax the mind enough to experience the connotative level of the script.  Only then do you realize that this film noir is actually GEB-like, beckoning , "I am a puzzle.  Solve me if you can."   To represent scriptural elements, they used everything-and-the-kitchen-sink of analogies (see YouTube: Surfaces and Essences): strangely familiar plot points; name meanings; visual icons; written, verbal, and lyrical allusions, and other languages.
Check out these etymologies:

JESUS:  Donny (Greek for "God's Gift") Theodore (Celtic for "world rule") Kerabotsus ('care abouts us'? [listen closely to Goodman's pronunciation]).
JOHN:  Jeffrey (German for "God's peace") Lebowski (leb is Hebrew for "heart" or "soul" [of man]; owski Polish for "place of").

PETER: Walter (from Old High German Walthari containing the elements wald "rule" and hari "army, warrior") Sobchak (?).
MAGDALENE:  Maude ("woman from Magdala," "mighty in battle").

THE "MISANTHROPIC" JESUS:  The Jesus as preached by the likes of Phelps, Falwell, Robertson, and {place the name of your favorite religious nutcase here}.

JOHN THE BAPTIST:  The Stranger (Sam Elliott).

Benito's Taco Shop (Late Roman for "Benedictus").

Ford Torino (Torino another name for Turin).  Found in Van Nuys, CA.  Donald James Lynn of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Van Nuys studied the Shroud of Turin.

Further Decodings

Scene 8   Jesus

Donny says (three times):  "I Am The Walrus."

From the Beetles' I Am The Walrus (1967):  "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."

John 17:23 (KJV):  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; . . .

Notice that The Dude and Walter are occupying bowling lanes (lines/verses) 23/24 and Donny bowling lane (line/verse) 25.  Notice also Donnie peering through the triangle formed by The Dude's left arm.  Just maybe we can 'triangulate' in order to decode this scene:  1) I Am The Walrus, 2) John 17:20-25, and 3) The Dude's exclamation, "Jesus!"  Donny is Jesus.  That is why only Donny can say elsewhere, "I'm throwin' stones tonight!" 

Scene 13   A Visit from the Stranger

The Stranger:  "Well, a wiser fellow than myself once said,  "Sometimes you eat the bar, and  . . . much obliged . . . sometimes the bar, well, he eats you.""

Bar in Aramaic means "son":  "Well, a wiser fellow than myself once said, "Sometimes you eat the Son, and  . . . much obliged . . . sometimes the Son, well, he eats you.""

John 6:56:  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

Scene 14  The Dudes Checkup

In Maude's abode we find some 'utensils' used for the Crucifixion: nails by way of Autobahn's album Nagelbett ("bed of nails," pictured), the Cross (The Dude states, "Hey, man, why don't you listen occasionally.  You might learn something."  And when we listen we hear playing in the background, We Venerate Thy Cross as performed by the Rustavi Choir [See YouTube]), and the Crown of Thorns (albeit stylized, but there it is).

Also in this scene, we see various female mannequins with which 're-wombing' is being studied.  John 3:3-4 Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again."  "How can someone be born when they are old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother's womb to be born!"   
Scene 19  Day of Rest

This scene is strangely familiar to Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane, preceded by Donny's sign of doom (the standing pin followed by Walter's droning on about the pending war and something about "fig eaters" [although the dead fig tree does not appear in the Gospel of John]).  Common elements include:  Roman Soldiers (check out the head gear on those guys), a ransom, man drops to the ground, sword, right ear severed.  Walter kneeling over a dying Donny states, "We got help chopperin' in.?  See YouTube: Angels of Vietnam.
Scene 21 The Dude Abides

John 21:20-23 Peter, turning round, sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned at supper on his breast, and said, "Lord, who is it that delivers thee up"  Peter, seeing him, says to Jesus,  "Lord, and what [of] this [Dude]"  Jesus says to him, "If I will that he abide until I come, what [is that] to thee?  Follow thou me."


John 21:25 (KJV) And there are also many other things which the Bros. Coen did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.


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