How can society produce more Dudes and why do we need more of them?
Unfortunately, dudes have rarely been recognized as a needed ingredient in the great big In-N-Out burger of life. Too often they go unrecognized for the visionaries they are. Instead, they’re often regarded as losers — you know, deadbeats, people the square community don’t give a shit about.
Our schools are specifically structured to produce efficient workers. Even so-called “special schools” which claim to find the hidden potential and secret gifts of our children really just exist so that oddballs can become high wage earners too. Dudes see through this at an early age and learn how to get through it without destroying their uniqueness in the process.
Instead of seeing them as losers, society could learn from its dudes. Unlike most people, great dudes somehow survive being ground down by the system. They skillfully manage to stand strong against a society that has no use for them, that in fact tries everything it can in order to destroy them. How do they survive sixteen years of schooling and still keep their unique individuality? Like a salmon constantly swimming upstream with everything against them, dudes have the wherewithal to constantly remain themselves. It’s a miracle that even one of them survives the journey.
So how can we teach this dudeness to our children” — assuming, of course, we actually want to produce individuals who can think for themselves and be happy, but might not get bumped up into a higher tax bracket. One can’t produce a dude the way you can a robot or a clone: There are too many unknown qualities that make them so human and unique. Choosing to go against the common flow and follow their own path takes character, and a person’s character is the ultimate achievement in life — not money or position. What constitutes a person is not the crap they surround themselves with — not even their grades and achievements, because these are often merely a product of fulfilling the expectations of others. What constitutes a person is far more simple: their everyday acts and decisions. A dude is an expert of the everyday.
They have special schools to help kids who are gifted in music, math, art and even being mentally handicapped. What about a Dude School? It’s a nice idea, but the problem is this: if they had special schools for it then there would be nothing for them to stand outside of, to rebel against. The Dudeist rite of passage is to go through the school system and find the inner strength to keep one’s uniqueness intact. Like a caterpillar going into a cocoon and struggling — if you help it out, you kill it. But if it survives it becomes a butterfly, or what-have-you.
According to Zen Buddhism, what we learn as “the way” is only a finger pointing the way. And it’s a finger with bullshit stuck to it. To see past the bullshit can’t be taught, because then it only becomes a variety of bullshit itself.
So, if not a school, is there anything that can help proto-dudes survive all that shitty finger pointing?
The firm foundation of knowing that you’re accepted somewhere sure can help. Lebowski seems to know he’s loveable, which is why he doesn’t need the approval of others. That allows him to be invulnerable to their attacks and insults and demands that he “get a job, sir” or not “be fatuous” or “stay out of my beach community.” He has good friends, admirable hobbies (bowling, driving around, the occasional acid flashback) and a room that is well tied-together. Presumably, he had similar things when he was a little Lebowski as well.
A Dudeist development program would try to make sure that latent little Lebowskis everywhere start off with those fundamental necessities. Those little brats would then have the necessary means for a truly higher education. And proud we’d be of all of them.
Dennis Gillman is a Dudeist palm reader based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For more information or to schedule a reading, please visit www.palmism.com.