No Frame of Reference?Musings from the Arch Dudeship
Hola, Dudes. I hope this latest musing finds you takin’ ‘er easy where ever you are in the the strikes and gutters of life. If not, well, I hope you find some comfort in knowing that we here at St. Da Fino’s Virtual Shrine of Our Special Lady are doing what we can to just take it easy for you, man.
That’s why we’re here, after all. I mean, I know some may see us as just deadbeats that the square community doesn’t give a shit about. But is that all we are?
Well, yeah, in some respects. But there is more to us than that. A lot more. At St. Da Fino’s, we have devoted our lives to abiding with all Dudeists of promise but without the necessary means for a, necessary means for a sense of community in an un-Dude world.
And it’s getting un-Duder and all the time, it seems.
Real reactionaries are out there fucking things up for everyone; people whose thinking has become too uptight are going way over the line. The financial news keeps triggering occasional economic flashbacks to 1929. It’s enough to make you wonder along with the Walterist school of social analysis: “Has the whole world gone crazy?”
Times like These Call for a Big Lebowski Community
That’s why we here at St. Da Fino’s do what we can to cultivates a literal connection for Dudeists, especially through a new technology that permits us to do very exciting things in interactive prayer software. Fabulous stuff, man. So far, there’s been a purty good response from Dudes around the world who, until recently, felt they haven’t had a prayer.
In fact, I just checked with the boys down in the Prayer Lab, and learned they’re working in shifts to process all the requests we’re receiving. They even tell me they have some leads on what the top prayer concern happens to be at the moment: work, jobs, pimping your soul for the man, or whatever you call it.
That’s not surprising. Like most people these days when it comes to employment, a lot of Dudes are feeling fragile, man. Very fragile. Lotta concerns that their jobsons will be cut off. Conversely, some Dudes can’t even find a job that ties their lives together. Then there are those who feel like they may end up face down in the muck of a dead-end job they’ll never chopper out of.
Making matters even worse are all these rich fucks and phony, goldbrickin’ asses waltzing around town looking for handouts and leaving members of the US Congress asking, “Where?s the fucking bailout money, shitheads?”
It is, indeed, a bummer, man. But we’re not here to dwell on the negative energy, man. What?s the Dudeist perspective on all this?
Well, the Dudely Lama has some sage advice on Dudeists choosing vocational paths that will help you westward your career wagon. But I’m talking here more about the employment stress many Dudes are feeling: losing a job, finding a job, keeping it real in an un-Dude job.
Given the circumstances, it won’t do any good to resort to time-honored Dudeist proverbs like “You can’t worry about that shit,” or “Life’s too short.” Although valid and true, sometimes platitudes like these are dead in the water when applied to life’s more daunting questions.
Like the Dude when his head was dunked in the baptismal toilet, we have to plumb the depths a little more here because the answer’s down there somewhere.
Are You Employed, Sir?
I suppose first it’s good to get down to cases. What do we mean by the word “employ”? Well, the dictionary says it means “to make use of; to keep busy or occupied; take up the attention, time, etc. of.” Now, that’s interesting, man, that’s fucking interesting. So, if I understand it correctly, working is basically a scheme where employers use you, keep you busy by distracting your attention, and then gobble up much of your time here on earth.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t take comfort in that. It’s no wonder that the Dude isn’t interested in being employed. It’s not that he can’t achieve on a level field of play; it’s that he rejects the whole game. It’s him drawing a line in the philosophical sand.
As Dudeist compeer and loafer extraordinaire Utah Phillips once said:
You’ve got to own what you do, rather than work and let somebody else make the profit off of it. And you’ve got to fight in this culture to hang on to your own soul, to hang on to your own creativity? — I looked back on my years of employment with absolute horror. It was bondage, wage slavery. Sure, if somebody else is making the rules every day, it’s a little bit easier, and you can turn your mind off. But none of my parts — my intellect, my curiosity — was being served by that experience.
This is Our Concern, Dudes
However, not all of us have achieved the level of sublime Dudeness (or Utahness) where we can be so gainfully unemployed.
So, what’s a Dude to do when it comes to paying the Marty when the rent comes due? Knowledge is power. You might want to check out resources like “Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery” (CLAWS). They’ve got the whole rethinking-what-it-means-to-work thing going on, and that’s cool. If you want help to stop worrying about that shit, check out Anxiety Culture, a repository of anti-work philosophy, among other things.
But generally, in these tough economic times when meaningful job prospects are dark’n a black steer’s tookus, there really aren’t many easy solutions.
There is, though, the Dudeist soul-ution. No matter what job (or lack of job) situation you find yourself in, you?ve gotta “fight to hang on to your own soul,” as Utah says. Unfortunately, way too many bright, flowering young men and women in our generation enter the work world only to have the employment bear eat them.
It may be just my opinion, man, but what helps Dudes abide in shitty job situations and eventually even eat the bear is remaining true to what they love to do most. The bear, well, he’s strengthened by feeding on your fear, but your soul is nourished by continuing to do what you love even when you don?t have a job or one that sucks.
Dudeist prophet Bill Hicks observed that everything comes down to one choice, Dudes: “No effort, no work, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.”
No matter what your current circumstances may be, always choose to find some way to do what you love, man. That’s what really ties your life together.
Because even at those times when you feel you haven’t got a prayer, if you embrace what you love and refuse to let it go, you can’t help but enjoy the ride no matter how rocky it may get.
The Dudely Lama says
You know, it seems that more than anything else, rents are the problem. It would be so much easier to live without working much if rents (and mortgages) weren’t so expensive. And they’re becoming a bigger and bigger portion of the average household budget.
According to Tom Hodgkinson’s book The Freedom Manifesto, rents in the middle ages were so low that people generally only worked a few days a month to pay off the rent and had the rest of the time free to do what they wanted, both for leisure and for growing food or earning money to buy it.
When the internet came out there was this promise that people could live anywhere and telecommute, which would have made it easier to live. You could buy a nice place in the boonies instead of big bills in the city. Only it hasn’t exactly turned out that way. Hardly anyone telecommutes and now even the boonies can be expensive.
Maybe we should start a Dudeonia micronation where one of the rules would be massive rent control. If only we could find a nice bit of unused land which no one wants to defend.
Irish Monk says
As lovely as Winnipeg is this time of year, I would move to the new motherland in a heartbeat!
I give thanks to Our Special Lady everyday that I’ve been blessed with a job that I love that also gives me lots of free time. It wasn’t always this way, dudes, and I make damn sure to not take it for granted.
I’m also thankful that my mortgage payments are substantially cheaper than what most of my friends are throwing away on rent. Living in “the hood” has it’s perks.
I may not have the necessary means for a necessary means to be living the ideal dudeist lifestyle yet (being married w/children is a hinderance), but I believe that it’s a mental outlook.
Anyways, nice article, A-D! Peace be with you and your Brethren Shamus. Catch ya later on down the trail
The Arch Dudeship says
Fuckin’ A, man. “It’s a mental outlook.”
Regardless of our life circumstances it’s important to cultivate and maintain a Dudeist outlook the best we can.
Regarding the issue of rent/mortgage: I do think high rents/crushing mortgages are the reason it’s so difficult to create bohemian enclaves where creative, artistic types can gather and interact. Maybe I’m just out of touch with such enclaves, but it seems that if there are places like that in America they don’t last very long. Like Greenwich Village, they become very costly and exclusive real estate once they become “hip”.
As an interesting concluding thought, a friend pointed out to me recently that the root word for “mortgage” is “mort” which means death. He told me what the connection was with home ownership, but I’ve forgotten.