Ok, so this coming Saturday’s "Burning Dude" event is not actually a festival. It’s more of an easygoing bonfire for Dudeists in the Los Angeles area, in which an effigy of the Dude will be affectionately burnt, much as one would burn a jay. This could be the start of a beautiful Dudeship — we hope it might repeat in other locations. We asked the organizer Rev. Dave Strong to share some of the strands in his head with us: What was the inspiration? Are you employed, sir? Is this a weekday? Here’s his reply:
I’ve been a practicing Taoist and Dude for years, but only recently found Dudeism and became an ordained Dudeist Priest. As I began to share with others how I’ve learned to remove stress, guilt, and frustration from my everyday life, I started to search for a powerful symbol that embodied this message.
Recently, I was looking through a friend’s latest Burning Man photos on Facebook. I’ve always wanted to go to the festival, but it’s a LOT of preparation! There is a checklist (like 4-pages long!) of stuff to bring and wear and eat and blah, blah, blah — plus the advance tickets, travel to Nevada, a week in the dust, etc… Way TOO MUCH EFFORT for lazy Dudes like me! So I thought, what about those of us that prefer to take things easy and as they come? Where’s our festival of expression? How about the first ever "Burning Dude?"
Friends and I burn legal bonfires in the pits on Dockweiler Beach, just below the LAX airport runways with jumbo jets blasting off overhead. My vision is a good group of Los Angelinos Dudes and Bunnies driving down to the beach at sunset to enjoy a bonfire — in our BATH ROBES! It’s the new Toga, Dude!! After a brief invocation, we’ll light up a plywood effigy of the "Burning Dude." Guests are also encouraged to burn a personal item as a symbolic way to purge out old energy and make way for new life. And that’s that! The beauty of this plan is in it’s simplicity!"
My goal is to have a good time, spread the faith, and to see more ‘Burning Dudes’ popping up across the country by next summer. Either way, we’ll all have a good fuckin’ time, Dude!
— Dude Reverend Dave
So head on over to Dockweiler State beach around 5pm and enjoy the sunset with some like-minded compeers. Here’s the Facebook event page for all the info. A follow up article will be posted here and photos of the participants will be immortalized across the sands of time. Or at least just across the sands of Dockweiler beach.
Each to their own I guess; European (well, UK) Dudes will be confused. We generally enjoy burning an effigy of a figure of contempt – on November the Fifth we torch an effigy of a notorious Catholic – or an especially loathed politician. I would have thought that the idea would be to purge oneself/society of undude-liness; a nihilist (in effigy)or a fuckin’ fascist from Malibu, perhaps. Maybe even TBL himself (although the wheelchair may present a problem).
Ah well, good luck with the ‘affectionate burning’ – Dudes with nylon bathrobes don’t stand too close to the fire.
Dave Strong says
Far out Man! Thanks for the article Duder!! We’re building the Dude effigy today and will send photos!!!
The Dudespaper says
yeah, it’s the same in the states, the effigy thing. perhaps effigy isn’t correct. more like “burnt offering” to the spirit of Dude. whatever those burning man fellas are trying to do – that’s what this is. they’re not actually saying you should burn men or anything. not sure what they’re saying though. lost my train of thought there…
Yeah, I appreciate that no one intends (unless they are tea-baggers) to burn real people, Dude. I understand that this is a fun event – but the symbolism is somewhat askew to my old world sensibilities. Burning an effigy, even in fun, is heavy symbolism: burning an effigy of the Dude is something I’d expect from Christian/right-wing foamers… reactionaries. However, I understand that it’s just for kicks, as I said, and I hope you have a fun, safe time.
Incidentally, the burning man thing is old world, too: a huge cage-like (in the form of a man) structure built to hold pederasts, thieves, murderers and anyone the Chieftain is pissed-off with. Then it is set on fire. Marshmallows optional. Abide.
I guess – at a Californian stretch – I could see your ceremony as symbolizing the Kundalini Serpent uncoiling, firing-up all the chakras (in the Dude) and the Dude attaining supreme Dudeness – through the symbolism of the sacred flames. I guess I could go for that :-)
Dave Strong says
The burning Dude effigy is a bit too radical??
Now that’s fucking interesting man… the Dude does not want to offend! I agree that anything life-like or resembling a cross or crucifix is in bad taste, but my ‘effigy’ is planned to be jigsaw cut from one flat piece of plywood and maybe detailed with markers — very non-lifelike.
I’m playing off the success and name of the Burning Man Festival, which according to Wikipedia, started in 1896 when a few friends met on Baker Beach in San Francisco to burn a 9-foot wooden man as well as a smaller wooden dog. The founder described his inspiration for burning these effigies as a “spontaneous act of radical self-expression” and I doubt he had anything against dogs. My bonfire is a purging event — burn something personal to purge out old energy and make way for new life. Let go of what you think you need to be who you are.
But again, the Dude abides and I’m keeping an open mind about this whole thing. How about this direction…
What was the symbolism of the Dudes CAR burning??
Rev. Budog Dude says
Pretty cool, I wish I could come down home for a visit and attend, this sounds awesome dudes!
No, Dude – I am okay with burning life-like effigies (an effigy is an effigy, Dudes: jigsawed or otherwise – it’s what it symbolizes that’s important); you will be hard-pressed to find any Brit who has not been involved in burning a Guy (usually Guy Fawkes but in reality the Pope)in one way or another.
Yep, I got the ‘Burning Man’ allusion: I understand the renewal thing, no, I don’t think it is in the slightest bit radical. My query (not really even a point of contention)is (and remains): why is it an effigy the Dude?
I just do not understand the reasoning behind it, is all. The renewal/cleansing usually comes from burning that which we do not desire to be part of ourselves/the world (whatever); in this case aspects of our psyches/personalities that we consider undudely – those traits displayed by TBL, fascist cops, Jesus Quintana, Nhihilists – whatever, you’ve got the frame of reference.
Of course, burning ‘disabled’ effigies or one’s dressed as cops will draw a lot of flack. Which leaves The Jesus (the one day you can fuck with him?) or the Nihilists.It just makes more sense to me to symbolically purge those aspects of ourselves rather than those represented by the Dude – which is what we aspire to.
Now, what may be a radical idea would be to burn a Dude effigy with the chakras marked-in – as discussed in an earlier post – with perhaps an extra chakra around his bowling fingers. As the flames reach higher one would imagine that (symbolically) the Dude becomes more Dudely with each chakra that is aflame.
Either and anyway you roll it I hope you have a great time and kudos to you for getting off the couch (so to speak) and putting it together. Abide.
Then again, fuck it, Do Be Do Be Do, brother: here’s some music you might consider taking along with you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_V0jOQymmY
The Dudespaper says
we could also call it “burning an apogee” instead of “burning an effigy.” or is that splitting hairs here?
or “burning an effing a” – saying fuck it to all our problems, man. fuckin’ a.
any other ideas?
:-) Yeah, I like that one, Dude: “burning an effing a”.
I guess a two-faced “apogee/effigy” could be used: one Dude the other a Nihilist/fucker of your choice. This could perhaps illustrate the duality of our nature – and through the ‘holy smoke’ as the flames rise teaches us something about balance, abideing (add holy bollocks of your choice). :-)
A little parallel thinking occured, again (between Meekon 5 and myself), on the Forum:
“. . it could all be taken with the same spirit as the Zen Buddhist axiom:
“If you see the Buddha on the street, kill him!”
The idea being that you would only be in awe of Buddha should you meet him and not practice what he preached.
So “If you see the Dude on the Street, set fire to him!”.” (Meekon 5)
The other (possible) boon in burning the Dude (you see, I’m getting better) is that we will have beaten the reactionaries to it: if – in the future – we clash with any other religion, they are hardly going to upset us by burning the Dude, themselves. If they try I guess we could go along, ourselves with some marshmallows and oat sodas.
Here’s a quote from Koog-meister (Forum) on the subject: “I would say the answer to that COULD BE thought as a release of sorts. Like, we burn the dude (a reflection of ourselves) as a way to say “I’m good with letting it all go”?”
Dave Strong says
Okay, this one has been a lot for the Reverend Dude to think about. Luckily, I’m adhering to a pretty strict drug regimen to keep my mind limber. After weighing the ins, the outs, and what-have-yous, I’ve decided to burn an effigy of the Dude’s car, the Gran Duderino!
“Well they finally did it. They killed my fucking car.”
It was the first suggestion from the Dudely Lama and I should have listened to the wisdom of his Dudness! It’s also consistent with the movie, funny, and easy to understand.
My biggest concern is confusing anyone, especially general public. There could be more festivals next year and I’m not sure photos of flaming human effigies on the local news is the best image for Dudeism. Burning cars on the other hand is non-offensive and may even hailed by the extreme enviros!
However, I’m still a little stuck on the invocation and would like to hear thoughts on the symbolism of the death of the Dudes car. What do you Dudes think??
The Dudespaper says
Far out mang. I dig your decision.
I think that the burning of the Dude’s car symbolizes his last letting go of any hopes of “making it big.” It’s the ultimate renunciation, like the Buddha under the bodhi tree after the demon Mara tempts him with power and violence and women, or the Last Temptation of Christ (the book/film). Thus “they finally did it. they finally killed my fucking car” is the Dude letting go of attachment, a full confirmation of his Duddhahood. Basically “burning the car” is a reminder to let go of what we don’t need, or suffering associated with disappointment.
Dave Strong says
Alas, I see the light! Amen Brother!! The Dude Abides!!!
Very cool, Rev. Dave – may I suggest you post your request for help with the invocation on the forum (asap) – I’m pretty sure you’ll get some Dudely advice. Dudely dreams, guys.
The Dudespaper says
Now this is fucking interesting, man: The dude’s car, a “Torino” could be translated as “little bull” in Italian. Bull sacrifice was commonly practiced in ancient Europe (especially in Italy) as a way to appease the gods.
How fucking cool is that? The Big Lebowski is bottomless.
This is a (slapped-together) tribute to the Burning Day Dudes beach achievement, kudos, Dudes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qOUM-Bjwuk
Dr. Joe says
Wow! Lots of discussion on a simple and unique plan. Are we overthinking this whole burning thing? What is more primal and inspiring than man, fire, an effigy and an oat soda? Keep it simple, Go for it, lay back and enjoy.
Reverend Dude Dave says
Far fuckin out Man! Thanks for the burning video Dude! I’ll take some video next year for sure now. Love the imagery too. Makes me think that I need to build a little more style into this whole idea!!
It was a pleasure, Dude: here’s a new link (revised vid)the other one doesn’t work, now: