Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, January 04, 2021

It’s practically high heresy in the pop-cultural spheres that I frequent to admit that I don’t particularly care for The Big Lebowski. It’s not from lack of trying — I’ve sat down to watch the movie a half-dozen times, but never could attune myself to its rambling groove. Fact is, I’ve never watched more than the first half without bailing on it.

Maybe I need a study guide in the ways and means of His Dudeness, to get in the proper film-watching frame of mind. Toward that end, the academic world is now teeming with dissertations on the movie’s White Russian-fueled leitmotif.

Thankfully, some of those eggheads are showing restraint:

When putting the book ["The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies"] together, [Indiana University professor Edward P.] Comentale said, he and his co-editor “immediately cut out all the papers celebrating the Dude as a hippie hero in a postmodern landscape.” That’s a sober choice. Admirers of the Dude are already dangerously close to becoming Internet-age versions of Parrotheads, the weekend-warrior Jimmy Buffett fans who tip back margaritas — and embarrass their children — while wearing flip-flops, board shorts, Hawaiian shirts and coconut bras.

“Trying to impress your academic colleagues and also make a dent in the popular market, that’s a fine line to walk,” Mr. Comentale added. “We wanted these essays to press the connection between the goofy and the profound.”

I’m not sure The Dude would abide to this drill-down, but there’s no stopping intellectual exploration.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/04/2021 05:17 PM
Category: Movies, Pop Culture, Publishing
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