The Dude abides

Cover of "The Big Lebowski"Cover of The Big Lebowski

After I cancelled a date last night (something I may or may not write about at some point) I was left at a loose end. It's not unknown for me to be home alone on a Saturday night, but it's usually something I've planned and scheduled. Sometimes it's just nice to have a nice meal and then sit back and watch a good DVD or maybe some sporting event you've been looking forward to. That was not the case last night.

As is so often the case when plans change last minute I felt a bit aimless. I had a light meal and then I wandered around, watching a bit of TV, reading the paper, speaking on the phone. I ended up at my Mac for a couple of hours re-rating songs on my iTunes and refining my playlists – always fun, but hardly exciting.

I wandered out of my study at a little after 9. After checking the TV guide I quickly established there was nothing worth watching – as Bruce says, 57 stations and nothing on. At that point I went to plan B which was to check some of the shows I had recorded previously, but none of them appealed, so plan C it was.

Plan C was going to the bottom of my DVD drawer to find one of the DVD's I had burnt at sometime in the past and not yet watched. I actually intended to watch a retro favourite of mine, a minor classic from the seventies, A Touch of Class. Don't ask me why, but I loved this movie growing up, thought George Segal was great and Glenda Jackson just the acerbic, quick witted and intellectually sexy woman I favoured. All that and I couldn't find the damned DVD.

My hand instead lit upon The Big Lebowski and after a moments reflection I thought, yep, that fits.

I'm tempted to claim that The Big Lebowski is one of those movies you either love or hate, except that wouldn't be true. It's one of that type of movie if that counts for anything. I figure it's going to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. Likewise it has cult following and figures in a lot peoples lists favourite ever movies. I like it a lot, but I don't lurv it.

It was the perfect movie for last night. I watched it again laughing at the convoluted, slightly screwball plot and the great characters, slightly crazy Walter with anger management issues; John Turturro in his hilarious (somehow 'hilarious' always feels an ironic concept these days, though I don't mean it here) cameo as the purple clad, hair-netted pederast Jesus; the German nihilists; and of course the Dude, Jeff Lebowski.

I tend to think there is a little bit of the Dude in all of us, and if there isn't, there should be. I watched it again feeling a little wistful myself, yearning to let myself go and become the happy, slacker slob that the Dude is.  He goes bowling with his compadres, he cruises, he drinks his white Russians and has the odd acid flashback, and he's happy getting around in his bath robe and shorts. He's a good dude, easy and fun. He doesn't ask for much and is happy with what he's got – until someone pees on his rug.

I went to bed happy. At my best, or worst, I'm just a complete a slob as the Dude, and that seemed something to be proud of. Remember, the Dude abides.

PS A somewhat strange rumour I've heard is that Jeff Bridges is going to team up with the Coen brothers again for a remake of True Grit – yep, the John Wayne classic. The Dude as Rooster Cogburn? I'd like to see that.

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