Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The Abide Guide: Truly a book for our time and place

In 1998 the Coen Brothers released a movie about a laid back, white russian slurping bowler named the Dude.  This movie was The Big Lebowski. Upon it's first release it didn't receive critical acclaim, in the way of it's main character it just casually meandered it's way on to our cinema screens and didn't really achieve a cult status until it's video & dvd release.
Like many cult movies, various offshoots and ideas grew from the love of the film, and probably the greatest idea developed from a movie is the subject of my blog today.
Maybe it's my artistic temperament, maybe it's just living in this financially driven world, but life can get a little too heavy on occasion for us all (a perfect example of which is my last blog regarding the greed of our postal service). When I find myself ranting a little too much I've often considered reading a self help book, and indeed I have even tried. I've also read up on the teachings of the Dalai Lama and considered yoga as an option. But for me these concepts are a little too detached from the chaos around us and it is far too easy to become distracted.
However, last year I discovered Dudeism. Back in 2005 a chilled out fellow by the name of Oliver Benjamin founded the church of the Latter-Day Dude, a religion based on Jeff Bridges character the Dude from The Big Lebowski. It gave me a bit of a chuckle, what a great idea.. the concept of a religion based on a movie character really seemed no more crazy than the sound of any other religion. I flicked through the pages on the website at www.dudeism.com and discovered this huge following of people that just wanted to ignore life's pressures and take it easy.
Later in the year Oliver Benjamin & Dwayne Eutsey released a book called The Abide Guide, a self help guide to life using the teachings of Dudeism. I managed to get a copy and I have to say it is possibly one of the most enjoyable reads I have ever had, hilarious and informative.
Worded almost in the Dude's mellow manner, this book is full of humour, following the movie's narrative and pointing out the Dude's way of dealing with life's complications.. usually by ignoring them.
In all seriousness I did find by kicking back and reading the wise words of the dude life didn't seem to be quite so difficult.. ok, I know life for me isn't really that difficult anyway, I'm a cartoonist after all. But I do have a wedding approaching so many of you know how that can upset the temperament of even the most cool minded among us.
So put down that 10 steps to happiness book and pick up a copy of the Abide Guide, maybe watch The Big Lebowski first, but you could soon find yourself relaxed enough to wear a dressing gown in public, sipping a carton of milk right off the shelf in the supermarket..

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