The Big Lebowski: A Moral Review E-mail
Written by Chalupa   
Saturday, 07 March 2009 12:24

The Big Lebowski: A Moral Review

by Chalupa
Lebowski Podcast

It can sometimes be unnerving and embarrassing when someone, whose opinions we value, questions something in our lives. It can be something serious or quite trivial. Say your best friend makes fun of your favorite shirt or new haircut. What if your co-workers cracked jokes about your desktop background? Has a crowd ever yelled something offensive at you from a sidewalk or street corner? It's not fun having your ego and self-worth tested.

One thought we've had for a Lebowski Podcast episode is to critique The Big Lebowski from a moral standpoint. Even though I love the Coen Brothers' 1998 masterpiece, I can tell you exactly what my mother would say if she saw it. She wouldn't appreciate the swearing, she wouldn't like the sexual elements, and she would really dislike Walter Sobchek. How do you defend a film like this to someone with different film tastes and tolerances than your own? It can be hard finding some common ground to bridge that gap.

Apologists are people who defend things that are brought under public scrutiny or persecutory examination. The most commonly known type is the Christian apologist who has taken on the task of defending and recommending his faith to others.  Obviously, the Church is not the issue here. What I want to ask is, how would one defend The Dude? How can I justify my favorite movie to people who disapprove of its content? How can I bring my opponents to see the redeemable morals where they see only drunkenness, substance abuse, and debauchery? Even though the term apologetics can leave a bad taste in some mouths,  I'm wondering how I can be a Lebowski apologist.  I'm looking for the redeeming qualities of The Big Lebowski.

Putting all personal feelings aside, what would you say to someone who brings up an issue about your favorite film? I must admit that Jesus Quintana was one character that immediately stood out to me after my first viewing. Would I really love “the Jesus” if he were a character in The Woodsman ? That guy's a child molester, too. Now that’s one movie I do not recommend to people. What about how Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women? Does that really uplift the lives of our mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers and special ladies? Walter has some pretty serious anger management issues and The Dude, bless his heart, would probably make a good candidate for Dr. Drew's reality TV show, Celebrity Rehab. Even The Stranger makes a point of trying to lovingly correct The Dude:

THE STRANGER: I like your style, Dude.
DUDE: Well I dig your style too, man. Got a whole cowboy thing goin'.
THE STRANGER: Thankie, there's just one thing, Dude.
DUDE: Whassat?
THE STRANGER: D'ya have to use s'many cuss words?

So what are we to do? Is this even a battle we should choose to fight? What groups of people would you advise not to see The Big Lebowski? I have some answers, but am more interested in what you have to say. We will be doing an episode on this topic in the near future and I would love to include your input. As always, we appreciate your notes.

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