"Sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talking' about the Dude here. Sometimes there's a man. Well, he's the man for his time and place."
Those men are Adam and Lucky. That time is this Saturday from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. And that place is the Independent.
Saturday, at the Independent, is Lebowski night. Sure -- we're celebrating the movie with six cocktails, three by Adam and three by Lucky, all named after a different character and all made or presented in a style that, well, if you've seen the movie, then you will immediately associate with the character after whom it is named.* Yes, they will be creative. Yes, you will laugh your ass off upon their presentation. Yes, they will frequently be served with a quip from your bartender that will likely be a great line from the movie.** And, yes, I know what each of these cocktails is, but I've been sworn to secrecy by our bartenders (that not withstanding, I will tell you that one drink's presentation will involve sound played through a speaker just for its fortunate recipient). And, finally, yes, I have procured NEARLY every L.P. that contains a song that is played in the Big Lebowski.
But beyond the massive amount of nerdy and cultish creativity that this event has inspired in us, which hopefully you will appreciate, this event is a celebration of a world view. Frequently, Lebowski is celebrated as a lifestyle: the washed-out 60s hippy turned 90s California "bum," complete with no dress-code, laziness that would make a sloth blush, an affinity towards day-time pot smoking, and a desire to do very little other than enjoy life by "bowl[ing], driv[ing] around, and the occasional acid flashback." But, the movie (and indeed the Dude's character) is trivialized by a celebration of the lifestyle itself. What makes the Dude and Walter compelling characters is not their lifestyle, but their underlying world view, which is generally the same, despite drastically different personalities resulting from very different personal histories dating back to the late sixties. As the movie's characters wrangle for their desired share of one million dollars, the Dude and Walter's world view comes into conflict with the varying ethos of the other characters in the movie, each of which represents a different generation, each of which represents a world view prevalent in LA in the late 80s and early nineties. Although the Dude and Walter, like we all do, struggle to understand and remain faithful to their own ethos from time to time, they both always come back to their jointly held, grounded belief: that at the end of the day, no matter how shitty the world around them is, they can always say "fuck it, dude. Let's go bowling." That world view -- i.e. that it is best to leave the rich and powerful to fight their own power struggle -- is pure, and the movie makes that clear by juxtaposing it with the hedonistic greed of Jackie Treehorn, the hypocritical ambition of the "Big" Lebowski, the nihilism*** of Uli and his gang, and the pretension of Maude. Things only go bad for the Dude, Walter and Donny when they chase after money. They should have stayed at the lanes, where they have friends, lively conversation, good music, beer, "caucasians," and that good sioux city sarsaparilla. It's not escapism on an emotional or psychological level. It's escapism as an ethos -- a conscientious objection to material culture.
At the independent, we hope to offer that ethos. We do our best to remain simple but substantive. We don't cave to big beer and liquor brands that offer us things we need, but that come with their logo all over it and strings attached. We do our best to stay low key and not keep up with the Joneses. We do our best to play good music. We do our best to inspire good (if frequently non-coherent) conversation. We do our best to foster friendship.
As such, when it comes time to celebrate the dude, we at the Independent abide.
Join us this Saturday and celebrate the Lebowski world view with us.
* One sentence.
** They're all great lines.
*** This nihilism makes for my favorite exchange in the movie: VERY, VERY NOT SAFE FOR WORK (unless your co-workers are down with F-bombs and hate nihilism as much as Walter does): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_29yvYpf4w