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Dudeism

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Dudeism is a religionphilosophy, or lifestyle inspired by "The Dude", the protagonist of the Coen Brothers' 1998 film The Big Lebowski. Dudeism's stated primary objective is to promote a modern form of Chinese Taoism, outlined in Tao Te Ching by Laozi (6th century BC), blended with concepts from the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (341–270 BC), and presented in a style as personified by the character of Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, a fictional character portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the film.[1] Dudeism has sometimes been regarded as a mock religion due to its use of comedic film references and occasional criticism of religion in its traditional sense. However, its founder and many adherents take the underlying philosophy seriously. March 6 is the annual sacred high holy day of Dudeism: The Day of the Dude.

Contents

Founded in 2005 by Oliver Benjamin, a journalist based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Dudeism's official organizational name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. An estimated 450,000 Dudeist Priests have been ordained worldwide as of May 2017 and marriages have been officiated legally by Dudeist clergy in some US states.
Although Dudeism primarily makes use of iconography and narrative from The Big Lebowski, adherents believe that the Dudeist worldview has existed since the beginnings of civilization, primarily to correct societal tendencies towards aggression and excess. They list individuals such as LaoziEpicurusHeraclitusBuddha, and the pre-ecclesiastical Jesus Christ as examples of "Great Dudes in History". More recent antecedents include pillars of American Transcendentalism such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman and humanists such as Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain.

The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernized form of Taoism stripped of all of its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of "going with the flow", "being cool headed", and "taking it easy" in the face of life's difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people. It also aims to assuage feelings of inadequacy that arise in societies which place a heavy emphasis on achievement and personal fortune. Consequently, simple everyday pleasures like bathing, bowling, and hanging out with friends are seen as far preferable to the accumulation of wealth and the spending of money as a means to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfillment.
The Church of the Latter-Day Dude launched its official publication, The Dudespaper, in the fall of 2008. A Dudeist holy book, The Tao Dude Ching, went online in July 2009. It was renamed The Dude De Ching in December 2009 to avoid being confused with an upcoming book by Oliver Benjamin called The Tao of the DudeThe Dude De Ching is a reinterpretation of Peter Merel's translation of the Tao Te Ching using dialogue and story elements from The Big Lebowski.
In August 2011, The Abide Guide—a "Dudeist self-help book" employing life lessons from The Big Lebowski and other sources—was published by Ulysses Press.Written by Benjamin and the Arch Dudeship Dwayne Eutsey, it also contains material by other members of The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. An Italian translation was released in November 2013 under the title Il vangelo secondo Lebowski.
In November 2013, Lebowski 101—a compilation of mostly-scholarly essays edited by Benjamin which dissected and celebrated The Big Lebowski—was published by the Church. Over 80 writers and illustrators contributed to the book.
In April 2015 The Tao of the Dude was published, featuring essays and illustrations by Benjamin as well as quotes from various philosophers and writers throughout history. The objective of the book is to show that Dudeism is a philosophy that has existed since the dawn of civilization.
The Dude and the Zen Master, a 2013 book by Jeff Bridges and Buddhist teacher Bernie Glassman, uses the character as a starting point for philosophical discussion. Asked at a promotional event what The Dude would think of Dudeism, Bridges replied that "He'd be flabbergasted. And he would dig it."

‘Energy: Damo Suzuki’

In 2014 legendary musician Damo Suzuki was diagnosed with colon cancer. Energy is a unique and intimate portrait of his life as he confronts a life-changing illness and attempts to continue his never-ending tour.

Directed by Michelle Heighway ‘Energy’ are currently crowd-funding, with the film due for release in December 2019. 
Although Damo’s struggle with his health provides the film’s main narrative arc, ‘Energy’ also examines the past, present and future of this highly influential musician’s work, whilst also capturing his singular outlook on art, protest, lifestyle and alternatives to mainstream thought.
Equally prominent in the film as an intimate depiction of the loving care given to Damo by his partner Elke Morsbach and their home life together. 
Damo Suzuki and Elke Morsbach 
As Suzuki fights cancer we’re taken on a colourful, thought provoking, humorous and free-thinking journey, which often finds the viewer willing the strength for Damo to survive the operations and begin his beloved touring again.
With animation of Damo's lucid, hospital bed dreams of starvation, riding on motorbikes for food, old cartoons, hypnotised brainwashed birds, fancy hats, mini skirts and medication, Michelle pieces together a beautiful portrait. This is augmented by vintage archive footage and access to his carefully preserved treasure trove of memories, made up of old photos, drawings, posters and more.
“This documentary is a wonderful story of hope and survival. It’s a personal portrait of the life and times of a nomad, poet, unique performer on his very inspiring journey. This has been a really compelling experience that has changed me on so many levels; and I feel this will transfer to the audience”, concludes Heighway.

The enigmatic Suzuki was found by the now seminal band CAN in the streets of late ‘60s Germany, praying and performing bare chested in jeans with long black hair. Impressed and inspired, they asked him to play a show with them that night, with no rehearsal. He did, and the rest is history; this was a pivotal point for Damo and his sense of outsider art, centred around creating and performing with no plan.
(Image above taken from  RedBull Academy . Damo shared a great set of sketches which re creates Damo's back story from the 70's , which was another factor that inspired animation within the feature documentary)
Suzuki is renowned for playing shows that are never rehearsed as part of a never-ending tour with Damo Suzuki's Network, a constantly changing line-up of band members who act as ‘sound carriers’. Damo had been touring the world doing the above for 20 years, before it came to a halt when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.
Damo Suzuki’s never-ending world tour has resulted in some of the most spontaneous and exciting shows in modern music, with the singer enlisting on-the-spot backing bands in cities across the world. 
Michelle Heighway runs the independent production company i4visuals. Michelle is known for her critically acclaimed documentary Mr. Somebody? , which is also a rare intimate portrait that took place over 4 years, this was premiered at Sheffield Doc Festival 2014.

To donate to the film: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/energy-a-documentary-about-damo-suzuki#/

The American composer, who was influential in drone and minimalist music, passed away from throat cancer.

  • Words /
    Andrew Ryce


Glenn Branca has died.

His wife and collaborator Reg Bloor shared the news via Facebook, saying he died yesterday (May 13th) due to throat cancer. Branca was an important figure in drone music and minimalism, known especially for his pieces for guitar, such as the famous Symphony No. 13 For 100 Electric Guitars. He composed on his own and alongside the likes of Rhys Chatham.

His albums Lesson No. 1 and Ascension, from 1980 and 1981 respectively, are influential records in the avant-garde canon. Branca was also an important part of the Downtown New York scene in the late '70s, playing in the no wave band Theoretical Girls, staging bracing solo guitar performances and working with artists like Thurston Moore, Michael Gira, Z'EV and Y Pants. 



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