The Politics of Dude

by on April 1st, 2006

The image of a Dude invokes some of the most familiar and serene images of humanity at large. He is one, fully in touch with his cosmic aura. He possesses a keen intuition and a refreshing capacity to fully fathom the tenderness of moments. A Dude is a dogmatically non-judgmental, approximately sentient being whose most telling trait is his ability to accept all that is bizarre and all that is beautiful (to him). The Dude is a simplifier.

A Dude is a protector of his fellow man and of all that which he believes to be holy: trees, tantric arts, metaphysics, motorbikes, animal rights and altered states of consciousness. A Dude in pain is a poet. A Dude in glee is the precursor to a festival of youthful releases. With his Dudette by his side, the dude chills, pontificates upon freedom of expression, legislates over all that is cool; sometimes, he even gets “jiggy” with it. The Dude is the epitome of the Post-Modern male.

Then it is no wonder, that since its auspicious and encompassing inception in 1968, when it entered the realm of post-modern lexicon, from the vocabulary of California surfer-slang; the Dude has dominated Post-modern history.

Dudes have become peons, porters, playboys, posterboys, pimps, professionals, and presidents.

Dudes have redefined patriotism by campaigning for rape victims in Rwanda, advocating for the rights of endangered iguanas, and worshipping the temple of pro-choice the female human body. Dudes frequently like to get drunk.

Chris Kirkpatrick, a famous dude himself, once declared that, “I’m like a bunch of college guys who got together and said, ‘Let’s make a dude, a crazy dude’.”

Consequently there are dudes that are deranged, dudes that are domestic, dudes that are don quixotic, dudes that are depressing, deep breathing dudes, and democrats that, are also mostly dudes.

Kirstie Alley an American actress has said, “I always feel that there is some dude out there with money that I could fall back on if I needed to.” Kirstie Alley has also struggled with obesity for years therefore it is safe to say that there are dudes on diet.

Today we live in a Republic that vaguely resembles a Republic, but more a Republic that resembles Dudedom. Today we live in a world where dudes dominate food, fashion, and fuck. In this Post-Modern world we thrive in the Politics of Dude.

So then what is it like to live in the realm of Dudes?

As I was walking down the streets of Philly the other day; down 16th. and Walnut; dipping my soul in the wafting fumes of tin box hamburger ovens, homeless urine, and the aroma of the season of spring, singing in my carefree, merry way, Verdi’s La Dona e Mobile, an old Irish looking woman interjected ‘Bravo!’, followed by a dispossessed African American male who quipped gruffly, “this dude is an insane motherfucker.”

As I was walking down the corridors of McAllister hall in University City, a man named Bill, African American shouted out “You are one talented dude. You a good man!” A slender waisted, tight bosomed, tanned Sicilian looking female whom I apparently ignored earlier in the lunch line brushed by me and in that lie of a whisper told her friend, another slender waisted, tight bosomed, tanned Sicilian, ‘This kid is so cocky’. She replied, ‘He’s just an eccentric dude.’ I was singing Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries.

A kid, blonde-brown, long hair, drooping over his eyebrows in locks and curls, wore a red t-shirt with the face of what looked like the president of a Post-Modern country. The portrait etched on the shirt was negated by a slash, and the shirt read, ‘Dude, Bush sucks’.

As I was strolling through the Creese Café, I asked a young man in a suit who wore a breast patch identifying him as an MBA Management student: “Hi there, my name is Alex, I love the sandwich you are holding in your hand, is it challenging to get through the MBA program?” The young man replied, “Dude, I don’t really care. Can’t wait to graduate and earn back the grands and get my Cadillac.” This dude was getting a degree.

The Politics of Dude then paints a wide and extensive swath of Post-Modern society. Dudes come in all colors, all occupations. Dudes drive the economy and buy new products. Almost all dudes have an opinion. Those that do not, have an opinion about opinions.

Dudes draw the demarcation line between right and wrong. There are dudes on fast track on corporate tiers. There are dudes on welfare and dudes on the street.

‘Am I a Dude?’ I ask a Goth girl sitting next to me in the computer lab in University City. She says, ‘You are weird’.

In the Politics of Dude, I am a minority with a song in my heart and a dollar to my name. In the Politics of Dude, I am as ubiquitous as anyone.

‘Dude! Someone stole my Vote.’

Alexander Rai