Saturday, March 15, 2014
That Selfie Really Tied The Internet Together, DID IT NOT?
I like The Big Lebowski a great deal.
It's passed through many phases of public interest. Like Spinal Tap, no one paid much attention to it when it came out. Since it was ignored, those who seek thrills in liking unliked things picked up on it. Vanguard becomes cult, cult becomes church. People now pray regularly in the church of The Dude.
Intellectuals have sought to understand both the movie and the resiliency of the interest in it. Only Groundhog Day has garnered more attempts at amateur and professional analysis of mundane subjects that seem to be important. They aren't, in and of themselves, so you can look pretty silly testifying that you know why it's popular, and popular in that very specific way: grown from seed, not top-down popularity. No one humped The Big Lebowski into widespread popularity, at least not that I can see. Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, and Bieber, and Madonna, and lots of other people you could name are completely contrived assaults on your attention and your wallets. Lebowski is the other way 'round. The audience demanded that the makers of the entertainment pay attention to it with as much vigor as they bring, well after the fact. I think Star Wars is kinda like it in a way; I'm fairly certain George Lucas thought he was making a trifle. It is a trifle, but it made a trillion or so. It's not like Lebowski, though, because Lebowski is a good movie. But the subtexts and touchstones that resonate with the audience were likely hidden from the view of the makers in both cases. They discovered gold while scattershot mining for tin.
I am not going to dissect The Big Lebowski here. When you take apart the frog to see how it works, the frog can't jump for you anymore, and I need this frog to jump. I want to enjoy it like a normal person. I want to enjoy it like an Al Green song. I don't want to know what key it's in.