By Lee Glazier
So, wtf, man?
My last post got over a hundred views and several shares. I just wanted to, ya know, find a nice comfy corner to settle into so that I can stare pensively at ice cubes as they clink around my glass. But for some strange reason, you Dudes have tuned in.
I mean, I’m not even a real person! I’m a pen-name donned by another pen-name donned by another pen-name donned by a some complicated weirdo. It’s not that I don’t like you, you’re really far out, but I just, ya know, I can’t—ah screw it, you talked me into it. Let’s do this.
So, why are there so many jerks out there and how do we, presumably non-jerks, deal with them? Sometimes it seems like a memo went around that said, “Try your best to irritate and/or depress everyone you meet.” I guess, to start with, we have to figure out what we mean by, “jerk.”
Merriam-Webster says a jerk is, “A stupid, annoying, or detestable person.”
But my stupid, annoying, and detestable might be different from your stupid, annoying, and detestable. Sometimes we even dig conceited jerks like Gregory House or other stereotypically cynical geniuses. Maybe the “genius” part balances out the “jerk” part in some cases. Throw in a hidden heart of gold, and we’ve got ourselves a lovable anti-hero.
But day-to-day life isn’t usually like that. The jerks we usually meet aren’t all that smart, and that golden nugget we see might be our own reflection. Still, I believe that, “It’s down there somewhere, let me take another look,” but I’m admittedly naive.
So, with that in mind, I like to remember that everyone has Dude-nature, or Dudeha-nature—the innate potential to Abide. Yeah, it’s just a play on Buddha-nature, kind of dumb right? When someone’s being a total freaking asshole, the best thing for me to do is take a deep breath and either:
1) Try to understand where they’re coming from and why the feel the way they do
2) Remember that they have Dude-nature and that they’re jerkishness is caused by a massive amount of suffering
3) Walk away and go bowling
4) Cut off their Johnson, metaphorically speaking
5) Some quirky combination of the above
I love Dudeism and Buddhism, but sometimes the situation does call for an argument, man. Sometimes we do have to draw a line in the sand say, “This line YOU DO NOT!” Because, Dude, most people don’t call BS on jerks, which might be why they aren’t afraid of being jerks to everyone they meet.
It’s part of our culture to avoid arguments, to let it slide.
Sometimes people need a dose of defiance to show them that they aren’t the only ones breathing this air, that they’re incessant complaining and bullying is stinking it up for the rest of us. Contrary to Dudeist doctrine, I can’t always abide carpet pissers—neither did the Dude. We’ve all got a little Walter in us, a little aggression and stubbornness that balances out the easy-going pacificism and open-mindedness. We’re screwed if we lean too much in either direction, which is what happens if we don’t Abide the situation—if we don’t feel out what the present moment calls for.
Sometimes it calls for patience and compassion, sometimes it calls for no response at all. Sometimes it calls for a well placed, “Screw you, man,” with the understanding that we’re dealing with a broken person who has no idea that their brokenness is just a small part of who they are. If they could take a breather and look at things clearly, they’d be relieved to know that nothing is screwed. The pieces all fit just right; the ingredients are perfectly evened out.
It’s just that we have the habit of picking out and fixating on the flavors we find disagreeable.
“Dude” Lee Glazier is a Dudeist Priest, Zen adherent and Taoist enthusiast from Golden, Colorado. He likes reading, writing, hiking, taking baths, listening to classic rock, drinking White Russians, smoking, and having the occasional acid flashback. The only thing he truly believes is that everyone needs to slow down, mellow out, and unwad their underpants. He feels that that would solve all the world’s problems in a heartbeat. “Do you have the patience to let the mud settle and the water clear?” Feel free to check out his blog, Cluelessly Falling Down A Spiral Staircase (Musings & Misadventures of an Ordained Dudeist).
Editor: Dana Gornall