Poppy and The Dude

“This won’t stand, man. Like, this aggression will not stand,” said Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski…

…not merely parodying the scripted pomposity of George Herbert Walker Bush’s media sound byte excuse for the Empire’s next colonial adventure, but altering its meaning to the point of obliteration.

The stern, school-marm moral-ism behind the dead journalese mass-media summoning of the masses to commit, or support the commission of, mass-murder, thereby legitimizing its amorality — i.e. “nothing personal, just business” — through hierarchical distribution of complicity, with the addition of one word per each recursive line, extremely personal. Not merely The Dude’s outraged demand for justice, his speaking the truth of his identity as a human being of essential value, despite his position as a non-essential “useless eater,” but  transforming, via his useless mouth, the homiletic obfuscation drummed up by Bush’s speech-writing team into a unique work of “art” using the tools provided for him by the time/place/culture that formed him (sixties-era Southern California).

Bush’s televised utterances, recorded and translated into every conceivable language for “history”, were composed by a corporation of writers; hence, not his to begin with. The Presidential fiat that legitimized the statement as an official pronouncement by The Office, not the man in Office, further separated George Herbert Walker Bush, “Poppy,” from the reification of digital characters read from a TelePrompter to Official Speech transmitted from the body of the man whose body belonged not to himself, in his official capacity, but to The United States of America, that fictional body whose metaphoric Medusa-head, The White House, is yet further abstracted as a word-symbol, a metonymn for “The President,” not Poppy Bush.

The President is not a fixed instance but a global variable. Present throughout the entire script or program for four to eight years, but not bound to the same constant value represented by whomever’s turn it is to leverage the global power of America. As a prominent personage, he’s part of history and sees all and controls all (or serves as proxy for Real Power – who or whatever that may be), but he does not, and can not, increase or decrease his base value. His words and actions are not his, rather he himself is a  temporary value occupying the PRESIDENT variable.

Ultimately, PRESIDENT = NewGuy until he’s expelled from the machine by natural (s)election or pissed-off handlers/controllers.

The Dude, on the other hand, is a local variable — extremely local — never leaves SouthernCal; hence, he not only has power to immediately effect his small environment of related connections, but changes with Time and experience. Every moment, in fact, he becomes a different person. The Dude becomes a completely new value with each moment.

TheDude = TheDude

TheDude = TheDude + 1

The value “1? can be representative of any new experience or the moment in which it, or even a new kind of thinking or consciousness within TheDude, occurs.

To use the “dynamically typed” Class Hierarchy of languages like Smalltalk:

SELF = TheDude

SELF = TheDudeNew

And now:

SELF = TheDudeNew + 1

and so on and so on etc. etc. blah blah blah, bleh bleh bleh.

So The Dude is not only an active agent in his small part of the script/program — what’s it called, a protagonist — each new insight/experience/realization concerning the workings of his environment and the relation of himself to that environment creates literally a “new Dude” and his SELF changes incrementally.

People can change with time and experience; even Poppy Bush, in his capacity as Poppy Bush, not The President, which is literally an empty suit, an object hard-coded with certain “values” and subject to change in the form of premeditated corporate/government policy, not life, experience or any other phenomenon that would leave an impression (knowledge?) on us human beings.

“Fuck it. Let’s go bowling, man.”

Adam Engel lived for your sins -- and he lived well! -- in Fear-and-Trembling, Brooklyn, one of the last gangrenous toes of NYC not yet severed and replaced with a prosthetic gentrification device. Engel has traveled the farthest regions of cyberspace, where Dark-matter meets Doesn't-matter; and Anti-matter, despite its negative connotation and dour point-of-view, excercises rights of expression protected by Richard Stallman's GNU/Free Software Foundation and CopyLeft agreement, if nobody and nothing else. Having spent many years studying Boobus Americanus (Summum Ignoramus), allegedly the most intelligent mammal on earth -- after its distant relative, Homo Sapiens -- in various natural habitats (couch, cubicle, bar-stool, ball-game -- televised or 'real-time') -- Engel has thus far related his observations of and experiences with this most dangerous of predators in three books -- Topiary, Cella Fantastik, and I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague (the combined international sales of which have reached literally dozens, perhaps as many as seventy, with projected revenue to top three digits by decade's end! Truly a publishing phenomenon). Engel is Associate Editor of Time Capsule Books, a division of Oliver Arts & Open Press, published in limited editions for a tiny, highly specified, though eclectic, target-audience: people who actually read books. He can be reached at adam@new.dissidentvoice.org Read other articles by Adam, or visit Adam's website.