Quote of the Day: “Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid.” John Wayne
Today, I offer you the opportunity to sit in on a roundtable discussion among three of the greatest characters in all of fiction (and the realm one level stranger than that). At the request of Irvine Redd, TB attempted to arrange an exclusive interview with the Duke, Hunter S. Thompson to be aired this week. But Thompson, through a minion, advised that he had no interest in talking to me because I’d shown conclusively over the last few weeks that I have nothing to say and though he is a devout reader of the site he is fearful and disgusted by the blog’s recent direction and he loathes my poetry. However, he was willing to appear on the site in an effort to get it back on track so long as I could set up a sit down with The Dude of “The Big Lebowski” and Ignatius J. Reilly from “A Confederacy of Dunces”. This was easily done, and below is the transcript of our freewheelin conversation.
TB–Gentlemen, it is a true pleasure to have you all together here in the tepee. I know its a little uncomfortable sitting cross-legged on this rug at midnight, especially for you Ignatius, but it was a clause in the contract Duke sent over.
Duke–I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.
IJR–The day before me is fraught with God knows what horrors.
Duke–Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
TB–Dude, how should I address you? Is “Dude” ok?
Dude–Let me explain something to you. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.
TB–Dude it is. Ok, guys let’s get after it. People are worried these days. So much is going on in the world. How do you feel about the state of our country?
Duke–America….just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
Dude–I’m sorry I wasn’t listening.
Dude–It’s like what Lenin said…you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh….You know what I’m trying to say.
IJR–(Angrily) Leaving New Orleans frightens me considerably. Outside the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins. I am at this moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.
TB–That’s great guys. I wanted to get your take on Micha–
Duke–There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.
TB–But what abou–
IJR–(angrier and loud) A firm rule must be imposed upon our nation before it destroys itself. The United States needs some theology and geometry, some taste and decency. I suspect that we are teetering on the edge of the abyss.
Dude–I’ve got certain information, alright? Certain things have come to light. And you know, has it ever occurred to you, that, instead of, uh, you know, running around, uh, uh, blaming me, you know, given the nature of all this new shit, you know, I-I-I-I….this could be a lot more, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh complex, I mean its not just, it might not be just such a simple…uh, you know?
Duke–Buy the ticket, take the ride.
TB–Guys, let’s get back on tra–
IJR–(getting angrier, louder and gaseous) Canned food is a perversion. I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul!
Dude–This aggression will not stand, man. Mind if I do a J?
Duke–I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.
IJR–(even angrier, louder and gaseouser) They fear me! I suspect that they can see that I am forced to function in a century I loathe!
TB–Please settle down gentlemen. Let’s wrap up. What’s going on with each of you now? And make it fast. It’s beginning to smell terrible in here.
IJR–(rising, shouting, flatulating) WELL WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? THE HUMAN BODY WHEN CONFINED, PRODUCES CERTAIN ODORS WHICH WE TEND TO FORGET IN THIS AGE OF DEODORANTS AND OTHER PERVERSIONS. ACTUALLY I FIND THE ATMOSPHERE OF THIS ROOM RATHER COMFORTING. I HAVE MY NEEDS! YOU MAY REMEMBER THAT MARK TWAIN PREFERRED TO LIE SUPINELY IN BED WHILE COMPOSING THOSE RATHER DATED AND BORING EFFORTS WHICH CONTEMPORARY SCHOLARS TRY TO PROVE MEANINGFUL. VENERATION OF MARK TWAIN IS ONE OF THE ROOTS OF OUR CURRENT INTELLECTUAL STALEMATE!
TB–Um, how about you Dude?
Dude–Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.
Duke–(now conversing privately with IJR) If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up. When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
TB–I think I’m gonna gag.
Dude– (to IPR) Hey, careful man, there’s a beverage here!
TB, Dude, even Duke–(staring blankly at Ignatius, interminable seconds pass)
Dude–That rug really tied the room together.
ed. note–the quotations are attributable to “The Big Lebowski”, “A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole, and various works of Hunter S. Thompson. I have taken a few liberties.