Winter Slowstice

“That must be exhausting,” (Used when someone explains their religious/philosophical beliefs)

​“Ah, nice marmot” (dope rodent, man) 

​Three years ago, I moved to Boone, NC, the capital of hippiness in the Appalachians. My hair grew shaggy, I’d took up White Russians, and started walking around my apartment complex in a bathrobe. During my pandemic transition into a bum, I got ordained in Church of the Latter DayDude. Mostly, mind you, so that I could marry and bury.

Before I decided to jump into becoming a (honorary) Reverend Doctor of the Dude, I considered The Big Lebowski a holiday movie. Maybe not a Christmas movie, but a holiday movie, nonetheless. The Dude, the ultimate hippy, walking around the Californian desert with long flowing hair, sandals and a bathrobe conjures images of a new age Jesus. Though it answers the age-old question of “Would Jesus Christ be into Credence?” that’s not what’s important here. 

​In fact, forget all the analysis and Christ figure imagery. Today, we’re talking about The Big Lebowski as the central film (shall we say founding myth?), of the Dudeist Holiday, Slowstice also known as the Winter Solstice. The goal of Slowsticeis, as the name might imply, to do as little as possible. The traditions, if tradition is your jazz, is little more than watching the Dude ramble his way through a loose adaptation of The Big Sleep, with a beverage or seven. 

​The movies characters even mirror all your eccentric family. John Goodman’s Walter Shobeck is your conservative uncle, reminding you every twenty minutes how “his buddies died in the muck” for you to enjoy this nice family dinner. Mild, calm Donny is your clueless cousin, while Maude Lebowski fills the roll of the art-school sibling who comes home to explain how the holidays are against the Working Class, while Bunny and Jeffery Lebowski fill the regular old roll of the rich uncle and their trophy wife. 

​So sink into the sofa, light a J, and space out with Jeff Bridges this Slowstice. It’s what the Doctor Ordered.  

Definitions courtesy of the Church of the Latter Day Dude, Dudeist lexicon.

Brooks Shropshire is a horror writer from Boone NC. He’s currently searching for the perfect falafel recipe. He recently became a Reverend Doctor of the Dude. Send falafel tips via Twitter @brookshrop.

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