Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Duderino Groove

So I’m at the Duder Bar beating Bub and this 300 pound Chinese guy, name of Yang, who came in with one of those fancy, screw together pool cues, in a game of Fuck Your Buddy. As most of you probably know, Fuck Your Buddy is a sophisticated bar pool contest involving three players, each of whom has five balls to call their own…1-5, 6-10, 11-15. The object is to knock the other guys balls in while leaving the cue ball where the other guy can’t make your balls if you miss. The winner breaks. We are playing for a buck a game and, so far, I have run the table three times. I am about to break again when Yang speaks.

“You’re sure on a roll Hier…Hier…”

“Hier…ony…mus,” I state as I straighten up after another killer break. “Yeah…I’m in the Duderino Groove…”

“The what?” Yang queries.

Bub can’t resist, “Hieronymus is a Pin Dudeist, so I guess the…”

“Bub…you’re out of your element, Bub,” I interject. “The Duderino Groove is…”

“What the fuck is a Pin Dudeist…a DUDE who plays fucking PINBALL?” Yang interrogates, enunciating ‘pinball’ in such a way that it sounds like a case of the clap.

“Well, the Dude DOES just happen to play pinball…but the Pin in Pin Dudeist refers to the noble sport of tenpins,” I answer as I make another of Yang’s balls, “ …just think of Pin like you think of Zen…you know what Zen is don’t you Mr. Yang? And Dudeist, OF COURSE, refers to one who espouses and prolestizes Dudeism. If you don’t know what Dudeism is, Mr. Yang, look it up…”

“Yang is my FIRST name…bowling, huh? Obama bowls. So what is the point of Dudeism Mr. Hieronymus?”

I make a great combination shot on the seven.

“Reverand Moondog to you Yang…SIR. Point? No POINT. The Dude just ABIDES, man…and AS the Dude ABIDES…most of the time the Dude is in the Duderino Groove too, man. You know…the Dude is really comfortable in his own skin…in the zone, man. A great pinball artist once said…”

I love quoting stuff to assholes like Yang.


“…’one can enter a groove where there is no physical break between thought, action, and consequence. There is a zen of pinball, when the paddles become direct extensions of your brain, and you no longer feel the little buttons on the side of the machine, nor the spring as you let loose another ball.’…that’s the “His Dudeness Groove-ness” he’s speaking of, man. Same thing with pool…”

I smack in another ball.


“…the cue is alive…part of your arm…you are not shooting pool, man…pool is shooting you. Same with music…the drums play you…the guitar plays you…and El Duderino Groove-O can be like a contact high, man. I was lucky enough to be on the same stage…not playing music, but shooting film, with Art Blakey once…and also Jerry Garcia…and these Dudes were ALWAYS in the groove, man…in the pocket…and looking through the viewfinder…after awhile there was no separation. I was not shooting the music. The music and my shooting it were not two. Just like now and the six ball…”


Whack! The six…three rails into the corner.

“So, you’re stoned all the time?” REVERAND Moondog. What's the REVERAND bullshit all about anyhow?

“Fuck no the Dude is not stoned all the time. But there is a Dudeist State of Consciousness, or DSC, that the Dude abides in MOST of the time…if not interrupted by assholes who piss on his rug…that I like to call the Duderino Groove…like I keep saying, man. You know…flow like a fucking river. The universe plays the Dude, man…the Dude is the instrument that Doctor Universe wails on at three in the morning. Do I make myself clear…YANG…what’s your last name Yang?

“Yang,” says Yang.

“Yang Yang?”

“Si, El Duderino…or is it El Padre Duderino?”

“Oh…a linguist! Well, do you dance Mr. Yang Yang?”

“But of course…every well educated gentleman knows how to da…”

“Can we see you dance Mr. Yang Yang?”

“Here? Now?”

“As they say…if not here…where? If not now…when?

I put some money in the jukebox. Creedence. I put down my cue and begin to weave…way inside the old Duderino Groove-O now… around the table, down the bar and back. I continue to sway and grin as I circle Yang.

“Since you’re a well educated gentleman, you know what Fred Nietzsche said don’t you Yang Yang?”

“Well, I…”

“I would believe only in a god who could dance…said Fred. Dance Yang Yang…for god’s sake…dance!”

I grab Yang and whirl him around. By now, everybody else in the Duder Bar is moving…looking like one giant many armed, many legged single Duderino Grooving creature…holy rolling to Creedence…

Finally, Yang drops his bullshit and spins, dervish style, down the length of the bar and into the street, laughing uproariously the whole way…looking for all the world like some marvelously crazed dancing Buddha.

We hear wild applause and cheers from the assembled passersby in the street outside…

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Welcome to the DUDER BAR...man...

Ever since my “Laughing Buddha Trout Fishing In Mountain Stream Tattoo On Bald Biker Named Buddha” Suntory-satori, the North Beach bar I have been a regular at for decades has taken on a whole new shine. Now it seems like some kind of exotic, spellbinding power spot instead of a local dive. I have been to the Buddha Bar in Paris…and it can really dial you down to mellow while blowing your mind alright…but nothing compared to the hit I now get just walking into what I have re-named the Duder Bar.


So in I go…for the first time since the “Suntory-satori” occurrence. A blast of some kind of weird energy hits me in the face as I go through the door and knocks me back a step. Down the bar in the shadowy light a number of people are crowded around a tall, bald guy in Buddhist robes. Looks from a distance like the Dalai Lama, but how could that be?

The DUDER BAR, North Beach

The bartender’s voice booms out, “Hey Heironymus…get you ass down here…somebody you gotta meet!”

I squint as my eyes adjust to the darkness and stumble down the bar toward Louise the bartender. Couldn’t be the Dalai Lama…the Dudely Lama?…naaa…the ultra-reclusive, mythical Dudely here? The group of people part and a grinning from ear to ear Bruce Willis looking guy sets what looks like a double bourbon on the bar, puts his hands together and bows.

“Say hello to Chogyam Dada,” says Louise. “He knew you were coming and has he got a tale to tell…been hanging out with The Dude…”

I return this guy’s bow and give him a good look up and down. He drains his bourbon.

“…and Walter and Donny”…says Chogyam, finishing the thought in a deep Mississippi accent.

Louise shoves my usual double Caucasian across the bar and pours Chogyam another bourbon.

“So, are they down the street at the motel waiting for your ass, man…?” I reply sarcastically. “Where you from anyway…Chogyam? You don’t talk like Tibet…”

“Don’t be such a hard-ass Hieronymous…he was just telling us about all this far out stuff,” chimes in the ever present and always enthusiastic ‘Bub’.

“Well, please continue then, man,” I insist as I take a heavy pull upon the Russian.

Chogyam does so, “I’ll back up a little bit…the Cliffs Notes version is this…fictitious characters in books, plays and movies…are thought forms which actually exist and become more and more independent…and stronger the more they are ‘exercised’…the more attention is paid to them. For example, Hamlet has been exercised a lot because he has been played over and over in all the productions of the play.

“These characters, and other thought forms, exist in what I call the Imaginal Realm…the ‘Otherworld’…which interacts with what we call reality all the time. One way these characters show up and hang out in our world is in dreams…now pay attention because this is the important part. We interact with them all the time but usually don’t recognize these folks for who they are…unless we have a lucid dream…a dream where we realize we’re dreaming, then can take the time to talk to these strangely familiar ‘people’ who turn up, or we invite in…then remember it later.

“Tibetan Buddhism has a practice called Dream Yoga that we use to play around with lucid dreams for all sorts of reasons. With a little practice we can get several people in on the same lucid dream, and they can talk to each other in the dream…and talk to the thought form beings they find there, or bring there with their group intention to do so…

I begin to see where Chogyam is going with this, “So Chogyam, now you’re going to tell us…”

“Let him fucking finish Hieronymus,” Louise insists, so I shut up.

“Thank you sir,” Chogyam intones graciously in my direction. “Anyhow, a group of us at the Dream Yoga Institute are huge fans of The Big Lebowski…go to Lebowskifests…get ordained…so now I’m a Buddhist Dudeist…and so on, and what not…so we figure…we do all this dream yoga practice for spiritual reasons…let’s see if we can contact the Dude and Walter and Donny…they must be really chillin’ INTENSLY out there somewhere because of all the energy they get from the fans…people “getting into character” and all. So we did. Kinda strange…THEY don’t quite know what to make of us, or who the fuck we are wandering into the bowling alley looking lost…

“You just said fuck, man…” I have to point out. “I didn’t think a Tibetan Buddhist priest would cuss like that…and drink one straight bourbon after another, either.”

“You obviously aren’t familiar with the work of my teacher…Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, man…” Chogyam grins.


“Far out,” I offer….being familiar with the doings of Chogyam Trungpa, This guy may be OK after all. Full of shit maybe, but OK.

“I’m not ‘full of shit’ Mr. Moondog…as you were just thinking. I can take you to meet the Dude ‘in person’ if you’re willing to work at it a little. May take some time, but it will be worth it.”

Did this guy just read my mind? Maybe he’s not completely full of shit after all. I am familiar with the stuff he was talking about…just never experienced it. I decide to take him up on his offer. I will fill you in about who this guy is, how he wound up in the Duder Bar, and the results of my experiments at the Dream Yoga Bowling Alley with the Dude and company as time goes along.

On a final note for this installment, I’m including an image of the business card Chogyam Dada, who also calls himself the Salvador Dali Lama, gave me as we parted…

Sunday, July 12, 2009


A Pin Dudeist goes into a bar…


“Are you SERIOUS Hieronymus?” I get this question a lot lately. “Are you FUCKING SERIOUS…how can a REAL religion be based on a made-up character…in a MOVIE…in a COMEDY?”

“Just cracking the cosmic joke man,” I reply, with a grave look upon my face.

“Oh…so it’s a joke then?”

“Fuck no, its not a joke…” here I do my best Walter Sobchak impersonation, ”it’s the COSMIC joke…the BIG PRANK…am I wrong?…don’t you GET IT you idiot? A little CRAZY fucking WISDOM, you pederast!”

“Pederast?…So the next thing you’re going to tell me is that Jesus and the Buddha were stand-up comics. What’s a pederast?”

I ignore the question. “Hmmm…not a bad image Bub…Jesus…not “The Jesus” Quintana…the OTHER Jesus…and the Buddha doing stand-up on stage at God’s Big TOE…”

“God’s Big TOE?”

“God’s Big Theater of Everything, Bub. So what if The Dude’s a ‘made-up character’ as you pointed out in such a shitty and dismissive fashion…so what if ‘The Big Lebowski’ IS a movie…a COMEDY? Movies now are like telling tall tales around the fire used to be thousands of years ago…Bub…where do you think your high sounding MYTHS came from…huh? Besides…haven’t you heard “professor”…the universe is made of stories, not atoms….YOU are a ‘made-up character’ yourself. Better watch out…you can be re-written you know…”

Smelling blood, the crowd moves to our end of the bar. I order another double White Russian.

“You’re losing it Hieronymous…”

“Quite the contrary…” I reply, adopting a haughty and superior tone, “You call yourself educated…you MUST know that what you think of as “reality” is a construction…a fabrication…YOU are a fabrication…an illusion, man…” I lunge at the crowd…”POOF!…you’re GONE!…

They jump back.


“…and talk about basing spiritual stuff on highly suspect yarns…what about Lao Tzu?…I really dig his stuff but he never existed…poor Lao Tzu was put together from bits and pieces of several guys in 4th or 6th century B.C. China…your “experts” don’t know which…concocted by those venerable SAGES to give their new Taoism thing a hook to hang its hat on. Doesn’t make Taoism any less powerful does it? And what about Don Juan Mateus?…Castaneda’s coyote man who helped blow the mind of a generation?

HOAX! Whole thing was made-up…still strong stuff though…STILL TRUE like LAO TZU…not to mention the doings of the inimitable Mullah Nasruddin, who is still hanging out somewhere on the other side of history…


...and we can’t leave out JA-HEESUS”

“Jesus?” The crowd mutters with one voice.

“Check it out…‘The Laughing Jesus’ by Tim Freke …if you really want to have you rug pissed on folks. After those guys in Rome converted back in the day, they could not find any real, historical Jesus at all, at all in their hip new religion…just allegorical fables…so they decided to just TELL people that he was a real guy…and make that the official reality…the “you better believe it or be fed to the lions” Emperor’s Reality…to make it different from all the other mystery religion parables and legends JUST LIKE IT that were floating around The Empire…just needed a real dude to tie the room together…you know…so don’t talk to me about made-up characters!”

The bar falls strangely silent. I look around. Did I go too far? Then someone in the back loudly whispers, “Uhhh…far out…man…”

As I head for the john I mumble resoundingly…“As George Carlin once said…I have as much authority as the Pope. I just don’t have as many people who believe it…”

Someone in the audience yells back, “And as Paul Krassner once said…Pope John Paul would have been more popular if he had called himself Pope John Paul George and Ringo…”

“Abide, my brother…” I reply quietly as I wander off into the shadows.


When I return to the bar everyone is crowded around a bald biker looking guy, name of Buddha, who was not there when I left. My buddy, “Bub”, waves me over.

“You gotta check this out Hieronymus. You gotta get one of these…”

Buddha grins from ear to ear as he holds up his arm for me to admire. Tattoed upon it is the image of a laughing Buddha fly fishing for rainbow trout in a mountain stream. I immediately attain Suntory…which is what satori is called when it happens while drinking in a bar.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bodhidharma and Pin Dudeism

Legendary Buddhist monk Bodhidharma who traveled to China around 495 AD is generally credited with the founding of Chan Buddhism...the original Chinese expression of Zen. Bodhidharma, as the tale is told, set up shop at the northern Shaolin Temple, got the unhealthy monks in shape, invented Kung Fu and Zen and then wandered off into the misty valleys of myth and tall tale.

I suspect that Bodhidharma's accomplishments were not limited to the brilliant ministrations outlined above. In a shop near the entrance of the Forest of Steles in Xian many years ago I purchased a rubbing depicting Bodhidharma made from one of the centuries old steles that I had noticed inside. A photograph of the rubbing is presented above for your perusal, analysis, edification and amusement. Since the image clearly...to my admittedly untrained eye...shows the fabled monk holding a bowling ball, not a begging bowl, I am going to jump to the unprecedented conclusion that Bodhidharma...undoubetedly a dude to the core...also was an early contributor to the Dudeist creed...the Pin Dudeist form in particular.

Alternative interpretations entertained...