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Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

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Old 09-15-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
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Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

Interesting take on this great film:

The prescient politics of The Big Lebowski. - By David Haglund - Slate Magazine


"The Big Lebowski, the seventh of the Coen brothers' 13 feature films, begins when two goons break into the modest home of Jeffrey Lebowski and one of them pees on his rug. They've mistaken Lebowski, who calls himself "the Dude," for another, wealthier man of the same name. So the Dude seeks out this other Lebowski in search of compensation for his rug. That meeting does not go well. A few days later, though, the rich Lebowski offers the Dude 20 grand to deliver a $1 million ransom to men who claim to have kidnapped his wife. The kidnapping involves some German nihilists and a porn tycoon, plus a few others. It's a simple story, really.
Just released"><font color=released" /> released">released for a third time on DVD, The Big Lebowski has, in a decade, inspired a following to rival all cinematic cults, complete with http://lebowskifest.com/, http://lebowskipodcast.com/, and http://www.dudeism.com/. At the heart of this denomination is the Dude, brilliantly incarnated by Jeff Bridges as a Zen slob whose three great loves are weed, white Russians, and bowling. And the Dude is indeed a fantastic character. Ten years on, though, the movie's most striking role belongs to John Goodman as Walter Sobchak: a hawkish, slightly unhinged Vietnam vet and the Dude's best friend and bowling partner. Watching The Big Lebowski in 2008, it becomes clear that appreciating Walter is essential to understanding what the Coen brothers are up to in this movie, which is slyer, more political, and more prescient than many of its fans have recognized. Perhaps that's because Walter, with his bellowing, Old Testament righteousness and his deeply entrenched militarism, is an American type that barely registered on the pop-culture landscape 10 years ago. He's a neocon."
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

The Big Lebowski is one of those movies that slipped through the cracks for me, I've always wanted to see it but for some reason I just never got around to it. I recorded it this weekend though, so I'll be watching it very soon.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

Never seen The Big Lebowski...looks pretty funny...I'll be sure to check it out. As for Walter Sobchak, he probably would pass the Monica Goodling litmus test.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
Never seen The Big Lebowski...looks pretty funny...I'll be sure to check it out. As for Walter Sobchak, he probably would pass the Monica Goodling litmus test.

I'm not so sure. She might not approve of his conversion to Judaeism. I think the Philip Seymour Hoffman character (Brandt) would be more her speed.

I was just thinking that if The Dude and Walter represent the two opposing political camps post 60s, then what is the cultural significance of the other characters?

I suppose Donny would be the undecided voter.

The other Lebowski might represent economic conservatism, or movement conservatism.

Bunny (Tara Reid) might represent celebrity.

Maude is Academia.

The Nihilists, well, I think The Coens just liked doing the accent and mocking German pretense, a la Sprockets.

Jackie Treehorn is Hollywood.

Jesus (John Turturro) might be Arabs or any other type that causes reflexive discomfort for many Americans.

Anyone who has seen the film should feel free to comment.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

Matty, Saden: Definitely take the time to watch the movie, it's classic.

70Chip: I would certainly agree with that assessment.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:44 PM   #6
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Re: Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

Watch this movie enough times to memorize the entire script.

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Old 09-16-2008, 11:48 PM   #7
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Re: Walter Sobchak, NeoConservative?

Greatest sleeper of all time, hands down. After a while you find yourself quoting this movie w/o consciously doing it...
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