This week, we had the honor of interviewing Oliver Benjamin, the Dudely Lama himself. If you enjoy the interview and you want to find out more about Dudeism and the Dudeist priesthood, please visit dudeism.com.
TBLS: How’s life in Thailand?
DL: You know me, I can’t complain. It’s pretty hard to complain about life in Thailand, though sometimes I still do. No where is perfect. But for me, Thailand comes pretty close. I really like hot weather and spicy food. Thai people smile a lot and nothing is better for the soul than to see people smiling. The expat culture is really great as well – very Dudeish. In fact no one cares that I started Dudeism because they’re already de facto converted.
TBLS: Are you employed, Sir?
DL: I’ve had a lot of easygoing jobs over the years – graphic designer, copywriter, travel writer. But my current job as leader of an international religious movement is my favorite. Not sure what I’ll do next. I’m hoping to become a rock star at some point but I understand that can be quite stressful.
TBLS: Do you plan to write any more specifically about Dudeism? More Tao of the Dude? Holy Shit II?
DL: I’m working on a few things, but at some point I hope to expand the Dudeist philosophy beyond Lebowksi to appeal to those sad heathens who don’t dig or understand the movie. I’m sympathizing here.
TBLS: Okay here comes a curveball: It has to do with a different Coen Brothers film, “A Serious Man”. The opening frame is a text from the medieval French Talmudist Rashi: “Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you”. I believe this line properly belongs in The Big Lebowski, NOT in Serious Man. Agree?
DL: I think most of the Coen brothers movies have elements of this philosophy in it. Am I wrong?
TBLS: About how many Dudeist priests have you ordained?
DL: About 350,000 worldwide. Proud we are of all of them.
TBLS: The Day of the Dude is March 6, correct? When is Take It Easyster, Indudependence Day and Kerabotsmas?
DL: Take it Easyster and Indudependence Day are at the same time as their standard counterparts (American Independence Day, that is). But Kerabotsmas is December 13, which coincidentally happens to be Steve Buscemi’s birthday.
TBLS: How many weddings have you officiated at? Can you take a guess at how many Dudeist weddings there have been?
DL: I personally have not performed many, largely because few people in Thailand care about Dudeism. I’ve done four. As far as total number, I really have no idea. Something more than a shitload but less than a fuckload.
TBLS: Absolut or Stoli in the White Russian?
DL: I don’t buy into the mystique of vodka branding. So long as vodka is distilled three times, it’s all pretty much the same stuff. Perfect vodka is supposed to have no taste. So basically, it’s water that makes you walk funny.
TBLS: The presidential election is a shit show but weed is legal in two states. Is America becoming more Dude, or less?
DL: I think it’s four, five if you count Washington D.C. And 21 others have made steps to legalize it. I don’t really want to get started on politics as it’s not my role to get involved in that stuff. So I’ll hold my tongue. However, suffice to say that I’m sick of all the aggression out there. I hope that once this election season passes we can all just take it easy man.