by Ralph Steadman
“I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn’t know I could commit suicide at any time,” he told me many years ago, and I knew he meant it. It wasn’t a case of if but when. He didn’t reckon he would make it beyond 30 anyway, so he lived it all in the fast lane. There were no 1st 2nd 3rd and top gears in a car — just overdrive. He was in a hurry. These long, strange nights. Drive your stake through a darkened heart in a red Mercedes Benz. The blackness hides a speeding tramp. The savage breast pretends. Ooooh, Yes! A scar heals black in the neon lights, Through weird and twisted nights, Headlights spear approaching cars, Black needles spear the eyes, Through weird and twisted nights, But never mind the nights my love, because they never really happened anyway. So we wrote in a Beverly Hills house one drunken night. I wrote the stanzas — he wrote the chorus. “Don’t write Ralph, he said, You’ll bring shame on your family”. ‘Those Weird and Twisted Nights’. Those warped and civil rights. Never mind the dogs my love…etc….That was the song.
Football Season is Over
No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt
― Hunter S. Thompson
Interview with Rev. Dudely Noted of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last 17 years, or you’re too young, you’ve probably seen the movie “The Big Lebowski”. I have a sweatshirt that I wear quite a bit that says “The Dude Abides” on the front of it, and I get stopped at least 3-4 times a day when I do, from people asking me if it’s from that “Dude” movie. Many people know who The Dude is, but most don’t know that there is a religion (or lack thereof) based on the ideals of Jeff Bridges’ character in the movie.
The practice is called Dudeism. The church is called The Church of the Latter-Day Dude. The Reverend Dudely Noted is one of Dudeism’s more popular priests due to his YouTube channel Dudeism TV and his Facebook page of the same name. Gonzo Today’s own Donnie Casto II sat down with the Reverend this week to get the real scoop on the movement happening within The Church of Latter-Day Dude, comparison’s to the Gonzo ideal, and life in general. Donnie and I are both ordained Dudeist Priests and took great pleasure in working on this interview together. So put on your comfiest bathrobe, jesus creepers with socks, and pour yourself a White Russian. Kick back, abide, and enjoy the ride, man…
Donnie Casto: Let me go ahead and say thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Including myself, there are, I believe, two other ordained Dudeist priests at Gonzo Today. I have some questions put together that you are free to expand on as you wish.
Rev. Dudely: It may be the slowest growing “ism”…but its marvelous, man! And thankee back, Dude! Really dig the whole Gonzo thing.
I read in an article that right now there are more Dudeist priests in Ireland than Catholic priests. In your opinion, what makes Dudeism resonate more there, at the moment’ than here in the states?
Well dude, I am sure that with everybody being so uptight and the powers-that-be are real reactionary, it only makes sense to take ‘er easy and do nothing. It is the only way to really keep things positive. You know, that and well… White Russians.
White Russians and the occasional J. I’m sure some of us can take comfort in that. What exactly is Dudeism, in your own words, and what led you to really begin to identify as a Dudeist?
Fucking A! I tend to take comfort in that myself. You don’t see a Dude blaze a J and go crazy. I had a real bummer of a stretch. We can all have ‘em, but a coma, failed relationship…it was like the plane crashed into the mountain. So when I was bored I was looking up some Lebowski stuff and saw The Dudely Lama interview on YouTube. This was Fall 2013. And it was far-fucking-out. I just went. “Fuck man, I gotta look into this shit!”. By February 2014, I decided I was getting ordained and really wanted to help, you know, help Dudes be of their time and place. In my area of the planet, you cant go marry people or help on a more “ism” like way. Continue reading
We were sitting in a bar in Aspen, Colorado, almost 20 years ago, I remind Ralph Steadman, when he first told me that he’d become a cartoonist because he wanted to change the world. It wasn’t the first time he’d made this declaration and it wouldn’t be the last. But it’s a mission statement that seems horribly apposite this afternoon, as we sit in the living room of his house near Maidstone, Kent, watching live news coverage from the print warehouse where Said and Cherif Kouachi, the killers of the Charlie Hebdo artists, are making their last stand.
“It is interesting that you should mention that remark today,” says Steadman, “because, looking at what has been happening in Paris, I now feel that I have succeeded. I did manage to change the world, and it is a worse place than it was when I started. Far worse – an achievement I had always assumed would be impossible.”
With the exception of a brief radio interview on the day of the shootings, Steadman had declined to join the throng of commentators jostling to share their opinions on the tragedy. Just as I arrived, he had spurned an invitation from a radio station in Lincoln, Nebraska. “As soon as this thing happened,” he says, “the phone started ringing. I don’t know why.”
“Probably,” I tell him, “because people perceive you as precisely the sort of . . .”
“. . . bastard who might draw something that would severely displease somebody because they could not see the joke?” the 78-year-old interrupts.