Part III could not have been completed without the invaluable input and collaboration of Ian Orti, the author of The Olive and the Dawn and L: and things come apart. He can be found here. You want to go to there. He’s giving stuff away.
A quick review for those who have just joined the discussion (though if you weren’t such an Asshole, you’d click the links above and read the first two essays. But, whatever. Asshole.) Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were assholes, then some asshole started painting on cave walls and writing poems and dancing, then came the Renaissance, then Foucault birthed MFA programs, pulling all sorts of Assholes from their parents sweaty basements and into universities where their Assholeness was given a diploma.
So, where to now? Evolution is a scattered beast. Even Darwin will tell you that back in the day amoebae were popping out of the ocean and becoming monkeys all over the place. That’s why we have different races and animals. And Russians. While some breeds of Asshole were popping up in 14th century France, there were different species of Assholes pulling their DNA from apes all over the planet, and perhaps on Mars. Of particular note were well known Assholes such as the Kangaroo Island Emu, the Pallid Beach Mouse, the Stephens family of Crawfordville, Georgia, and the aforementioned Russians.
But when considering the Asshole, it’s important that we discuss Assholes that were evolving simultaneously around the world, not just in Russia. One of these species of Asshole, though showing origins in many different locales, became a prominent Asshole in the west, and in particular in the past half-century in the United States, Canada, and parts of Colombia. Its origins are muddled. Some in the scientific community believe the first evidence can be found in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. Other contend that it can be traced to dolphins, orcas, lions, the Harris Hawk, or perhaps crocodiles. All can agree that this species of Asshole is a pack hunter. I am speaking, of course, of Dudes.
Part III: Dudes
It’s very important that we are able to differentiate between a dude, or the dude, and Dudes. Separate the dude from the dudes, the wolf from the pack, the man from the men, the Jeff Lebowskis from the Jackie Treehorns. Intriguingly, they have very little in common besides etymology. A dude is your buddy who feely buys rounds of drinks, reads Yeats, and digs Uncle Tupelo. A dude is a girl friend who sets you up with her cool friend and tells you your poetry is boss. A dude takes you to the bar at two in the afternoon on a Tuesday because you need it. A dude abides. Dudes travel in packs and treat objects like women, man.
The first evidence of Dudes is likely in the first Asshole Adam and the serpent. It’s hard to know for sure. It’s pretty much universally understood that Dudes travel in at least packs of three. The Magi were certainly Dudes. Back-up singers. Blind mice. And of course are prominent in Arthurian legend.
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table were Dudes, evidenced by their perpetuated and exaggerated existence through folklore. Also, they dug hanging out in a group, had their own clubhouse, and wore similar outfits. The Knights of the Round Table were the house league hockey team of its day, and participated in activities of Dudes such as homoerotic hazing, watching pornography as a group, and eating fried foods. King Arthur was their Alpha Male, and within most construct of Dudes, and Alpha Male can be found. And, it goes without saying but, Alpha Males are Assholes.
“Three Blind Mice” is the nursery rhyme of Dudes, and represents one of the first known gospels of Dudes. The rhyme’s inspiration was born of the reign of Queen Mary, and specifically her burning the Oxford martyrs at the stake for heresy. Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, were all Dudes. They were Dudes in that they were enablers, promoting and supporting the activity of Dudes such as philandering, divorce, Royal Supremacy, clerical celibacy, and incorrectly citing the Bible to make your point. These activities became the foundation for many contemporary elements of being Dudes.
Furthermore, the passing down from generation to generation of “Three Blind Mice” is a manifestation of the folklore nature of the Dudes, for Dudes require lineage and tradition as both an affirmation of their Asshole ways and a means of perpetuating the species. (This is why the modern Dudes can be found in frat houses, Boston Pizzas, and on hockey teams, but more on that below.) Consider:
Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?
The mice, traveling in threes as Dudes, need to be seen, and celebrated for simply being. “See how they run, see how they run,” is documentation of how Dudes need attention. Additionally, they’re after the farmer’s wife, because Dudes are philanderers. Fortunately, the farmer’s wife (read: Queen Mary) is a dude and takes care of business.
But the true Dudes, the Pack Assholes as labeled by Margaret Mead in her little known 1974 work Dudes and Assholes in Modern Societies: What I Discovered Once I Got Me the Hell Out of Samoa. It was following the publication of Mead’s seminal doctrine that the Dudes took prominence as a species of Asshole. Mead hints at the Arthurian influence, and describes what has become a template for the existence of modern Dudes as Assholes. The prophetic anthropologist wrote:
“They are Assholes, enthusiasts concerning all things medieval, they read Hustler…they scorn art, believe that science will save the world, scoff at everything that was said and thought before the nineteenth century, and ruin their health by experiments in the scientific elimination of sleep. They have Jager Bomb races. Add to it the group represented, the Dudes, defended, advocated by the other of the Dudes, and their teachers, and the books which they read by accident, and the list of possible enthusiasms, of suggested allegiances, incompatible with one another, becomes appalling.”
So what are Dudes now, what has become of the primate of which Mead wrote? Dudes wear white baseball caps. Dudes tuck in their golf shirts. Dudes wear flip-flops in February. Dudes read Maxim, and have copies of it in their unclean washrooms in homes they share with five other Dudes. Dudes know Dudes who sell rohypnol and don’t take the opportunity of that association to beat those Dudes senseless, or call the cops. Dudes are most engineering and business students. Dudes go to McGill or Queens or Western. Dudes play team sports that involve chasing or rubbing other Dudes and showering together followed by persecuting homosexuals. Dudes love persecuting homosexuals. They give other Dudes man hugs, and then declare “no homo” in unison. Dudes think you’re gay. Dudes own watches worth more than my Honda. Dudes won’t drive Hondas. Dudes have eighty thousand dollar BMWs but live with their parents in Oakville. Dudes listen to Nickleback and hip hop, but not good hip hop, exclusively. Dudes watch pornography in groups while drinking Gatorade and eating ribs. Dudes refer to their favourite sports franchise in the first person. Dudes like the Leafs, the Red Sox, the New York Jets, and the Heat. Dudes like Dane Cook. A lot. Dudes write to College Humor for relationship advice. Dudes cheat on their girlfriends. Dudes are horrible to those girlfriends. Dudes roll off those girlfriends after three awkward thrusts and return to playing Grand Theft Auto XXVI. Dudes take their shirts off all the damn time. Dudes vote Conservative like their daddies do. Dudes daddies are Dudes. Dudes mothers do their laundry. Jacks are Dudes. Dudes are attracted to Scarlett Johanssen. Dudes eat pizza for 63% of their meals. Dudes don’t get their first jobs until they’ve finished college. Dudes get married. Dudes have their bachelor parties in Vegas. Dudes get sex from pros. Dudes brag about the lies they tell their wives. Dudes shake their kids and their wives with equal fervor. Dudes don’t call it abuse if it doesn’t leave a mark. Dudes fuck their assistants after work on a Friday and call it a late night at the office. Dudes confuse Bud for an actual beer. Dudes know the words to DMX songs. Dudes fucking love them a good Bruckheimer film. Dudes think that guy who will kick you ass and then buy you a beer is actually a guy worth knowing. Dudes have a guy code that’s higher than the law. Dudes absolve themselves in the collection basket. Dudes tell you how much they give to charity. Dudes do charitable acts in public. Dudes are nice to pregnant women but not mothers. Dudes do the hard drugs because they can’t handle the soft ones. Dudes say pussy and cunt and call the women who reject them whores and sluts. Dudes tell you how lucky you are that they let you off this time. Dudes will let you know how smart they are. Dudes stand tall for country but not the immigrants who made it or who pay their salaries. Dudes will hit on your girlfriend when you’re not around.
Dudes are Assholes.