In these times of unprecedented media exposure,where people's sense of identity is often dictated by some two-dimensional character, one has to ask one's self if there are any real dudes left.
After many years of observation, I will offer some opinions about all things dude-ness and the state of the modern, elusive dude.
Dude-ness is very different from macho, without delving into the depths of the male psyche, the dude is not a swaggering bag of testosterone. The dude never swaggers, he just strides along with confidence and a slight bit of aloofness and never ever looks at his own reflection in store front windows.
Non-dudes have absolutely failed in this regard. The barbaric stance of the mullet clad lout, though menacing, is a dead give-away to his low IQ ,fight or flight response to social situations. The mullet ( or the nefarious rock-claw for women) is not comfortable in non-familiar situations. His gregarious nature makes almost all social situations un-comfortable. When confronted with these, the call of the mullet is usually "fag!", the mono-syllabic rallying cry of mullets everywhere.
An off-shoot of the mullet, is the white, suburban hip hop non-dude. You've seen them, hats askew, wearing over sized hip-hop outfits , fake gold dangling everywhere. The shuffling hip- hop swagger favouring one leg was most likely learned from endless hours of watching rap videos.
This aggressive product of pop culture is prone to violence and has acquired a strange way of speaking. They address each other as dogs while exhibiting convoluted hand gestures akin to Parkinson's.
The urban metro-sexual non-dude is a recent social development of absolute non-dudeness. Where this emasculating trend began, one can only speculate. The superficial obsession with appearance is only surpassed with the metro's complete lack of knowing how ridiculous they may look. Trendy above all else, the metro is convinced that he looks good, no matter what.
A main feature of the metro is whining. He will whine when he doesn't get his own way, oblivious to the fact that whining makes it worse and any self-respecting dude will find it impossible to have anything but contempt for this pathetic fashion victim.
The dude does not whine, he has enough self confidence to know that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. While not obsessed with looks, the dude likes to look good. It is never contrived , because it comes naturally. The dude probably owns a least one nice suit, but usually looks good in jeans and T-shirt.
The dude's natural instinct allows him to choose cool t-shirts without thinking. The dude will never be seen wearing Metallica or boobie inspector t-shirt. Nor will you ever see a dude wearing enormous white sneakers. You will never see a dude wearing sandals. The dude knows that nobody wants to see men's toes. As for sandals with socks, the dude knows that that is a sign of mental instability.
Never fashionable, always cool, the dude instinctively knows what looks good. The dude always seems to have a good haircut, and dudes that may balding will shave their head , Mr. Clean style. Rockabilly dudes may spend too much time on their hair, but they know it's worth the time and their even willing to put up with a lot greasy possessions, snide comments and angry girlfriends to be their greasy dude selves.
The dude may or may not have a cool car, it doesn't matter to him. He doesn't need it to define his identity.The dude sees it as transportation and a means to move dude-stuff from one place to another. The dude knows how to tie knots. If he has to move a mattress, it will be securely tied to the roof of a car. You will never see the dude with six of his buddies in the car holding on to the mattress with one hand each because they couldn't find any rope.
The dude may ride bicycles. He likes to keep fit and get some exercise. You will usually see the dude on a nice old vintage bike just cruisin' along. It would never even occur to the dude to install a straw basket on the front.
While slowly cruising on his way to do dude-stuff, the dude will always be passed by the Tour de France wannabe Spandex clad bike freaks. They, of course, want to show the dude that they are way faster. The dude is always horrified by the sight of men's butts and freakishly large muscles squeezed into ultra tight Spandex as they speed by. He just looks away until they are gone. The dude is not worried, he will be drinking beer with his buddies soon, and the Road Goofs will be standing around, sipping lattes at the local yuppie coffee place, clip-on shoes clattering on the pavement, shocking passers by with their clown-like outfits that leave nothing to the imagination.
The dude doesn't take shit from men, women, pets or small appliances. The dude is the Alpha male but doesn' t cause shit in public places, he'll generally break up fights instead. While never mean to his dog or his girlfriend, that toaster just better watch it. He calls 'em like he sees 'em.
The dude is always cool on a date. Non-dudes who are not versed in the dude code, will try to pick up your date right in front of you. Although the dude's instinct is to rip his freakin' arms off, he keeps his cool. He'll just switch seats, and kiss the woman right in front of that fool. If the dude finds himself in a woman's apartment, his first instinct will be to check out her CD collection. The dude will keep his mouth shut when he comes across a Billy Joel CD. The non-dude will want to listen to it. Some women will ask the dude to sit when he pees at their place, so as not splash. The dude will casually smile, but pee standing, all the while thinking that no-one alive can force him to sit, unless there is a shitload of whiskey involved.
Dudes usually hang around with other dudes. They are usually appalled by hippies' behavior, conspiracy theories, and flaky, New Age reasoning, and, therefore, avoid them. The dude knows that when he shows up at his dude-buddies' place that there will always be cool music. The dude always brings his own booze and can open a gal's Corona bottle with anything at hand, including a bone that the dog was chewing on. The dude will never, ever drink his friend's last beer.
Here are some questions to find out if you are a dude. This is not a quiz, because a true dude already knows the answers.
1. You gotta wait in line at bar. You,
A) Piss 'n' moan
B) Slip the doorman a twenty
C) You don't wait in line, you know the owner, band etc.
2. On a first date, some woman brings a friend and drags you to see some god-awful hippie band. You,
A) Pretend it doesn't bother you.
B) Engage in a meaningful discussion about music
C) Drink a shitload of beer and act as retarded as you want, then leave.
3.Your girlfriend wants to take you camping. You,
A) Think it will be a great way to commune with nature
B) Flatly refuse
C) You bring a shitload of beer, put yourself in charge of the fire, carry a big stick to keep
everyone away from your fire (Fire mine!)
4. Your computer won't work. You,
A) Scream at it
B) Call tech support
C) Crack a beer. Fix it.
5. Your toaster won't work. You,
A) get all sad
B) Plan to buy a new one tomorrow
C) Smash that fucker with a 16 oz. ball peen hammer, bend a wire hanger make toast on the stove.
6. Some squeegee punk wants to wash your windshield. You,
A) Get hysterical and tell him to fuck off.
B) Politely wave him away.
C) Get him to squeegee the entire car for two dollars.
7. Some hippies are playing bongos outside your window. You,
A) Shut your window.
B) Yell at them to shut up.
C) Grab a bongo, play it just to show them how much they suck, throw some meat at them, go get a beer.
8.You need shoes. You,
A) Make a day of it at the mall.
B) Make your own out of hemp.
C) Go for a beer, go to the store, they know you want size 11 Converse, give money, go for another beer.
9.Some freak-o neighbor asks you if you will be attending some hippie street party.You,
A) Say maybe.
B) Tell them you're busy.
C) Look 'em straight in the eye and say "No, too many hippies". Enjoy the shocked expression, crack a beer, crank the country.
10. You slip and fall down on the sidewalk (maybe you're drunk, may you're not). You,
A) Shout and curse.
B) Start crying.
C) Get up real quick, look around to make sure nobody saw you, get the hell out of there, go home, find the band-aids, crack a beer ( whiskey if you need stitches).
Here are a few dudes past and present
Left to right; Thomas Edison, Count Basie, Levi Strauss, Jack Daniel, Link Wray, Dwight Yoakam.
Well, friends, that's my spin on it. I hope I have shed a little bit of light on the matter. Now it's up to you to find the dude-ness within you.