August 18, 2012

"We expect Mitt Romney and the Republicans to outspend us. What I will not abide..."

"... is getting outspent by a margin that negates all the hard work our volunteers are doing."

Email from Barack Obama. I read it out loud and repeat I will not abide. Meade says "The dude abides."

Here's a discussion from English Language & Usuage:
I'm unfamilar with the word "abide" which is famously used the the movie quote "The Dude abides" (The Big Lebowski).

Looking it up in a German/English dictionary makes me believe it's "The Dude lives on", but I heard the word used on a way that makes it seem to be a variant of "approve," as in "The Dude does not abide this behavior."

I hear it used as "to obey" a lot, as in "we must all abide by the rules".

Can someone shed some light into the meaning of "The Dude abides" in the context it's been used?
Here's the top-rated answer:
Some discussions of the movie reference a peaceful, almost zen acceptance, as well as the idea that
The Dude will always be around.
A discussion on Reddit of what "the Dude abides" means has some consensus that it's an
Intentionally vague phrase hinting at the fact that The Dude Lives, in his unperturbable state of dudeness, somewhere.
and that the definitions "accept" and "continue" make sense in this context.

As @wfaulk points out, today we usually use abide transitively to mean things like trusting in, accepting or obeying; so it doesn't mean The Dude accepts or endures a particular thing, but I agree that the phrase still can imply a sense of patience or toleration, even if it's just the way someone waits or continues.

If you look at the etymology of abide, you can see how some of these meanings emerge:
O.E. abidan, gebidan "remain, wait, delay, remain behind," from ge- completive prefix (denoting onward motion; see a- (1)) + bidan "bide, remain, wait, dwell" (see bide). ... Meaning "to put up with" (now usually negative) first recorded 1520s.
Biden!
and going back to bide:
O.E. bidan "to stay, continue, live, remain," also "to trust, rely" (cognate of O.N. biða, O.Fris. bidia, Goth. beidan "to wait"), apparently from PIE *bheidh-, an extended stem of one root of O.E. biddan (see bid), the original sense of which was "to command," and "to trust" (cf. Gk. peithein "to persuade," pistis "faith;" L. fidere "to trust," foedus "compact, treaty," O.C.S. mmi>beda "need"). Perhaps the sense evolved in prehistoric times through "endure," and "endure a wait," to "to wait."
I think you're right: The Dude endures; The Dude lives on.
But The Dude will not abide... or will he? And will he abide Biden?

Should I not call the President "The Dude"? Obama is famous for calling a little boy "dude" when he said "Touch it, dude." And Jon Stewart famously called him "dude." That was back in 2010. It was much debated at the time. Here's Parker and Spitzer — remember them? — batting it around. And here's a WSJ blog:
Was it disrespectful for Stewart to address the president using a term that’s more commonly exchanged between two college guys sharing a bong?
Chooming.
Since the days of George Washington, America’s top leader has been addressed as “Mr. President.” Even Martha Washington called her husband “Mr. President.” Congress at one point considered the loftier title of “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.”...

Then again, Thomas Jefferson once said that he hoped that “the terms of excellency, honor, worship and esquire will forever disappear from among us.”
Yes, it's really not too American to worship the President.



Odd that "The Big Lebowski" has become our prime association with "abide." There was a time, not so long ago, when it would have been the great hymn"Abide With Me":
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.....

110 comments:

Craig said...

http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=earth%20abides&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CGAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FEarth_Abides&ei=iZgvUOrYBoyfmQX8woCADQ&usg=AFQjCNHS_kCDG2J-c1imDr38_JM80TYS1g

Abide this.

Curious George said...

I don't know about all the "Big Lebowski" stuff but "is getting outspent by a margin that negates all the hard work our volunteers are doing."

Obama would abide these volunteers being run a through a wood chipper if it allowed him to be reelected.

MadisonMan said...

I've never understood the appeal of The Big Lebowksi. That was one boring movie.

rhhardin said...

The a- verb suffix turns the verb into a continuing state, as American rural dialect in fact still has it, at least pre-TV.

rhhardin said...

prefix

Roger J. said...

have seen a few Obama bmperstickers showing up around town (not too many mind you)--what I have noted is they say "2012" in big letters and you have to look hard to see "Obama" in very small letters under the 2012--FWIW

phx said...

I always thought of Dylan.

~~Ise taught and brought up here
The laws to abide~~

phx said...

I've never understood the appeal of The Big Lebowksi. That was one boring movie.

What do you know?

Roger J. said...

Madison Man--as a major Coen Bros fan I have seen all of them--while the Big Lebowski may not have been at the top of the list, the only movie I really didnt get was "A Serious Man"

SmartAssets said...

Don't think the spending edge one side has over the other will determine the outcome of the election. Sounds like he's setting up an excuse to use when he loses.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
I've never understood the appeal of The Big Lebowksi. That was one boring movie."

I fell asleep.

Roger J. said...

Smart Assets: perhaps the "crying man" can reprise his performance; that, of course, and racism.

Rick67 said...

"We expect Mitt Romney and the Republicans to outspend us. What I will not abide is getting outspent by a margin that negates all the hard work our volunteers are doing."

I'm trying to parse the logic of this sentence. Why does he expect this? Because Romney has lots of fat cat donors? Hey man it's all about the money! And yet in 2008 when Obama raised more and outspent his opponent what did that represent? He has the support of the American people! I see. And now?

And on NPR they keep quoting Obama campaign talking points - as news mind you - about how Romney is the wealthiest person ever to run for president and is an out-of-touch elitist. I see. Kerry? Bloomberg? Soros? Do these same people care at all if the wealthy candidate is a leftist?

Once again we see a very consistent theme. No principles. What was true yesterday is not true today, but today it does not benefit the Cause. The rule I apply today I did not apply yesterday, but today it benefits the Cause. Heads I win, tails you lose. Truth is very flexible. That by the way is the quintessence of evil.

Back to the quote. So is Romney supposed to "abide" if he is outspent by a margin that negates all the hard work of his volunteers? Is negating the hard work of volunteers only tragic when the volunteers are progressives?

AJ Lynch said...

I tend to laugh and hit the delete button when I get these amateurish emails from www.barackobama.com

William said...

I can't tell if the effort to properly parse the Lebowski meaning of abide is a meta comment on the futility of our search for a source of abiding wisdom or a sincere wish to gain Lebowski's serenity by the earnest study of his words.

Marshal said...

"Abide" is a term you use when you are in complete control of the environment in question. As if you are the sole arbitor of acceptable or not. Apparently Obama thinks we elected him Emperor, which would explain his illegal use of executive orders limiting legislation. When Bush used executive orders far less egregiously than Obama has his leftist critics accused him of an Imperial Presidency. If only they were honest enough to speak up now. I might as well wish for unicorn manure so I can grow ambrosia in my garden.

stolencdz said...

The tolerance aspect comes from enduring despite a transgression or offense. The Dude is tolerant because he abides despite all the ills that might have thrown a less chill dude off course.

So what Obama is saying, perhaps unintentionally but accurately, is his presidency will not survive being outspent by such a margin.

Paul Zrimsek said...

That rug really tied the room together.

AJ Lynch said...

Rick67:

You are right. I was watching CNN Thursday night and the anchor was aghast that the Family Research Council was blaming the SPLC for the shooting. She noted SPLC had put the FRC on its "hate watch" list but saw no significance to that- yet I bet last year she was aghast at Palin's use of bulleyes for targeted Congress districts.

It's like watching propaganda.

Elle said...

I hear it as - "and I won't have it!"

Foot stomp added at the end for dramatic effect.

Similar to when I chastise the small children for not cleaning their rooms.

Hagar said...

You need to take a layover before either of you drive again.

yashu said...

Once again, I find Obama campaign emails so bizarre. Does he think that sounds presidential?

I mean, it's not like it's up to you, Obama. "I won't abide it, I won't allow it, I won't stand for it I tell you!" How does he presume to not permit this to happen?

Who's he scolding here-- the Republicans who're supposedly outspending him, or the lazy selfish Democratic donors who aren't putting up what they should?

When I read "what I will not abide," for some reason the image that came into my head is Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. "I'm not gonna be ignored, Dan."

Chuck said...

It's too damn bad that John McCain, a legendarily crummy fundraiser, was willing to "abide" getting outspent by 2 to 1 in 2008; and by a much worse margin than that in swing states.

Rusty said...

MadisonMan said...
I've never understood the appeal of The Big Lebowksi. That was one boring movie.


It was a backward look at the 60s and the hippies/revolutionary movement. The realization that the whole thing was trivial, selfcentered and boring.
John Goodmans charachter sums up the sixties nicely with the line," They're nihilists, Donny"
having come of age in the 60s and witnessed the hypocricy and lies of the revolutionary movement up close(Port Huron Statement), it was funny as hell.

Cedarford said...

I take away something entirely different than the Dude and how Obama was using "abide".

I consider it an Imperial term...

As in,

"Queen Victoria has indicated she will not ABIDE pestiferous French efforts to gain Indian hemp and sisal fibre via the Seychelles without a proper commission being paid to the East India Company. The French have been made to understand the Queens wishes in this matter and all subjects of the Empire shall cheer it pip-pip."

"Gender Studies Prof Smedley Arncott announced that due to female offense at the term...that "mankind" would no longer be an ABIDED word in his classes or on papers submitted. 'The correct term is humankind', Smedley instructed his subordinates."

Paddy O said...

Sounds like Obama is terribly vexed.

WV: fucause

Now that's a very useful term!
"Why?" "Fucause!"

creeley23 said...

I always heard that line from The Big Lebowski as an echo from Ecclesiastes:

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

-- Ecclesiastes 1:4 (KJV)


Hemingway got the title of his first novel from the line after that:

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

It's a shame that, except for the dreaded conservative Christians, Americans don't know the Bible anymore.

Michael said...


Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred,Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) 1833

Matthew Sablan said...

If Obama's volunteers were as effective as Romney's volunteers, he'd have more to spend.

Paddy O said...

Reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the East too.

"Very well, I'll bide my time..." but won't abide for long.

Obama will get Romney, and his little dog Ryan too!

Now, media, fly, fly!"

Bob said...

Creely23 beat me to the Ecclesiastes quote. Novelist George R. Stewart used the quote for the title of his post-apocalyptic classic Earth Abides.

yashu said...

Obama will get Romney, and his little dog Ryan too!

Now, media, fly, fly!


LOL

Darrell said...

Crying poormouth is just a trick to keep the suckers bringing in money to the Dem Party. The Dems told us two years into the Obama administration that they were on track to have a $Billion to spend--the largest amount in history. Weren't they at the 80% mark at that point? Since then, they've been campaigning and fundraising nonstop. Romney has some $190 million available and Obmama has to have 4-5 times that, minus the meager amount they've spent so far.
Obama also has the advantage of taxpayers picking up the tab because his official duties always seem to dovetail with campaign fundraising events.

But with the rotting, stinking demi-corpse of this administration and its record, will all the money in the world be enough to pay its "doctors' bills?" Will seeing another ad make people vote for him or against him? Does anyone but the choir believe the lies at this point?

wyo sis said...

It sounds like a word a grandmother would use. It's oddly old fashioned and judgmental. Very fussy and sniffy.

creeley23 said...

I've never understood the appeal of The Big Lebowksi. That was one boring movie.

Maybe you hadda been there, but TBL is the Citizen Kane for the sixties.

Or maybe TBL is the Vertigo for the sixties. Whatever, man.

dustbunny said...

I am surprised that Coen fans don't know the answer to this. The brothers have said that one of their favorite movies is "Night of the Hunter". the last line of that movie is "they abide and endure". the Coens are always referencing other films.

cassandra lite said...

I cannot abide reelecting a president who publicly admits he cannot abide getting outspent in a democracy--this same president who had abided outspending his first opponent after changing his mind about abiding public campaign financing when he realized that he could actually, you know, abide outspending him two or three to one. I can't abide having such a pussy in the White House.

Unknown said...

So dustbunny--'splain "a serious man" to me--I never got it.

Kevin said...

The final scene of TBL is actually a direct reference to The Night of the Hunter, and the speech Lillian Gish gives to the camera at the end of the movie, where she speaks of the children, who are are "man at his strongest. They abide. They abide and they endure."

I was one of those people who saw TBL years after release, and was stunned by the decision to close the film with a reference so brazen.

dustbunny said...

I am surprised that Coen fans don't know the answer to this. The brothers have said that one of their favorite movies is "Night of the Hunter". the last line of that movie is "they abide and endure". the Coens are always referencing other films.

Archie Waugh said...

My soul is humble when I see the way little ones accept their lot. Lord, save little children. The wind blows and the rain's a-cold. Yet they abide...They abide and they endure. - Lillian Gish as Rachel Cooper in Charles Laughton's "Night of the Hunter" (1955)

Paco Wové said...

Obama sounds particularly snivelly and whiny with this tactic, after having gloried in raising such huge gobs of cash in 2008. "Whaaah! Not fair!" (Stamps feet) Grow up. little dude.

yashu said...

Since then, they've been campaigning and fundraising nonstop.

Exactly, Obama's broken all records when it comes to the number of fundraisers he's attended. And he has incumbency (taxpayer money) and the MSM on his side.

So pathetic. That kind of narcissism and desperation would lead to a Coenesque fraudulent kidnapping scheme. Maybe someone will "kidnap" Biden.

edutcher said...

It's called a tantrum. He isn't used to people saying, "No", or abandoning him; they're not supposed to be doing this, after all.

He's begged, now he's throwing a fit.

Can't wait to see what comes next.

virgil xenophon said...

In the context of the Obama statement "will not abide"= "will not tolerate."

virgil xenophon said...

PS: I guess this confusion over this word is a generational thing. I'm 68 and the word abide is one my generation is quite familiar with. I'm frankly amazed by the fact anyone is confused by this term and its usage..

dustbunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dustbunny said...

Unknown-I thought A Serious Man was hilarious. It was about the Coens' childhood in Minneapolis; being Jewish in a very Protestant place. It ties the room together.

creeley23 said...

Obama's broken all records when it comes to the number of fundraisers he's attended.

I continue to wonder: Who is running the country this year?

Ivy said...

My thoughts same as Virgil. I am the same age as AA .. and the word ABIDE did not confuse me.

yashu said...

the only movie I really didnt get was "A Serious Man"

Roger J., IMO it's about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the Book of Job and a Jefferson Airplane song: the absolute limits to knowledge (the utter inscrutability of other human beings, the future) and the transcendental meaninglessness of our mortal suffering. (You won't find the secret key to existence in a goy's teeth.) So, you better find somebody to love.

madAsHell said...

Sounds like resignation.

He's trying to cushion the fall of so many expectations, and focus the fault on the volunteers.

The next statement is "Well, we fought the good fight".

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Maybe you hadda been there, but TBL is the Citizen Kane for the sixties.

I was there. And I found The Big Lewbowski not very entertaining or very funny and rather inexplicable. I was...."Why is this funny. I'm bored." Maybe I need to see it again and sober this time.

AJ Lynch said...

When it comes to fed spending, Obama has shown he is really good at outspending.

AllieOop said...

Two Dust Bunnies? Who will reign supreme?;)

traditionalguy said...

The big problem is nearly everyones abode is under water these days and Banks are slowly foreclosing them on a 5 year plan to turn the housing stock into worker/welfare rentals.

How long will we have to abide that happening to our abodes.

Balfegor said...

RE: Darrell:

Romney has some $190 million available and Obmama has to have 4-5 times that, minus the meager amount they've spent so far.

Pretty sure Obama does not have 4-5 times $190M in cash on hand. As of July, totaling up all the sources of cash available (campaign, joint fundraising committee w/ RNC/DNC, and RNC/DNC), Romney was estimated to have $170M cash on hand, while if you added up Obama's reserves, it looked like $144M. And Obama's burn rate was much higher than Romney's at that time.

creeley23 said...

"Why is this funny. I'm bored."

DBQ: The writing was tight, the characterizations superb, and just when you thought you knew where the film was going or even what kind of film it was, the Coens would pull the rug out from underneath you.

There were so many great lines and great moments. See this collection for example.

Then there were the astounding visuals like Julianne Moore suddenly swooping through the dark room, naked, in a harness, flinging paint onto the canvas below or the Dude's crazy dream sequence in the obligatory noir blackout scene.

Maybe it didn't hit your funny bone, but you've got to admit it was dense and new.

Balfegor said...

Also re: "abide," a lot of us seem to be imbuing it with autocratic or imperial pretensions, but I think that's just confusing its register (a touch highfalutin') with its actual meaning(s). People talk about "abide by the law" or "abide by the rules" all the time (14.6 million and 17.4 million hits on Google respectively) without any suggestion that they are condescending to follow the laws or the rules.

EMD said...

Google Image Search

EMD said...

MadMan and I will probably never go to the movies together.

Marshal said...

Balfegor said...
Also re: "abide," a lot of us seem to be imbuing it with autocratic or imperial pretensions, but I think that's just confusing its register (a touch highfalutin') with its actual meaning(s). People talk about "abide by the law" or "abide by the rules" all the time (14.6 million and 17.4 million hits on Google respectively) without any suggestion that they are condescending to follow the laws or the rules.


We're not confused. We recognise the substitution of "I" in place of "the law" or "the rules".

yashu said...

Seconding creeley23 on TBL, here's a collection of moments set to "The Man in Me" (and a little coda).

MadisonMan said...

MadMan and I will probably never go to the movies together.

(laugh) I don't enjoy going to movies -- they're waaay too loud, and I end up with a headache. So most of my movie-watching is at home, on DVD. My last movie purchase was The Incredibles.

Synova said...

You know... a claim that the most horrible thing would be to fail to outspend the Republicans would make a pretty good meta-meme.

Raising more money sounds responsible.

Spending more money sounds like you measure success by how much you can spend.

yashu said...

Balfegor & Marshal, I think what's confusing is that "abide" is one of those words that has a different meaning when in a negative construction.

The "imperial" sense only applies to the negative construction: "will not abide," "cannot abide," with the sense: won't/ can't tolerate.

Compare the positive sense of "accept, "obey," "act in accordance with."

It's like the subject of the positive sense is in the "subject" position, i.e. subservient (as in "subject to"-- e.g. an authority, rule, law). Whereas the subject of the negative construction is in the authoritative or presiding position (the one who does not tolerate, allow, permit something).

The first is in a position to accept/ follow something; the other is in a position to set the terms, rules, parameters of something.

avwh said...

What an interesting communication. Here's how I parse it:

Resignation: we'll be outspent.

Outrage & Plea: c'mon give us more $$ so our volunteers' hard work isn't wasted. If you won't send $$ for ME, "do it for the volunteers!"

Imperial: "won't abide"? Who made Zero f'ing King??

Dust Bunny Queen said...


Imperial: "won't abide"? Who made Zero f'ing King??


Evidently, everyone who voted for him without knowing jack shit about him. The media who refuse to report that the Emperor has no clothes. Everyone who just sits around with their thumbs up their asses while Teh Won passes more regal Executive orders, makes up laws out of whole cloth and ignored Congress and the Supreme Court.

More? WE are responsible because we do NOTHING about it. Get used to living under a despotic ruler if he gets re-elected.

Kirk Parker said...

"I've never understood the appeal of The Big Lebowksi"

Shut up, Maddie!

shiloh said...

I refudiate Althouse/Meade's ad nauseam minutiae ...

ok, ok, let their minutiae ring from every mountainside! :-P

dbp said...

"...What I will not abide is getting outspent by a margin that negates all the hard work our volunteers are doing.""

I think it is an accidentally revealing way of saying something straightforward.

A normal person might phrase the thought, "I would hate it if we are so outspent that it negates all the hard work our volunteers are doing"

But he says "abide", as if he has the power to do something about it. It reveals a personality where he is the center of the universe and in full control of it.

wildswan said...

I think it's a southern use of the word "abide" and it means "I will not put up with" or "I will not politely tolerate" or "I will not stand by while this happens." Maybe it's in To Kill a Mockingbird though I can't think where. Or Flannery O'Connor. It's an appeal to a segment of the electorate but on a higher level than saying "y'all".

dreams said...

I like the Cohen brothers quirky offbeat movies, The Big Lebowski is my favorite.

Synova said...

Oh, wait... was this whole conversation about an odd use of the word "abide?"

I must be weird, but it's an entirely normal usage, IMO.

And yes, it does mean "this shall not stand," and not at all a mere "I don't like it."

David R. Graham said...

"Spending more money sounds like you measure success by how much you can spend."

Exactly how masses of individuals and groups measure success, light bongs with c notes, ramp up dole recipients, buy luxury car, party on taxpayer dollar, never produce, lay about, demand.

Thank you for the beautiful Eventide/Abide With Me at St. Paul's. One of my five co-favorites, the others, FWIW, being Bohemian Brethren/Lord Christ When First, Hyfrydol/Love Divine, Llanfyllin/O God Of Earth And Altar, Nova Vita/Breathe On Me and Kremser/We Gather Together.

Fen said...

I continue to wonder: Who is running the country this year?

Valerie Jarret.

"Jarrett got her start in Chicago politics in 1987 working for Mayor Harold Washington[9] as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development.[10]

Jarrett continued to work in the mayor's office in the 1990s. She was Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley..."


David R. Graham said...

"What an interesting communication. Here's how I parse it:"

It's a lie, say I. Nice opportunity for linguistic discussion, but the basis, a communication, is deception. Therefore good for something other that it's purported purpose, for example, as well-considered in post and comments, linguistics.

"... Love abides all things ..." From deception we rise to hymnody. Most pleasant.

ken in sc said...

Yes, it is a Southernism, it probably comes from his association with previously Southern Blacks in Chicago.

Quaestor said...

rhardin wrote:
The a- verb [prefix] turns the verb into a continuing state, as American rural dialect in fact still has it, at least pre-TV.

Bidan also has the meaning and sense of to endure, to remain, to occupy, hence our modern related word abode.

"The Dude abides" Doesn't simply mean the "Dude lives". "The Dude endures unchanging" is more apt.

Old English is a much more inflected language than our modern speech. Bidan, abidan, gebidan aren't different words. Bidan is the stem and the infinitive; gebidan is the past and past participle tense (just as ge is still used in German with some verbs). The a makes it present continuous and present perfect continuous. For example "Gebidan þou her?" would be "Did you stay here?"

One of the differences seen in the transition from Old English to Middle and Modern English is the loss of prefix inflections and the adoption of suffixes and auxillary verbs -- instead of a upfront we now add ing behind to form the continuous tense. However the change was gradual and often incomplete. Not too long ago it was common to hear "I'm a-going", a combination of the ancient and modern inflections. And we still do it. For example, "I await your reply" "I am awaiting your reply" and the clumsy but correctly modern "I am waiting for your reply" all mean exactly the same thing. Though the first formulation seems more elegantly (or stiltedly) phrased to most peoples' ears, it is just more ancient. Isn't odd that Old English forms and syntax sounds more poetic? Compare "The Dude endures and does not change" to "the Dude abides". The first sounds preposterous, the second seems profound.

Roger J. said...

Yashu--very much appreciate your explanation re "A Serious Man"--and in retrospect it makes a lot of sense--Thanks Dude :) Will have to watch it again with your insights in mind.

deborah said...

Did anyone else find No Country reminiscent of Fargo?

Quaestor said...

That messianic image of Obama Ann embedded via Sodahead has always riled me. I haven't yet discovered its authorship, and if I were that person I'd hope for controlling anonymity. In a healthy republic you might get nailed to something for such blatant leader-worship.

deborah said...

The funny thing is how hilarious that poster is in hindsight.

Quaestor said...

"controlling anonymity" should read "continuing anonymity". How the hell did that happen?

Quaestor said...

The funny thing is how hilarious that poster is in hindsight.

Funny now, and it'll be hilarious a few months hence. But it should be taken as a warning that every republic carries with it the seeds of its own destruction. Lincoln was dead on when he wrote

If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

That poster's artist was aiming a gun at the heart of our nation.

EMD said...

MadMan, you're out of your element!

Between Lebowski and Arrested Deveopment, I could go on all day.

yashu said...

Roger J, you're welcome. I find Coen Bros. movies very existential (with a heavy dose of the "absurd").

Synova said...

This reminded me of that freerice vocab quiz thing. (It's not quite up there with TV tropes as a time waster but I still lost an hour.)

I can get to 40 pretty easy but after that I swear it's not English any more. I get to lvl 50 but only through persistence and only because I am a *very* good guesser.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

Hubby likes TBL, I thought it was boring.

--Then there were the astounding visuals like Julianne Moore suddenly swooping through the dark room, naked, in a harness, flinging paint onto the canvas below--

OK, she was funny, because a lot of us rubes see artsy elitists that way.

Cedarford said...

Love will ABIDE
Take things in stride
That's what someone told me
But...there's no one by my side!


And I think soon the Obama's gonna miss the White House perks

For a long, long, long time.

Mick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

Will the grammar gurus please tell me whether this usage is correct?

I can't abide Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Mick said...

There is a whole section of clueless, hypnotized, love-stricken morons in this country that cannot see the Usurper for what he represents--- the destruction of the US Constitution. Not only are they just dumb, they are militant about it.

The Godfather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
creeley23 said...

Hubby likes TBL, I thought it was boring.

TBL may be a guy movie. Most of the characters are male. The humor is male. (I can't imagine women laughing at the scene where a Jamaican cab driver throws the Dude out of the cab because the Dude disses the Eagles.) Then there are male gimmes like the porn movie subplot and the topless girl being bounced up and down on an immense beach blanket held by a ring of guys. Lastly, there are the constant dominance confrontations like the nutty display Jon Turturro puts on at the bowling alley.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing the Big Lebowski, asks the question, "What makes a man?" and the movie tries to answer even though its answers are absurd by the past standards of the cowboy, the detective, the rich man, the father, and the soldier.

This is not a question that women struggle with. Even though from the sixties on we have been moving away from conventional definitions of masculinity, it is still a real question for men and in truth it is a painful question. That pain is the fuel for TBL's humor.

When Sam Elliot, as the grizzled cowboy narrator, says "The Dude abides," he is recognizing the Dude as a man and it's no small thing.

Roger J. said...

I love the Coen Bros--they are obviously also liked by major actors in Hollywood who apparently like playing roles in them--Charles Durning as the Southern Politician in Oh Brother---love his "summabitches" John Tunturro is also a regular (Jesus the bowler) as is John Goodman. The Coen Bros are anti-hollywood--yeah they are an acquired taste, but well worth it. Their casting is always good.

Hyphenated American said...

Well, if he will not abide, then he should skedaddle. Simple as that, y'all.

AllenS said...

I love The Big Lebowski movie. That scene where Walter was spreading Donny's ashes, and then the next scene where the ashes were all of the sunglasses and face of The Dude, made me laugh so hard that I started to choke on my popcorn and had to leave the theater and wait in the lobby for a while, before I could watch more of the film.

David R. Graham said...

'"The Dude abides" Doesn't simply mean the "Dude lives". "The Dude endures unchanging" is more apt.'

Thank you for this superb mini-discourse. Yes, abide in older usage means continue on regardless, your "continuing present." Endure I think has a somewhat different meaning: bear up under this or that difficulty. But the two meanings work together.

In this Hymn, by Henry Francis Lyte (the Hymn is the poem, the Tune is the musical setting), "Abide with me" is a metaphorical usage meaning, I am dying, stay with me beyond the moment of death and into eternity. It expresses yearning for divine enfoldment and implies detachment from the body to the point of identifying the self as not the body but rather that which persists beyond the death of the body. This is a yearning self-absorbed citizens find outrageous and gracious ones natural and certain.

Often thought to be words written while Lyte himself was dying, evidence shows that it may have been written some years earlier while he was attending, as a young clergyman, a dying friend who kept repeating to him, "Abide with me." Lyte metaphor-ized that very human request into a prayer yearning perpetual presence in the divine mysterium.

Three of Lyte's verses are omitted by most hymnals that include this hymn. It has been in the Hymnal since 1874. (Biographical source: The Hymnal [1940] Companion; exegetical source: this writer.)

wildswan said...

I don't think you say: I can't abide a person; I think you can't abide something a person is doing which it is in your power to interfer with but you know people are going to ask you why you don't just put up with it and who are you to butt in. But you say that generally you put up with things and you don't think it right to be rude but you are going to say or do something about this one thing. This all compressed into "I can't abide this." Tina Fey can't say it because she never puts up with anything. But Rachel, the Chik-Fil-A waitress could say it sometime. I leave it to the peer group whether Obama has been suffering silently.

wildswan said...

The above post tries to answer the Godfather who asked about "not abiding" Anna Wintour. See, if you really were the Godfather and she started a fashion for mob type clothes then you could say you weren't going to abide it.

daisy22 said...

Creely23
Tbl is not a guy movie, it is brilliant and women that don't enjoy it have a limited sense of humor. I would be surprised if Althouse doesn't love it. also it is a movie that a lot of people don't get the first time.

phx said...

Shut the fuck up Donny.

yashu said...

Heh, I hate to step on phx's perfect utterance.

But Roger J, I just came across a pretty insightful blog post on A Serious Man here, in case you're interested.

Alan said...

I know "The dude abides" from the "Mutts" comic strip - Mooch the cat's tagline when he's in zen-like bliss. Didn't see that Coen Brothers movie. (Or any of them besides Raising Arizona or Fargo.)

Balfegor said...

RE: Yashu:

Balfegor & Marshal, I think what's confusing is that "abide" is one of those words that has a different meaning when in a negative construction.

The "imperial" sense only applies to the negative construction: "will not abide," "cannot abide," with the sense: won't/ can't tolerate.

Compare the positive sense of "accept, "obey," "act in accordance with.
"

I don't think they're different words, though -- they both basically mean "accept/follow/go along with." Negative sense is just that you cannot accept it. Look at instances of "cannot abide" in Google Books -- probably the single most common is this quote:

And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.

(Which is some . . . Mormon? saying? Not sure . . .)

Other instances include:

I make my argument and say that which may abide the fire may abide the Word of God Your Ceremonies cannot abide the Word of God ergo they cannot abide the fire and if they cannot abide the fire they are not gold silver nor precious stones.

And

Is he a good child that cannot abide the presence of his father; is she a good wife that cannot abide the presence of her husband? So is he a good creature that cannot abide the presence of his Creator?

These don't imply control -- just rejection. If "cannot abide" now suggests that the party which cannot abide has domination or control over the thing he cannot abide, I think that's a comparatively recent development in the meaning of the phrase.

ramblers said...

I assume it's "abide" in the Jane Austen-esque sense.

“If I am to speak in earnest, what I desire above all in a wife is firmness of character. A woman who knows her own mind. I cannot abide timidity or feebleness of purpose. A weak spirit which is always open to persuasion, first one way and then the other, can never be relied upon.”

Persuasion (2007)

ramblers said...

Er, Persuasion was written in 1816. The MOVIE was in 2007.


So, basically, it seems as if Obama has been watching a lot of girly British period flicks recently.

EMD said...

The Coens love America. All of it.