The Dude Prophetizes

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Big Lebowski. It’s a brilliant comedy that’s endlessly quotable and has some of the most memorable characters in recent film history. There is so much going on in this movie, that I could take up your whole browser trying to summarize it, so I’m just going to have to assume at this point that you’ve seen it. If you haven’t, go rent it, watch it and come back to this web page. It ain’t going nowhere.

One of the themes of the movie is unchecked aggression. Some direct parallels are made between Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and The Dude’s harassment by Jackie Treehorn (his goons pee on The Dude’s rug). At one point, The Dude’s stoned brain rattles off a line from something he had overheard on TV: “this aggression will not stand.” It’s a line from George H.W. Bush’s speech about Kuwait that the Dude heard as he bought some half & half from Ralph’s grocery store. The Dude is so broke, incidentally, that he actually has to write a check for $0.69.

Watching The Dude try to piece together all the events of his life is fun to watch. He is such a burnout that his synapses don’t always connect and he stumbles as he tries to solve the mysteries of the storyline. It’s not entirely unlike watching George W Bush try to make his way through a press conference. Which brings me to Iraq again and our recent history with that country.

At this point the reasons for America’s war with Iraq are so obscured by excuses and lies and manipulations that I sometimes feel like The Dude trying to piece it all together. 42% of Americans believe Iraq was DIRECTLY involved with the attacks of 9/11 (Newsweek poll from Sept ’04, found on this page). Almost half the country believes something that has repeatedly been proven to be false. What the hell?

So, what am I talking about? Oh, yeah, the Big Lebowski, Iraq, Kuwait, The Dude, 9/11, etc. Well, imagine my surprise when it was pointed out to me today that there is a prophetic message in the Big Lebowski that ties all of this together (kind of like The Dude’s rug).

Remember earlier when The Dude writes that check for $0.69 at Ralph’s? Well, check out the date on that check:

Photo from The Big Lebowski

September 11, 1991. Exactly ten years before the attacks. Coincidence? Yes. Weird? Definitely. I need to go sit down for a while. Mind if I do a J?

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57 thoughts on “The Dude Prophetizes”

  1. You guys are reading way too much into this. The fact is, 69 is the answer to it all, not 9/11. If you still don’t get it, let me quote from the 60’s of which the dude is representative:

    Make love not war. (69 not 9/11)

  2. If you notice also, several times throughout the movie lines come to his conscious that he has overheard somewher before, like “This aggresion will not stand” and “In the parlance of our times”

    If you fast forward the movie using the chapter fast forward, you will notice the chapter before Donnie dies, he rolls a ball that should be a strike, however one pin remains , (And if you slow motion it you will notice there is some metal bar under it keeping it standing) but I digress, that slow motion sceen is foreshadowing of what is to come to ‘our sweet prince’ Donnie

  3. Speaking of burnouts stumbling while attempting to solve a mystery… September 11, 1991 was the date Bush gave that speech. Duh.

  4. Yes – that makes sense! “September 11, 1991 was the date Bush gave that speech” — that aggression will not stand, man!

  5. Uh, radical Islamic terrorists were blowing up other people and places before the Iraq war and completely unrelated to the Iraq war. Bali, Africa, India, Phillipines, Indonesia, places all over the world. Your linkage of 9/11 with the Iraq war illustrates that either a) you don’t have a grasp of the global and historical events of radical Islamic terrorism or b) you have swallowed a healthy dose of anti-American propaganda. None, I repeat none, of the 9/11 terrorists were Iraqis. Unfortunately, the terror war began before Iraq, exists independent of Iraq and will continue after Iraq. The sooner you stop blaming America for the world’s ills, the sooner you will realize what we are truly facing. That, or maybe you should take a trip to one of the Islamic nations. All the best..

  6. Yes, I noticed that date on the cheque too. I submitted that piece of trivia to the Internet Movie Datbase but the bastards never published it.

  7. Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. U.S. troops moved in on August 7. The UN passed it’s resolution authorizing force on August 29 if Iraw did not withdraw by January 15, 1991. Operation Desert Storm began on January 17. On February 27, 1991, Bush declared Kuwait liberated. On March 10 troops began to move out of Iraq. There is no way that Bush gave that speech as late as September of 1991.
    More importantly, the check is post-dated. As Mike pointed out above, Marty, presumably within a couple days, tells the Dude that “tomorrow is already the tenth.”
    The use of 9/11 is a reference to The Big Sleep.

  8. Hey, I love this movie, and noticed that too.
    Odd, however, that Bush 41 is on in the background . . . “this aggression will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait.” U.S. policy in the Middle East implicated. Now if anything else on that check comes up in current events, I’ll be upset the Fed’s didn’t look into this. Could UBL have watched this and been like, hey, that as a good a date as any? After all, the Dude represents everhting Muslims hate about our country, sin, adultery, drugs, (Walter is Jewish (at least in name), powerful women (maude) . . . just a few thoughts.

  9. I am mr. lebowski, this movie is actually a biography of my life. I wrote and directed the movie, and I personally had the Dude carry out 9/11. everyone says it was towel heads in a plane, but really it was a big bowling ball.

    now that the joke is out of the way, i have one word, hopfully spelled correctly, that is the answer to this entire thread


    dont know what that is? google. thats how i found this page.

  10. Whats even weirder is that the date was actually the eight of september when he postdated the check. “tommorrows already the tenth dude”, so why did the dude decide to postdate his check to exactly 10 years prior to 9/11, all I can say is “far out”

  11. Good points, Joe (#20). But hey, here’s another way of looking at this post-dating mystery. Given that A) the Dude had already charmed the register clerk into submission, and given his own casual disregard for chronological time (“is this . . . ah, what day is this?”), he might easily have been post dating the check not just a few days, but a year, a month, and six days. Bush I made the famous “aggression” remark on Aug 5, 1990.

    Which leads to the mystery within the mystery. Sure, we can relate to the Dude post-dating a check well over a year, but what about the Coen Brothers? They wrote this shit. They dreamed up the date. The film was released in 1998. What could they have been thinking when they dreamed up the date on the check?

  12. Do some research — September 11, 1991 was the date on which former President Bush gave his “New World Order” speech!

  13. I love the Coen brothers, but this movie is not a success, although I appreciate your efforts to painfully parse out some hidden greater meaning. I tend to think the sum total of this movie’s “meaning” is pretty much right there on the thin surface.

  14. It is all about eagle rcok guys i do not know why it freaks me out eagel rock is next to pasadeana the othe bowling ale

    god help us

  15. The footage on the TV at Ralph’s was not from the New World Order speech, it was from a press junket on the South Lawn with Bush arriving back at the White House from Camp David. The date was August 5, 1990.

  16. George Bush gave his speech about new world order
    on Sept 11 ,1991. Ten years later to the day 911?

    The same day maybe Coincidence?

    I would like to find out what time George Bush senior
    gave his new world speech and also find out what time
    the Trade Towers were hit????

    Maybe the exact same time and that would not be coincidence….Could anyone find oput what time George gave his speech in sept. 11 1991.

  17. ……… what someone here is trying to say is, as the Dude was writing that check on Sept. 11 1991, he was trying to convey that Nihilists were planning to blow up Ralphs Supermarket 10 years before the terrorist attacks ??

  18. just think if it really was an inside job by our shadow government than they most likely have an even better one on the way. The New World Order is here don’t believe if you want but don’t be too stupid or you may lose all our freedom’s to the elite who run this world.All in the name of the war on terror for our own good right?

  19. All u r talking about is the check! What about the scene, his dream! Where Saddam handed him the shoes, and then there were the subliminal twin towers. I need to watch it, or I guess youtube it again, but I know the shoes were showing 9 and 11 if I remember correctly too. youtube it!

  20. The account number on the check adds up to 42. Bush 41 appears at exactly 3:22 on the time code. The film begins on the early morning of Aug.6/90, 24 years after groundbreaking at WTC, Aug.5/66.

  21. yeah, and? sept 11 1991 was the date when bush senior made that speech. of course its going to be the date on the check. (

    and it was also the date of a cia-funded chile coupe in the 70’s)..

  22. All you douchebags parsing this BS and the fact is that the Coen Bros. f__d it up!! Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990 and Bush 41 made those comments in 1990, not 1991 like the Dude’s check says. You might say, “So much for your conspiracy theories,” but I would say, “That’s just like your opinion, man.”

  23. The issue here isn’t whether ‘The Dude’ post dated the check, nor is it what date Papa Bush gave what speech… To those who choose to dismiss the check’s date as mere coincidence, I must point out how NOTHING happens in a film without the Director wanting it to happen, based upon the vision of the Writers (the Coen Brothers). The FACT that the check’s date does NOT match the historical date of Bush’s speech in the background calls attention to a seemingly trivial matter — the check’s 9/11 date — which I feel was done on purpose. That’s right — the mistake was made intentionally! T’was a subversive act against our oppressive Government, just as the Sixties Radicals, ‘The Chicago Seven’ or ‘The Seattle Seven’ might have done. The Jeff Lebowski character is based upon a real life Sixties activist, Jeff Dowd, who was once a member of the ‘Seattle Seven’ and now is a Hollywood Producer.

    Article in Slate:

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