What the Stranger Wouldn’t Say
Posted on March 28, 2013
Chalupa and I have seen this image shared from time to time in our Facebook feeds:
What I want to talk about is how this is a poor representation of a character who is near and dear to our hearts: The Stranger.
He narrates one of the best movies of all time, The Big Lebowski.
Here. Enjoy his opening monologue:
Now that you’ve got that nice, gravely voice in your head, let me explain why I take issue with this particular meme: THE STRANGER WOULDN’T SAY THAT.
I’m not saying that I know what the Stranger’s political beliefs or affiliations are. Everyone likes to assume that the people they like have the same political views as them, so of course I want to believe that the Stranger is a big ol’ liberal who thinks reasonable gun laws are the way to go, but that’s not really fair of me. But no matter the Stranger’s views on guns or politics, he wouldn’t say the words that he is assigned in this image.
He wouldn’t say, “You’re a special kind of stupid, aren’t you?” because the Stranger isn’t an asshole.
He doesn’t make fun of people. He doesn’t call them stupid. This is a man who is put off by the Dude’s frequent use of profanity. If he’d wanted the chance to call someone stupid, he could have done that with Donny, who is sweet but certainly not bright. On the contrary, the Stranger is sad to “see Donny go.”
It’s not just dim Donny that the Stranger is kind to. Throughout the film, the Stranger is calm, collected, and insightful. He doesn’t go around telling people that they’re acting stupid. If he’d wanted to do that, he could have put Walter, the Dude, Donny, Jackie Treehorn, the Nihilists, all of them in their places.
If the Stranger thought you were an idiot, he’d never tell you so. Not in words like this meme puts into his mouth.
Even if you agree with this meme (and you really shouldn’t), don’t share it. It’s an insult to a great character, and it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not going to call you a special kind of stupid for sharing this meme, but I am going to assume that you don’t know much about The Big Lebowski.
While it may seem a bit extreme to be insulted on behalf of a fictional character, let me assure you of this: The Stranger might disagree with you in every way possible, but there’s no way he’d be a jerk about it.