On Officiating a Wedding as a Dudeist Priest

This past weekend, I officiated my second wedding as an ordained Dudeist priest. Dudeism, if you’re not familiar, is drawn from the 1998 movie, “The Big Lebowski,” starring Jeff Bridges as a laid back, bathrobe-wearing, bowling league philosopher called “The Dude.”

Officiating at my FIRST Dudeist wedding

Turns out, the philosophy part was popular enough that a an all-legal-like religion was created out of it. And, oh, sure, it’s a little tongue-in-cheek. But it’s also kinda important. Being in a legally-recognized church, Church of the Dude priests can marry folks all legal-like, sure, but some people want to show their commitment to one another even though that commitment won’t be legally recognized by their county, state, or the federal government. Those are the ceremonies I prefer to involve myself with, because, well, that’s the Way of the Dude: it’s about … chilling out and being accepting, people.

So I was particularly pleased to perform this second wedding, which was for a polyamorous couple. You may have heard the term before, especially since it’s getting more pop culture airtime these days now that some celebs have come out as openly polyamorous. Polyamory, very briefly, is a form of ethical non-monogamy (with heeeeaaaavy emphasis on the ‘ethical’) that embraces the idea that people can be in love with more than one person at once. There are more and more polyamorous families all across this land of ours — indeed, about 4% to 5% of adults in the US consider themselves to be polyam and 29% of adults under the age of 30 think that it’s okay to be in open relationships (here’s the link to those stats). However, this post isn’t about polyamory specifically; it’s about the polyam wedding I officiated, which was all about these two people, who are also in other relationships, wanting to show the world their commitment to one another, too.

Here’s the script I wrote:

THE PROCESSION This is the part where somebody comes down the aisle. Accompanied or not. Music or not. Flower-and-ring velociraptor or not. However you want to do it is cool.

THE GREETING Something like this:

“Hey, everybody. Welcome to the [names of the participants’] wedding. If you were here thinking it was someone else’s wedding, or if you just wanted to get in on the snacks, that’s cool. Our arms are open. Anyway, here’s what’s going to happen: As the designated officiate and an duly ordained priest of the Dude, complete with the ceremonial bathrobe and the holey bowling ball, I’m going to say a few words about how cool this all is, and then these two are going to be all handfasted and such. Shortly after that we’re going to raid that bar right over there.”

[Everybody gets into position and I make sure no one is in danger of imminent vomiting]

OPENING REMARKS “Okay, everybody. As most of you know, or at least are getting the idea now if you didn’t before, this isn’t a traditional marriage ceremony. [the participants] here are polyamorous. That’s a word with a whole lot of syllables in it that all work together to make it one big word, just like how polyamorous familes can have a whole bunch of people in them making them one big bundle of love. We aren’t here today just to join these two together, but to bind up all of their people into a big old joyball of happiness. [Names of everyone] are all being bound together today, and, man, that’s awesome cool.

“But it’s not just about being able to share streaming TV passwords. It’s also about being there for one another to celebrate when the good things happen, and to comfort one another when the bad things do. It’s about understanding that love is infinite–check out the holey bowling ball and the Infinite Heart–but that calendaring takes some effort. It’s about realizing that jealousy isn’t good or bad by itself; it’s how we deal with it and what we learn about ourselves in the process. It’s about snuggling and shared flu seasons. It’s about, hell, yeah, it’s also about the shared streaming passwords.

“As the first quote about polyamory that came up in an internet search says, ‘Polyamory–more fun than a barrel of bonobos.’ 

“But I’d also like to read this poem by Lauren Davidson, whom I don’t know, but who sounds like she’s got the Dude in her heart. Here it is: “Many Loves”, by Lauren Davidson:

“Many Loves,” by Lauren Davidson

“Alright. Let’s do this thing.”

The Marriage

“[Name] and [Name], you’re standing on a rug. That’s not just a metaphor; I brought this rug. But it’s also a metaphor. You’re the rug, and you’re also part of the rug. You each are a strand in that rug, and the people who love you are strands, too, and working together you become something much more than you were before. A bunch of strings, well, that’s just something for the cat to play with. But a rug? A rug really ties the room together.

“Are you, [Name], willing to become a string tying together the rug of [Name’s] life?”

“And are you, [Name], willing to become a string tying together the rug of [Name’sl] life?”

“And are you both willing to share the dry cleaning costs, both real and metaphorical?”

“Alright, cool. [Other Partner], come on over here.”

[[Other Partner] approaches with the handfasting stuff]

“Place your arms together and let these ribbons be a symbol of, well, a whole lot of important stuff.”

[Tying happens]

As a representative of the Church of the Dude, I declare this union knotted. You may now kiss the hell out of one another.

[Once the snogging is over, turn to the audience]

“I’m right proud to introduce [the newly-bound folk], new threads tied together in the rug of life.

“Alright! Let’s celebrate this awesomeness!”


Just a couple of informative links:

On Dudeism

What is Polyamory and How Does it Work — The Independent

Here’s What it’s *Really* Like to be in a Polyamorous Relationship

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“Lady Starr, Space Ranger” Audio Play

So, a few years back, I wrote my very first audio play. I think I wanted to do so because I’d been playing around with the CeltX app for some screenwriting projects I wanted to do, and the wonderful world of podcasting was in its infancy. Also, it sounded like fun. I wanted to create something that was a bit spoofy, a bit 1950s, and a bit risque.

The result was “The Adventures of Lady Starr, Space Ranger.” Five episodes of varying length (but relatively short), with a loose connecting arc that, honestly, developed along the way. I didn’t really think much would come of them. They were my first go at the format, I didn’t know anyone with recording equipment, and I didn’t know any voice actors.

But I was also showing photography at a gallery in Springfield, Missouri around that time. It so happened that the gallery rented out their upstairs space to an acting troupe. One fateful night at the gallery, I was chatting with a fellow I met, named George Cron, about my audio play, and it turned out that he was the producer of those parodic upstairs shows. He turned out to be very interested in the Lady Starr concept, and so we entered into discussions about how to bring it to fruition.

Well, time and technical issues came and went. I wound up writing a whole bunch of parodies for A Class Act — primarily two seasons of Batman Parodies. What didn’t happen, though, was Lady Starr. Oh, we had a Facebook page and a Twitter account and even a website for a while, but the actual recording was plagued by … well, possibly aliens.

By this time, I’d moved out to the Pacific Northwest (hellllloooooo, Portland!) and was involved with other projects, but every once in a while, George and I would chat about Lady Starr and wonder if now maybe possibly could be the time.

Segue to right now. Voice casting came together, the recording managed to not self destruct, and Episode One of the Adventures of Lady Starr, Space Ranger is in the can. The five-episode season isn’t done yet, but I’m happy to be able to offer up Episode One to you as a preview of what’s to come. So, grab some popcorn, click the link, and lean back and enjoy … “The Adventures of Lady Starr, Space Ranger, Ep 1: Lady Starr and the Tentacle Things of Venus,” starring Adie Williams as the voice of Lady Starr, written by me, and produced by A Class Act Productions. Click on the cool art by Jared George, below:

Art by Jared George
(c) 2019 by Class Act Productions
All Rights Reserved

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The Day After (2018 Midterm Elections)

On the midterm elections of 2018 and a plea for reasoned discourse and thoughtful argumentation.

Well, here we are. It’s the next day. All across the country, people are sleeping in — either sleeping off their Election Night hangovers, or just resting because of the extra effort it took to go to their places of polling. I got up at the usual time, though (well, not quite usual, given the end of Daylight Savings Time last weekend … still adapting to that). First, I didn’t watch the results come in (therefore no drinking), because, well, who wants that sort of stress? No, I checked the results this morning. And second, I live in Oregon where you vote, y’know, pretty much whenever you like up to 8 pm Tuesday. I got my ballot into the drive up, no-wait drop box on Monday, after procrastinating for far too long.

But back to the Day After. For some people it’s the blues (the literal Blue turnover of the House to Democrats), and for some people it’s the … hmmm, how to get a ‘red’ reference in here? … um … they’ll see red (the Red maintainance of the Senate for Republicans). Gubanatorial results are a mixed bag for everyone (draw a state and a governor out of the aforementioned bags and mix-and-match as you like). Ballot amendments — probably the most important items on your ballot other than the Congressional races), were something you likely more or less ignored — mostly because you had no idea what the heck the wording actually meant. Let me know in the comments if I’m wrong on that. Anyway, some people’s ideology won, and some people’s lost.

Except, well, that’s the problem. This idea of ‘win’ and ‘lose.’ That’s what politics has become (and, yes, what it has been in the past, now and again — I’m not so naive as all that, and don’t look at the world through rose-tinted glasses. Aviators, sometimes, but not rose), but it isn’t what politics SHOULD be. In conversation the other day, my mother said something along the lines of, “I don’t agree with either side.” That idea is problematic in itself, in that there aren’t just two sides. We’re so used to that notion in our dualistic society, but, well, there are a lot of ‘sides’; we’re just forced, in our country, to choose between the two top-dog positions that have the loudest voices. But even within those two parties, there are LOTS of different voices, different perspectives, different viewpoints, and different opinions. However, that’s not the point here. The point is that by talking about ‘sides’ at all, we set up this notion of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ in politics. But that isn’t how it’s supposed to work (or how, anyway, I propose, it SHOULD work). There ARE so many different voices and needs in our society. Our politicians — our representatives — are put there, in the hallowed halls of power, not just to represent their core constituency, but to come to agreements, outcomes, and, yes, compromises, that benefit us as a country, don’t disenfranchise anyone, and don’t cause us to devolve into chaos and war.

Because that’s what can happen if we continue down a road of ‘win’ and ‘lose.’ Once some group ‘loses’ enough, they won’t settle for the operative system anymore and they will rise up, hopefully in a peaceful manner that effects positive change, but that can’t be counted on. Better that our representatives actually represent … but represent the best of us. The best of who we can be as people, as a country: working together; fighting (with words and logical arguments, preferably over a beer) for what they want to achieve, but willing to make compromises and to find common ground; and working to make our country the best it can be, too. Sure, we all have different ideas of what ‘best’ means. But if we get past this idea of win or lose, with no room for “Hey, not what I was hoping for, but that works,” then we can be … awesome … even if it isn’t exactly the awesome we were hoping for.

So, congratulations to everyone who gained a position before the wheel of power. Now, and I’m saying this as directly to you, our representatives, as I can without picking up a phone: don’t sail us onto the rocks just because you feel the need fight over the wheel and ‘win’ control of it. Instead, work with the others whose hands are also on that venerable, polished wood, and ake us out THERE … out into the open waters of hope, and into a bright and shining future.


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