A guy I work with hasn’t seen The Big Lebowski, which is like living in Plato’s Cave, as far as culture goes. The Big Lebowski is a profanity-laden epic poem that becomes a part of you and changes as you change. I identified with The Dude when I was young and my id was in control–the world took itself too seriously. But now that I’m older, my superego has taken over and I’ve become Walter, the tightly wound Vietnam veteran. I may not have seen my buddies die face down in the muck, but I now understand what it’s like to have a history and a strong sense of how things should be, and his outbursts are my outbursts. In a few years, my ego will hopefully learn to balance these competing forces, and I’ll be the cowboy at the bar, indifferently watching and telling the story.