How’s Your Condition?

RIP, Kenny Rogers.

YouTube/Universal Pictures

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Well, I woke up this morning with the sundown shining in. Kenny Rogers, the country artist behind an array of popular crossover tunes, has died at 81 years old.

You may choose to remember him from hits like “The Gambler,” “Lucille,” or with, Dolly Parton, “Islands in the Stream.” However, I, as an American male who attended college just after the turn of the millennium, will remember him best for contributing to the soundtrack of the Coen brothers film The Big Lebowski, where his first big hit “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” scored a wordless surrealist Busby Berkeley dreamscape.

With minds on the coronavirus, the lyrics’ talk of “condition” can’t help but take on a somewhat depressing medical cast. But on deeper consideration, the medical condition the song is linked to in the movie is quintessentially life affirming, where it backdrops a dance number that not-so-subtly plants the seed for the birth of a “little Lebowski”—the core of Sam Elliott’s direct to camera soliloquy that ends the film. In dark days, let’s enjoy it together, in honor of Mr. Rogers:

Death, birth: that’s the way the whole darn human comedy keeps perpetuating itself. I don’t know about you, but on this shut-in Saturday, I take comfort in that. 

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate