Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stressing About Your Sofa Isn't Cool

Fight Club was a great movie to end the semester with since it is inarguably cool in every way we discussed. There’s a character that is cool, the plot and story line are cool, and, finally, the ending is cool.

“How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?” Society and the current generation of people are so ready to avoid conflict that we miss a lot of what it really means to live. At one point in the movie, a member of the fight club tries to pick a fight with a priest by spraying him with water as he walks by, then throwing his Bible on the ground and spraying water on it, but it takes awhile for the priest to decide he wants to try to defend his beliefs; then, when he does he takes a swing and runs away. We, as a generation, are of the mentality that we are all winners and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all; we live by these clichés. It’s easier to get wrapped up in our things and worthless jobs than to face reality and possibly conflict and difficult decisions. This façade of peace and happiness actually leads to a outrageous amount of built-up tension which is why we keep seeing seemingly unexplainable acts of violence. If we stopped putting up fronts and, instead, addressed our problems, the world would be much saner. The fight club was so liberating because it forced people to feel in a society that otherwise forces them to be numb.

Another theme of the movie is that we can’t control everything. Life will never be complete or perfect. Trying to make every little thing fit into a mold causes a society of bored individuals who hate themselves and their lives. The movie satirizes self-help groups and mock-suicidal cries for help. Everything is taken to the extreme because we don’t have a defining event that is universally plaguing everyone; instead, each individual finds a personal crisis pretty much daily. The coffee-maker not working one morning could start World War III. Our coping skills are nonexistent. When a true crisis happens, it seems like the end of the world compared to the coffee-maker tragedy of the day before.

Every second we are dying, and instead of getting the most out of life, we are choosing the color for the pointer on our computer. People’s lack of meaning and purpose leads to creating meaning in materials. We unnecessarily cause our lives to be fast-paced and stressful when, in reality, it isn’t. Fight Club doesn’t stop at satirizing the meaningless masses but goes onto satirize the masses who find all-encompassing meaning that takes away their individual power to think. The majority of people are too quick to follow; instead of voicing their own independent opinions, they latch onto others viewpoints.

Fight Club exposes many of the problems that we are facing as a society that lacks a major defining event or cause. It’s cool because it takes a critical look at where we are right now and identifies the major problems that nobody else is willing to acknowledge.


  1. At what point does caring about meaningful things instead of material possessions go too far? Was the blowing up of credit card buildings going too far or was it finally caring enough to do something?

  2. I don't think caring about meaningful things can go too far, depending on what you consider "meaningful."

    If it's someone like Gahndi giving up all material possessions for the better good of his country and fellow citizens or even Emerson and the transcendentalists, they couldn't have gone too far with their methods.

    However, blowing up a credit card company isn't caring too much it's just the wrong means to the end he wished to achieve or possibly unreasonable ends.