This is the Fight Club post you should be talking about. Time and time again we sit down to watch this Fincher classic and something new hits us. Something , unexpected. There are nuggets of bar-stool philosophy in this film that can knock you on your ass. And here are the 10 moments I think can make you re-evaluate your existence.
10. The futility of existence.
This is something I think about a lot, probably too much to be honest. Just the existential woe of knowing that you're working so hard to figure something out that nobody ever will...is just hard to deal with. It's the idea that life itself is a fantastic and frustrating mystery. We've found some things out in our time on earth...we've developed history, but what does it all mean?
Not even the greatest minds can begin to know.
9. The value of losing control
A lot of the problem with Fight Club is that Jack can't lose control. We all have these problems, we want our future to turn out a certain way. We want stability, closure. We want a career and a home. We want to control every single aspect of our lives. Fight Club proves that we have to lose control in order to find ourselves.
8. The hollow nature of traveling.
This year I started my first job. Like...my first, real person job. And I've never traveled so much in my life. I was flying from New York to Cleveland, Cleveland to Boston, Canada to Cleveland, Cleveland to SFO. I felt like a different person every time I touched down. Single serving cups and friends became a reality for me. And its hollow.
You set yourself up for a few hours, close your eyes, and wallah, you're in a different place at a different time. You travel forward and backward and nothing ever feels right. Fight Club prepared me for this feeling, but nothing makes it better.
7. Becoming a badass at work.
Working in an office can be a soul sucking experience. I think all adults come to a point where they stop giving a fuck about pleasing their bosses, impressing their co-workers and getting ahead. People are constantly looking for re-assurance, and that can lead to bosses that are constantly power tripping.
In my limited experience, if you have talent, and you know your worth at work...act like it. Don't go around being a dick, and continue to do your job, but don't lay down and die every time you disagree with someone. Stand up for yourself, and be genuine. People will respect that. Trust me.
6. Coming to terms with capitalism.
One of the most famous tropes from Fight Club is the idea that we're working dead end jobs, living lives we hate so we can pay for a bunch of shit we don't need. The worst part is that it's true. People do a lot of shameful things for money. People sell themselves short in order to gain security. But maybe security isn't what we need.
5. Realizing that you're much more than your profession.
There is so much more to life than money and work. Tyler proves that mindless consumerism isn't always the best idea. All of the lame things that surround us, like business cards and Khakis, how much money we have in our wallets and the size of our houses, do not define us as people.
What defines us as people is our common experience of humanity. The base idea of living for a little while, trying to make an impact, and leaving the earth better than we left it rings true.
4. The necessity of pain.
I went through a pretty tough transition in September. After leaving college and starting my life I was feeling very disenfranchised...like a baby who was forcibly ejected from the womb and dropped on her head. Through my hardships, I realized the necessity of pain.
Tyler makes a great speech during the "Chemical Burn" scene, where he forcibly shows Jack how necessary pain is to gain enlightenment.
3. Controlling your destiny.
We all have a breaking point, and sometimes we put up with so much that one day we crack. It's hard to balance what we want in life with what we can handle, and when your destiny is concerned: you can't always control it.
This is why Fight Club is so liberating, that moment where Jack gets to live out his destiny of getting back at his boss. I feel like we all have those moments where we can't see the future, we can't see what all our work is leading to...and that can be scary.
The best part though, is being able to let go.
2. The importance of losing it all.
Hitting rock bottom is not a weekend retreat, but it's necessary to move forward. Losing everything is actually extremely empowering. When I was going through probably the hardest time in my life, I realized that I had nothing. I wasn't really going anywhere, or feeling like I was doing anything worthwhile. I just merely existed. So, I got knocked on my ass and I discovered what really made me want to live, and to fight for my future.
Losing everything is a great way to gain your freedom, or discover it for the first time.
1. "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight."
The crux of this entire movie is the moment where Tyler and Jack fight for the first time. The idea that people are just spectators, living their lives on the sidelines. We're trapped behind our computers and iPhones, typing away and out into the void. We have no purpose or direction. We are living in someone else's digital nightmare.
How much can we know if we've never acted on our impulses? Lived our lives?
We can't know anything.