Fight Club: The World According to Tyler Durden
Heed the wisdom of an imaginary psychopathic anarchist. By Bryan Enk
In 1996, the world was introduced to Chuck Palahniuk’s funny, sad, angry, mischievous, bizarre and brilliant debut novel, Fight Club. The book’s fractured prose, acid-jazz structure and shockingly subversive themes took the world of contemporary fiction by storm and made Palahniuk a superstar – and, in our humble opinion, the author has yet to top his first book.
At first, Fight Club was considered to be “unfilmable,” like so many subversive novels before it, so it was quite a surprise when 20th Century Fox conjured up a budget of over $60 million, big-time movie stars (Brad Pitt and Edward Norton) and an A-list director (David Fincher) to turn the scrappy little novel into a movie like no other. The result was a modern classic – a startlingly original, daring and uncompromising piece of filmmaking, one that gains new members every year.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the release of Fight Club, the movie. To celebrate a decade of poet-philosopher-pugilist Tyler Durden, wonderfully played by Mr. Brad Pitt, we present some of his still-relevant sage wisdom – in fact, rather eerily, some of Tyler’s musings may be even more relevant in today’s social, political and economic climate than they were back in ’99. As there are eight rules of Fight Club, we present eight bits of Tyler Wisdom.
TYLER WISDOM #1: “I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering… goddammit, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh** we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
TYLER WISDOM #2: “Fu** off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns – I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let’s evolve, let the chips fall where they may.”
TYLER WISDOM #3: “Only after disaster can we be resurrected.”
TYLER WISDOM #4: “In the world I see – you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.”
TYLER WISDOM #5: “Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
TYLER WISDOM #6: “Self-improvement is masturbation. Now self-destruction…”
TYLER WISDOM #7: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fu**ing khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”
TYLER WISDOM #8: “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”