This question was actually posed as what book would you be glad to never hear of again, but I changed it to movie. In reality, it’s both a book and a movie, but I’m not angry with the author or the manuscript that led to the movie. I don’t even think the author likes the movie. The problem, in fact, isn’t even the movie. The problem is the culture that winds around it, dry humping it to death.
Chuck Palahniuk penned an award winning novel that gained Hollywood’s attention in the late 1990s. Yeah. That one. Fight Club (FC). I’ll try not to roll my eyes too hard. It’s not the book’s fault. Then again, if it wasn’t written…Sorry, Chuck.
The performances in the film are great, and the cinematography was spot on. The script was even good. Technically, there’s nothing wrong with film, unless you count Brad Pitt who has become a tired old trope walking. The real issue is the toxic interpretation of the film by it’s core fans. Back in the 90s, did we doubt the fall of men? That they were being ground under by society and turned into gaping, consuming maws?
I’m bored and disinterested just thinking about the rallying of young men around the imagery of the film. The sad fact is, that they miss the point of what Chuck was trying to say. The film leveraged misogyny and bull shit to sell more tickets to their main focus group: 15-25 year old white males. All that angst and desire for power and control, to be king of the castle as promised, was manipulated for earnings. Well, that’s not unusual. Media constantly does this. However, the demographic believes that this film, probably the book too, was written to free them. You know, that Matrix Red Pill thing.
When society takes it’s marching orders from a movie, a piece of entertainment, it’s not always the wisest course for it. Sometimes a film can inspire amazing things, like It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and Back to the Future (1985). Wakening to the idea that the blessings we have despite ourselves are a good thing, or the crazy cool gadgets we should be inventing, are fantastic things to pursue. Reinventing the actions of the entire society and deeming one gender and race superior is not. FC has become a rallying cry, so to speak, for toxic masculinity.
But, as far as I can tell, that was not Palahniuk’s purpose in writing his tale. Rather, he wanted everyone to wake up to the consumerism run rampant in the United States and how it was used to define people in worthless ways. It was identifying the waste of time that keeping up with the Jones’s really was. Humanity should be exploring ideas, not ideology. Ironically, the fans were ideological.
Even women fell under the spell, wanting to support the men in reclaiming masculinity, which was apparently being washed away with the fresh scent of Gain. Go figure, women selling out women to raise up men, and hope that that wins them points in the game. Once again, it’s falling into ideology, not ideas.
The whole thing has become a display in immaturity and foolishness to embrace toxic behavior, instead of a wise reflection on the wastefulness we’ve been convinced to let our lives dissolve into. It’s really a tragedy, but the book’s time has passed, at this point. Whether Palahniuk’s intention was altruistic or not, the story doesn’t do much other than whine for days gone by, days most of us are glad to have kissed good-bye. And, that could be because of the fan base being so pathetically basic.
I’m sure, however, that the film and book are still quite relevant in certain camps, despite my sentiments, where animalism is celebrated as masculinity. It probably plays in fraternities all over the world, where the average age is 19, and cheap bear is available in quantity. It’s curious that people who have experienced so little of real manhood are so sure masculinity is endangered. It’s further curious, and telling, that it all centers around violence. So it’s either blind consumerism sapping your life away or a life of violent expression of power? I won’t apologize for finding that utterly laughable.
Yeah, It would be just fine by me if this movie was never heard from again…