Breaking the First Rule of Fight Club
So I just finished Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club. Didn't take me long, about 4-5 very broken up hours all told. I am a slooooow reader so that's pretty good for me. Easy to read in to always and easy read. (stuff that never made into the film) The film did a good job translating the book and definitely stayed true to its overall theme, unlike certain films and series released since claiming to keep "the spirit" or "the essence" of the books they are ever-so loosely based upon in tact.
So I am packing up to move into my friends' place. I am looking at all my stuff thinking I should just render some animal fat, skim the glycerine, mix it with cat litter and blow all this crap to hell. But I am, I hate to say, a sentimentalist at heart. And it isn't like I'm some Ikea junkie collecting empty meaningless objects to fill the void in my life. There is no clever art, politically correct hand blown bowls, $2000 sofa's, etc. Most of it is music and books and old worn out clothes. I have a collection of worn-out jeans stuck in a hockey bag, a kind of mausoleum for the remains of dead denim. My intention is to cut them up, threat them with a primer paint and glue the strips onto a canvas. Waste not, want not and so on.
Fight Club has inspired young men around the world to change their name to Tyler Durden. Hotels and airports have people requesting a page for tyler Durden. Old Fight Clubs started calling attention to themselves. New Fight Clubs began to spring up in the likeliest and unlikeliest of places. My favourites are the Fight Clubs started by Brigham Young students claiming that nothing Mormon Law prohibits it. The son of a mayor of Salt Lake City was arrested for setting up a fight club in a Mormon Church. Big business and the fashion industry all tried to cash in on the Fight Club craze caused by the film. Many people in menial jobs were inspired to service industry terrorists. One waiter in London admitted to Palahniuk to having feed former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher his semen at least five times in one upper-cust establishment.
People tend to focus in on the wrong things about Palahniuk's novel and David Fincher's adaptation into film. My father hated the film because of the violence, he tuned it out. My friend's little brother likes Fight Club because of the violence, because it is about being bad in his mind and, for a while, he wanted nothing more than to be a bad-ass. People love it for the image andthe sentiments on the surface.
I had never heard of the novel when the film was released. I made a conscious effort to ignore it. I focused in on the wrong things too. I am not a huge fan of either Brad Pitt or Ed Norton. Soon friends started telling me I needed to see it. They went and siad it was like hearing my thoughts on screen as related through two Hollywood actors. Brad Pitt as my spokesman? I was even more determined to resist the film. I caved and am glad I did.
My first act of service industry terrorism would have been while I worked at a fast food place in Senior High. People treat you like crap. They come in and make demands. They play with you just because they can. Middle class and lower middle class people love to frequent fast food restaurants and convenience stores not because it is all they can afford, but because there is someone there who has lower status than they do. They come in to the McWendy's Dairy King and act like royalty or a Rockefeller. My saliva and mucous have been ingested by no fewer than 75 people. I never stole and I never targeted someone without cause. I never did stuff to the food that would affect the general population. I knew one guy who used to bleed into stew-like substance made from the bugers no longer fit for human consuption off the grill. When the pattys are too far gone they get chucked in a bucket, sit for hours and then get dumped in a pressure cooker.
The ending of Fight Club is different than the film. The film's ending is a happy Hollywood ending it its own way. The books ending hinges on a haiku that the narrator (Ed Norton's side of the persona) writes. In the film, the haiku is mentioned while the narrator is in the office. (in the book, Tyler Durden is the name the anarchist persona picks for himself) It is kind of creepy and bleak. It also involves the entire melanoma support group.
One thing I had read about Fight Club at Wikipedia.org was:
"When Palahniuk made his first attempt at publishing a novel (Invisible Monsters) publishers rejected it for being too disturbing. This led him to work on Fight Club, which he wrote as an attempt to disturb the publisher even more for rejecting him. Palahniuk wrote this story in between working while on the job for Freightliner. After initially publishing it as a short story (which became chapter 6 of the novel) in the compilation Pursuit of Happiness, Palahniuk expanded it into a full novel, which, contrary to what he expected, the publisher was willing to publish"
Other acts of service industry guerrila acts undertaken by me included sprinkling washed, pan-fried ants into the chili-dog of a particularly nasty piece of work who used to to frequent the convenience store I worked in. This didn't happen all the time because sometimes he was looking and sometimes I didn't have any ants. At that job I was frequently out of uniform and blasted Metallica and Megadeth at high volumes just in time for the bar rush of drunk angry rednecks. (Metallica was not yet redneck rock) If an employer is good to me and to the others I work with, I do my job and am happy. If an employer is a shit to everyone under him or her, well... all I can say is you lead by example so don't be surprised when your employees start following suit.
Fight Club, like Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, isn't for everyone. For safer anti-establishment reads go back and read George Orwell.