Stay with me.
|P IS FOR PUNCHING|
|I am Jack's addictive personality.|
This brings us to Tyler Durden and why I made the association. Fight Club (the movie; it's been too long since I read the book for me to be able to confidently speak about it) is a movie where one man, reacting violently against his meaningless rat-race consumerist lifestyle, snaps toward another extreme, that of anarchic nihilism. Said anarchic nihilism manifests in Tyler Durden, who creates the titular fight clubs and basically sets out to destroy society. The thing is that Tyler Durden is played by Brad Pitt in probably the best shape of his or anyone else's life, and he just looks so fucking stylish and cool that even if you intellectually understand the meaning of the movie (that neither Ed Norton's nameless protagonist's life nor Durden's are desirable) you'll still likely want to walk out of the movie saying, with some degree of seriousness, that you want to start your own fight club.
I'm not meaning to imply that I'm smarter than anyone else who saw Fight Club; I thought it was cool and bad-ass too and it took me years to come around to the actual, "oh, they're both nuts," thing, but I'm willing to bet that there is a non-negligible population of people who have seen Fight Club who honestly believe the take-away is that you should buy less Ikea furniture, be more manly and solve problems with violence, and I'm 100% certain there's someone who's re-enacted the skin-burning scene. And I'm not saying that we should never make complicated, layered entertainment with messages you have to dig for, or that we should suger-coat or pull back because someone might misinterpret something or because someone disturbed might watch it and take it the wrong way. But I don't know how different we, as adults, are from kids who need to be reminded that cookies are a sometime food. Maybe I'm wrong and people largely got Fight Club, but I find myself feeling like the movie could use a little Veggie Durden.