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Celebrating the non-legacy of “Fight Club”

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fight-club-2In August 2001, the world seemed to be settling down to be a pleasant, boring place. America had won the Cold War, and Russia was a democracy. The economy was fundamentally sound, and most Westerners were not questioning civilization’s survival. Only in such a pre-9/11 bubble could one treat the movie “Fight Club” (1999) as more than entertainment. Now that “Fight Club 2” is pending rollout as a comic-book series starting May 28, Americans should be thankful the franchise’s impact upon society is minimal.

“Fight Club” was “The Catcher in the Rye” for Generation X: The story of a well-to-do, alienated young man rebelling against a phony existence. Taking cues from “A Clockwork Orange”, the anonymous protagonist, a 30-year-old desk jockey, sought distraction through increasingly extreme violence and gang activity. Complaining he was addicted to effeminate consumerism and the “IKEA nesting instinct,” he established illegal, bare-knuckle “fight clubs” to reclaim masculinity, and then recruited converts into “Project Mayhem,” a covert, nationwide campaign to destroy corporate capitalism.

To its credit, “Fight Club” was visually impressive, and director David Fincher (“The Social Network”, “Se7en”) improved upon Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel. Fight scenes were realistic, and the movie had a few stunning monologues, the greatest of which was delivered by Brad Pitt:

We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War is 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. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

He raised a legitimate … Read the rest

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