I just finished reading Fight Club about twenty minutes ago.
Contrary to what I’ve been told, it’s noticeably different from the movie, in that it contains more of that Palahniuk philosophy that rings so fresh and yet so flat on the ear. That notion seems to be that we can never truly be a part of the great landslide of human existence unless we give up and allow ourselves to be reabsorbed into that which has already shat us out…that murderers want to be caught, because the detectives on the case are their saviors, and so on.
Okay, well… Bullshit. I’m not buying it. By definition, a landslide is an event which drags whatever is in the way along with it. In much the same manner, humankind is an unavoidable catastrophe bearing down on every single one of us from points above. The only way to avoid a total landslide is to be above it, on higher ground. The problem is, each generation is born further down the hill, deeper into the flood plain. Each generation is more fucked than the last. All told, there is no discernible difference between the dead on the bottom of the pile and those nearer the top, except that crows and coyotes can’t dig very far.
From the movie, one might assume that Chuck Palahniuk is out to destroy society, which has been marked irredeemable by those at the head of the landslide.
Ayn Rand was probably closer than Palahniuk on that end.
He seems to believe that we can only truly excel once the old ways have been torn down, and the new guard is allowed a truly fresh start. A sort of slash-and-burn sociological experiment. That’s all well and good on paper, but my question is: how can we ever expect to start fresh? You can tear down an old barn, but there’s still a big pile of shit left over, not to mention the foundation. Do we dig that up and destroy it, too? Do we waste our formative, fast-burning years on cleaning up after people long-dead and utterly blameless?
Fuck that noise. The only valid philosophy for this day and age is the Jackrabbit Principle: stay as far ahead of the brush fire as possible, and when it’s too late to run, lay low and eat the young.