No movie or book has played a greater role in my life than Fight Club. I first saw the film back on VHS when it was first released and hated it. It wasn’t until I picked up the two-disc DVD set a few years later that I discovered that greatness that was Fight Club. The movie led me to the book and I saw the world from a different perspective after that.
As I’ve gotten older, I revisit the book and movie from time-to-time and almost always take away something new from the story. I think that is why I feel like Fight Club has had such a large influence on my life. The story just continues to speak to me on different levels as I progress in my own life.
Recently, with all the chaos that has ensued, I’ve thought about a scene from the Fight Club movie that was not found in the book. This scene saw Brad Pitt’s character address the fellow Fight Club attendees and proclaimed a sort of manifesto to the the group:
“Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s 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. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
Now, it’s a bit over the top, but the one line that has always stood out to me is the line about having no Great War or no Great Depression. We haven’t had a great trial to overcome as a society and well, as men in my generation, I feel like we’ve never had to show our true fortitude. Instead, we’ve been dismissed and blamed and settled in whatever roles we can find knowing we’d always measure up short to the generations before us.
With this new crisis upon us, we’ve been given a situation that we can preserve in. Sure, right now things aren’t so bad, but the upcoming months could be rough and it will be during this time that we must reach deep down and be strong. I feel like its time to shake off the comfort and ease that comes with modern life and reach down deep and find that grit that men have found in the past when faced with adversity.
Of course, I don’t speak for everyman, but this is what I’m doing. My mindset has already begun to shift and I’m preparing for the difficulty that lies ahead. I hope deep down it doesn’t come, but should it arrive, I want to be ready mentally to deal with this.