I first watched Fight Club in a small movie theater with some long-time friends over Christmas break a few years ago. For most, it messes with your mind and makes you think about it for days afterwards, similar to The Matrix. For me, it was a revelation. After watching the brilliant advertising playing this movie out to be just a bunch of sweaty guys beating each other senseless, the idea that this movie was not going to be the usual sit, watch, and forget intrigued me. Scene after scene wooed me into amazement. My life, as I knew it, was being flipped inside-out and hung upside-down before my eyes. A sudden manifestation of the essence of life burst through the silver screen and deep into my head. I swallowed and twisted inside, unable to believe that I was not special, I was not a unique and beautiful snowflake.
I didn’t need designer clothes. In fact, I hated designers and the people that wore their clothes. I hated the yuppie in his speedy recent-model something-or-other with his nice neat crap shoved in my face. Anything that wasn’t vital to existence infuriated me. I began my bathing fast. Socks were discarded in the corner. Shirts with sweat stains in the armpits from the week before were donned again with pride. I was a rebel with a cause. I knew why I hated these things so. People were being born into believing that this was life. These are the bands you listen to, these are the clothes you wear, and if you don’t follow the rules, you are not a normal person. If you do not buy these dishes, that coffee table, those rims for your car, you are not going to be noticed. You will never be looked at as one with taste. Life, as the trendy person knows it, would vanish and no purchase would be big enough to establish your image. It disgusted me so much I cried.
That Christmas was the toughest shopping experience of my life. Every store I cared to look into was filled with junk. Useless decorative overpriced junk. Junk nobody needs! I had never been so mad in such an anti-materialistic way. Everywhere I went were toys everyone was too old to enjoy, food that would go uneaten and turn rotten because everyone is on a diet, clothes that couldn’t fit in anyone’s cluttered closet. Anti-materialism is not something to be practicing during the holiday season. I gave up the shopping and presented all my friends and relatives with cards as gifts.
In the time passed since then, I decided I adored many of the things I previously shunned. I’ve begun bathing again. I try to wash my clothes at least once a week. Everyone is used to getting useless gifts at Christmas so I went back to handing those out (with cards). I’m still very, very angry at corporate America. The brainwashing of a nation continues as consumerism climbs to new heights. Fight Club re-engineered my entire perspective of life for the good, as well as planting the seed for my love of psychological thrillers. In the end, I know that I really am just another brick in the wall. A colorful and uniquely textured brick, that is.