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liberal socialists DESTROYED

Imho the fate of this film was quite ironic, it tried to frame radicals as deluded extremists who can't control their own movements and I think it is essentially a liberal film, with the end with the dude and the girl not caring about world blowing up because there is "muh luv" and the guy once finally free from his radical ways, can finally enjoy life again. Also the radicalism is basically retarded shit like disorganized anprim, further shaming the questioning of liberal society.
Tyler was a guy to be afraid of, to hate and see as a charming snake. But the ironic twist is exactly that it is so loved by normies that it basically reverted the film message. It became the representation for normie hate for capitalist society imho, it's very important the part where it says you are not your job etc.
I'm not saying that it is some kind of glorious communist revelations but imho it speaks out that average peopl are just so fed up with the bullshit system of late capitalism that this stupid liberal film was basically inverted in its meaning.

I don't think it is a liberal movie or a movie that wants to potray Tyler as the "bad" guy. I think it show how a normal betacuck-wageslave became an charasmatic alphmale-rebell who started and lead an male-anarchistgroup that destroyed the whole system! It shows too how capitalism makes men into submissive pussie-slaves, who only work to get money and to buy shit with this money that they don't need, to impress people they don't like.

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Did it though? They were highly effective and accomplished their goals.
The way I always read the ending was that the narrator was still completely detached. With Tyler gone, he's suddenly not very concerned about anything. Ultimately Tyler won, but the liberal narrator survives. He thinks he won by killing Tyler, but one man's death doesn't change anything (as established earlier). They still destroyed the finance system and reset personal/corporate debt by destroying the records (which is not itself all that radical - debt jubilees go way back).

The narrator feeling victorious at the end indicates just how disconnected liberals are from reality. Tyler was the radical bringing about change. The narrator was the liberal trying to keep from rocking the boat too much while also bleeding off the pent up rage from being subjected to capitalism. Marla was an actual poor person who has to deal with reality and doesn't get involved in politics. Because she has to live in the real world she's shocked by the buildings collapsing. Meanwhile the liberal is engrossed in the theater of political struggle and doesn't give a fuck about it. While Tyler was around, the narrator was forced to confront reality and materialism (e.g. the quote about everyone being decaying matter), but as soon as the radical is removed the liberal can retreat to apathy again while the world literally falls down around them.

tl;dr
liberals are chicken shits who can be relied upon to shoot Rosa every time

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That is a popular saying, but it is fundamentally mistaken. It is the things that you don't own that end up owning you. Your car and cell phone will break as soon as you get them payed off. Then you will need to buy the new model. Your home belongs to the bank, and you will constantly pay them for the privelege of not sleeping in the gutter. Its the health care that you constantly have to pay to utilize, the workplace that you can be dismissed from at a whim, the water, the sewer, the gas, the electric, and all the things that are necessary to survive in society that you do not own that ultimately own you.

But the thing I have seen in thefilm is that it tries to portray the guys who tyler trained as deaf to what the liberal tries to tell later in the film because they have become "violent extremists" who don't listen to reason.

for the "can't control their own movements" I mean what I sayed above.
For the rest, I think your criticism is interesting, but I think in the end the guy is framed as a sane minded anti-violent person. His very apathy is a virtue for liberas, for whom you should watch the wolrd crumble around you while holding with "the only things that matter" (love). He is disconnected from reality because the gu by doing it "got it right". The difference between pre tyler guy and post tyler guy is that in the beginning he somewhat believe the narrative consciously, while in the end he do not believe the narrative but doesn't want to put on a fight either because tyler represets madness and evil. The madness of tyler has spread to the other people in the movement and when the liberal undestands tyler is his mental ilness he tries to stop them. Tyler himself being a mental illness is like a parasitic ruinous wrongthink that in the end would have consumed the potagonist for the film imho, because as I interpreted it the guy "should have done the right thing from the beginning" by embracing liberal mystique like thinking that he may not be his job, but he will keep doing it anyway, just keeping in mind his real reality is not real. Like accepting ideology in a zizekian way.
Still interesting analysis and I think you could be right, I saw the film years ago and I need a more consccious rewatch.

well he achieved his goal of destroying the holders of debt that they rant against the whole movie. mission accomplished.

No comment on the film's overall message but I think it's a pretty accurate representation of the "radicalization" process that happens to terrorists, mass shooters, etc. You have an alienated guy who is bereft of a sense of meaning or purpose in his life – he does meaningless work and despite his material needs being fulfilled, he is empty inside – so he basically radicalizes himself and forms this anprim doomsday society.

But the most important thing is the construction of the Tyler Durden character in his own mind. A lot of mass shooters and terrorists adopt this alter-ego of sorts – in Fight Club it's literally a split personality – that is reborn hard and dedicated to a mission.

Another movie that is like this Taxi Driver. Travis Bickle is this lonely guy driving a cab at night and eventually he develops this avenging, radical alter-ego that devours the old, shattered personality. He begins working out and buying weapons, and posing with them, and then declares war on all the pimps in the city which he blames for corrupting society.

When I started seeing these pictures of these mass shooters wearing camo and holding weapons, I started thinking "oh he's Tyler Durdening out." Or "he's doing his Tyler Durden." Underneath this normal facade of everyday life there are all these people who have adopted these other roles. The guy next in line to you at Chipotle could be part of a neo-Nazi terror cult, or he might be imagining himself engaged in a 200,000-year-old cosmic war with the Gorgons of Planet Nebulon, etc.

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(me)
And I need to note that these guys look ridiculous and grotesque in most people's minds, but in *their* mind they think they look like badasses. Psychologists used to call this personality type the "pseudocommando" (I don't see this term much anymore though) that undergoes a process of psychological splitting. The Virginia Tech shooter (pictured) probably thought he was like Chow Yun-fat from Hard Boiled.

Tyler Durden for Fight Club's narrator is an ideal image of himself of course. It's the same basic psychology at work.

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good posts.

I always interpreted Fight Club as a commentary on the social causes of (male) alienation and purposelessness in a modern society dedicated to working, spending, hoarding, etc. It's pretty blunt in that regard. Taxi Driver was a portrait of someone suffering from that kind of social alienation but also was more visceral and had less commentary. Both were brilliant in their own way.

IMO Fight Club is a liberal, washed out psuedo-glorification of the alienated male under capitalism where he's a somewhat heroic figure, whereas Taxi Driver, American Psycho, Nightcrawler, and Falling Down are a more hard hitting exploration of the concept. They show front and centre a reactionary lunatic doing wildly immoral and crazy things but by the end of the movie his mad quest for self-destruction is rewarded by a society even sicker than he is, to the surprise of nobody more than himself, and he faces no consequences for it (except for maybe Falling Down but even then he was a success prior to the movie as a reactionary weapons contractor).

I was actually thinking of making a video on this, hell, maybe. Highly recommend all those movies if you haven't seen them.

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Do it!

Good post.

Yeah but in that scenario the liberal is lying in an attempt to trick them. Tyler has in the most literal possible sense taught his people to see through the lies of a liberal pretending to be a radical.

Tyler was in control though. The narrator wasn't because he wasn't supposed to be.
He "beats" Tyler by shooting him(self) though. Per usual with liberals, violence is fine if it's directed against threats to the system.
Is Tyler clearly framed as a mental illness? He's a construct of the narrator's mind (who can take control) but he calls himself an alter ego and which identity is the "real" one gets called into question explicitly at one point (even if it's kind of as a joke).
How does that hold up though? Because of Tyler the narrator is able to accomplish all sorts of largely positive things, mainly building a community. Tyler points out that he's pretty much strictly superior at the end. Since he's just a part of the narrator, he's more accurately described as a new identity the narrator starts to take on. A person's identity can change over time, and given Tyler's positive traits (except the ones that scare the narrator) this would on the whole be an improvement if Tyler consumed him. That would just be the man evolving as a person. What actually happens is the liberal in him gets too freaked out and the radical gives him too much leeway, and he/they backslide on most of the personal progress made. I think the relationship makes more sense as a metaphor for inner conflict (and a parable for political conflict) rather than being strictly literal.
I strongly disagree that this was the message. Tyler's aspirations aren't really portrayed as bad, just as scary to the narrator. They go so far as to establish that they managed to clear out the buildings to be destroyed (this was pre-9/11 so nobody knew how destructive collapsing skyscrapers are). That's a deliberate choice to make Project Mayhem more sympathetic. Other times when Tyler scared the narrator things ultimately improved. Tyler points this out at the end. We don't get to see the effects of Project Mayhem, just that they do demolish the buildings. Pulling away at that point is necessary to avoid dealing with the consequences - for the narrator, the audience, and the production itself. It's the exact thing Tyler accuses the narrator of trying to do moments earlier.

As for the narrator staying at his job, none of his actions sabotaging his workplace (or framing his boss) have negative consequences for him or are otherwise portrayed as wrong. Silly sure, but not wrong except in the context of the narrator's (and supposedly the audience's) fear and the idea that his actions led up to what scares him. But he ends up losing by siding against Tyler and having to live in Tyler's new world anyway. Hell, after he "dies" Tyler is even kind of implied to "ascend" because just like at the projectionist job he edits a frame of cock into the movie itself.

Thanks. Your version is more straightforward and definitely what the "politically correct" reading of the film is, what the studio wanted, so it's a valid reading. It's pretty much exactly what was intended. That kind of thing prevents a film like this from being too overt. They'd never allow Tyler to shoot the narrator at the end or something to that effect. You can have a heroic radical who betters people's lives, who says catchy woke slogans, and who ultimately wins even. You just have to make him the "villain" who gets "beaten" by the protagonist in the end, even if that "victory" is a joke. It only has to be a "moral" victory that ends on a high note. For the record, I don't think that any of the people involved are particularly radical, but that didn't stop them from imagining a pretty solid example of one. If there's an effective message to the film IMO it's that there's a Tyler in all of us even if we try to hide him, and he holds a lot of power if we don't let fear stop us.

Please do make that video, and I agree these movies are way better at social criticism in general. They are actually showing how the system works and why it's a problem, which is generally more interesting. Fight club doesn't even attempt as much as it's going for a much more individualist criticism, i.e. our problem is that people suppress their inner Tyler or maybe that they let him too free. I think both approaches are worthwhile, but a systemic critique is far more valuable. It's a lot harder to get away with that kind of thing though, especially if you want to be mainstream with it.


While I would argue that a sense of purpose is a human need, I think the narrator's problem in Fight Club is more a lack of community. His story starts with him as a support group junkie, where he can only manage to find community through phony victimhood. He's happy with that until Marla shows up and forces him to be self-conscious and feel guilty. Then he has to find another way, and that's the fight club. He's happy again there until Robert Paulson dies and he feels guilty (even though he had almost nothing to do with it and it was some pig who overreacted and shot him). Rather than accepting that this guy died as a result of an entire community's actions (and the system retaliating) he feels personally responsible and stops being able to relate to the community, who start grieving the loss of a member. He's bad at relating to people so he tries to find workarounds to belong somewhere.

But unlike those guys Tyler first and foremost builds a community and helps people enrich their own lives. They even start an off the grid co-op in the boonies to help sustain themselves. He's not just some hard ass operator. He's hard, but he's also wild and undisciplined and most importantly supportive and even affectionate. Saying he fits this archetype is a big stretch IMO.

Well you could also apply the alter ego thing to, you know, superheroes in fiction. Or to a lot of sex workers in reality. Having an alter ego is by no means confined to batshit crazy people who can only lash out at the world. And in Tyler's case he has very concrete goals (all of which he achieves) including building a community to the point of not just self-maintenance but growth (there are numerous fight club chapters by the end) and wiping out debt records from the monopolistic creditors (which by extension would probably destroy capitalism, and he already helped build an organization that could help replace it).


Whereas Tyler Durden, superheroes, and sex workers are all broadly seen and cool and sympathetic.
So is the version of yourself you imagine any time you try to boost your self-confidence. Self-image is a lot broader than what you're describing.

They're about wildly different ways people can react to similar situations. Where the paths diverge depends mostly on their consciousness of the situation. Bickle is socially retarded and picks a scapegoat. Durden makes a systemic critique based on materialism (though lacking much class consciousness).

In my opinion taxi driver is somewhat very keen on a lot of themes. Everything of course is framed through the carachter of travis, but his adventures lead him to face a lot of different realities, not only social malaise (the standard theme that gets interpreted) but for example politics; Palantine is an important figure in its relation to Bickle, he is believed by Travis only as long as the relationship goes well, this because Travis tries to represent a type of person that do not understands reality and connects things based on his own vision of the world, it represents the people who do not understand politics if not by personal experience.
The fact is that Taxi Driver is ultimately a film that tries to eviscerate the theme of alienation and detachment from reality and it does so by the different angles of the life of Travis, his work, his relationships, his interests, etc.

What do you think about the intepretation that at the end Bickle "only imagined" his reward? I do not mean the dream death theory which is stupid but it still makes me think the fact that the letter the parents of Iris sent him seems wrote in his own calligraphy and has his writing errors. If I do not remember wrong there was a piece of newspaper on his wall too, and I think that it was real, but that for him that was not enough, he understood how he did nothing useful ubconsciously and tried to run away from this reality by constructing a fantasy where he at the very least saved Iris, so that his deed was not simply a squalid mass shooting glorified by a press hungry for news.

exactly because Tyler is superior the problem is that he is a parasityc mental illness in a sense: there was a scene if I do not remember well in where the guy argues with the girl because the girl is angry that when they fucked it was tyler and such things: the problem is that thyler was not a better himself but a possessing other, and I have interpreted it as a liberal thing that says "if you do this you lose your individuality" essentially it says that the guy is the irreplaceable snowflake in all his bad qualities while tyler is good but essentially "not him". I nonetheless agree with the last part of

Well the idea that Tyler is fictional and that the narrator is real is based on a pretty arbitrary distinction. In the film's reality, Tyler is made real because he takes over the narrator's personality. Writing him off as a mental illness is a problem because he clearly has his own individuality apart from the narrator and according to individualist logic he also has a right to exist. Further, Tyler is happy to co-exist with the narrator but the narrator can't abide both existing. So while you can read this liberal interpretation, the internal logic of the movie shows how it's hypocritical. Tyler isn't an existential threat to the narrator's individuality. The reverse is true. As always with liberalism you draw a line between good/bad people or valid/invalid people that justifies violent repression. This is absolutely necessary for the survival of liberalism, because liberalism excludes people who will eventually rise up and have to be put down if liberalism is to survive.

What Tyler does threaten is the larger system the narrator lives in, the "big Other". This wouldn't destroy the narrator's individuality per se, but it would force him to adopt a different identity than a cool edgy rebel, effectively destroying that. This again highlights the separation between the idealist liberal and materialist radical. Tyler constructs identity as something to be transcended. The narrator seeks identity as the end in itself, and because he identifies with his identity rather than his individuality he sees a threat to his identity as an existential threat that justifies ending the existence of another person in "defense." This is a similar line of reasoning to Zig Forums's "white genocide" narrative.

I think I'll watch the film again with a more critical eye.
To switch topic, have you seen the first Robocop?

I always felt that Fight Club was more ironic than most critics understood. Which is why I don't describe it as some kind of "glorification." The big irony of the film is that you have this deracinated figure that Edward Norton portrays whose only emotional outlet and social contact comes via support groups. He lacks any kind of identity apart from his job and the shit he buys for his apartment. So what does Tyler offer? The chance to become part of "something" where you can really belong to a group and experience things that excite men at a visceral level. The tradeoff, and the irony, is that to become a part of Tyler's organization requires you to abandon whatever previous identity and individuality you had. You become a "space monkey", a drone, a footsoldier, who is intentionally reduced to a slogan-repeating non-entity whose very life is expendable to further 'the cause'. So, in my view, the fight club is promising to give men what they really need and want but then strips them of everything instead.

And there is more than just one layer of irony to the film. Someone pointed out to me years ago that when Tyler points at the Calvin Klein ad and asks, "Is that what a real man looks like?" it's a subtle irony because that's exactly what fucking Tyler looks like.

Oh yeah. Good shit. Fantastic metaphor for what cops are. It's got problems with its ideology (muh good cop) but the way it portrays megacorps is great. My biggest complaint is it's too humanist for me. Robocop "wins" because of his remaining humanity, and ED209 loses because of its limitations as a robot. If you just read "robot" as a metaphor for being a part of the system though, that's pretty agreeable to me though.

I have read the film in another way. He wins in the end because the protection code gets disabled in a stroke of pure luck, and when a bourgeoise itself is threatened; so robocop by his personal war against the system, since he is not fighting it in any systemic way, can only rely upon the ruling class itself. The good cop is ultimately, as all cops, just a pawn of ruling class antagonisms.
In any case it surprised me, I thought it would have been just a dumb action movie and instead it has some serious social commentary.

Interesting. It's been years since I've seen Robocop so I didn't remember this. I'll definitely rewatch it now. My memory was that it was a case of "my humanity doesn't care what shouldn't be possible" idealism.
The funny thing about memorable or classic movies is that people remember them as "a really good [genre] movie" but what makes them good is something unrelated to the genre that elevates it. IMO this is Hollywood being a business and thinking of everything in categories and demographics, not grasping that people are interested in the actual content of movies. And this mentality gets passed along to everyone.

Well there is definetly some idealism, its a Hollywood movie after all and I think you are somewhat on point about the fight between robots. But as far as I remember, the fight in the HQ of the company is won purely because the chief of police (or whatever) disables the secret measure when the other guy, the second in charge, threatens him.
A criticism of the film I would make is the "simple man beats the system" bullshit trope, I haven't seen all the kings men but I'd guess it would be something along the criticism zizek makes of the film. But nonetheless I'd fing it strange that a 1987 film just makes the good guy lose after such a harsh criticism of police structure.
completely agree. Hollywood tries to build "classic genres" like for example slasher movies that dumb down the original message of films by focusing on the most inane tropes and making them completely devoid of anything but hollywood ideology. Its very telling of this how usually "good genre movies" are the ones that break stereotypes or build them.

I've always liked the film
But to the OP quote

You are, in fact, a unique snowflake. We may be doing the same old thing and share many commonalities, but we inhabit our own space and times, develop our own way and exhibit a novelty to these finite days humans exist. Regardless of free will vs determinism or that somewhere in between, we have this day, 10/10/18, to live in, and it will never come again.

Noice.

I don't disagree with your post and concur with what the manarchist has been saying but
I think this is an internal dialogue for the narrator where he objects to the representation of the male model as a representation of a real man while simultaneously wishing to look like such a man. I'd argue such a contradiction is true for most of us in that we don't have stretch-mark free bodies of iron showcased in clever photography found in such magazines yet most of would gladly trade our actual bodies for such a physique. Thus we are in a situation of realization that we almost certainly will never look like a naturally handsome man who keeps a strict exercise and diet regimen(along with steroids in many cases) and that such is practically unattainable despite the magazines thrust at us promising new workouts and diets to shred fad and build muscle, yet we wish such a form for ourselves and many work towards it despite the unlikelihood of getting there. In many ways this mirrors capitalism, with most people(especially the posters here) realizing that becoming rich is out of their reach but struggle to attain wealth in a system they realize is rigged in hopes of being one of the exceptions to the rule. Everyone should here should still lift and try to grow their money if possible, even if you aren't an omegachad or millionaire being fit and having extra money is useful to us

Sort of related to this, I find the difference in the "virgin narrator" and the "Chad Durden" to be a relevant attack on the Great Man in some regard. The narrator believes that a demi-god like Durdern is needed to change the world in any manner what so ever is overturned with the realization that he, a skinnyfat loser with a boring job and no friends, is the one who created a anprim/patriarchal-reactionary cult that wiped out debt for a large number of people. This is relevant to us similar to the more recent Sorry to Bother You in that it tells us that history isn't made by heroic beings but ordinary people struggling.

I'm drunk as fuck right now but this thread unironically made me think. Maybe Zig Forums should have a movie night where we try to watch something and discuss it over a week or so. Certainly more interesting than another thread about a dead movement or what BO has been up to.

you know I have a movie channel we could use…

That's be pretty cool fam. You think you could pull it off bimonthly.