The wisdom of ‘Fight Club’; Tyler Durden speaks the truth

Georgianna Hunt

By Georgie HuntStaff Columnist

This past weekend, I watched “Fight Club” for the first time. Despite raving reviews from friends, I have never felt an urge to experience the apparent brilliance for myself in the past. My list of cinematic favorites is topped by “Emma” and “Little Women.” Therefore, even though it stars Brad Pitt, I do not think my disinterest in the movie requires any further explanation. I was not expecting to like the movie when I skeptically sat down to it on a low-key Friday night, but I expected incorrectly, which is further evidence to me that I should just abandon expectation entirely. It is too often wrong and just gets in the way of people doing what they really want. “Fight Club” was good.The best part – now feel free to recall my favorite movies for an increase in shock value – is when it seems like Brad Pitt’s character is about to kill the convenience store worker. Brad Pitt asks the man if he went to college. Yes he did. What did the man study? Biology. Why? Because he wanted to become a veterinarian. The man, who was ambitious enough at one point in his existence to go to school to become a veterinarian, finds himself on what appears to be the last night of his life in the back lot of a corner convenience store where he works the late night shift. Pitt’s character takes the man’s license so that he will be able to keep an eye on him. He tells him that he will let him go, but if in a week’s time, the man is not on his way to becoming a veterinarian, he will be dead. Some disturbed viewers may deem Brad Pitt’s fear-inflicting spontaneity sick, but I call it saintly. The threat he presents to the man’s life is the greatest favor anyone could ever pay him. It is a forced wake-up call, an unavoidable shove that pushes the man from the drab, dull wasteland of monotonous survival into the thriving metropolis of meaningful existence. Life is a ride to be ridden. It is a free ride, though it is not always fun and often times is nauseating. Risking the possibility of getting sick is worth the undertaking of experience. If life is a carnival, then you either enjoy the ride or you are the person who stands by the gate holding coats, pocketbooks and other such futilities in the Tilt-A-Whirl world. Too frequently people become spectators when they should be players. It is too easy to use long lines as an excuse to sit out. It is frighteningly easy to become the man who once studied to be a veterinarian reduced to shelling out Marlboros and lotto tickets to the undyingly hopeful. Imagine being directly faced with death and knowing without a doubt that you never did what you really wanted but settled for something else instead. Imagine not realizing you are even alive until you understand that in a moment you will be dead. I bet it happens a lot. Most of us will never find ourselves on our knees suffering convulsions of uncontrollable trepidation while a man holding a gun stands above. I can guarantee with pretty powerful certainty that if you ever were to find yourself in that particular situation, first of all, the man holding the gun would not look like Brad Pitt, and second of all, he would not give you a second chance to make something of yourself. I do not think your best interest would be his primary motive. That is not real life. That lesson is what movies are for. Brad Pitt’s character smiles with pride as he watches the life he has just saved by threatening to end it run away toward its new beginning. He says that when the ex-convenience store worker wakes up in the morning, it will be the best day of his life. His breakfast will taste better than it has ever tasted before – better that anyone else’s breakfast has ever tasted to them. “Fight Club” is deeper than I anticipated, for it really makes you think. Interestingly, all the violence did not take away my appetite. At the end of the movie, all I could think about was what I wanted for breakfast the following morning. I was determined to make sure it would be the best breakfast I ever had. Eat whatever you want for breakfast; after all, you have the rest of the day to work it off. If you want to be a veterinarian, become one. Do not wimp out. If you really want, take advantage of the festive mistletoe while you can this holiday season. If you hold off too long in contemplating – expecting either good or bad – you will lose your chance and the greatest excuse to kiss someone nice will not come around again until next year.We should not concern ourselves with worrying about near-death experiences; rather, we must focus on necessitating more frequent near-life experiences. We all find ourselves in funks every once in a while, but we do not have the time to waste in succumbing to our own lifeless lapses in motivation. We must wake up before it is too late. “Fight Club” tells the truth: sometimes all we need is a slap in the face.