Saturday, May 25

RazorMouth columnist John Whitehead points to Fight Club as a possible source material for the Pipe Bomber's smiley face exploding concoctions. He argues that if there is seething anger, disillusion and discontent against materialism, we don't have to look further than Tyler Durden and his Project Mayhem. He sites a letter that Lucas Helder wrote:
I often wonder why so many people spend their entire lives consuming what is fed to them, without knowing if they are consuming anything at all. ... All of my family and friends were raised to believe ... to be gullible ... to be materialistic ... to fear authority ... to blindly follow. Do you wonder why people blow themselves up to hurt others? … Do you wonder why you are here? Do you wonder what is out there ... way out there?
Whitehead then samples a passage from Fight Club:
Look at the guys in fight club. The strongest and smartest men who have ever lived—and they’re pumping gas and waiting tables; or they’re slaves with white collars. Advertising has them chasing cars and clothes. A whole generation working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy s--- they don’t really need. We’re the middle children of history, with no special purpose or place. We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression. The great depression is our lives. The great war is a spiritual war.
It is a spiritual war waged against materialism. We've been taught by generations that came before us that money makes you tick, and yuppie creed is an attractive option and replacement for a livable life. The columnist goes as much as calling Fight Club as today's Catcher in the Rye, the instruction manual for the disgruntled Gen Y -- people born between 1980 and 1996. It's going to be the largest group of people since the Boomers. (Offhand, I was supposedly born on the tail end of Gen X, the slacker group, for which I hold no affinity.) And apparently it's turning out to be a much disgruntled generation. The old guards and institutions don't hold water anymore. What's left to do? Readers of this blog would know that I happen to love Fight Club, both film and novel. But bombing everything down isn't the answer. Even if sometimes rage gets to you, something holds you back to say that violence isn't the answer. Unfortunately, some young people out there think otherwise. But you want to be positive about things. Really. You want that smiley to be a sincere one, and not something that explodes in clueless people's mailboxes.

On that happy note, I will most likely head out for the mall this afternoon and watch Death to Smoochy, starring Jack Tyler Durden, er, Edward Norton. It should be funny. Anything with two grown men in silly costumes attempting to kill each other should be fun. You must think I'm a sociopath now.

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