T Nation

Nihilism and Fight Club

Title is vague.

Anyway, I didn’t want to hijack a thread in which I expressed an enjoyment of the film Fight Club. So here it is.

Since a youth I’ve questioned my existence, as did you unless you’re sheeple. I can recall numerous occasion in where I would lay in bed at night, staring at the ceiling scared, just scared. Prepubescent thoughts of the world outside of the confines of a Middle American home that my parents built for my brothers and I, I being the youngest of the four.

Fast forward 6 years; age 13. I hypothesize that existence could be infinite and exponentially planar according to your experiences and to test my theory I would begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol, a little bit of pot and not as much alcohol, just experimental amounts.

Now this might sound like I was way to conscious of my surroundings, but when I think back, my resentment of the world would only be surpassed by my med free A.D.D. diagnosis which was hidden from me, by my parents until last week. I’m glad they did that. Infact my immediate response to my mother telling me this was “It’s not A.D.D., it’s hypersensitivity to my surroundings.” Which to me has always translated to heightened consciousness.

Long story short, I come to explore psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I accept and study three different religions by the time I’m 16 and flush them all down the shitter, one after the other. Recently accepted that I’m atheist (1 year ago) and realize that I’ve always been existentialist. Come to know of Nihilism (Existentialism on Steroids) and become partial to it and incorporate it into my beliefs.

Chuck Palahniuk, gay as he is, has a knack for writing. Tyler Durden is his antagonist advocating Nihilism. The movie was well directed. Explain why this movie sucks here.

Its a good movie what pisses me off about it is the internet cult like following its got. Its just a good movie, its not even a great movie.

I like Fight Club. It’s one of my favorite movies. Although my interpretation of it is more as a critique of our over-consumerism than as a nihilistic oeuvre.

Basically, there is much more to life than buying and owning stuff; you (we) shouldn’t value ourselves according to what we earn or own or drive. Participation in illegal fight clubs is an alternative way of evaluating one another’s worth; but (in my opinion) it is far from the only one.

The movie also seems to have 2 stories enmeshed, with the “Projec Mayhem” part appearing to me to be “tacked on” to wrap everything up with a bang once Chuck had made his main points.

Now, please explain what “exponentially planar” existence is…

[quote]meangenes wrote:
Title is vague.

Anyway, I didn’t want to hijack a thread in which I expressed an enjoyment of the film Fight Club. So here it is.

Since a youth I’ve questioned my existence, as did you unless you’re sheeple. I can recall numerous occasion in where I would lay in bed at night, staring at the ceiling scared, just scared. Prepubescent thoughts of the world outside of the confines of a Middle American home that my parents built for my brothers and I, I being the youngest of the four.

Fast forward 6 years; age 13. I hypothesize that existence could be infinite and exponentially planar according to your experiences and to test my theory I would begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol, a little bit of pot and not as much alcohol, just experimental amounts.

Now this might sound like I was way to conscious of my surroundings, but when I think back, my resentment of the world would only be surpassed by my med free A.D.D. diagnosis which was hidden from me, by my parents until last week. I’m glad they did that. Infact my immediate response to my mother telling me this was “It’s not A.D.D., it’s hypersensitivity to my surroundings.” Which to me has always translated to heightened consciousness.

Long story short, I come to explore psychology, sociology, and philosophy. I accept and study three different religions by the time I’m 16 and flush them all down the shitter, one after the other. Recently accepted that I’m atheist (1 year ago) and realize that I’ve always been existentialist. Come to know of Nihilism (Existentialism on Steroids) and become partial to it and incorporate it into my beliefs.

Chuck Palahniuk, gay as he is, has a knack for writing. Tyler Durden is his antagonist advocating Nihilism. The movie was well directed. Explain why this movie sucks here.[/quote]

Perhaps I’m not profound enough to understand the action of questioning one’s own existence, but if you can question it, isn’t that proof enough that you exist?

And belief in nihilism really confuses me because of the fact that it in its purest form, it is paradoxical.

The thing about Fight Club is that it should not be taken at face value. It’s a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of a western version of an Al-Qaeda style terrorist network. Most of us who were born and raised in the mainstream American consumer culture can’t comprehend how young men would be willing to die for Bin Laden or his version of Islam, but we can relate to Tyler Durden and how he feels lost and betrayed by American materialism. But his followers aren’t shown in a very flatering light, and Tyler rejects the alter ego he created to compensate for his own weakness.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Now, please explain what “exponentially planar” existence is…
[/quote]

But of course the planes that life exists on in relation to consciousness and it’s infinite but expanding possible conclusions. Ultimately defined by your death which is but another level of consciousness or lack there of.

Fight Club is one of my favorite movies. It pains me every time I hear some schmuck say “Oh yeah, I like Fight Club, has good fight scenes”. Ugh.

The book is better than the movie though.

[quote]Acebgd12 wrote:
meangenes wrote:

Perhaps I’m not profound enough to understand the action of questioning one’s own existence, but if you can question it, isn’t that proof enough that you exist?[/quote]

Not that simple, see it’s a process. You’re jumping the gun. Gotta question why you exist before you can question if you exist. A purpose, not proof.

I’m partial to philosophies, they’re like religions. Take what you can from them, make them work for you.

How’s that?

I do not think the book advocates nihilism at all. I think that it equates consumerism with nihilism.

I define nihilism as life basically having “no point”. The narrator is attempting to become self-actualized in the typical American fashion: through living an “ideal” life, complete with IKEA furnishings and a “respectable” wardrobe. Fight Club shows that the narrator’s consumerism and materialism hasn’t given any meaning to his life, and he lives largely with “no point” or direction.

Tyler Durden comes along, literally burns away all his possessions and challenges him to make his own path to self-actualization by rejecting conventional society.

I was always under the impression Tyler Durden is a better representation of Nietzsches idea of the overmale than any thing nihilist. but thats just me

[quote]meangenes wrote:
pookie wrote:
Now, please explain what “exponentially planar” existence is…

But of course the planes that life exists on in relation to consciousness and it’s infinite but expanding possible conclusions. Ultimately defined by your death which is but another level of consciousness or lack there of.[/quote]

Let’s see how my bullshit detector reads:

  • planes: 5.6
  • consciousness: 1.2
  • infinite but expanding: 12.3
  • possible conclusion: 2.2
  • death: 4.3
  • another level: 4.5

Diagnostic: Amateur new-age bullshit.

Suggestions: Add “quantum”, “vibrations”, “crystal lattice” and “orgone energy” to further confuse the meaningless verbiage.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
Acebgd12 wrote:
meangenes wrote:

Perhaps I’m not profound enough to understand the action of questioning one’s own existence, but if you can question it, isn’t that proof enough that you exist?

Not that simple, see it’s a process. You’re jumping the gun. Gotta question why you exist before you can question if you exist. A purpose, not proof.

I’m partial to philosophies, they’re like religions. Take what you can from them, make them work for you.

And belief in nihilism really confuses me because of the fact that it in its purest form, it is paradoxical.

How’s that?[/quote]

You do not have to know the why before you know the what. I don’t know why lettuce is sitting on my counter, but it is certainly sitting on my counter (please don’t come back with a solipsist post, it’s just an example). You said you question your own existence, not that you question why you exist. You’re changing between why and if. Which did you mean in your original post?

Well, I guess we should define nihilism. Do you believe it to be the non-existence of truth?

[quote]pookie wrote:
meangenes wrote:
pookie wrote:
Now, please explain what “exponentially planar” existence is…

But of course the planes that life exists on in relation to consciousness and it’s infinite but expanding possible conclusions. Ultimately defined by your death which is but another level of consciousness or lack there of.

Let’s see how my bullshit detector reads:

  • planes: 5.6
  • consciousness: 1.2
  • infinite but expanding: 12.3
  • possible conclusion: 2.2
  • death: 4.3
  • another level: 4.5

Diagnostic: Amateur new-age bullshit.

Suggestions: Add “quantum”, “vibrations”, “crystal lattice” and “orgone energy” to further confuse the meaningless verbiage.

[/quote]

How did I know I was going to end up with some twat trying to disagree with my philosophy on life.

Righteous bro.

Fucking traditionalists. Pff.

Its a Fucking movie, a good movie, but still a movie. The person playing Tyler is the absolute anti-Tyler in real life, (Brad Pitt is cool and all but he lives in a fucking 20 million dollar home), No offense to anyone that takes the movie for more than face value, but I actually enjoy having things (not worshiping them). If you love the movie so much go squat in an abandoned warehouse but dont beg me for change when I’m on my way to work.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
How did I know I was going to end up with some twat trying to disagree with my philosophy on life.

Righteous bro.

Fucking traditionalists. Pff.[/quote]

Your philosophy of life might be very interesting, but to be able to discuss it, you’d have to be able to explain it using sentences that actually make sense.

Saying stuff like “existence is infinite and exponentially planar” or “death is another level of consciousness or lack thereof” sounds real nice in a Dungeon & Dragons rule book, but it means absolutely nothing. It is an assemblage of terms in a syntactic and grammatically correct form, but they convey no information.

So, until you’re able to articulate it in adult terms, using clear words in meaningful sentences, there’s really nothing to discuss or debate. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with your philosophy, since you’ve written nothing that’s amenable to agreement or disagreement. It is very amenable to being poked fun at, though, since it seems so serious in it’s attempt to appear profound.

[quote]Todd22 wrote:
I was always under the impression Tyler Durden is a better representation of Nietzsches idea of the overmale than any thing nihilist. but thats just me[/quote]

I agree with

I also with Pookie, no bullshit talking when explaining your ideas, otherwise no one will take it seriously

I find it funny that when people refer to that movie as a staple of masculinity or whatever, they neglect the fact that it was written by a gay man. NTTAWWT

I don’t know what to make of this thread so far.

Do you want to talk about the movie Fight Club, or Nihilism?

It seems to me like you started this thread just to toss out that you were once a pot smoking, beer drinking 13yo hypothesizing that [quote]existence could be infinite and exponentially planar according to your experiences[/quote], and consider yourself to be of heightened consciousness (which isn’t a unique thought to most pot smokers, by the way…you were just unfortunate enough to drag your baked thoughts back into reality - and this thread - with you).

Blah, blah, lob out that you studied 3 different religions and found them unacceptable to you by age 16 (in case we were wondering)…

Oh, and about that Fight Club - the movie was well directed. Explain why it sucks.

Which do you want to discuss? My dislike of the movie has nothing really to do with philosophy (which I could care less about).

Oh, yeah, when you wrote [quote]“It’s not A.D.D., it’s hypersensitivity to my surroundings”[/quote] I thought of Cartman and “I’m not fat, I’m big boned!”

Thanks for the chuckle.

[quote]meangenes wrote:
Chuck Palahniuk, gay as he is, has a knack for writing. Tyler Durden is his antagonist advocating Nihilism. The movie was well directed. Explain why this movie sucks here.[/quote]

I just saw that you already posted that. My bad.

[quote]Acebgd12 wrote:
meangenes wrote:
Acebgd12 wrote:
meangenes wrote:

You said you question your own existence, not that you question why you exist.[/quote]

If I was to question your existence, I might just be questioning you correct?

This gonna come down to a grammar lesson huh?

[quote]Well, I guess we should define nihilism. Do you believe it to be the non-existence of truth?
[/quote]

When I refer to Existentialism, I’m speaking of the basic function of questioning your existence. The ultimate “truth” of it might well be known when I’m dead. Until then, why can’t I just exist?