Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fight Club ch. 6 Read Along

Still really enjoying this book. Such a delight to re-read. I look forward into jaunt into this world each evening. 

My thoughts for this read along are in no particular order:
  • "I did this to myself." 
    • More on lines like this later.
  • "Maybe at lunch, the waiter comes to your table and the waiter has the two black eyes of a giant panda from fight club last weekend when you saw him get his head pinched between the concrete floor and the knee of a two-hundred pound stock boy who kept slamming a fist into the bridge of the waiter's nose again and again in flat hard packing sounds you could hear over all the yelling until the waiter caught enough breath and sprayed blood to say, stop."
    • Now this is a sentence. While some people may slap the hand of people who write sentences like this, I really love them. Thus why I am drawn to authors like Faulkner, Joyce, McCarthy, and now I guess Palahniuk. You can see this happening though. The description is simple and beautiful.
  • "Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer." and "Maybe self-destruction is the answer."
    • But between those two lines is this one, "Tyler never knew his father." Now this idea comes up several more times in this chapter, but we are beginning to see this theme formulate throughout the novel. Now-a-days we have a lot of young men being raised without a male figure to look up to, to learn from. Who is teaching these men to shave, to fix things, to fight, to take a punch, to throw the ball. I don't think that I am the best person to answer these questions as I am not the manliest of men (I mean I read and discuss literature for a living--nothing better than curling up with a good book), but there is something to be said about the modern man and what we have devolved into. Maybe this is why Mr. Warren says that every young man should be required to read Fight Club.
  • Then we get the famous rules of Fight Club that every knows from the movie.
  • "What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women."
    • Nothing inherently wrong with being raised by a woman. Many great men have been raised by women. But like I said before, do we lose something by not having a male figure to look up to?
  • Then Palahniuk talks about football on television and it occurs to me that we are used to watching other men doing manly things rather than doing manly things ourselves. He has this great line, not entirely appropriate, but the point is made: "After you've been to fight club, watching football on television is watching pornography when you could be having sex." The point is this...that we watch people being manly and never get out there and do man things for ourselves. We don't hunt for our own food. Heck, I hate working in the yard. Building my shed in the backyard was probably one of the worst experiences of my life, I hated it. But that is what a man would do, right? He would get up and build something out of wood, build it to last.
  • "The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men."
  • "I'm a thirty-year-old boy, and I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer I need."
    • Another good point to my whole argument about men. The narrator talks about walking through his life, just jumping through the hoops. Graduation high school because that is what is expected of you. Going to college to get a degree. Upon graduating, what comes next? Get a job. Get married. Have children. Work until you can retire. Our lives are scripted these days. Everyone follows the same formula. But are we really happy? Living our lives which are the copies of every other life, are we really happy? Palahniuk would say no, I think. And what will break the mold? Being a man.
  • "You aren't alive anywhere like you're alive at fight club."
  • "Fight club isn't about words."
  • "Sometimes, Tyler speaks for me."
    • Again, hints at things that will come later.

I agree with all of this to a point though. Palahniuk is trying to make the point that we are all the same and that men are no longer men. But if we all attending fight club and "become" men, then don't we have the same problem again? The meathead cliche of men is one I actively reject, and I spent a lot of time trying to dispel when I used to teach All Boys English. Men are just a varied as any other group of people and I believe that is a good thing. Being a man can mean so many different things. I especially like the renaissance man ideal--a man that is strong, smart, artistic, and sensitive. Hey Palahniuk, how about a fight club of the mind?

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