35 votes

Fight Club Discussion Thread

There is a lot going on. That will take a little time to process.

- - - - -

Anyone who is interested in watching as well, and discussing the movie after, this is the place, and you're welcome to join. This will be the discussion thread. Even if you don't watch it again, but saw it, share your perspectives on what you got out of it.

It has been a long time since I've seen that movie. There is so much going on. It has that trick ending. And it has all those buildings going down at the end, set to the Pixies.

Where is my mind?! Where is my mind?! Where is my mind! This is it, at the very end of the movie. (but I don't thinks it gives much away from a spoiler perspective.) Those buildings going down, foreshadowing the tower collapse of 9-11:


And that dry, profound perspective: "You met me at a very strange time in my life." Hilarious. That cracks me up.

And then there is old Tyler Durden, that sly, cheeky, son of a gun. Tyler - you've never known anyone like Tyler. He is a character for the ages, and Brad Pitt plays him perfectly. It is a brilliant performance. He and Ed Norton pull off something amazing in that movie.

Looking forward to seeing it again. Not to mention the lessons of the movie itself: Movie as teacher.

(BTW, After making that movie, Tyler Durden went on to become a star blogger at Zero Hedge. He's the only guy that posts on the front page of that site. (Tyler doesn't share it, like me.) He knows how to take control. Boy oh boy does Tyler take control. You've got to watch the movie to understand, and that's why I need to watch it again.)

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I posted this

In that TED talks thread. You responded soon after.



Michael Nystrom's picture

Subliminal implant

See. It works!

Now that you've proved it works, can please you go put a spell on Congress. Or somehow get them to snap out of their collective spells, please?

He's the man.
Michael Nystrom's picture

Liberty Heights

I Have

I'm from Baltimore and love Barry Levinson.

"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

Self-improvement is

Self-improvement is masturbation. Now, self-destruction …

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
Thomas Paine

great flick

when i was in the hospital this weekend i watched swordfish which i had not seen in a while. i was interrupted repeatedly and think i'll go dl it again now along with fc.

another good one i just watched is...
i censored the link because i'm not sure if it can get dp in trouble. you'll have to copy and paste it in yourself.

Official Daily Paul BTC address: 16oZXSGAcDrSbZeBnSu84w5UWwbLtZsBms
Rand Paul 2016

swordfish. heard of it. noted. watch Strange Days and


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If you liked this movie...

Read Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. It's a great story by the same guy.

When it first came out, I boycotted this movie...

Because it looked like some mainstream Hollywood flick complete with big stars & lots o' violence. Don't know how I came to finally watch it but MAN, was I WAY off! ...Wildly original, entertaining & deep to the core. Personal freedom is the underlying theme. This is on my top 10 list & it certainly has stood the test of time so far.

jrd3820's picture

This is you're life and it's ending one minute at a time

Sorry... it's fragmented, I explained why in the comment below.
Great assignment.

First of all, just to clear the air. I think we can all agree that Brad Pitt has only ever looked better when he was walking around in suits in Oceans 11, right guys? Were all on the same page there right? That's what I thought.

Tyler Durden is “a character for the ages.”

I think it's interesting that the characters like Tyler and Marla who live so recklessly and so close to death at any minute are least afraid of death. They are also not afraid of life. In general they are just not afraid.

Best scene. Tyler is pouring the lye on Edward's hand.
"Without pain and sacrifice we would have nothing"
"This is the greatest moment of your life and you’re off somewhere missing it"
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything"

That whole scene... everyone should be slapped across their face with that kind of pain and reality whether emotional or physical every now and then. It wakes people up to their potential. If they can survive that, then they can get through anything.

The whole movie also illustrates the fact that people like pain. Again whether physical or emotional, pain does something for people.

Ya know what it does? It reminds them they are alive.

Oh crap…. I got off topic (that rarely happens :).....) Ok back to Tyler. The guy is in complete control of everything like you said. I know Marla appears to be a bit of a hot mess, but she has a certain amount of control also. Did you see her walk in and out of traffic during that scene that I can’t find a decent clip on youtube for where her and Edward Norton are dividing up the groups and there are cars everywhere and she doesn’t even look and she just walks out there like she owns the place and she is so confident of her every step she doesn’t get hit and the cars either stop for her or go around her then she just stands in the middle of the traffic and traffic redirects around her? Is that a huge massive run on sentence there, I’ll fix it later. But see how much control she has? It’s because she has confidence just like Tyler.

Where do people find THAT kind of confidence though?

Ok Michael….If you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life? No really, you’re in a tiny car and it is pouring rain and Tyler is behind the wheel and he is heading straight towards an oncoming semi and he says to you ‘If you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life?’

What would you say?

You don’t get to hesitate, you have to answer right away, or Tyler will hit that semi and you will die.

I’d genuinely be able to say I felt good about my life with the exception of the unfinished business I’d leave behind. The thing is, sometimes I worry that I won’t always be able to say that. What if I start making decisions or choices that bore me and don’t make me excited about life anymore? Then I wouldn’t be able to say that.

Ok, it’s your turn to answer Michael, and like I said, you don’t get to hesitate, just answer, hey... i don't make the rules, Tyler does, I'm just trying to play by his rules.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

I saw the lane. I wanted the left turn. I moved the vehicle.

I saw the truck. I lived to tell.

Then I did it again 8 years later but on acid.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

I saw Marla walk out into traffic

It was right after her and Ed Norton's character met for the first time. He's found his peace in his role as a tourist in the self-help groups, then Marla shows up and ruins it:

“Marla. The big tourist. Her lie reflected my lie, and suddenly, I felt nothing. I couldn’t cry, so once again, I couldn’t sleep.”


Marla becomes his addiction before he even meets her.

Norton: “Why do you do it? Why do you come here?”
Marla: “It is cheaper than a movie, and there’s free coffee. Why do you do it?”
Norton: “When people think you’re dying, they really, really listen to you instead of just…”
Marla: “Instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?” She finishes his sentence for him. She understands.
Norton: “Yeah.”
Counselor walks by: “Share yourself, completely.”

How can you not fall in love when you're standing in each others arms, "sharing yourselves, completely?"

Norton: “You don’t want to get into this, it becomes an addiction.”

But Marla was in control from the beginning.

After the meeting, she's storming down the street to the laundromat, collects some clothes from a dryer, and takes them to a pawn shop to sell them.

Norton: "You're going to sell those ----"
Marla, grabbing his balls: "Yes, I'm selling some clothes (so shut the f&^% up!).

They decide they'll avoid one another at future jam sessions. They divvy the classes up at the shop. "I want ascending bowel cancer!" lol. The clerk doesn't know what to think. What a fabulous scene.

And then this is where that scene comes:

Marla: “Looks like this is goodbye”
Norton: “Lets not make a big thing about it?”
Marla: “How’s this for not making a big thing.” That's when she turns and walks out the door, right down the street.

He calls to her - I forget what he says. She rolls her eyes at it like he's a complete dork, and that's when she walks right out into traffic.

Confidence. Confidence that she's not going to die.

I used to have a friend in life who used to go around saying that you only need two things in life to succeed: Confidence and desire.

He's the man.
jrd3820's picture

Marla wants weird stuff :)

Weird stuff. Art. Bookshelf. Wordcloud. Nature.

Edwards can have politics/law/whatever, sci and tech, health, current events, sports.

They can rotate the 1st and 4th week of every month.

Two strangers suddenly find each other in their arms sharing themselves completely. How could they not fall in love? How could it not explode into weirdness at some point?

When it's weird, Edward tells Marla to leave. Marla says....fine watch me go.

And they avoid each other.

Marla is great at dancing. WITH people. Not around people.

She doesn't want to avoid Edward, she doesn't divvy anything up.

That's what I got from it at least.

Art never imitates life or the other way around huh?

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Michael Nystrom's picture

Marla knows she's in control from the get go

That's why she has the confidence to turn around and leave Norton.

"How's this for not making a big deal?"

And she turns around and leaves, because she knows he's going to follow. She knows this, sure as night follows day. She knows Ed has already fallen for her.

But when he doesn't follow, when he finds fight club and forgets about her, that's when she comes back. She makes a big play to get his attention back with the suicide attempt. And it works. She gets him back.

But the power dynamic has shifted, because Tyler Durden is now eclipsing Norton. Tyler Durden is a real man. He's in complete control, whereas Norton was a feminized man - not in control of anything. That's why he needed Tyler.

And that is the man Marla fell in love with.

He's the man.
jrd3820's picture


She likes Edward better. At the end of the movie she is standing there with Edward.

Marla seems confused.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Michael Nystrom's picture

Well, who wouldn't be confused?


He's the man.
jrd3820's picture

Tyler/Edward is supposed to know whats going on

Marla cannot be trusted to make these calls.
She is simply along for the ride.
Have you checked Marla? The girl is a mess.
It's a weird time in her life.
God, I hope The Matrix isn't this confusing.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Michael Nystrom's picture

Everyone is a mess in that movie

Marla's a mess, but Norton is a bigger mess. Messes are often attracted to one another, haven't you noticed that? Weird time in her life... Life is just a weird time. Weird times are the norm. Periods of peace, quiet and prosperity seem to be the exception.

Marla's not just along for the ride. She's in love with that mess Tyler Durden.

And everybody knows
When love calls
You gotta go

- Prince: Lovesexy

- - -

Ok, kind of change of subject here. Lovesexy was an album that Prince released at the height of his career that got panned pretty badly (as I recall), partly because he put this naked picture of himself on the cover:

And partly because he didn't separate it into tracks. There are nine songs on the album, but it is just one long 45 minute track. That was right when CDs were just coming out, and it was (and continues to be) freaking ANNOYING trying to find the song that you want to listen to. So you just have to listen to the whole thing, which isn't bad. Because it is like a big long journey. Alphabet Street is on this album - I'm sure you've heard that.

Anyway, you don't have to listen to the whole thing. I was just reminded of the lyric at the beginning: "When love calls, you got to go."

But there is one thing about this album: It never fails to put me in a good mood. And it makes me quite productive to boot. (Not like his dark, 25 minute jam "The War").

So if you ever need to get some work done, this is the record you want to put on.

- - -

Some people find The Matrix confusing, but I don't think you will. You're a smart cookie. When are you going to watch it? I'm going to aim for Thursday.

He's the man.
Michael Nystrom's picture

This is your life

It is interesting that this movie came out in 1999 (along with the Matrix), as DJP333 pointed out below. 1999 was a weird and giddy time, as foreshadowed by Prince's 1982 hit, 1999.

They say two thousand zero zero
Party over, oops out of time
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999

It was almost like the whole world was a little drunk. The internet was brand new, and everyone was thrilled and amazed by it. Internet stocks, and the whole stock market itself were in a huge boom. The world felt rich. Everything seemed pretty groovy.

There was a feeling of so much potential, so much possibility that - if it were going to be seized -- it had to be seized NOW! There was an urgency to it that was captured not only by this movie, but by the Matrix as well.

If you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life?

In 1999 it was different, but similar. I was restless. I felt like I was wasting my life in a cubicle. I felt like I was slowly dying. There was that whole Y2K bug scare - do you remember that? All the computers were going to shut down and the whole world was going to grind to a halt because computers, using only two numbers for a date, wouldn't think it was 1900, instead of the year 2000.

Kind of dumb in retrospect, but people can get so hyped up and jazzed up on emotion. There was an early internet ecosystem of doom that were pushing it, and I was attracted to that.

So using that as an excuse, I quit my job and went traveling around the world.

Pain reminds people that they're alive. I used the potential of future pain to motivate me. The pain proposition was that the world was going to end because of Y2K, and I was wasting my life under fluorescent lights in a cubicle. I would die never having seen the cathedrals of Europe, the coffee shops of Amsterdam, the Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Leonid meteor storm from the beaches of Thailand, the tallest building in the world (at the time) in Kuala Lampur. Etc. I would die never having known the freedom of having complete control over my time in the day.

I used that pain to motivate me. What I ended up doing is a whole ‘nother story, but your question is about now. About today:

If you were to die right now, how would you feel about your life?

If I don’t hesitate, I scream: “I love my life!!!”

And I mean it, completely. And yet, there is room for improvement. There are things I want to do. There are places I want to go. And I don’t want to spend the next four years arguing about, and breaking up fights about Rand Paul. There is a huge opportunity cost for me in that.

But the Daily Paul is different from my job under the fluorescent lights at the brokerage. I can’t just offer up a big FU and quit. Write a DP suicide note, stick it up on the door and disappear. The ‘door note’ is in my repertoire as well, though sometimes I don’t even bother with the note. I just disappear. I can’t really do that here, so I need to change my relationship with this place. This thread is an example, as inspired by your Jam Session, FYI.

So yeah, I feel good too, but there is a lot of unfinished business. And I’m getting that feeling again, that 1999 feeling. I remember before I left on my big trip around the world, I would lay in bed and have the feeling that I was flying. Flying through the universe.

The thing is, sometimes I worry that I won’t always be able to say that. What if I start making decisions or choices that bore me and don’t make me excited about life anymore?

Worry is interest paid on trouble that hasn’t happened yet. Stay conscious, open and aware, and you won’t make those kinds of choices. And if you do, you’ll wake up from them, of that I have no doubt.

There is another song from 1999 that was in a similar vein, with a similar refrain. Only shooting stars break the mold.

BTW, yeah, Brad Pitt is hot. Even as a dude, I can acknowledge that.

He's the man.

Every act of creation is first of all an act of


-Pablo Picasso

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"If our fathers were the model for God, what does that tell you

...about God?"

And he goes on to say that we are all God's unwanted children, God doesn't love us, etc...

That is my least favorite part of the movie, and while I love the movie, I believe this part is also revealing that Tyler Durden is essentially Lucifer, or the equivalent of Lucifer.

Tyler Durden brings "enlightenment" to Ed Norton's character, but at a cost. Eventually he realizes Durden will destroy him, and everything he has any inkling of care for, like Marla. He finally realizes that Tyler Durden (The Devil) is inside him, and is him, and he can control him, not the other way around. He then destroys Lucifer (Tyler Durden) once and for all. At that point, Ed Norton's character has 'come back to reality' yet he is now in a New World, one which he helped create with the help of Tyler Durden aka Lucifer... And all live happily ever after...

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

jrd3820's picture

Ok...so, he's the devil inside...

That could make sense. He does justify things like greed and lust and violence for Edward's character.
But he does, as you said, enlighten Edwards character. Would the devil enlighten his victims enough so that they were powerful enough to kill him?
Idk the answer to that. Also, the new world Edward finds himself in is presumably a better world, would the devil help someone create a better world for themselves and if so why?
Again, I don't the know the answer to that....
Also, that scene we both just quoted, that is inspiring to me. Wake up and pay attention! This is your life, and your wasting it! Is what it screams to me. To you it's symbolism is that Tyler is evil.
So couldn't it be said then, everyone's devils are different?

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

In the Garden of Eden...

The Serpent (Satan/Lucifer, etc..) is the one who convinces Eve to eat of the 'Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil'... He promises that they surely will not die, but become wise like G-d. This, among other reasons is why Luciferians (Lucifer = 'Light Bearer') view Lucifer as the Light. Just read up on Albert Pike, to find out a good overview of their general outlook. In many movies, etc., Lucifer, whose true identity is usually not revealed, is portrayed as the protagonist. It is really a negative response to the authoritarian hindering of knowledge by the Roman Church, the history of which goes back centuries.

As for 'why would Lucifer enlighten him enough to kill him?'

It's complicated. First off, He IS Tyler Durden. Durden, the 'Devil Inside', is only a part of Norton's character. And of course, the true character (not the figment of imagination) has the free will, not Durden. The whole story is about a struggle within yourself, i.e- your inner demons.
In the end Lucifer is defeated. But, he is not totally portrayed as an evil force. He is even portrayed as an creative, enlightening force, or at least the balancing force needed to bring in the "new world" the character finds himself in when the buildings fall, he is normal again, and has found love with Marla.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

jrd3820's picture

Letter to the Editor/Author

Disclaimer. No feelings were hurt in the making of this letter to the editor, just observations recorded.

Dear Mr. Nystrom,

I recently read your article on the blockbuster movie staring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton known as Fight Club. While I agree with the general statements being made, and I understand this is an opinion piece I feel as though you may have left out something very important.

Yes, I think most agree that Brad Pitt did indeed play that character perfectly. No one…. And I do mean no one else could have pulled Tyler Durden off like that. Much in the way that no one could have pulled Hunter S Thompson off quite like Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And of course Edward Norton gave one of his finest performances in this movie, right alongside his performance in American History X.

Together they did pull of something quite amazing with those performances, but I feel as though your article failed to mention the brilliant performance by a certain Mrs. Helena Bonham Carter.

Once again I am aware that this is an opinion piece, but in your opinion would you agree that part of the magic in the performances put on by Brad Pitt and Edward Norton also relied on Helena putting on an amazing performance? The chemistry between the three is what made all the performances so amazing. Also please do take a minute of your time to remember the final scene. Who is left standing in the end watching it all crumble down with Edward Norton? Yup, that would be Helena.

I know you are well known throughout the blogosphere world, and your movie reviews are highly respected, but I worry about the future of your career as a writer and I would hate for an opinion piece like this to come back and haunt you later in life. You wouldn’t want to be known as the one who forgot about Helena or at least didn’t give credit where it is due would you?

There is no need to edit your original piece as it has already hit the stands and wowed the crowds, however maybe someday when you have a few mins you will let me know if you see what I see with how it took all three of them to make that movie shine.


So much to say! So much to say! :)
In Michigan.

oh ps I have been looking at a postcard from Taipei that came with specific instructions so i partook so i think my comments for the night might be a bit fragmented and not so great with the punctuation and grammar and whatnot but what was i supposed to do? Ignore the requests of the person who sent the postcard? I would do no such thing.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Michael Nystrom's picture

Point taken and thank you.

Disclaimer. No feelings were hurt in the reading of this letter to the editor, just observations received, acknowledged and processed.

Dear Ms. jrd3820,

Point taken. Please consider the following, not as justification, simply as way of explanation.

I'm a dude.

So I was much more tuned into the roles and characters played by Brad Pitt and Ed Norton. And you are absolutely correct that I failed to mention the brilliant performance by a Mrs. Helena Bonham Carter.

After reading your kind letter, I took the time to reconsider her role, and paging back through the smoke rings of my mind, down the foggy ruin of time, I am aware of some epic moments in the movie delivered by Marla. Indeed you are correct that it would not have been Fight Club without Marla.

Because of your kind letter, I will be sure to place an equal amount of attention on Helena's character and performance when I next watch the movie, probably tomorrow.

BTW, speaking of Helena, here is a performance featuring her and Sasha Baron Cohen that I particularly enjoyed (and think you might too) from the movie version of Les Miserables:


BTW, didn't someone give me a gentle warning recently about publishing while being, ahem, sauced?

He's the man.

That movie

is what got the the wheel turning in my head, and eventually led me to wake up.


The subliminal flash of a penis at the end of the movie.

No.7's picture

Read the book too.

The book is way better, especially after you've seen the movie and understand the plotline. Chuck Palahniuk is a twisted genius.


The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

I thought

the movie did an amazing job sticking to the book, which is why I loved the movie so much! The last book I read of his was Lullaby, which is pretty creepy but fantastic. I recommend it.

-Matthew Good

The book was fantastic

Starts right off with real recipes for napalm.

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift