Fight Club

The first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.

The second rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club. 

Fight Club, a popular movie released in 1999 featuring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, tells the tale of a man, known simply as the narrator, as he meets and learns to coexist with Tyler Durden. The movie revolves around a series of clubs where men go to fight each other, in an attempt to reclaim their individuality and masculinity in a consumerism culture. Fight club eventually evolves into Project Mayhem, where the men commit crimes with the intent to create a better world. Fight Club simultaneously shows a dystopian and utopian society. While the men are attempting to create what they think would be a better world, a world devoid of cookie cutter ikea furniture and stuffy corporate jobs, they actually cause mass chaos, and the movie is bracketed in shots of the narrator with a handgun in between his teeth. Turner portrays a similar story in his article. The hacker’s world looks a lot like the world of Tyler Durden, complete with rules and meetings. But the question remains, does technological advances like the ones made by these hackers help (make a more utopian society) or hurt (make a more dystopian society)?

fight club

Technology certainly has the capability to change our society. But what kind of capabilities for positive or negative change does a site like Twitter hold? Twitter has already proven it can lead to change, like the Arab Spring uprising several years ago. Twitter brings the world closer together, and now more than ever, a celebrity, politician, public figure, or actor is never more than a few clicks away. That kind of closeness, in theory, allows for quick and easy spread of information, either for political or social change or for just general knowledge. On the other hand, Twitter can, and to a point already has, limit our physical interactions with people, and limit our ability to read and understand lengthier texts.

How has technology already pushed us towards one of these extremes?

Can we simultaneously have a technology-fueled dystopia and utopia?

Do you think we’re headed towards more of a utopian or dystopian view of society?

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2 comments

  1. I really liked your analogy to Fight Club. Social media, such as Twitter, has its connection and entertainment purposes but I think that for some people (myself included) it may be too deeply involved in our personal lives. I can admit that I have noticed a change in the way I read. I’m more easily distracted and I tend to not want to read lengthier and more detailed pieces of writing. Because I see the benefits and the disadvantages of social media, I think that we can simultaneously have a technology-fueled utopia and dystopia.

  2. Very nice article. Fight Club is great at digging deep into this point, and I’ve noticed you can individualize the two types of society into two characters: Tyler Durden and, well, Tyler Durden (the Narrator). The narrator aspires to be like Tyler, and envisions him as the ideal self (the utopian self). As Tyler tells the narrator, “All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not.” But you notice at the end that Tyler’s end may be sincere, but the means were not. In a way, I see the world as both – utopian and dystopian; you need both to distinguish them from each other.

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