Level 4 - Thinker
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Wales, United Kingdom
A Sign of the Times?
Ok, I'd first like to thank soul_excursion for noticing some of those links. It is an incredible coincidence that Jack in the film pretty much does follow exactly the concept of Lachrymology and the idea of Marla and Tyler being manifestations of part of Jack's mind is immense. It seems to fit so neatly.
People, don't get angry about this thread. No-one's suggesting that Tool conspired with the makers of Fight Club to present strong links between quotes and lyrics or whatever. Some of the links which soul_excursion presented in the original post were pretty damn loose, Just based on the fact that they aren't actually that strong, its pretty evident that the similarities are just that - coincidental similarities. They are not planned parallel's or whatever, and I'm sure that no-one thinks that the film and album can be sync'd or some shit. That would be farcical.
All that's happening is that the two camps are expressing similar ideas, and that in itself is pretty fascinating.
I haven't studied Jung or McKenna or anything like that yet so you'll have to forgive my relatively shallow reference points, but I personally believe that we are in quite an astounding art movement right now. Talented artists are becoming self-aware, and encouraging self-awareness.
I'm sorry if anyone thinks that this is pretty irrelevant, but they are just ideas which I have been thinking about a lot recently.
What triggered me thinking about this was that I heard that Brad Pitt listened to Radiohead's 'Ok Computer' constantly while Fight Club was being shot. If you think about it, that album is also expressing similar ideals to the film, and some similar ideals to Tool's work. 'Ok Computer' seems to be expressing fear and disgust about the hedonism and confinements of modern life, possibly to the point of considering the shedding of possessions, just as Jack ends up doing when he blows up his own apartment and all his possessions. You can observe the same cynicism in Computer's linear notes for example: "Jump out of bed as soon as you hear the alarm clock!! You may also find it useful spending five minutes each morning saying to yourself: 'Every day in every way I am getting better and better.' Perhaps it is a good idea to start a new day with the right frame of mind."
'Ænema' seems to denounce materialism in a similar way: 'fret for your late etc.', and so does 'Hooker...'.
I don't see these as conspiratory similarities because they clearly aren't, but I don't see them as complete coincidences either. This is the movement I speak of. It is possible to observe similar concepts of severing yourself from the restrictions of modern society in much of today's art. I think the general attitude can be summed up as something along the lines of: "Become an individual. Whatever you personally find beautiful, don't stop yourself from indulging it." Most of this art does ammend that statement, however, to create the right balance. There are obviously certain things which you can't do just because you like it - eg. murdering, stealing etc.
Here are examples of pieces of art which I believe are products of this movement:
'The Matrix': people are confined to the world presented to them by the Matrix itself, and the protagonists are trying to awaken everyone and take control of their own lives. Morpheus even makes reference to how those who are unaware of their situation are too attached to their lives to let go: "Most of these people are not ready to be unplugged."
'American Beauty': Kevin Spacey's character takes control of his own life and quits his job and does whatever he wants to do. Individuality is a key theme in the film, as the boy next door illustrates when he talks of how he finds the drifting bag the most beautiful thing he has ever filmed.
'American Psycho': In the novel, modern life reaches its logical conclusion. All of today's preconceived ideals are satired, warning the reader of what you could become if you only care about what 'The Times' rates as the best or whatever. The passages dedicated to Patrick Bateman's favourite bands illustrate this quite well.
Bill Hicks says similar things, particularly when he's talking about sending L.A. into the ocean. At the Drive-in's 'Relationships of Command' is another one - the song 'Pattern Against User' in particular.
I hope that this one will emphasise my point rather than detract from it, but Tori Amos could also be expressing similar ideals in her song 'Precious Things': "These precious things/let them bleed/let them wash away."
Heck, even god damn Papa Roach are sending out a similar message: "There's no money/there's no possessions/only obsessins." etc.
You could probably find the same sort of ideals somewhere in the music of Soundgarden, Kyuss, Portishead, Tricky etc. as well as in other films or novels like 'eXistenZ', 'Twelve Monkeys', 'Brazil', and so on.
Essentially, the fact that aspects of Fight Club are similar to Ænima is not surprising, I think it's just a sign of the times. Some sort of immense period of self-awakening is underway in the serious art-world and I think that when Generation X grows up it could be quite a different world.
I'm not sure how well I've articulated everything... but I hope y'all have enjoyed reading this anyway :)
As always, its just my own ramblings and its cool if you think it's total shit or whatever.