A quote from Fight Club. It relates the the fundamental struggle which the narrator is going through to find himself. By his (and Tyler Durden's ) philosophy, everything that the narrator stood for, including being a consumer, working in an office, and generally having what the normal people would consider a good life, is wrong. Therefore, by destroying your former self you can be reborn through the virtue of simplicity.

The question then presents itself as to how this philosophy relates to you after you are reborn. If you stay relative to your former self, then it still applies. However, if you apply it to your new identity, then you are reverting to everything that you sought to destroy in yourself.
As much as I loved and identified with Tyler's potent anti-establishment ramblings in Fight Club, they are the "non-message" of the movie. That is to say, the "message" the author is trying to get across is different from the one Tyler Durdan is trying to impress upon the Narrator. Reading interviews with the author of Fight Club (Chuck P. Can't spell his last name to save my life), I remember reading that he is often startled and dismayed to see people dressed as "space monkeys", shouting lines from the book/movie.

Let's not forget that it is the rejection of Tyler's "raison d'etre" (such as it is/isn't) that saves our unnamed narrator by the end of the story (his sanity, anyway). Although being exposed to Tyler's brilliant lunacy lead the narrator to become something greater than himself, it isn't until the narrator puts all he has learned into context and "grown up", as sad as that can be, that the story is complete. The process of the Narrator rejecting Tyler and becoming a healthy, functioning human being can easily be likened to Calvin putting Hobbes away for good, and behaving like a young adult. It's difficult and unpleasant, but it has to be done.

If not for Hobbes, Calvin would have been a much different person. So too with the unnamed narrator of Fight Club, who never would have been able to come to his valuable Self Realization without the aid of Tyler.

"Everything's going to be just fine." *BOOM*

Of course, the book has a deliciously -different- ending (which I won't spoil), but the point is valid either way:

Tyler's ideals are not a guide or model for the Narrator (or for us), but rather an obstacle that we must all embrace, and eventually overcome, for us to become whole.

Fight Club caters well to our post-modern generation by preaching things it simultaneously mocks. This line embodies this modern commercial necessity well.

"Self-improvement is masturbation." Amazing. But how many of you said: "No, that's a ludicrously adolescent thing to say; everyone who's graduated their teenage years knows very well that self-destruction is masturbation, that Trent Reznor and the process of glorifying one's own personal suffering into a poignant tragedy, that's masturbation. Everyone knows that."

A statement is made about the condition of mankind. This statement reflects a hidden truth, but looks and sounds good, because it's shrouded thickly in fashionable kitsch.

The people who are being criticized applaud. The people who are criticizing them applaud. Everyone eats their popcorn, speaks highly of the film, and buys the DVD.

Our main characters are on the bus. They see a picture of a guy in his underwear advertising Calvin Klein or whatever. Protagonist remarks: "Is that what a real man looks like?" Brad Pitt answers no. Everyone answers no. But is there any way around the fact that the guy in his undies looks like Brad Pitt?

Only from the safe dignity of kitsch can one effectively criticize kitsch.

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