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Shes legal in dog years

the famous fight club card

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I've been looking for this card forever in a online format and finally found it.

 

enjoy,

 

Zizek Revolution at the Gates pgs. 249-253

 

So, rather than remain stuck in debilitating awe in the face of Absolute Evil, an awe which prohibits us from thinking about what is going on, we should remember that there are two fundamental ways of reacting to such traumatic events, which cause unbearable anxiety: the way of the superego and the way of the act. The way of the superego is precisely that of the sacrifice to the obscure gods in which Lacan speaks: the reassertion of the barbaric violence of the savage obscene law in order to fill in the gap of the failing symbolic law. And the act? One of the heroes of the Shoah for me is a famous Jewish ballerina who, as a gesture of special humiliation, was asked by the camp officers to perform a dance for them. Instead of refusing, she did it, and while she held their attention, she quickly grabbed the machine-gun from one of the distracted guards and, before being shot down herself, succeeded in killing more than a dozen officers...was not her act comparable to that of the passengers on the flight which crashed down in Pennsylvania who, knowing that they would die, forced their way into the cockpit and crashed the plane, saving hundreds of other lives?

Redemptive Violence

 

The thing to do, therefore, is not aggressively to protect the safety of our Sphere, but to shake ourselves out of the fantasy of the Sphere – how? David Fincher’s Fight Club (1999), an extraordinary achievement for Hollywood, tackles this deadlock head-on. The film’s insomniac hero (superbly played by Edward Norton) follows his doctor’s advice and, in order to discover what true suffering is, joins a support group for victims of testicular cancer.107 He soon discovers, however, how such practice of love for one’s neighbour relies on a false subjective position (of voyeurist compassion), and soon gets involved in a much more radical exercise. On a flight, he meets Tyler (Brad Pitt), a charismatic young man who shows him the futility of a life filled with failure and empty consumer culture, and offers him a solution: why don’t they fight, beating each other to pulp? Gradually, a whole movement develops out of this idea: secret after-hours boxing matches are held in the basements of bas all over the country. The movement quickly gets politicized, organizing terrorist attacks against big corporations…In the middle of the film there is an almost unbearably painful scene, reminiscent of the most bizarre David Lynch moments, which serves as a kind of clue to the surprising final twist: in order to blackmail his boss into paying him for not working, the narrator throws himself around the man’s office, beating himself bloody before security staff arrive; in front of his embarrassed boss, the narrator thus enacts on himself the boss’s aggressivity towards him. After-wards, the narrator muses in a voice-over: “For some reason, I thought of my first fight – with Tyler.” This first fight between the narrator and Tyler, which takes place in a parking lot outside a bar, is watched by five young men who laugh and exchange glances in wondrous amusement:

 

Because the fight is being watched by people who do not know the partici-pants, we are led to believe that what we are seeing is what they are seeing: that is, a fight between two men. It isn’t until the end that we are shown that they were watching the narrator throw himself around the parking lot, beating himself up.108

 

Towards the end of the film, we thus learn that the narrator did not know that he had been leading a second life until the evidence became so overwhelming that he could no longer deny the fact: Tyler has no existence outside the narrator’s mind; when other characters interact with him, they are really interacting with the narrator, who has taken on the Tyler persona. However, it is obviously not sufficient to read the scene of Norton beating himself in front of his boss as an indication of Tyler’s nonexistence – the unbearably painful and embarrassing effect of the scene bears witness to the fact that it discloses (stages) a certain disavowed fantasmatic truth. In the novel on which Fight Club is based, this scene is written as an exchange between what is really going on (Norton is beating himself up in front of his boss) and Norton’s fantasy (the boss is beating up Tyler):

 

At the projectionist union office, Tyler had laughed after the union president punched him. The one punch knocked Tyler out of his chair, and Tyler sat against the wall, laughing.

“Go ahead, you can’t kill me,” Tyler was laughing. “You stupid fuck. Beat the crap out of me, but you can’t kill me.”

“I am trash,” Tyler said. “I am trash and shit and crazy to you and this whole fucking world.”

..

His honor short the wingtip into Tyler’s kidneys after Tyler curled into a ball, but Tyler was still laughing.

“Get it out,” Tyler said. “Trust me. You’ll feel a lot better. You’ll feel great.”

I am standing at the head of the manager’s desk when I say, what?

You don’t like the idea of this?

And without flinching, still looking at the manager, I roundhouse the fist at the centrifugal force end of my arm and slam fresh blood out of the cracked scabs in my nose.

Blood gets on the carpet and I reach up and grip monster handprints of blood on the edge of the hotel manager’s desk and say, please, help me, but I start to giggle.

You have so much, and I have nothing. And I start to climb my blood up the pinstriped legs of the manager of the Pressman Hotel who is leaning back, hard, with his hands on the windowsill behind him an even his thin lips retreating from his teeth.

There’s a struggle as the manager screams and tries to get his hands away from me and my blood and my crushed nose, the filth sticking to the blood on both of us, and right then at our most excellent moment, the security guards decide to walk in.109

 

What does this self-beating stand for? On the first approach, it is clear that its fundamental function is to reach out and re-establish the connection with the real Other – to suspend the fundamental abstraction and coldness of capitalist subjectivity, best exemplified by the figure of the lone monadic individual who, alone in front of the PC screen communicates with the entire world. In contrast to the humanitarian compoassion which enables us to retain our distance towards the other, the very violence of the fight signals the abolition of this distance. Although this strategy is risky and ambiguous (it can easily regress into a proto-Fascist macho logic of violent male bonding), this risk has to be taken – there is no other direct way out of the closure of capitalist subjectivity.

The first lesson of Fight Club is thus that we cannot go directly from capitalist to revolutionary subjectivity: the abstraction, the foreclosure of others, the blindness to the other’s suffering and pain, has first to be broken in a gesture of taking the risk and reaching directly out to the suffering other – a gesture which, since it shatters the very kernel of our identity, cannot fail to appear extremely violent. However, there is another dimen-sion at work in self-beating: the subject’s scatological (excremental) identification, which is equivalent to adopting the position of the proletarian who has nothing to lose. The pure subject emerges only through this experience of radical self-degradation, when I allow/provoke the other to beat the crap out of me, emptying me of all substantial content, of all symbolic support which could confer a modicum of dignity on me. So when Norton beats himself up in front of his boss, his message to the boss is: “I know you want to beat me, but you see, your desire to beat me is also my desire, so if you were to beat me, you would be fulfilling the role of the servant of my perverse masochistic desire. But you’re too much of a coward to act out your desire, so I’ll do it for you – here it is, you’ve got what you really wanted. Why are you so embarrassed? Aren’t you ready to accept it?”110 The gap between fantasy and reality is crucial here: the boss, of course, would never actually have beaten Norton up, he was merely fantasizing about doing it, and the painful effect of Norton’s self-beating hinges on the very act that he stages the content of the secret fantasy his boss would never e able to actualize.

Paradoxically, such a staging is the first act of liberation: by means of it, the servant’s masochistic libidinal attachment to his master is brought to light, and the servant thus acquires a minimal distance towards it. Even on a purely formal level, the fact of beating oneself up reveals the simple fact that the master is superfluous: “Who needs you to terrorize me? I can do it myself!” So it is only through first beating up (hitting) oneself that one becomes free: the true goal of this beating is to beat out that in me which attaches me to the master. When, towards the end, Norton shoots at himself (surviving the shot, in fact killing only “Tyler in himself”, his double), he thereby also liberates himself from the dual mirror-relationship of beating: in this culmination of self-aggression, it’s logic cancels itself; Norton will no longer have to beat himself – now he will be able to beat the true enemy (the system).111 And, incidentally, the same strategy is occasionally used in political demonstrations: when a crowd is stopped by the police, who are ready to beat them, the way to bring about a shocking reversal of the situation is fort he individuals in the crowd to start beating each other.

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His name was Robert Paulson

 

Warning:

 

If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned- Tyler.

 

Edit: Heh @ rep- the famous fight club... January 4th, 2009 06:24 PM asshat - watch the movie much? Its quote to supplement to what zizek said. (ironically, asshat is correct)

Edited by RequinB4
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No. No one can explain this because it is mired in non-falsifiable gibberish that makes no logical sense nor does it have any concrete backing.

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No. No one can explain this because it is mired in non-falsifiable gibberish that makes no logical sense nor does it have any concrete backing.

 

Also, capitalism is bad.

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What this card is saying, (as far as my ignorance can tell), is that the lesson to be learned from Fight Club is not that violence is good, its that ideology provides a sick, perverse supplement of enjoyment or jouissance. If we are ever to be free from the clutches of ideology, we have to accept the loss of that enjoyment, a.k.a. liberation hurts. It is used in debate to answer the claim that the Zizekian revolution is violent.

Edited by Iago
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What this card is saying, (as far as my ignorance can tell), is that the lesson to be learned from Fight Club is not that violence is good, its that ideology provides a sick, perverse supplement of enjoyment or jouissance. If we are ever to be free from the clutches of ideology, we have to accept the loss of that enjoyment, a.k.a. liberation hurts. It is used in debate to answer the claim that the Zizekian revolution is violent.

 

really well put. In his newest book Zizek talks about how we have to accept the fact that ecological catastrophe is inevitable, in order to allow ourselves the opportunity to change this catastrophe.

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really well put. In his newest book Zizek talks about how we have to accept the fact that ecological catastrophe is inevitable, in order to allow ourselves the opportunity to change this catastrophe.

 

speaking of which, does someone have that book digitally somehow?

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can someone please explain what the hell the card says???

 

Step one: read fight club

Step two: come back when you understand that.

 

then zizeks analysis might make more sense.

might. =p

 

its tough to explain zizek since it takes another philosopher to write about what he meant to say.

 

aside from that he is a wonderfully crazy son of a bitch

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What this card is saying, (as far as my ignorance can tell), is that the lesson to be learned from Fight Club is not that violence is good, its that ideology provides a sick, perverse supplement of enjoyment or jouissance. If we are ever to be free from the clutches of ideology, we have to accept the loss of that enjoyment, a.k.a. liberation hurts. It is used in debate to answer the claim that the Zizekian revolution is violent.

 

Eh, sorta.

 

The paragraph before the fight club analogy actually explains the argument best: there are two ways of politics - reactionary, transcendental politics in which we believe in some greater good (Democracy, Capitalism, God, the War on Terror, etc, etc) and 'the [lacanian] act'. Zizek indicts the former type of politics because it functions as another tool of ideology - replacing gaps in the socio-political of 'the [capital 'r'] Real. It's the act that allows us to truly understand and assert the political against itself which allows us to change the very idea of what the political IS and how we interact with it (note: this is the same argument he makes with 'the usual suspects').

 

Zizek uses fight club to expand on the example of the jewish ballerina who, instead of rejecting the inherent humiliation of dancing, embraced it and then used it as a distraction in order to get a gun and kill some of teh nazi's.

 

Fight club expands on this act of suicidal gesture by allowing us to understand a more in depth look at sacrificial politics. Fight Club is an excellence example of how we can, in zizek's works, "shake ourselves out of the fantasy of the sphere [of safety]." How? By understanding the inherent gap between pleasure (joisaunce) and 'real' change. This is best seen w/ the part of the film where Norton beats himself up in front of his boss. Instead of allowing his boss use this fantasy of control over him (i'm in power - i control your income - i am teh shit), he takes this power away by hitting himself. Zizek says that this masochistic principle has to be taken into account in terms of Revolution - we don't go from capitalist-debater-elite to revolutionary figurehead over night. This process will be painful because it will cause us to "strike at ourselves" and break many, many taboos (fantasy versus Real, for example). It is only when we strike at ourselves can we go from a revolution from within ourselves to a revolution within the system.

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Eh, sorta.

 

The paragraph before the fight club analogy actually explains the argument best: there are two ways of politics - reactionary, transcendental politics in which we believe in some greater good (Democracy, Capitalism, God, the War on Terror, etc, etc) and 'the [lacanian] act'. Zizek indicts the former type of politics because it functions as another tool of ideology - replacing gaps in the socio-political of 'the [capital 'r'] Real. It's the act that allows us to truly understand and assert the political against itself which allows us to change the very idea of what the political IS and how we interact with it (note: this is the same argument he makes with 'the usual suspects').

 

Zizek uses fight club to expand on the example of the jewish ballerina who, instead of rejecting the inherent humiliation of dancing, embraced it and then used it as a distraction in order to get a gun and kill some of teh nazi's.

 

Fight club expands on this act of suicidal gesture by allowing us to understand a more in depth look at sacrificial politics. Fight Club is an excellence example of how we can, in zizek's works, "shake ourselves out of the fantasy of the sphere [of safety]." How? By understanding the inherent gap between pleasure (joisaunce) and 'real' change. This is best seen w/ the part of the film where Norton beats himself up in front of his boss. Instead of allowing his boss use this fantasy of control over him (i'm in power - i control your income - i am teh shit), he takes this power away by hitting himself. Zizek says that this masochistic principle has to be taken into account in terms of Revolution - we don't go from capitalist-debater-elite to revolutionary figurehead over night. This process will be painful because it will cause us to "strike at ourselves" and break many, many taboos (fantasy versus Real, for example). It is only when we strike at ourselves can we go from a revolution from within ourselves to a revolution within the system.

 

Hmm, interesting. I had only seen the short card, so that's where I got my explanation. So the liberating violence is that of the sacrificial gesture of the Act?

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Isn't there a way to spin this so you can indict the D & G stuff about desire being a production machine as well, or am I mistaken?

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This movie was just on TV today. My favorite part is when Tyler let's "I'm fuckin' Lou, who the fuck are you?" beat him down only to tackle and drool blood on him immediately after.

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