Last night I watched Fight Club for the first time in maybe 7 years and it is was interesting to see how much my life aligned with what I imagined it would be 7 years ago. I am trying not to say that Fight Club helped define me but honestly I don't know. Maybe it had a huge impact?
(The Movie, I have never read the book and don't plan on it. Chuck Palahniuk is like a 1990s Kurt Vonnegut and I dislike Vonnegut very much )
Fight Club came out in 1999. I honestly cannot remember the first time I watched it but I have owned a copy of the movie most of my adult life. I have probably seen the movie 50 times but I am obsessive like that. Out of the handful of movies I own I have watched some 100 or more times(Iron Man, Good Will Hunting). Have you ever watched a movie that you haven't seen in 10 years and it blows your mind because your memories of it don't match your current perception because you are such a different person? Watching Fight Club last night was like that because I used to always watch it from the perspective of how I wanted to be instead of the perspective of how I am.
To me the movie Fight Club is about being an individual. The main characters talk about how the current ways that people attempt to be unique do not make them unique at all and instead we should strive for uniqueness by our actions. The movie is also very punk, everything they do is basically to fuck the system. In 1999 I was 18 years old. It is so hard to be young and have so many grandiose ideas. No one listens to you and it is basically a waiting game until you are old enough for people to take you seriously. Coming from a poor family I also lacked resources. I scraped and scrounged and stole to acquire my first computer which changed my life. Now I am somewhat respectable(depending on who you ask), I have a Ph.D. and work at NASA, I have free time and I have money. And I take advantage of all these things.
It is awesome. I can give people the double fuck you. Both middle fingers. Because no one in my life defines me anymore. I define myself. I worked so hard for so many years that I am good at my job and I love my job, Science. People can never take Science away from me. Even if you lock me up in a jail cell I can still do theoretical Science through maths and hypotheses. If I am fired it doesn't matter, I have accumulated a decent lab at my apartment that I play around in all the time. Building stuff, doing experiments, creating art. My life does not revolve around you. You can't control me like you could when I was 18 or 21. You can no longer threaten me with a bad grade or firing me from my job. None of these things matter to me anymore because I have all I need.
This was my generation. The Generation of Computer Hackers and Punk Musicians and Occupy Wallstreet. None of this shitty Anonymous(The hacking collective) stuff either, hacking was for fun or to give some corporate suit a big fuck you, never to seriously threaten people. My generation wrote "The Hacker Manifesto" (http://phrack.org/issues/7/3.html)(Ok well maybe slightly before my generation). My generation has Mark Zuckerbergs who wear hoodies instead of suits. Because we do what we want that's why.
The generation before us were the Suits. And poorly fitting ones at that. Most of them still think things need to be a certain way. Most of them are opposed to change. They don't want to rock the boat or they think by wearing a t-shirt instead of a collared shirt that they are rocking the boat.
The generation after me doesn't give much of a fuck about anything and even if they did they think an Online Petition is the way to solve problems not going out and fixing it yourself. I was talking to someone in a bar in the Valley who was an undergrad at Stanford(21 or 22 years of age) and they proceeded to tell me that they wanted to be a Project Manager when they graduate. WTF is that? I remember when I was at St. Mark's boarding school talking about NASA and Science. I asked how many of them wanted to be Astronauts when they were younger and maybe 2 in 60 said they did! That blows my mind. Finance they said.
My generation doesn't give up. They are the loudest most annoying assholes you will meet. The ones who post way too much on facebook about their beliefs. But they speak with their actions and money not just their words.
Maybe this post is really all about me and not my generation and of course it is all anecdotal. But I don't give a fuck because I don't care what you think. hahaha.
Anyways, if you have not seen Fight Club in a while watch it and see how much you have changed.