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This is where you talk about Fight Club.


#101

Cass (my wife) had to go to the Landmark Forum as part of a work thing for an old job. She HATED it. Like, as much as I’ve ever seen her hate anything. They try that “get up in your face” thing to challenge to you. That might be effective if the subject isn’t comfortable or familiar with aggression but…she was a Marine. She went to Paris Island. I always joke that she isn’t passive aggressive, she is aggressive-aggressive.

“These people are weak, which is forgivable, but the Landmark Forum fucks are preying on their weakness and pretending it is helping. Fuck these guys.”- is pretty much a direct quote.

Anyway, I told her the connection to Fight Club and so the last day she wore my Fight Club t-shirt. She quit the job the next week.

So maybe I should have had her immediately write a book.


#102

It’s nothing like est used to be, but it will screw with your idea of who you think you are and what you think your life is about. It’s very effective at doing that. However, there was no “get up in your face” at all at the Forum I went to or any that anyone else I know went to. In fact, no one even has to interact with the Forum leader unless they choose to. It’s all about consent. If a person decides to share something, they are inviting being challenged. It’s very clear from the beginning, if someone gets up to talk about what’s wrong with their spouse or their boss, the forum leader doesn’t care. They want to talk about the specific person in the room and what is really responsible for the problems they chose to come there to face. Whatever external “antagonist” the person thinks is the source of their problems doesn’t matter during the Forum. They are gonna talk about “you” and not “them” and it is going to be very uncomfortable and infuriating to everyone watching too.

However, I can’t say they prey on people or act like a cult in any sense. It is not a support group in any sense - quite the opposite, the whole weekend is a personality breakdown - yet it is not a scam either. The basic premise of the whole thing is that the people attending came there for a reason - or for their own reasons. So when the leader and members of the Forum interact with the attendees, they apply the “technology” - which is a philosophically based process called “technology” so they can legally own it - because that is what the attendees paid for. This interaction is designed to upset people and make them uncomfortable but it does often hone in on behavior and perspectives that are self-limiting or even self-destructive. However, I have to say that dealing with self-limitation is about the extent of its benefits. In my opinion, I don’t see how it could really do much to alleviate truly self-destructive behavior like addiction or mental illness. However, the Forum did somewhat reveal that during the sign up process. They make it clear this is not medical therapy.

I, too, have heard that some workplaces have it as a part of their culture, but, to me, that defeats the entire point. It’s entirely predicated on consent. Attendees agree to be there for the three/four days from beginning to end. They don’t have to do anything, just be in the room during the forum. That’s important. If someone “has” to be there for any explicit external reason, it opens a big flaw in the necessary consent fundamental to the whole thing.

Personally, I hated the Forum too, but I have to admit that over time, what I learned there I have applied beneficially in all sorts of ways.


#103

To the Pixie’s Where Is My Mind. It’s a great moment, and it made me laugh out loud in the cinema back then.

Yes, the movie could’ve been less ambigious, but the thing is that if it had been, if it didn’t respect the audience enough to make up their own minds based on what is shown, it would’ve been a lesser work of art.

The same goes for Starship Troopers that you mentioned and that the discussion also reminded me of. A joke isn’t funny if you’re explaining it at the same time. A parody doesn’t work if it isn’t close enough to the real thing for some people to mistake it for that. Starship Troopers is so great because its vision of fascism is seductive. Fight Club is great because you actually have to think a little to figure out what it’s saying. When a work talks down to its audience and explains its artistic choices with exposition, that pretty much ruins it.

The discussion also makes me think of Taxi Driver, the ending of which seemingly validates all of Travis Bickle’s choices, and you have to realise that the film expects you to reject that happy ending, to see it as the absurdity that it is. But then again, like Tyler Durden Travis Bickle was seen as the epitome of cool. This ambiguity is what made it such a great film, and why - like Fight Club - it continues to resonate to this day.

Basically, I’m saying, sure it’s the artists’ fault if they were misunderstood, but artistically, they still made the right choices. The world of literature, movies and other forms of art would be damn boring if the prime criterium was “Is the moral message clear enough?”. Outside of fairytales and fables, that’s the death of any story.


#104

Agreed,

In my opinion, the ambiguity …


#105

Oh, one last thing because Bond popped up:

Casino Royale was. The Mendes movies pedalled back and made Bond what he was before, minus the joyful delight in his machismo (which is why Spectre didn’t work, to my mind).


#106

Wait wait wait…

…really? Travis Bickle was supposed to be cool? I never got that, for me he was a living train wreck throughout the movie.


#107

Yeah, I never got the same cool from Bickle I did from Durden.


#108

Come to think of movies where protagonists see themselves as cooler than they are, the Matrix might be the worst. Basically Morpheus could be a figment of Neo’s imagination,that told him “Oh these people aren’t real. Come on, let’s go shoot a bunch of them.”


#109

Travis Bickle is portrayed as far more dangerous and deluded than Tyler is.

Still, he’s become a cinematic icon.


#110

In the nineties, some of the recurring posters you would buy at street stalls would be the Reservoir Dogs one, the Clockwork Orange one, and variations of Kurt Cobain and Travis Bickle.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518oX3-tesL.SY355.jpg

Stuff like this.

Yes, he was a living train wreck. He was also cool, at least iconographically. Also, everybody can quote the mirror scene.


#111

Yeah it was pretty common turn of the millenium – Matrix, Fight Club, Donnie Darko…

It spoke to the disenfranchised youth.


#112

This too;

Not great role models either. :slight_smile:


#113

That wasn’t turn of the Millenium.

You fail the course.


#114

Maybe it comes down to “mohawks: cool or uncool.”


#115

http://static.srcdn.com/slir/w786-h393-q90-c786:393/wp-content/uploads/Best-Unscripted-Movie-Scenes-Taxi-Driver-Mirror.jpg


#116

1996 was too early for you? Tell that to the students with the posters on their wall in 1999.


#117

1999-2001 are the strict prescriptions.


#118

Travis Bickle is very much like Rohrschach, in a way. His monologues are quite similar with that “wipe the filth from the streets” rhetoric.


#119

I’m disenfranchised, and therefore rebelling against your rules!


#120

Whatever. I dont need your systematically assigned aggression.