Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tyler Durden's take on the Paulson Bernanke Bailout
Brad Pitt's character, Tyler Durden
One of my favorite contemporary books is Fight Club. The book was made into a pretty successful movie with Ed Norton and Brad Pitt in the 90's which is how I originally discovered the book.
Essentially Ed Norton's character is a miserable middle management slob with severe insomnia. The insomnia is so bad that he develops a split personality (Tyler Durden, Pitt's character). Tyler Durden is the main character's savior and worst enemy. He takes over the main character's body when he sleeps and establishes an intricate worldwide network of "fight clubs" where equally disillusioned individuals come together to beat the pulp out of each other and bond over the blood and bruises resulting.
The fighting acts only as a ritual to strengthen the network as the final purpose of the fight club is to undermine the United State's credit system by evacuating and demolishing the major credit card company's buildings. This aspect of the group is called "Project Mayhem."
One of Tyler's more eloquent mantras is "Only after disaster can we be resurrected." I feel a sense of comfort and excitement in that sentiment applied to the impending financial disaster. I'd rather not bail out these companies and see a true leveling of the playing field on Wall Street and the rest of the United States' economy. People will suffer from a collapse, but they will suffer too from being taxed to death. My concern lies not with supporting those who benefited off this disaster and shall continue to benefit from a bailout. No, screw them. Mr. Durden would agree, don't you think?
If the free market economy is the ultimate ideal, then let the companies that have screwed themselves fall to pieces and the market will eventually correct itself. Let the greedy suffer.
No amount of scrubbing will make this nasty stain go away.
Chuck Palahniuk and Myself at a booksigning in Brookline a couple years ago
Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club is known for writing with a bit of nihilistic style that translates seamlessly into punk rock personas in his books.