Do Not Adjust Your Set
Peter Gibbons: So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.
Go to work. Be there by eight. Your contribution to the economy will be intangible, at best; your accomplishments are measured by spreadsheets, not products. Take your fifteen minute breaks, legislated. Go down to the food court for lunch, sterilized. Fear the sexual harassment complaint; tape your penis between your ass cheeks, if you must. Your supervisor is overweight, balding, and passive aggressive; treat him as a silver back. Hunker down and bow your head; your testosterone levels are dropping. Don’t discuss politics; don’t question the system. That might upset your coworkers. Smile. Get excited about the new project.
Your paycheque depends on it.
Get home, exhausted from nine hours of a low-level fight-or-flight response. Work out, maybe. Play video games; vicarious accomplishment. Suppress the self-loathing.
Watch the news, 30 second increments of information, disappearing down the memory hole. You are now informed. Listen to a round-table debate that lasts for 21 minutes; each person gets to talk for 5 minutes. You’re now very informed.
Television commercials don’t sell products anymore, they sell a reflection of yourself; an idealized mirror. On the TV you’re at a cool party, you’re driving in a cool car (down streets free of your usual rush-hour traffic): the you on the television is the real you, the you that you want other people to see.
The price of entry is switching detergent brands.
Buy a car. Buy a better car. Buy a house. Buy a bigger house. The mortgage ensures that you’ll return to work tomorrow. No work and no mortgage makes Jack confront the Abyss.
Download porn on the weekdays. Go out on Fridays and Saturdays. Do shots. Drink too much. Pretend you’re the person you wish you were. She’ll pretend that she’s the person she wishes she were. Both of you are cool and popular, and you can both pretend that one another is whomever you want them to be. It’s okay.
Take her home. Rub genitals like a pair of scissoring lesbians. Orgasm; sleep.
You can’t be a husband; you’re too emasculated from the office. You need to pay off your Mazda 3. She can’t be a wife; she’s too empowered. She needs to pay for her $500 purses.
Participate in the political process. Your vote matters. This election matters. You’re informed.
Lobbyists and vested interests ensured that the candidates were indistinguishable years ago.
Move in with her. Get married. Have a child. Hire a nanny. Get divorced.
Buy a newer car. You’re satisfied for a week. Then you’re not satisfied.
Did you really satisfy the desire for a new car? Or did you just temporarily satisfy the desire to be satisfied?
Don’t ask that question. Watch commercials.
Jim Kroll said “ of manipulative mechanics, without the catharsis and revelation of real art.” Jim Kroll is an idiot; it’s the modern world which is full of manipulative mechanics, without true catharsis.
You are living in a perfect Skinner Box: hit the button, get the Soma. You have objectified yourself; you are a piece of corporate furniture. Credit is your true God, and Office Parties your only community.
Two-hundred years ago, the Industrial Revolution transformed the work day; from the circadian rhythm, to the cycle of the machine. Over the past fifty years, the social sciences have transformed all of society into a genetically-engineered organism, feeding on soylent green, and excreting useful fluids.
Tyler Durden: In the world I see – you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
~ Fight Club