Hello, Earthlings! You’re watching Adam the Alien, and today we need to talk about Tyler Durden. More specifically, we need to talk about how Tyler Durden is not and should not be anyone’s hero.
This is a rant I’ve gone off on in my personal life quite a bit, but the reason I’m recording it today is because I saw a meme on Facebook today. And I think it has a good point. So I’m just going to read it to you.
“Breaking Bad, Fight Club, Rick and Morty, Clockwork Orange, and The Catcher In The Rye” are all arguably good things — but if a man says they are his FAVORITE book or movie or TV show?RUN.
The explanation goes on that, quote, “They’re all works that are examinations of compelling but deeply flawed (usually narcissistic and violent) men. People rightly like all these works because they are good, but the implication of the original post is that if a guy says they are his favorite work, he is probably misunderstanding the point of the work and instead idolizing the male protagonist and is unable to recognize their flaws.”
Now, Fight Club is a great example of this. And for the purposes of this video, we are going to be talking specifically about the movie, because that seems to be how most people discover it.
I first discovered the movie “Fight Club” in high school. So I was a teenager, and I frickin’ loved it. It is an absolutely innovative film.
But the older I get, the more I realize that a lot of people watched that movie and went, “Yeah! That Tyler Durden guy, he’s right! He is everything! He is what we should BE!”
And when I hear that, I just can’t help but think, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?”
From a narrative standpoint, Tyler Durden is set up as the villain of the film. Yes, he says a lot of things that speak to a lot of people. He says a lot of things that I even agree with. He even says things that, frankly, are inarguably true. Though WHICH things those are…are, of course, endlessly debated.
However, within the structure of the story, Tyler Durden is not bringing these things up because he wants to better the world. Tyler Durden just wants people to love Tyler Durden. As a character, Tyler is a charismatic, narccisistic asshole.
And really, he just wants to be free to be an asshole…while people are also bowing before him and eating up every word he says.
I’ve seen this kind of thing in real life way, way too often. And you can also see it if you just…look through history.
Tyler Durden is not a good person.
And no matter your feelings about the overall messages of the film, Tyler Durden is not portrayed as the character you’re supposed to sympathize with.
Now, I think it’s normal that people often find ways to to sympathize with the villain. And in fact, both in Fight Club and in each of the things that meme mentioned earlier, you are supposed to find some ways to sympathize with these utter assholes. But there’s a difference between sympathizing with a character and thinking that what they do is right.
In the Netflix show Bojack Horseman, they frequently point out that Bojack is sympathetic and yeah, he does shitty things and he’s an asshole, but ultimately he–he does have a decent heart underneath it all. However, it is pointed out —frequently— that that’s not good enough. You have to actually work at being better.
In the movie Fight Club, Tyler Durden is a cult leader. He says things not for the betterment of all, but to convince people that HE is their hero. HE is the one who will raise them up! HE is their SALVATION.
And if this sounds relevant to modern politics, that’s because it is. Whether you agree or disagree with Idiot-In-Chief Little Donnie Trollolol, it doesn’t really matter what he says or who he’s speaking to because nothing matters to him more than him.
And that is Tyler Durden in a nutshell: everyone should listen to Tyler, everyone should do what Tyler says, everyone should be more like Tyler.
I’ve met so many people like that. I’m blood related to some people like that. And they’re not people you want to spend time around.
Because ultimately, whatever concerns you have, and whatever matters to your life, and whoever you are as a person will always take a back seat to this charismatic, narcissistic asshole.
So yeah, it’s very worrisome when someone looks at an individual like that goes, “Yeah! Yeah, I wanna be more like that!” NO YOU DON’T! And if you do, YOU’RE FUCKED UP!
This is something that requires so much more analysis, and I really want to dive way deeper into it, and–and pick apart all the many points that could be made. But, unfortunately, this is Vlog Every Day April, and I really need to get this up tonight. Hopefully not late, ’cause I’ve been, you know…getting them up late.
So! With the hope of reexamining this further, later —and I hope you’ll hold me to that— I am going to sign off and say until next time, I’m Adam the Alien. Fare thee well.
And now we’re gonna spend twenty seconds here in the end screen, telling you to check out the links either on the screen or in the doobly-doo to find me elsewhere or watch other videos. You should definitely watch the other videos this month. And, uh, yeah. Seriously, hold me to talking more about this, because I am not satisfied with what I’ve said in this video at all.