Revenge of the Nerds

So all right, is this trendy '90s mire of dissatisfaction finally over? Have we beat the drum of useless fathers and pointless jobs hard enough? (Yeah, it sucks to wear a tie. And?) Can Gen-Xers move beyond decay and despair? More to the point, do we have to keep repeating that the only way to feel anything anymore is to experience severe pain?

If our culture is based on hideous lies, then catharsis is indeed part of the antidote, but are we really expected to buy dumb degradation as transcendence? What's disappointing about Fight Club (and other Fincher movies) is its unyielding focus on disintegration; to work, there must be something besides hollow nothingness under all the destruction. "Artists" like Fincher (or parallel goofball Reznor) may wish to consider getting over themselves sometime in the near future, for bludgeoning us with disintegration becomes tedious and predictable, prompting a quote straight from Norton's dialogue: "I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."

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