I am Jack's jaw-dropping surprise — Fight Club is 10 years old.
Really, has it been that long since Edward Norton's nameless narrator and Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden first appeared on the big screen, launching the literary career of Chuck Palahniuk and inspiring young men to let their inner anarchists run free? Yes. It has. And I would know, I was one of Tyler's space monkeys.
Or at least I wanted to be.
A decade ago, I decided to launch my own little Project Mayhem with the creation of an imaginary company called Diversified Solutions Inc. I adopted another name, Marshall Field, the moniker of a now-defunct department store and an out-of-style euphemism for that word on Samuel L. Jackson's wallet. As the director of guerrilla marketing for DSI, I sent out press releases about a college scholarship being offered by the Future Abortionists of America, dropped off flyers at a restaurant chain telling children the horrible truth about Santa Claus, and inserted pamphlets into copies of The Greenville News, urging readers to join the Siesta Party, a political organization fighting for the right to take afternoon naps. There were other fake press releases, articles, and scholarly reports, covering subjects like the Gay Sons of the Confederacy, the dangers of secondhand dip spit, and the greatest threat to America's youth, dryer lint smoking.
But now? I am Jack's creaky knees. I am Jack's high blood pressure. I am Jack's growing anxiety over the impending birth of his child.
Of course, I've learned a lot from those experiences, and from Fight Club. And I'd like to pass these lessons on to the one group I think needs it the most — the Tea Party.
As you know, the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. But when it comes to the Tea Party, its members refuse to shut up. The result? Everybody is now a member, from the leaders of the Charleston County Republican Party to the mouthpieces at Fox News to the septuagenarians at the Fletcher Memorial Home. The last thing an underground revolution needs is a corporate sponsor and a loyal base of chatty Cathys. Fight Club was not sponsored by Starbucks, and Project Mayhem did not have an afternoon talk show.
Two, you have to be prepared to take off your shirt, pull off your socks and your shoes, and get sweaty. This is a heckuva lot different from signing up to the local 9/12 listserv or calling in to The Morning Buzz with Richard Todd or forcing your kid to wave a Don't Tread on Me flag at a Tea Party parade. Unless it involves a giant inflatable Snoopy and a guest appearance by St. Nick, nobody likes a parade. OK, maybe the Shriners. And unless you want to drive funny cars, stay away.
Three, don't order the clam chowder.
Four, you could not take Abraham Lincoln in a fight. And you sure as hell couldn't take William Shatner, with or without his toupee.
Five, remember this: the things you own end up owning you. So, take that copy of Atlas Shrugged off your shelf right now. Yes, millions have bought Ayn Rand's weighty tome, but like L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth, it's a gateway read to stupidity. Don't let Rand own your thoughts. Think for yourself. Or at least branch out to other authors. And let's be honest here: I haven't read Atlas Shrugged and neither have you, so quit citing it.
Six, your name has to mean something. At Fight Club, people fight. At Tea Parties, people talk about, what, Obama's birth certificate? Heck, teabaggers don't even symbolically dump tiny little tea bags into the water anymore. You guys would make Samuel Adams shed tears into his beer.
Seven, the ass or the crotch? Which will it be? Decide now.
Eight, accept the fact that your leaders may be certifiably insane. I'm looking at you, Glenn Beck.
Now, if you follow these simple rules, Tea Partiers, St. Tyler just might give you that revolution you so desperately want.
[Insert image of penis here.]