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This one is also missing its conclusion. Idk.

Topic: Fight Club

The worst thing about loving a movie that becomes a cult favorite is that idiots will inevitably start quoting it in everyday conversation and it will get to the point where you can't even watch the movie anymore without hearing their voices echoing in your skull. This is what Fight Club has become to me, unfortunately. The moment Tyler Durden opens his mouth to say "THE FIRST RULE OF FIGHT CLUB IS-" I desperately try to find something- anything- that I can use to kill myself with.

There was a time, however, when I would watch Fight Club two or three times a week, scarily fixated. Before the movie I was obsessed with Fight Club the book, one of Palahniuk's best, reading it to the point where the spine literally fell apart and loose pages escaped whenever I attempted to transport it. The whole story appealed to me in a way that no other had before; it was the first real nihilistic book I'd ever read, and I was at the age where I was rebelling against everything without really knowing why. I had long since lost whatever semblance of religion I'd once possessed (after enduring a full week at Vacation Bible School, ironically.) and was already detaching myself from my family's politics. I latched onto Fight Club with a vice-like grip, spending hours dissecting both the film and the book.

I don't miss a lot of things about being 15 (my tangled perception of the world, the gale force mood swings, and atrocious taste in music, for example) but I do miss the intensity of my emotions. I wish I could be as dedicated to anything as I was when I was 15. When I fell in love with a band, I would download every song they had ever released, including side projects, and have the lyrics memorized within a week. When I fell in love with a book, I read it a dozen times and scrawled my favorite lines on my school binders. When I loved a movie, I could quote entire scenes word-for-word with shocking ease. Art meant a lot more to me then than it does now, which just seems backwards and wrong. I should be progressing, not backsliding into ignorance. I wish I loved anything as intensely as I did back then.

I think at least part of it is shedding the histrionics that are involved with being in the eye of the hormonal hurricane. Perhaps it's because I have an artistic temperament and am naturally inclined to be way more dramatic than the situation calls for, but I went from "Art is my life" to "Art is pretty cool" in the span of 4 years and it's actually incredibly depressing. I went to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts for two years, majoring in painting. There was a point in my life, right around 15 or 16, where art actually meant everything to me. I woke up, went to school, painted for 3 hours, finished my non-art classes, took an hour of art history, and then went home and painted more. There was an incredible sense of community at D.A.; we were all off-center, socially inept kids with some special quirk- whether it be visual art, writing, theatre, or dance. For the first (and only) time in my life, I had a legit group of friends.

There's a certain pride that comes along with going to a school like Douglas Anderson. It somehow legitimized what I was doing: before I was just a kid doodling in the corners of my test papers, but now I was an artist. It gave my mom something to be proud of, which I'll only begrudgingly admit is important to me. My downfall came during my junior year.

The problem with going from a regular high school to a school like Douglas Anderson, is that you go from being a very special, prized commodity to abysmally common so fast that it gives your ego whiplash. It sounds petty, but that's how it was. I'm good at exactly two things- art and writing. Both subjects are incredibly important to me: painting allows me to alter visual reality to my liking, and writing helps get all the conversations I'm too scared to have with other people out of my head. I chose to enter D.A. as an art major, mistakenly assuming that I would end up in the top percentage of my class as I had in past art classes. I require a lot of validation to function efficiently, something that my painting teacher at D.A. only gave when it was deserved. I kept waiting for her to fall in love with my work, the same work that had earned me many accolades at past schools, and it kept not happening. Eventually I stopped trying altogether and convinced myself that I wasn't good enough to be at that school. I finished my senior year at a regular high school where I excelled in my art courses, though the constant compliments that fell from my teacher's lips were curiously unfulfilling.


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December 2009

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