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USD Debate 2011-2012

Pellman/Pogany Fight Club K

The first rule of Fight Club is we dont talk about Fight Club 1. In Chuck Palahniuks Fight Club, Our Insomniac hero realizes that the only place he can find any solace is in the weekly support groups for cancer patients, the living dead. But as with any drug, this soon loses its effect. The Insomnias back. Along comes Tyler Durden, the most interesting Single Serving Friend that our hero will ever meet. Instead of pornography, our heros world consisted of the monthly IKEA furniture catalog and all he had to worry about is the next worthless piece of German shit that will furnish his apartment. In the blink of an eye, its all gone. Everything he has worked for, his apartment, his endless struggle for perfection has now been blown into the night sky, into the windshields of the cars below. This is when Tyler asks him to hit him as hard as he can. Fight Club becomes a cultish gathering of men from all walks of life. What once was a drunken attempt at self-destruction has become a nation-wide organization. Project Mayhem. The end goal of Project Mayhem is to destroy the major credit card companies. You mix x an y and you get enough dynamite to blow up the world. But if you have too much of x, it goes wrong. Fight Club ends with a promise to continue project mayhem. Front row seats to the beginning of the cultural Ice Age. <Pg 41-46> "Home was.... As hard as you can" 2. The government team is one small part in an infinite drive for perfection. There is a perfect world out there, they say, a world without war and famine and pain, and we can at least get closer if you buy the plan. Just sign your ballot, made out to ______________, then all the problems, all the extinction, everything, just go away. This is the logic of consumerism. Arguments, ballots, wins and losses are all capital. They want to be smarter, stronger, fasterbetter roleplayers, policy makers, activists, Americans, revolutionaries or whatever. We debate arguments we know are dumb so we can learn things we dont care about. To do this, they advertise the plan as well as they can, the one must have item that will bring us closer to perfection. We tell ourselves lies to ward off this undeniable truth, but its always in the back of our minds: these arguments are meaningless and vacuous, preserved only because our lives are so permeated by cultural images that we literally know not what we do. <Pg 149> "you have... we have" 3. Debate is our piece of the great depression of the spirit. Were so caught up in the plan and the draft and rma, and the bomb and what our judges think about us, that weve lost touch with authentic human interaction. When the value of our time here becomes defined by how recent our knowledge of current events is, and all interaction between me and you is just a play, an image, what are our lives but spectacular dramas played out against the green screen of culture? We are moving images on a TV screen.

USD Debate 2011-2012

Pellman/Pogany Fight Club K

Culture and Truth are frozen out there somewhere, embedded in a historical context that it seems impossible to affect. All we know is alienation. Alienation from each other, alienation from our-selves, alienation from our desires, alienation from life itself. We are historys middle children. <122-125> "When Tyler invented...destruction of civilization" 4. Wed be foolish to believe we can escape this endless drive for perfection by simply re-adjusting our path. The alternative isnt to buy a new type of sofa, but to blow up the condo and move to the toxic waste part of town and make soap with our schizophrenic alter-ego. We have to disappear from culture. We have to hit rock bottom. We have to kiss our hand, pour lye on it and know that one day we will die. Its only when you lose everything that you are free to do anything. Our alternative is a lens for viewing this round. A round should not receive its value because it feeds into some larger standard or goal, but should mean something in and of itself. Harms and solvency are cultural images used to keep us chasing images of what we SHOULD be. We have to form a new relationship with life, we have to realize that we are NOT our advocacies, we are NOT our win-loss records, we are NOT our speaker points and we are NOT how much useless knowledge we roll into round with. Our redemption will come the moment we have nothing, in that moment of perfect self-destruction where we give up the world as we know it and find out just what its like to hit rock bottom. When we find out just how much blood we can swallow before we get sick.

Finally, I leave you with the words of the great Tyler Durden: Only after disaster can we be resurrected.