October 8, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

Perhaps it because I experienced so many of my formidable years during the 1990s, maybe it’s because at any given moment there’s a rather decent chance that a rerun of Friends is being shown on at least on channel on any TV in North America, or possibly  it’s simply because sometimes good, honest song lyrics ring truer in my mind than most of the words that I've ever been told in person. Whatever the case, there’s no skirting around the fact that as 2010 has barrelled onward, certain lines from the now pop culturally immortal song, "I’ll be there for you" by the Rembrandts, have been echoing around in my head day after day, week after week, month after month.

It’s true you know, no matter what you witnessed, were told, read, or daydreamed about, no one could ever fully prepare you for (adult) life. Nobody could tell you it was going to be this way, because I don’t think one person can really ever ready a youth – with so many days of possibility, so many hopes, and so much starlight in their eyes – for the rather glaring realities of adulthood.

Growing up isn’t about eating ice cream for every meal (really, didn’t we all holler at our parents at one point or another – usually en route to our bedroom after being scolded for something or another – that we were going to grow up, live on our own, go to bed whenever we wanted, and eat ice cream every day?), it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns (curse you Lisa Frank stickers that filled my childhood sticker books for eluding that such was the case!), it has monumental highs and crushing lows. It bites and kicks and screams, it drives you the brink of madness and then cuddles you like a kitten. It’s feisty, tempestuous, sometimes stoic, all too often ludicrously unpredictable.

Like many people I grapple (more often than I care to admit to) with the fact that my life, as envisioned with the wide eyes of childhood, is nothing (and I really do mean nothing) like how I imagined it would be when I reached the milestone that is being an adult (and I’m not just talking about the 24/7 ice cream binge not coming to fruition, it’s the big things – the dreams and fantasies that somehow slipped into the abyss before they ever had a chance to materialize).

Is it better or is it worse? Those adjectives are truly relative, for one can never honestly compare a dream with what came to fruition. The only certainty that I know for sure is that it’s different, wildly, blazingly, incredibly different, and I think that sometimes the weight of knowing that these differences exist gnaws away rather incessantly at my mind.

Yesterday was one of those days. Those smile and look happy for the (figurative) camera days, where under the first millimetre of your epidermis you’ve silently got an emotional three ring circus going on. One of those days when you’re as apt to laugh as you are to cry, scream as to whisper (lest anyone over hear the whirlwind in your mind). These sorts of days sometimes linger – setting off, much as that now time-honoured song proclaimed – one of those weeks or months or years that simply isn’t yours.

They break though – those murky thoughts, those days of personal toil – something or someone always seems to come along and snap you out of it or provide you with an avenue back to the here and now that jettisons your thoughts from what could have been to what still remains to be seen.

For me, more often than not, it’s the power of a good soul-cleansing laugh that revives me, puts me right with my reality. In the wee hours of the night, after one of those days weeks months, the very laugh I didn’t even realize I was in massive need of, came my way in the form of one of the funniest (spoof video) plot mash-ups that’s ever been constructed.

Going much more old school (circa the Regency period) than the usual mid-twentieth century vintage theme of this blog, the video clip below is so awesome, so immensely funny, so unexpectedly cool and smile-inducing, that after it had mended my blue spirits, I knew instantly that I had to share it with you. Watch it, sweet friends, and bookmark it for the next time the day that – for whatever reason – simply hasn’t been yours. I certainly have.

...Because, after (Jane Austen's) Fight Club, you’re inclined to see the world differently. And that’s rarely anything but a positive, if you ask me.


  1. fascinating and fabulous. Not only was it really funny, but it is quite smart: considering Fight Club was an expression of the modern middleclass male's sense of emasculation in the age of capitalism, it is so interesting that this video presents fight club as an imaginary way for women to explode the confinements of polite society centuries earlier (if you really think about it, embedded within Austen's own story is a much more subtle version of Fight Club in that sense--obviously there is no overt blood and gore shed by women seeking to break out of their gilded cages, but Lizzie DOES insist upon exerting herself physically, via walking in the mud and showing up in polite company all sullied up and flushed.....anyway, I am turning into a virtual windbag here. Very thought provoking. Will definitely pass this on.

  2. My life is nothing as I imagined as a child, and I'm nothing close to the person I was as a child either. In fact, I am nothing like I was when I first became an adult. One thing constant in life is change, and my life is one I never dreamed possible.

  3. LOVED reading this post!

  4. omg, I wish I someone would have shared this with me @22 and I can't wait to share it with my daughter who is now 22

  5. The all-singing, all-dancing gentle women of the world. :D

    I am a big Palahniuk fan and Jane was a sharp one on the social critique for her time too. Although I can't see Palahniuk's work seeming tame on first sight even in a couple of hundred years..

    Hope you get a good long break from the subcutaneous circus. Life is crazy but like a friend of mine says "Growing up 's for kids".

  6. I've seen this video before, and I laugh so hard every time I watch it. Thanks for reminding me of it!

  7. Just found your blog! I love it!!! Lisa Frank stickers!!! Lol, I collected those!