Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hello Marla Singer

In the movie Fight Club, Marla Singer plays the depressed, impossible woman who drives our main characters around the bend. But the only difference between Marla Singer and most of us depressed souls is that Marla Singer doesn't pretend to be happier than she is.

I mean it takes balls for a woman to attend a Testicular Cancer meeting as a patient. To be so bold, to lie so well that no one even questions why she is there. In the movie, we're told Marla believes she could die at any minute but the tragedy is that she doesn't.

That is at tragedy, isn't it?

I mean we all suffer. We all want to have some meaning in our lives. Some point in the pain of it all. But most of us will just lie to ourselves until we believe the fabrication.

Life is pain and disappointment.

But we're told that we should be happy. We should be grateful that we're alive. We should be happy we don't hurt more.

Marla Singer, where are you?

Without her, we'll all create a Tyler Durden. We'll all blow up our IKEA wastelands. We'll all make our living recycling the fat of rich women into soaps to sell to skinny rich women.

Am I becoming Marla Singer? Dare I hope to be her?

Dare I hope to be bold, to be awake for my life, to scream my pain out open windows just to make the neighbors flinch.

Am I to be Tyler Durden? A sociopath bent on being happy at any one's expense. Someone who would rather blow up the world than live in as the broken shell that it is.

Am I to be the nameless insomniac who is so unhappy he has to go to support groups for the miserable and dying just to feel better about his gray every life?

Or can I really be Marla Singer?

Can I take what I want, be who I want, flaunt my misery as much as I want.

Don't we all want to be Marla Singer?

Don't we all want to wallow in our unhappiness and then sling that badness at the others in their pressed, pretty suits? Don't we all want to be unstable bitches who people both follow and fear?

Aren't you tired of being weak?

Well Hello Marla Singer...


  1. The thing about flaunting misery all day every day, is that eventually people start avoiding you. Pain in inevitable, I think. We all have some pain we're not willing to put out there for everybody else to see. So yeah, I guess to a certain extent we all pretend that we are what people see, but in the back of our minds, we know that there's stuff in the back of the shop we keep under wraps.

    Guess balance is key.

  2. Hi Tirz,

    Found it! Nice article and some great points. Personally I thought Marla was a fantastic character. Imagine the liberation of being exactly who you are.

    It's tough to talk about Fight Club because I identify with the key issues so much and find Tyler Durden such a sympathetic character. What both Tyler, and Marla wanted was not so unreasonable.

    Granted you can't blow up buildings, but we can decide to reject all the "everything's ok, buy more products you don't need" programming and decide to feel real pain (or real anything else) for ourselves.

    I'll stop soon, before I ramble myself into lunacy. But I think Fight Club had more to say than most people wanted to hear. It's easy to dismiss it because it's disturbing and the characters are so extreme.

    Realistically we have to adopt some social skills to get along in the civilized world, but we can still be angry at what we're being sold.

    But look around,we're seeing the effects of this mentality now, everyone's feeling the recession (which was a natural outcome of the modern consumerist lifestyle, letting those with more program those with less) But once it passes we'll go back to life as it was before. We don't change it because when it works, we can set aside our doubts and be comfortable. We can't change everything or be as destructive as Tyler, but the least we can do is try to wake up. In my opinion that's why we have writers. It's the writers that hang out in the back of the room and annoy the rest of the group by saying, "No, I don't think so."

    And, if you know where Marla and Tyler are, tell them we need them back.

  3. Fight Club is such an under-rated movie. I detest Brad Pitt but this movie has a lot to say. Yes it's dark and bloody but I think it speaks to that animal that feels trapped and suffocated in modern society.

    Did you ever watch a horrid little movie called PUmp Up the Volume? It's a Christian Slater movie. Yes forgive me for that but even a bad actor can get it right occasssionaly. And he got it right in Heathers and Pump UP the Volume. I think PUV echoed the 90's feeling apathy. All the good themes have been made into themeparks.

    You should check those out.


  4. Oh yes, I have seen both Heathers and Pump Up the Volume. When they were out I was convinced that Christian Slater had some real talent (he may, but in this case, the scripts were the real stars.)
    I liked Heather's a little better, because it made no attempt to lighten up, it was just plain mean, whereas Pump Up the Volume did try to have some redeeming value. Can't really take away from those performances, even though he ran his talent into a dead end down the road. I can see those as a link in the chain that led to Fight Club.

  5. But if you take the angst and soul lost feeling of Fight Club, the 'crying out for a healing' in PUV, and the sociopathy of Heathers---add in the government and you have 'Wag the Dog'.

    About how the public is manipulated because those running the world know what we want to hear before we know it.

    That's another movie few people talk about. I loved it. That and Dogma are two that I could watch over and over.

    Now if you're looking for cheesy B movie personal anthems---Band of the Hand. But honest, it's really bad. I just like it.



  6. That's a terrific Idea. I never thought of combing those films, but your theory sounds right on. I got chills watching Wag the Dog for the first tim. It's just so evil (and not far from the truth I suspect.)

    Dogma is good too. That one was a lot of fun. I loved George Carlin's part.

    Band of the Hand? I'll have to look that one up! I sometimes watch bad movies just for fun, they're entertaining in a totally different way.