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The Financial Wisdom Of Fight Club

30 June 2008 No Comment

I don’t want to make a habit of reviewing other blog posts in my daily “Article of the Day” series, but this one was just too amazing to pass up. Paul Michael over at Wisebread wrote The Financial Wisdom Of Fight Club. First, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Wanna see a flick that oozes manliness? Rent or buy Fight Club.

The premise is a little hokey, but Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is completely ripped in this movie and his character just screams some manliness traits that are impeccable. There are too many to list, but the movie is so freaking good, I have decided to add the main point of Paul’s article to my list of Manliness Traits: The Things That You Own, End Up Owning You.

On the fighting side of this, every man, and I do mean EVERY man, wishes he could partake in something like this. I know there are some out there that would say, “no way!!!”, but when alone, in their own thoughts, this is part of our genetic makeup. It is the warrior instinct that, regardless of how much our society tries to push deep down away from the surface, is in us. I don’t mean the missing teeth and broken bones part. I agree that would suck. But the ability to fight with another guy and let it all out…very intriguing…

Personal Finance Website

Now, the article that WiseBread published is about personal finances. They are a wonderful site dedicated to the way of frugality and simplifying the world of personal finance. They are just one of the many that I subscribe to via RSS and I recommend them.

In the article, Paul says the following:

In Fight Club, Tyler Durden took lack of ownership to the extreme. He didn’t work, he lived in a house that had been abandoned, he had no job and he bought nothing than food and clothing. For most of us, that’s not really an option.

But what we can do is make a determination between wants and needs. Most of us need a car, but no one needs a $70k BMW. That’s a want, and unless you throw down cash, that BMW will own a part of you for roughly 3 to 7 years.

You need a place to live. But do you need a 6-bedroom, 4-car garage, media center home in 5000 square feet of luxury living? That, once again, is a want. And unless you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, you won’t be bringing that kind of cold, hard cash to the table. For most of us, that decision is a 15 to 30 year commitment. And in that time, the house is owning you.

He attempts to point out the very familiar and timely distinction between wants and needs. When you think about it, this is the cornerstone of our consumer society. We have moved away from identifying these two in their respective ways and the line between them has not only blurred – it has merged into one category.

In summary, the renaissance men that bled manliness from their pores always new the difference. Men who have drifted too far into the abyss of comforting their every want with “something” and then wrapping that up in an excuse labeled as a need, should go watch Fight Club tonight.

I was thinking of clever ways to end my review of this article and I kept coming back to what Paul wrote:

Thanks Chuck Palahniuk and David Fincher for a great, great film. (Available to buy at Amazon if you just HAVE to have it…or rent it free from your library.)

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