Fight the Critics

While eating an overly healthy dinner this evening in between chapters of a new book I am thoroughly enjoying, I flipped one of my current indulgences quickly climbing my "hell yeah" charts: UFC. Could there be anything better in the whinny politeness-whipped society in which we dwell than two guys with no pads being sent into a cage and beating the snot out of each other? I think not. For whatever reason my salad with feta crumbles felt less intentionally healthy and I felt my weekend whiskers thickening.
As I finished my meal and prepared to get back to my book, the fight ended with a crushing leg kick to the head and almost as quickly rolled into the Spike TV "Guy Awards" hosted my Mel Gibson. After a poor attempt at some Brave Heart humor, he made the announcement that there would be a new inductee into the "Guy Awards: movie hall of fame (for whatever that is worth), the movie that I can say has actually changed the way in which I approach my life, Fight Club.
As Brad Pitt and Edward Norton accepted the award and celebrated the 10 year anniversary of this landmark film, they also shared some snippets of the fanfare Fight Club was met with 10 years ago: they read all the less than kind reviews by the critics of the day. All of these reviews and their doom and gloom predictions have proved to be utterly false and were actually comical giving how much conviction they were written with and by how "respected" the names and publications of these reviews were.
10 years later, Fight Club is one of the most impactful films of my generation and gave verbiage and credence to the inner rage that all men have. Not an evil or destructive rage, but the inner fire that fuels us to be more than the Ikea loving, Calvin Klein underwear wearing, clever nice guy that our estrogen driven society would hope for us all to be.
In the end, the harshest critics of the movie would now be forced to eat their words and wholeheartedly admit their egregious error in judgment about the film. Don't you love seeing the critics be wrong?
That being said, this just might be the perfect melding of two of my favorite philosophers, Teddy Roosevelt and Tyler Durden.
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”