Fight Club and the Pragmatics of Ikea

As my Facebook updates have indicated, I have been romanticaly involved with a flat-packed furniture chain store by the name of Ikea. (Ikea is such a pretty name, children?) I just wanted a ‘guy’ relationship, an easy erection, a couple of quick screws, and somewhere to lay down every now and then. But Ikea wanted me to commit. It wasn’t content with getting a piece here and there; it wanted to take over my life and plan my future with modular aspirationalism. It was a messy break up, glue and hammers were involved, but I am still here and even, if you can imagine it, wanting to head back out there. I want Ikea back…

Here is some Swedish Ikea theme music (I am pretty sure Foucault is in this clip):

Thinking about Ikea inevitably leads to thinking about Fight Club, or at least the film version, as I have not read the book. There is that scene. You know, this one:

Although edited in a dynamic way, with a fun use of overlayed catalogue graphics to represent how one’s living space is the resultant of catalogue induced desires, the composition of relations produced is fundamentally static. Desire is captured by the idea of an object represent in a catalogue and the purchase commodity does not simply furnish one’s domain but one’s identity. This serves as an example of the way the masculine subject is feminised by consumption so the brutal ultra-violence off the actual fight club can be dialectically juxtaposed as a heroic counter-position. Yeah? Standard Intro to CultStuds stuff.

If, however, the dynamic of the Ikea catalogue practice is not flat-packed into nice preconceived cultural categories assembled via the schematics of CULTURAL THEORY then the difference is not one determined by how much or litle one subsumes the commodified lifestyle of catalogued desires. Rather it becomes a battle of pragmatics. Beyond the will-to-fully-furnished of total subsumption is the over determination of the fight club’s raw pragmatism, which in reality (not in Fight Club world) is actually how Ikea is used.

Those coming into adulthood as the first generation of numillenials mobility is a way of life. One’s domain is not simply furnished, there is a constant churning of persona that may or may not be furnished with the assistance of catalogued desires. If anything, a privileged necessity dictates how and when an Ikea pragmatism will be useful.

That, and I love the dollar dogs (not sure what they are in other countires, I remember working out the price was roughly the same when I went to Sweden).

9 replies on “Fight Club and the Pragmatics of Ikea”

  1. I hate Ikea. That is where Satan lives. But you will never find him – because you can’t find anything in that warren.

    Flatpack sounds good until you’ve moved a dozen times and undone and redone all the screws so many times they don’t fit properly any more. Then you wish you had real furniture. What came in three dimensions.

    Also, Ikea is made for people with cars. For everyone else, it’s utterly crap.

  2. I hate walking around an Ikea store – but what you have assembled looks quite nice in your photos!

  3. The flat-packed clean lines of Ikea have descended upon your abode. Hmmm, after I have moved 3 times in the past year, my Ikea furniture has stood the test of time. The transport may not always require disassembling, just like other store’s furniture.

    Regina, Hayley’s friend, notes that all Swiss students move into student apartments and then fill their space with Ikea products as it is good for a student price and has pragmatic use of space.

    Yes, finally one of the most hilarious movie scenes in an otherwise ultra-violent reflection on anacharism is up! Who would have thought…

  4. DP, have you watched the TV show called ‘Reaper’? It is a sitcom about some drop out who works in a generic ‘big box’ type of store and is the son of Satan. Comedy gold for all the slacker/gen y/x humours. The show ‘Chuck’ is very similar.

  5. There is a graffiti msg on the one of the female toilet stall doors in Ikea in Perth (there’s only one) that reads “Get out. This place will KILL you.”

  6. Hey Glen,
    I appear to have kicked my Ikea addiction, with the 12 step program and a sponsor. Either that or I’ve run out of space to put their stuff.

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