chapter  6
16 Pages

$ell: Body Wastes, Information, and Commodification: Robert Mitchell

In one ofthe more striking scenes in David Fincher's film Fight Club (1999), the narrator and his double steal plastic bags ofdiscarded human body wastes from a dumpster behind a liposuction clinic. The two then convert the fats from this corporeal garbage into a commodity, soap, that they sell to fashion boutiques for $20 a bar. The narrator positions this commodification of body waste as a subversive maneuver, claiming that (([i]t was beautiful. We were selling rich women their own fat acids [or ((asses"; the pun is deliberate] back to them." The viewer is no doubt supposed to find this scenario hyperbolic, the satire depending on the notion that we, the viewers, have not yet gone so far that we would pay good money to buy back our own bodily waste after it had been processed through the infrastructure ofcapitalism and commodity culture.