Edit: Within the context of Palahniuk’s book, this is ironic: Tyler Durden pedaling women’s fragrance. Within the context of our universe, a movie star pushing expensive, undrinkable alcohol is the status quo. That he could play Tyler Durden in a blockbuster movie with a straight face, and people would accept it: that’s the irony.
Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.