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An awesome Schopenhauer t-shirt.

19th Century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote some ridiculous things about the fairer sex, to the extent that I wouldn’t hold it against someone for dismissing him as something of a misogynist. Nonetheless he had brilliant things to say about other subjects, and the following quote, I believe, is proof of that. It deals with literature though it could be applied just as easily to cinema and other art forms as well:

Incredible are the folly and perversity of a public that will leave unread writings of the noblest and rarest of minds, of all times and all countries, for the sake of reading the writings of commonplace persons which appear daily, and breed every year in countless numbers like flies; merely because these writings have been printed to-day and are still wet from the press.

There’s another quote from him I like, which deals with struggling and humility:

And yet, just as our body would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere were removed from it, so would the arrogance of men expand, if not to the point of bursting then to that of the most unbridled folly, indeed madness, if the pressure of want, toil, calamity and frustration were removed from their life. One can even say that we require at all times a certain quantity of care or sorrow or want, as a ship requires ballast, in order to keep on a straight course.