Friedrich Nietzsche

Guessing Game: Anton LaVey, Nietzsche, or Ayn Rand?

All the hails belong to today’s birthday boy, pop culture icon of evil and Satanist Anton LaVey. The eccentric Church of Satan founder constructed his organization based on principles of individualism, egoism, and atheism — a few traits he shares in common with abyss-ful philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and creator of Objectivism, the evil-obsessed (and just plain evil, to many) Ayn Rand. In fact, LaVey once said: “My religion is just Ayn Rand’s philosophy with ceremony and ritual added.” Sometimes it’s hard to tell the three wearers of black apart when judging by their words — which is why we decided to have a little fun with the deeply cynical trio (we can already hear Rand protesting that term from beyond the grave) with a guessing game. Who said it: Anton LaVey, Nietzsche, or Ayn Rand? … Read More

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Motivational Posters From Your Favorite Depressing Philosophers

Since the Werner Herzog motivational poster project we posted earlier this month was such a hit, we figured our readers (and, indeed, the rest of the world) were in the need of more photographs of cute animals adorned with cheerful quotes from modern philosophical luminaries. So, here you go — ten posters with uplifting quotes from noted fonts of inspiration like Jean-Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietszche and more! You’re welcome. … Read More

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Fat Cat Invades Famous Artworks, Awesomeness Ensues

As regular readers will know, we are very serious about #art here at Flavorwire. And being as we’re a serious #art blog, there’s no way we’d dream of posting a series of photos of a fat ginger cat superimposed on a series of famous paintings, because that would be — what? Oh. OK, yes, fair enough, it’d be hilarious. These images are the work of Russian artist Svetlana Petrova, and there’s actually a rather lovely story behind them — as per Rocket News 24, where we found them, Petrova started taking the pictures after the death of her mother left her in a depression that rendered her unable to create her own art. AND the cat’s name is Zarathustra. Huzzah. … Read More

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Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ and 5 Other Unexpected Political Interpretations of Famous Books

Saul Alinsky, the community organizer and author of the book Rules for Radicals, was born on this day in 1909. If you haven’t been involved in political activism, you might recognize Alinsky’s name from the 2008 presidential election, when he was cited over and over as an influence on Barack Obama. A year later, it was reported that leaders in the Tea Party had also started using Alinsky’s book for their own organizational needs. Probably not what the author had in mind. But Alinsky’s isn’t the only book that has been used for political purposes they may not have been intended to serve; here are five others that have been interpreted in ways that range from inspiring to horrifying. … Read More

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9 Famous Authors Who Did Stints in Mental Institutions

Everyone knows that all authors are totally crazy, right? After all, that’s what makes so many of them so brilliant. But today, on the anniversary of Ezra Pound’s federally mandated release from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the criminally insane, where he had been held for 13 years following his arrest on charges of treason, we celebrate those authors who have actually been institutionalized for their mental illnesses (or, in some cases, for what others thought was mental illness). … Read More

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The 10 Greatest Moustaches in History

It’s officially Movember, which means that stalwart fellows across the country will be growing out the area above their upper lips, whether to promote awareness about prostate and testicular cancer initiatives or just to promote their manliness to their friends. But the young men of the current day have nothing on the mustaches of yore, whether famous literary moustaches or, as we’ve collected here, the lip-beards of historical figures (and we’re sorry ladies, but Tom Selleck is not a historical figure). Click through to see our nominations for the ten greatest moustaches from the history books, and if we’ve missed your favorite, add him on in the comments. … Read More

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Awesome Infographic: The Graph of Ideas

Talk about your ambitious design projects: Brendan Griffen set out to make a graph charting the relationship between all of the thinkers, authors, and comedians in history — or at least all of the ones who can be found on Wikipedia. “The size of the nodes indicates how influential their work was to… Read More

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The Most Dangerous Novels of All Time

The decades-old controversy over Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses has been in the news again recently following the author’s cancelled appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival in the wake of reported death threats. This intended violence is not the first that Rushdie’s novel has inspired, and his is definitely not the first real-life danger to come from literature. In fact, several books are reputed to have inspired or informed violence over the years, to varying degrees. The debate over whether the impulse to violence can originate from media — whether film, video games, or books — is a complex one, and we’re not seeking to answer it here, though we tend to think that no piece of media can incite a healthy mind to violent deeds (and the violence in Rushdie’s case is definitely directly caused by dissent over the book). However, several real-life crimes have been linked to works of literature, and therefore we must consider them at least a little more dangerous than say, Pride and Prejudice. Nota bene: this is a list of dangerous novels, so any potentially harmful propaganda, religious texts and nonfiction are all ineligible. Click through to check out our list, and get ready to scan your friends’ bookshelves for signs of insanity. … Read More

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