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  1. #1
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    Angry Unsupportive Parents

    Ok here's my situation both of my parents are engineers. (Mechanical & Chemical) they don't have any idea on how different an artist is to a engineer. During high-school ,they told me that no money would come out of fine arts especially drawing, if i really liked drawing i should study architecture. That i should just shift courses (Multimedia Arts to IT or management) in college (i go to a Technical school btw because of my father ) because he doesn't see me studying, Im always at the computer doing something irrelevant. (3d modeling, and compositing or creative writing which is a subj in school btw) He even lectures me about work and how undedicated Im coz he doesn't see me do anything (I always practice 3d and drawing) and i would end up as a labourer. i just don't know what to do anymore, im really disappointed of my parents. anyone here having the same situation? and how do deal with it?
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  3. #2
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    Show them things like this:

    http://www.indeed.com/salary/Concept-Artist.html

    Spin it business like, and find some reassuring resources to show them. Almost everything you buy has some kind of art involved, someone has to do that right? From graphic designs to illustrations. Pull out some engineering manuals with illustrations, show em that.

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    Mate calm down,

    Your parents are just looking out for you. They live and work in the real world and see and experience way more than they let in on.

    The only thing you can do is persevere, and continue to study. Try doing some environmental and architectural studies and 3d models to show them that it's not all just fairies and monsters and nude women.

    My dad loved hunting rifles, so one summer I came back from uni having painted for him a huge image of a Winchester. He has it framed and it decorates his Board Room at work (Civil Engineer).

    You have to show them that it's not just a hobby for you.

    Goodluck

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    Become what you want to become. Let nothing stop you. Life is your teacher, be proud that your life is different than others and move forward with due haste.

    They will either be proud, or they won't. That choice is up to them.

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    If you are an adult, ignore them and do what you want. If you aren't an adult yet you have to live by their rules till you are, then do what you want.
    I came from a blue collar family, cops and union workers. I left home at 17 and payed my own way and my family never believed I would make it as an artist. Didn't go to college for any length of time. They thought I was crazy, until I got hired by Lucasfilm to do game art, even though I was making a living as an illustrator before that off and on they never believed in me. Of course once I had the job at Lucas everyone said they always knew I was going to be an artist, yeah right, they can all bite me along with all the other people who told me I couldn't do it.

    I always think of that Ayn Rand line from the Fountainhead "But Mr Roark who let let you be an architect?" Roark replies "Who will stop me from being one?"

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  9. #6
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    been there done that, don't get too frustrated about it imo. Do what you want to do, and regardless of their honest disagreements with your choices in life, they will support you if they love you. They're just looking out for what's best in their point of view... since they know little about art industries, its up to you to do your research or get your art teacher to explain, and not keep them ignorant about it.

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    I don't understand parents who do that. I presume it's because they worry about you. My own daughter has picked three subjects to study at uni. Psychology, Linguistics and Japanese. Not exactly money-spinners, but they're what she chose.

    I have faith in her to put in the work and get through her exams. If she's lucky, she'll find a way to make money from subjects that fired her interest. If not, she'll be a highly-qualified store clerk, poor in cash but rich in life experience. Not a loser by my standards, but everyone is different.

    What your parents think is up to them; what you think is up to you. You think they're putting obstacles in your way. Maybe they think they're urging caution. In the end, it's not up to other people to be supportive of your dreams; that's up to you. How focussed and determined are you?

    From what you say, they're not threatening to disown you...

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alesoun View Post
    I don't understand parents who do that. I presume it's because they worry about you. My own daughter has picked three subjects to study at uni. Psychology, Linguistics and Japanese. Not exactly money-spinners, but they're what she chose.

    I have faith in her to put in the work and get through her exams. If she's lucky, she'll find a way to make money from subjects that fired her interest. If not, she'll be a highly-qualified store clerk, poor in cash but rich in life experience. Not a loser by my standards, but everyone is different.

    What your parents think is up to them; what you think is up to you. You think they're putting obstacles in your way. Maybe they think they're urging caution. In the end, it's not up to other people to be supportive of your dreams; that's up to you. How focussed and determined are you?

    From what you say, they're not threatening to disown you...
    The language class combined with linguistics and psychology can be a real winner in terms of course combination.

    I have two friends, one here in the city and one who lives in Japan who are interpreters and do translation and final draft editing for local companies who need English language versions of whatever, and they make some good money doing it.
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    An artist isn't all that different from an engineer. You still have to get the job done to someone's satisfaction or you'll starve.

    In any case, welcome to the first part of your trial as an artist. Here are your first investors. Convince them that you're a good investment! You have to understand it's going to be an uphill battle because these people knew you when you ate glue and they're not entirely convinced that you've gotten any smarter since then. Do your research and prove them wrong.
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    Ah, Nick, if she gets lucky (and I hope she does) she'll be one of the lucky ones to get work in Psychology which is her main passion, or translating Japanese which is her second choice. But there's no shame in an honest day's work in Tesco.

    She actually shows aptitude as an artist, but we would never push her down that path, or any other...

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    Quote Originally Posted by theiiievolution View Post
    During high-school ,they told me that no money would come out of fine arts especially drawing,
    What they and you must understand is that concept art isn't fine art. When most people think of an artist they think of a fine artist. Fine artists are those people who paint whatever they want, have shows in galleries and sell each piece for thousands or millions. That's if they're good and they do work that collector's like of course. So in that regard your parents are correct. It's hard being a fine artist. It's where the term "starving artist" comes from.

    Make sure they understand exactly what it is you want to do. If you want to do a concept artist, explain to them what it is and what you'd do. Show them examples.


    because he doesn't see me studying, Im always at the computer doing something irrelevant
    Well share your work with him. If you're working on it and making progress, don't be afraid to show it to your parents. Of course if the only thing he sees you do is goof off on the computer he's going to assume you're not doing anything. Any logical person would.

    He even lectures me about work and how undedicated Im coz he doesn't see me do anything
    You have to get over this lecturing thing. He's not lecturing, he's trying to help you. Your parents care about you and want you to have security when you get older. They're not pushing you into an engineering field because it's that cool of a job. So don't go into this situation thinking they're just talking for the hell of it.

    Here's what you do, take it or leave it. Like I said, figure out exactly what you want to do and introduce it to them throughly. Then show them that you're committed to it by sharing your work and progress. You have to show them that you know what you're doing and you have a solid plan. Let them know how much it means to you not only through words, but actions. Be honest with them and yourself, you're not going to be a millionaire concept artist or 3D whatever. You might just break six figures as an art director at a really good company. But I would agree with everyone who says it's not about the money.

    If you do all that and they still don't believe you and try to change your mind, feelings are just going to have to get hurt. It's your life not theirs.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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  17. #12
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    You'll eventually realize that despite what your parents say, you can actually do whatever you want to. Of course, it's much easier if you don't have the great obstacle of your parents in the way, but you can save up to go to art school, draw in your own time, etc, and with little conflict from your parents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan K View Post
    Show them things like this:

    http://www.indeed.com/salary/Concept-Artist.html

    Spin it business like, and find some reassuring resources to show them. Almost everything you buy has some kind of art involved, someone has to do that right? From graphic designs to illustrations. Pull out some engineering manuals with illustrations, show em that.
    Hmm i was just visiting that site and apparently, assassins get paid $77,000... and im sure assassinating someone requires allot of labor.. so it wouldn't be so bad doing labor work.

    slackers get paid 55k but it seems like the high tech all knowing graph is showing as of lately slackers are getting paid less and less.

    Giraffes make 301k a year..

    Hippos make 124k a year..

    and Bill Gates has a salary of 53k...

    for some reason i dont really trust the reliability of this site.

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  20. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krato View Post
    Hmm i was just visiting that site and apparently, assassins get paid $77,000... and im sure assassinating someone requires allot of labor.. so it wouldn't be so bad doing labor work.

    slackers get paid 55k but it seems like the high tech all knowing graph is showing as of lately slackers are getting paid less and less.

    Giraffes make 301k a year..

    Hippos make 124k a year..

    and Bill Gates has a salary of 53k...

    for some reason i dont really trust the reliability of this site.
    Well you have to remeber that hippo and what not are companies or something or rather and Bill gates whole fortune is in stocks ( I think lol) so he could make that much from the charity idk lol
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    I was in a similar position, my dad was in the RAF and has always been mechanically minded and my mum was a cleaner so they had no clue what jobs were out there for artists but I was determined to study painting and I did the research and found an illustration course. That made them realise I was serious and they warmed a bit to the idea, however I never really had their full support because they were (rightfully) worried about my future and how I was going to support myself.

    You know what's right for you, but do your research and understand what you're getting into, let them see that you're seeing it from every angle and know the pitfalls and they might be less anxious for you, and don't be disheartened if you never have their full support, eventually they will understand that it is important to you and part of your life, and because they love you, they will accept this.
    Last edited by Angel Intheuk; July 20th, 2010 at 06:41 AM.

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    Oh, parents will never understand their children ....
    And children will never understand their parents ....

    Nothing new, just live longer, get own kids and by then you start to understand why parents are like that. And you yourself have children who complain that their parents don't understand them

    Now to the serious part, do you know why they are like they are? Did you ever have a good talk about that?

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    I've been bashed over the head with way to many ugly comments and arguments since moving to my parents home town. My Dad and I met with a therapist this morning.

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    My parents actually went to the effort, after being told i was quitting uni (studying biology) to do art , to ask me to come to the kitchen and have a talk - at which point they told me, that while others in the family may have had some talent to have made it in arts (like my dad and uncle) i had none and should not go for it.

    It was both done out of fear and concern for me and my future, but damn that sticks with you. Just because they are parents doesn't mean that they know everything. And just because they say hurtful things sometimes doesn't mean that they don't love you nor care for you. Parents, like anybody else, just do the best they can. As a son/daughter it is unfortunately part of your journey to learn to see it for what it really is. It's an essential skill that you will have to use for the rest of your life and continue to improve on.

    Stay strong mate, find others who have gone through the same and take comfort that you are not alone and go chase your dreams. It will be hard and it will put you to the test like very little else. No other way to live though! In my honest and very humble opinion.
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  26. #19
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    There's no reason why studying something such as architecture or industrial design would have any negative effect on your potential for a career in concept art, digital modelling or animation. If your parents want to see your doing "technical" stuff, do some vehicle or structural concepts or keep a complex window-worth of Maya hypergraph hierachy or the top, front, side, persp view of a suitable "tech" looking thing.

    But all in all, you've got to respect your parents while you're at home. In the long run they are not going to prevent you from doing what you want and the true challenge is to show them that you are prepared to take what you do want to do, seriously enough for it to make a viable career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alesoun View Post
    Ah, Nick, if she gets lucky (and I hope she does) she'll be one of the lucky ones to get work in Psychology which is her main passion, or translating Japanese which is her second choice. But there's no shame in an honest day's work in Tesco.

    She actually shows aptitude as an artist, but we would never push her down that path, or any other...
    You can only let her do what comes naturally to her. If she shows aptitude as an artist though it might not be a bad idea to encourage her to develop that into a marketable skill that she can fall back on. One can never have too many marketable skills, especially in our unstable economy these days.

    You are of course right though; there is no shame whatsoever in an honest days work in any "unskilled" job. Skilled and unskilled workers alike are equally important pieces of the machine, and deserve equal respect.

    More pertinent to the topic though.

    I was quite lucky in a way. Growing up my family was always on food stamps, and my dad collected disability while my mom was making ends meet however she could. This set me up for a life of self sufficiency, because anything I wanted I had to get by necessity by my own means. This means I started working full time under the table when I was in junior high. By the time I was in high school I had four guitars, two basses, a motorcycle (small, used but a bike none the less) and half the equipment necessary to set up a live concert at a moments notice as well as a gaming pc and t.v./dvd player. I was pretty well set as far as the things I wanted, and I never asked for a dime from either my mom and stepdad, or my dad.

    Additionally when I moved out of my dad's house for the first time I moved immediately to Japan where I held down a job, apartment, paid all my bills on time and all that jazz of my own volition, and only went back home after a personal crisis that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    All this experience has left my parents without the right to criticize my judgment and when I have made a decision about things they always just said have at it, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out to execute whatever crazy scheme has popped into your head. So far I have met with little failure and this gives them confidence that I know what i'm talking about. They have attempted to question my judgment form time to time, but ultimately even when things appeared to make no sense when the end result was more or less precisely as I told them it would be they learned to just shut the hell up and let me go at it without interfering.

    I got to this point in my relationship with my parents by consistently showing them that when I intend to do something it will either be done or if I fail that I am able and willing to learn something from it and move on without ruminating on my failure. Just last night in fact I dropped a hell of a bomb on my mother, telling her about a big change that's coming to my life. She simply told me she hopes for the best, gave me a few words of wisdom and left it at that.

    Show your parents that you are willing to commit to your decisions, and that your commitments can be fulfilled successfully and honestly and they will gradually learn to support you. Starting with even small things to challenge their position without disrespecting them outright is how I started, and it seems to work consistently for anyone who does it.
    Last edited by Sepulverture; July 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smashed_Pumpkin View Post
    There's no reason why studying something such as architecture or industrial design would have any negative effect on your potential for a career in concept art, digital modelling or animation.
    I'm not sure how sinking time and money in something that doesn't interest him/her is going to help. I stopped myself from studying art because I thought there was no way to make a living with art if you were not an art teacher (bear with me, that was before the internet.) So I ended up doing a degree in fashion design. Well, now I'm doing art for a living and I missed the chance to have an art education. On the other hand I can do killed pant hems and I know all there is to know about textile fibers. I wish I had taken the art education when I had the chance.

    I think theiiievolution has a great learning opportunity right here. Grab the GAG handbook, read it. Learn about the markets for art, read salary surveys and then you will have the tools to show your parents that art is a viable enterprise, and you will have done yourself a great service because art schools don<t teach about the business side of things nearly enough.

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  30. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Honestly? I'd just tell them to fuck off.

    if you don't stand up and tell them to shut up and listen to you for once, they'll baby you for aslong as they can.

    Just tell them how you feel, and if they don't listen or care, then I personally wouldn't bother listening to them anymore.
    a disrespectful or hostile retort is probably not the soundest advice

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    Wait till this person has kids and watch the cycle begin anew....

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    @theiiievolution

    i think you just pick a choice... and stick with it..

    on later days, you will realize that it's not about what they want you to do. they're only giving you suggestions, but it's up to you if you take them... just realize the things that is important to you..

    make a stand, else you'll end up with blame-game and regrets... and it's no good.

    after picking your choice, you have to face many consequences, an uphill battle ^^

    but don't be afraid making the wrong choices.. a life with no mistake is pretty boring.. ^^
    in mistakes, that is where bright ideas come alive..^_^
    Last edited by angel89; August 4th, 2010 at 05:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theiiievolution View Post
    Ok here's my situation both of my parents are engineers. (Mechanical & Chemical) they don't have any idea on how different an artist is to a engineer. During high-school ,they told me that no money would come out of fine arts especially drawing, if i really liked drawing i should study architecture. That i should just shift courses (Multimedia Arts to IT or management) in college (i go to a Technical school btw because of my father ) because he doesn't see me studying, Im always at the computer doing something irrelevant. (3d modeling, and compositing or creative writing which is a subj in school btw) He even lectures me about work and how undedicated Im coz he doesn't see me do anything (I always practice 3d and drawing) and i would end up as a labourer. i just don't know what to do anymore, im really disappointed of my parents. anyone here having the same situation? and how do deal with it?
    You move out.

    It's probably hard for them to see you as an independant entity when they still pay for your shit.

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    I felt so bad for you until I realised the thread title said 'Unsupportive Parents' not 'Unsupportive Penis' -.-'

    Seriously dude, Ive been through this, I even made a thread on it, which was ALOT worse than this, I believe I mentioned die and father in the same sentence a few times, REALLY immature and downright stupid, Now I see my dad isnt unsupportive, just recommanding what he knows will set me up, money wise, I learned he wanted to be an illustrator and I think his dad WAS unsupportive so he gave up, and through his own fear wanted me to do something else. Grown up and all I realise he wasnt just being a dick or whatever, and I wouldnt trade him for any other father.

    So just carry on with your art, if you're passionate enough about it and work hard enough, then in the end they will see you made the right choice and be proud you stuck to your dream.


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    It's all well and good to say that "follow your heart/dream wherever it leads you" stuff, but it kind of seems to me that in the same way that a person will never become a better artist (writer, poet, etc) if he/she can't take a critique and do some examination of their process as a result, doing something way more important like deciding on an entire career path should be subject to the same rigorous critical process with others involved.

    If you can't explain to your parents in some detail how you're going to get a foot in the door in what's a very crowded field, their concern for your future could be fully justified. They are professionals, after all, and they do have insight into how the real world works, as opposed to how we'd all like it to work.

    Long story short, if your career plan looks like this old South Park meme...

    1. Go to art school
    2. Build a portfolio
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!!!


    ...And you can't explain to yourself (much less your parents) what "???" is, it's time to think things through...asking some hard questions now is better than having to endure a bankruptcy or an eviction for non-payment of rent later, I can tell you.

    Day jobs are neither the end of the world nor the end of an artistic career. Maybe your parents aren't just mean...maybe they just care about you.
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  38. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auslander View Post
    It's all well and good to say that "follow your heart/dream wherever it leads you" stuff, but it kind of seems to me that in the same way that a person will never become a better artist (writer, poet, etc) if he/she can't take a critique and do some examination of their process as a result, doing something way more important like deciding on an entire career path should be subject to the same rigorous critical process with others involved.

    If you can't explain to your parents in some detail how you're going to get a foot in the door in what's a very crowded field, their concern for your future could be fully justified. They are professionals, after all, and they do have insight into how the real world works, as opposed to how we'd all like it to work.
    No, this is wrong you only have to know you want to try it.
    If they followed their dreams, then good for them but if they chose their profession because of a steady income then their advice is worthless IMO.

    Just because someone is older and never took a chance in their life doesn't mean they have a valid opinion. Most of the people I know fit into the Thoreau quote

    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

    There are plenty of ways to be a coward in a life. Allowing other people to dictate to you what they think you should do is one of them. Never failing at anything is another. There is nothing wrong with failing at something, being beaten down until you say I give up and go do something else, because then at least you know you can't do the thing you failed at.
    Most people never find that out though, they compromise and trade and sell out for things that are easier.

    It doesn't matter what their intentions are. More evil has been done by human beings with good intentions than any other philosophical reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    If you are an adult, ignore them and do what you want. If you aren't an adult yet you have to live by their rules till you are, then do what you want.
    I came from a blue collar family, cops and union workers. I left home at 17 and payed my own way and my family never believed I would make it as an artist. Didn't go to college for any length of time. They thought I was crazy, until I got hired by Lucasfilm to do game art, even though I was making a living as an illustrator before that off and on they never believed in me. Of course once I had the job at Lucas everyone said they always knew I was going to be an artist, yeah right, they can all bite me along with all the other people who told me I couldn't do it.

    I always think of that Ayn Rand line from the Fountainhead "But Mr Roark who let let you be an architect?" Roark replies "Who will stop me from being one?"

    Haha same here, though not as high-up as Lucasfilm (well done man). Was about to finish highschool and my parents asked me "so what do you want to do for a living?", for years I just said "animator", and my parents said to study in school for a more 'accessible job' first.

    However, I'm not mocking or disrespecting them: They did the right thing, and in reality they never disapproved of my dreams to do animation and design. They had a mentality that was pretty much: "You have a dream career, go for it, just make sure you study hard in school so you can pay your way with an OK job until you get hired as an animator."

    Ma' n Pa' sure done brought me up right; I have a decent fall-back job, but got a job as an animator straight out of high school.

    Your parents might be more forthcoming with your art career if you also study for a fall-back option... people here have said to go for art 100%, I don't agree with that: you'd be putting all your eggs into one basket. Just an opinion though.

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  42. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    There are plenty of ways to be a coward in a life. Allowing other people to dictate to you what they think you should do is one of them. Never failing at anything is another. There is nothing wrong with failing at something, being beaten down until you say I give up and go do something else, because then at least you know you can't do the thing you failed at.
    Most people never find that out though, they compromise and trade and sell out for things that are easier.

    It doesn't matter what their intentions are. More evil has been done by human beings with good intentions than any other philosophical reason.
    There's plenty of ways of being a coward, sure, but there's even more of being an impulsive, foolhardy idiot. For every major mountain peak that's conquered, there's a litter of nameless, forgotten corpses frozen in the ice along the trail upwards.

    A trapeze performer is well-advised to examine and carefully maintain his safety net until such time that he's positive his talent is worth risking his existence for...you won't find that on a motivational poster, but then again, common sense has never made the public so teary-eyed and emotional as lofty rhetoric...
    On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
    - George Orwell


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    - Richard Dawkins

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