The education system is not designed to turn out thoughtful individualists, it is there to get us to work. When we come home exhausted from the inanities of our jobs we can relax in front of the inanities of the TV screen. This pattern, punctuated by birth, death and marriage and a new car, is offered to us as real life.
Children who are born into a tired world as batteries of new energy are plugged into the system as soon as possible and gradually drained away … Those who have kept their spirit find it hard to nourish it and between the ages of twenty and thirty, many are successfully emptied of all resistance.
I do not think it an exaggeration to say that most of the energy of most of the people is being diverted into a system which destroys them
Money is no antidote. If the imaginative life is to be renewed it needs its own coin.
Imagination and Reality // Jeannette Winterson
The glass ceiling of happiness is held in place by two stout pillars, one psychological, the other biological. On the psychological level, happiness depends on expectations rather than objective conditions. We don’t become satisfied by leading a peaceful and prosperous existence. Rather, we become satisfied when reality matches our expectations.
The bad news is that as conditions improve, expectations balloon. Dramatic improvements in conditions, as humankind has experienced in recent decades, translate into greater expectations rather than greater contentment. If we don’t do something about this, our future achievements too might leave us as dissatisfied as ever.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow // Yuval Noah Harari
The civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage.
Walden // Henry David Thoreau
“I remember saying things, but I have no idea what was said.
It was generally a friendly conversation.”
Associated Press reporter Jack Sullivan, attempting to recount a 3 A.M. exchange we had at a dinner party and inadvertently describing the past ten years of my life.
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto // Chuck Klosterman
The problem is that
we now hold the wrong things in
the highest regard.
3AM Thoughts // AKA “Haiku 103.”
A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession
about female beauty but an obsession about female obedience.
// Naomi Wolf
Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other.
We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that musty old cheese that we are. We have had to agree on a certain set of rules, called etiquette and politeness, to make this frequent meeting tolerable and that we need not come to open war.
We meet at the post office, and at the sociable, and at the fireside every night; we live thick and are in each other’s way, and stumble over one another, and I think that we thus lose some respect for one another.
Walden // Henry David Thoreau
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
The Prince // Niccolò Machiavelli
Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it’s all a male fantasy: that you’re strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it.
Even pretending you aren’t catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you’re unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else.
You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur.
The Robber Bride // Margaret Atwood
You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for you own pleasure.
Ways of Seeing // John Berger