"Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them."
— Bill Watterson (via mikekarnell)
"As Americans, we have this naïve assumption that people all over the world are struggling and way behind us. They’re not. Sweden and South Korea have more advanced high speed internet networks. Japan has the most advanced trains and transportation systems. Norwegians make more money. The biggest and most advanced plane in the world is flown out of Singapore. The tallest buildings in the world are now in Dubai and Shanghai. Meanwhile, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world."
10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America http://bananenplanet.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/10-things-most-americans-dont-know-about-america/ (via curlycherie)
There are two areas where the USA is way out in front of the rest of the world: war and prison. The technology of killing is the main investment of US national energy, and of course the semi-public semi-private incarceration economy is flourishing while schools and roads crumble. In many other quality-of-life terms — housing, healthcare, public transportation, public access to technology, mental health support, support for people with disabilities, childcare, primary education, maternity support, social safety net — I think a lot of US Americans personally know that things are not exactly rosy but see no options for fixing it.