Like plowing, housework makes the ground ready for the germination of family life. The kids will not invite a teacher home if beer cans litter the living room. The family isn't likely to have breakfast together if somebody didn't remember to buy eggs, milk, or muffins. Housework maintains an orderly setting in which family life can flourish.
(Letty Cottin Pogrebin (20th century), U.S. editor, writer. Family and Politics, ch. 7 (1983).)
The family is an early expedient and in many ways irrational. If the race had developed a special sexless class to be nurses, pedagogues, and slaves, like the workers among ants and bees, then the family would have been unnecessary. Such a division of labor would doubtless have involved evils of its own, but it would have obviated some drags and vexations proper to the family.
(George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet. "Reason in Society," ch. 2, The Life of Reason (1905-1906) rev. edition (1953).)
A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists, all powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death.
(Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. Letter, July 1, 1925, to F. Scott Fitzgerald, describing Fitzgerald's version of heaven. Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters (1981).
Hemingway depicts Fitzgerald's hell as "an ugly vacuum full of poor polygamists unable to obtain booze or with chronic stomach disorders that they called secret sorrows." For Hemingway's own idea of paradise, see his comment under "heaven.")
The man who promised to reinforce American families is now eager to pull the plug on Big Bird and Barney.
(Leslie Harris, U.S. political activist. As quoted in Newsweek magazine, p. 23 (December 19, 1994).
Harris, a spokesperson for the liberal organization People for the American Way, was referring to conservative Congressman Newt Gingrich's (b. 1943) wish to cut funding for the Public Broadcasting System. Among the popular programs on federally-subsidized PBS were two trailblazing children's shows: Sesame Street, which featured a character named Big Bird; and Barney and Friends, starring a purple dinosaur named Barney. Gingrich's opposition to public television was especially significant because he was about to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and because he and his like-minded colleagues were vocal exponents of "family values.")