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.")