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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Apr 16, 2017, 08:16 AM

4. I expect it will continue to get worse.

Most people don't live on family farms anymore, and economic needs often rip apart families too.

Here's something Kurt Vonnegut wrote in A Man without a Country (2005), some of which seems to be tongue-in-cheek.

Okay, now letís have some fun. Letís talk about sex. Letís talk about women. Freud said he didnít know what women wanted. I know what women want: a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about? They want to talk about everything.

What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldnít get so mad at them.

Why are so many people getting divorced today? Itís because most of us donít have extended families anymore. It used to be that when a man and a woman got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell dumb jokes to.

A few Americans, but very few, still have extended families. The Navahos. The Kennedys.

But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but itís a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but itís a man.

When a couple has an argument nowadays, they may think itís about money or power or sex or how to raise the kids or whatever. What theyíre really saying to each other, though without realizing it, is this: ďYou are not enough people!Ē

A husband, a wife and some kids is not a family. Itís a terribly vulnerable survival unit.

I met a man in Nigeria one time, an Ibo who had six hundred relatives he knew quite well. His wife had just had a baby, the best possible news in any extended family.

They were going to take it to meet all its relatives, Ibos of all ages and sizes and shapes. It would even meet other babies, cousins not much older than it was. Everybody who was big enough and steady enough was going to get to hold it, cuddle it, gurgle to it, and say how pretty or how handsome it was.

Wouldnít you have loved to be that baby?

I sure wish I could wave a wand, and give every one of you an extended family, make you an Ibo or a Navahoóor a Kennedy.

Now, you take George and Laura Bush, who imagine themselves as a brave, clean-cut little couple. They are surrounded by an enormous extended family, what we should all haveóI mean judges, senators, newspaper editors, lawyers, bankers. They are not alone. That they are members of an extended family is one reason they are so comfortable. And I would really, over the long run, hope America would find some way to provide all of our citizens with extended familiesóa large group of people they could call on for help.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
TexasTowelie Apr 2017 OP
furtheradu Apr 2017 #1
TexasTowelie Apr 2017 #2
LakeArenal Apr 2017 #3
LineNew Reply I expect it will continue to get worse.
Buckeye_Democrat Apr 2017 #4
smirkymonkey Feb 2018 #6
Name removed Aug 2017 #5
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