Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Stumble of the Week

3rd Runner-up Amanda Clayton, whose food stamps were cut off by Michigan’s Department of Human Services after it was revealed that she had won $1 million on the “Make Me Rich" lottery game show. Clayton, who is unemployed, had continued to collect the public payments because, among other things, “I have two houses.” 2nd Runner-up The graceful concession speech took a hit this week when idiosyncratic Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich said, after losing the primary for a redistricted Ohio seat to fellow Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur: “I would like to be able to congratulate Congresswoman Kaptur, but I do have to say that she ran a campaign in the Cleveland media market that was utterly lacking in integrity.”

1st Runner-up Iraq seems to have stumbled off the list of countries that John McCain wants to bomb. It is not clear how long it can remain out of his sights, since it is firmly nestled between prime targets Syria and Iran. Other reported countries on his long list include Venezuela, Sweden and northern California.

This Week’s Winner Japan’s nuclear program has virtually shut down, with the last of its 54 reactors scheduled to go off-line next month. The country has responded to the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster with a combination of stringent conservation policies and increased dependence on imported fossil fuels – and the Japanese people have also, in the words of poet Madoka Mayazumi, begun to ask “some basic questions [about] the constant pursuit of more. . . . An aesthetic of reduction can be one way to reframe our lifestyle.”

Shrinking Commons

Growth?