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



My granddaughter, Calliope, and I play a game in which she sneaks into my chair and says, “Come sit in your chair, Poppy,” and I wander over, saying how tired I am, and sit down on Callie. And then I jump into the air, shouting my surprise, and she laughs and laughs. Sometimes I introduce a variation . . . I’ll lure her off the chair and then slip in by another way and get to the chair first. Usually, though, we play the same game over and over, because much of her pleasure derives from anticipating the outcome she knows in advance – and while I may tire of the game, she never does, and if I try to end it, she sometimes gets into a fuss. Callie is three. As it happens, the 2010 Congressional class is the same age. That was the year Republicans, many of them astonishingly right-wing, recaptured control of the House, and they have been playing childish games ever since. For example, they have voted to repeal Obamacare 40 times, even though they know the outcome in advance. Under the banner of “No,” they reflexively oppose initiatives, even from their own leadership, that might facilitate better governance, and their real goal seems to be to shut down the government itself. Their age-appropriate behavior, however, is missing a critical component. Calliope is forever asking, “Why?” She is curious, constantly on the edge of wonder, wanting to explore and understand the world. This Congress never seems to ask why? They just vote no.

And All That Jaz

e pluribus unum