Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Life Crushed Flat

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Boredom. I’ve written about it many times. I invariably describe it as more terrifying to me than death. I’m not exaggerating. The prospect of having nothing to do is miserable beyond belief to me. I do not idle well. I’m not going to relax. I don’t want to relax. I want to make things. And when I can’t make things, I lose my mind. Trust me, I’ve been losing my mind severely lately, and my grappling with the boredom demons has never been worse.

Of course, I don’t just roll around on the floor shrieking when I am in this state. I desperately try to find something productive or constructive to do. But sometimes there’s just nothing left, and I have to get creative. After all, one can sort the proverbial sock drawer only so many times. So I did something I hadn’t ever done before: I opened up my huge trunk of memories, and I sorted through it.

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Recipe for Disaster

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Let us begin with a thesis: scarcity breeds excellence, and abundance produces garbage.

I am compelled, naturally, to write about this topic thanks to yet another multi-trillion dollar federal boondoggle, this one in the form of the “once in a generation opportunity to invest” announced by the President. Of course, this statement implies that the federal government has been cautiously and conservatively watching every penny for years and now, at long last, it will finally loosen the purse-strings and actually spend a bit on the country. This is, of course, patent nonsense, as the $28 trillion in debt incurred by countless years of government waste, quite plainly attests.

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Varsity Impressions

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I grew up in the upper-middle class my entire life. I never knew any rich people for most of my years. Indeed, in the many times I’ve addressed the subject of wealth distribution, I have recalled that during my upbringing, the “rich” man I met was a general manager at a Ford dealership, and probably made $45,000 a year to my Dad’s $35,000. So that, to me, was rich.

I wish it was still so. I never thought I’d type this, but I truly do yearn for the days of my childhood when, yes, there were fables about millionaires, but on the whole, people were more or less in the same boat. This is a thing of the past now, although I strongly suspect in about twenty to thirty years, it’ll be very much with us again. Life moves in cycles, of course.

This came to me because I finally got around to watch the Netflix documentary about Operation Varsity Blues. I love documentaries, and as such, it is excellent. For those of you who subscribe to Netflix, I certainly recommend it. They’ve done a beautiful job weaving the tale, splicing in real-life images of high school kids (the honest ones, not the rich ones) in the throes of getting either accepted or rejected from their hoped-for schools. Although the “script” was simply copied from the real-life FBI wiretap recordings, the dramatization is led by the actor Matthew Modine (of Full Metal Jacket fame) who plays the detestable Rick Singer.

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