Rolling Out The Balls: It's Your Time To Shine

When I was a wayward youth, gym class was my favorite period. All the sweating, the aggression, the cheating…..that was math class. Which I found exhausting. So gym was sweet relief.  And my favorite gym periods came when the P.E. teacher - usually Brylcreemed and wearing poly-blend coaches’ shorts - wouldn’t try to corral us into formal athletic enterprises. He’d just roll out the balls and maybe go on a smoke break while letting nature take its course. Which usually involved us throwing those balls at each other’s heads.  (It was the ‘70s/’80s, when both smoke breaks and schoolyard hooliganism were not only tolerated, but encouraged.)

This is the long way around the barn of saying I’m trying something new today:  I’m rolling out the balls. (Not in a porny way.) Maybe even “building community,” as the cloying jargonistas say. In other words, if you’ve spent the last five months listening to me inflict opinions on you, it’s now your time to shine – to inflict your opinions on me.  It’s what, in the Substack trade, they call a “discussion thread.”  I like to think of this site as a free-to-fail space. (Next week, I’ll be uploading videos in which I Tuvan throat-sing the entire High School Musical soundtrack.) So if this works, wonderful. If it doesn’t, I’ll slink away like it never happened and return to my regularly scheduled bleatings. There are really no rules here. If you’ve not visited Slack Tide’s comments section before, it’s populated by civilized, thoughtful, occasionally irreverent readers of all stripes. Feel free to join in even if you’re not typically a comments section type of person.  I will introduce a semi-provocative topic to kick the discussion off. But as the “slack” in Slack Tide suggests, we aren’t going to be sticklers about abrupt subject changes.  If the conversation delves off into God or war or music or fly fishing or whatever comes, fine by me. As with any sprawling barroom discussion, there’s no need to be overly rules-conscious. But if anyone starts getting profane or abusive, I’ll revoke your free speech rights faster than you can say Vladimir Putin.  If you want to get ugly, there’s no shortage of places to go on the internet. Just don’t do it here.

I will jump in and out with my own comments as the spirit moves. So you and I might very well get interactive. This is open to all subscribers (paid and free.) And if you’re not one or the other, you ought to become one here. (Preferably paid, of course.)

If you’re one of my media subscribers, don’t be shy about jumping in either. Mix it up with The People, elitists!

The kickoff question: Who or what broke America, and how do we fix her?