An Evil Fog: The thief who wears the mask of safety

The common practice these days of perplexing every labor done in order that sentiments may be exchanged between a dormant mind and one seeking to loot has extended its sinister fingers into every crevice of our daily lives. This and this alone is the greatest misfortune of the 21st century, a time of astounding discovery and opportunity only to be met with social indifference.

Normally when I’m on the radio with Doc Thompson of 700 WLW I have a little fun ripping to shreds the misconceptions of education spending, because the values do not equate, so there is much fodder to be achieved. But on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 my daily ride by motorcycle was met with a wall of mystic fog, and the wind called adventure to my throttle as I stormed into the cool morning on that steel horse headed for work. But upon arriving at my office and turning on the radio I was informed of school delays due to the fog and this sent my mind into a torrent which could be heard in my voice during that talk with Doc. Gone from my intonation is that happy banter, although I tried. The replacement thoughts which rushed back to me from the years past set my mind ablaze with a unifying theory which encompasses much of what is wrong in this modern age.

To understand my views on this one must understand a bit about my life. I purposely ride my motorcycle all year, even in the snow, because I enjoy the discomfort and adventure offered in the dangerous conditions. When I receive a deep cut, I usually tend to it myself including sutures. I have been known to stuff the ligaments and blood vessels incorrectly back under my jagged skin only to have it professionally repaired at a later date because the injury was just too great for self repair. In those times, such as a time I had to have my knee repaired with an ACL replacement, the therapy regiment scheduled me for a 12 week intense recovery program, which would require me to be off work during that time. I had the surgery on a Thursday and was back to work minding my 50+ employees on the following Tuesday, walking around on crutches. My therapists were infuriated with me as I learned that they wished to prolong my recovery to fill their own pockets. When after two weeks I declared myself healed, they protested violently. “Nobody can recover that quickly.”
“I just did.”

If I had listened to the cadence of their concerns I might still be in therapy 4 years later, because I had good insurance that covered my therapy, so they had no idea why I was in such a rush to recover, or get back to work. It was beyond their minds that I was doing it for myself, to teach my body to recover quickly and to not accept a loss of movement, or any dependence on an outside person. Self-reliance is the focus of my every thought of every moment of every day, and I expect that same passion out of every cell in my body. I call out to them like a general on a battlefield to fight off disease faster, to clot up lacerations quickly, and to heal with no time to spare. I have always been like this.

Speaking with Doc I thought of another similar foggy morning when I was a kid, couldn’t have been much older than the 5th grade, and a garbage truck stormed over the hill in front of my house and hit the school bus I was getting on from behind. I was in the isle walking back to find a seat when I saw the truck about to hit through the rear window of the bus, so I quickly jumped off the bus and back into my driveway. The collision was so violent that before my feet hit the driveway, the bus had been pushed down the road and was replaced by the wrecked garbage truck.

My first thought was not whether or not everyone was alright on the bus, or even the driver of the garbage truck. My first thought was that I would now be late for school and was granted by the grace of God a few extra hours of time to myself to read a book, draw pictures and write in my journal while the rest of the kids stepped off the bus holding their heads, rubbing their shoulders and looking for somebody to give them some level of pity.

At fire drills I never followed the directions. “Rich Hoffman, you need to get back in line. If there is a fire I am responsible to make sure you’re safe,” my teacher would tell me. Little did they know that if there was a fire, I’d be anywhere but where it was safe. The demons of the night would not allow my mind to rest if I walked away from danger, so standing in a line like a good little boy was not going to happen.

I remember poking the school bully in the eye with my scissors in first grade because he said he was going to kill me. He was out of school for three weeks due to that injury and I received 10 swats with the paddle, but he never bothered me again until the 6th grade where we had such a bad fight that the principle gave us both a paddling. Mine was worse because that kid had problems that would require him to take more time off school. In fact I received a paddling from so many principals that I can’t even remember them all. I remember making sure to let the principals know that I felt no pain, or that I could take it without flinching, even when I was 6 and 7 years old. You see, it was important to be tough, not only in respect from your class-mates, but it seemed important later in life somehow.

I remember sitting in front of one of my high school principals in his office after I had been involved in an altercation and my right fist knuckle was cut open in several places. The bone of my pointer finger was sticking out from the impact and the ligaments that held the top of my hand together were dangling out of the cut. The damage would require a plastic surgeon to fix. “Who did you hit to get a cut like that?” the principal would ask.

Blood running freely and me trying to fight back the effect of shock, “Nobody, why?”
“Rich Hoffman, you can’t continue on like this. You have to find a groove and get into it, this constant resistance to authority that you are prone to will have to stop one of these days or you will die before you get there.”

Once I was married and had kids life seemed to slow down. There weren’t fights with other kids and high-speed car crashes, like I had become accustom to stimulate my mind. Since we only had one car at the time, I bought a bicycle and rode that to work so my wife would have a car. That took the pressure off having to buy another car. I rode that bike to work every day for the next 10 years, 12 miles each way. I did it because it gave me opportunity for adventure on my commute to work. It put me out in the elements and laid danger at my doorstep daily.

Now that I’ve had a little success in life, I ride a motorcycle instead of a bicycle for the same effect, because I’m busy and need to speed up my commute times. Time these days is very important, so I don’t have much of it to kill.

So I can testify that I am utterly baffled by these overprotective mothers who lug around their large cabooses drowning in perfume as if to compensate for the disaster their bodies have become, who have always pointed at my lifestyle as though it were forged in the image of a devil. To me, dressing a kid in a helmet to ride a bicycle down the street is too much. To not let a kid fall down and bump their head or know what it feels like to see the life blood of your body running out before you, forcing you to act quickly to stop it, those are the experiences that make good, strong adults. Pain builds character, and I’d never consider going back in time to avoid any of it.

“The lawsuit culture, the cry-baby teachers, the political looters” I wrote in my notebook that day at the bus accident would all grow up fat, ugly, and socially neurotic. They spent too much time after the accident looking for someone to pity them for their experience, and they would carry that trait into their adult lives and their kids would hate them for it, because kids want to be stimulated. They don’t want to be safe!

Over the last couple decades as parents have divorced with increasing frequency and father number 2 or 3 move in and out of a child’s life so schools have taken up the extra slack of this cultural breakdown, and the teachers out of fear of litigation from neurotic parents have become neurotic themselves and suddenly we have a culture terrified of any danger, so much so that they will throw enormous sums of money at police, firefighters and the like because they live a fearful life and have no way to understand the value of the danger in those positions. The belief is that money will close the gap of understanding is one for fools.

I knew a kid years ago who wet his pants because a lightning bolt struck a tree near where we were playing. He was one whose parents sheltered him incredibly, to the point of neurosis, and of course that kid had difficulty recovering from those limitations when manhood came calling. I used to feel sorry for him, because he didn’t know what it felt like to live a life without fear, because his fears had been conquered. His parents instead taught him that fear was good, and that if he was afraid, then there must be a good reason for it. Bad advice!

Living without fear is the first aspect of a free existence, even before financial security. It is the obligation of childhood to arrive at manhood with as little fear as possible, but unfortunately our current culture actually celebrates neurosis, and belittles the FEARLESS! What an upside down world.
So I felt a twang of pity for all those poor kids who watched the adults in charge of their lives postpone school because an evil fog had cast itself across the land. I realized that a robbery had taken place, all in the name of “SAFETY.” Those children had been denied a mysterious journey through the masked landscape of their familiar routes to see the world differently, and to compare those differences with their everyday route. For it is an important lesson to see how different something you think you know well can look when the elements upon which you see it change. And those kids were denied that experience. Instead, they stayed safe in their homes waiting for the fog to clear and the opportunity for adventure to pass, as the thief went with it into the rising sun of an autumn morning.
Safety had just weakened the next generation proportionally.

For the answer to everything, CLICK THIS LINK:

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

23 thoughts on “An Evil Fog: The thief who wears the mask of safety

  1. To survive in this complicated world it is important to learn to be brave. Fear of living is a terrible thing. I, too, see so many people that are afraid of very simple situations. One of the most intolerable, to me, is the fear so many parents have of the schools. They see their child being labeled or mistreated and they stay quiet for fear of retaliation. They are afraid to speak up at board meetings for the same reason. Why do they allow people they fear to have so much control over their children? Why do they not hold the districts accountable for where they spend their tax dollars? Virtual bullies run the schools. Even some teachers keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs.

    Standing up for truth and justice does require bravery. One need not be a soldier or a gladiator on the football field to be brave. I see brave people almost every day standing up for our country in many different ways.


  2. Thank you for understanding. We let all these crazy groups make us do things because they make people fear. Fear of Issue 2, that we’ll lose police and firefighters. Fear of property values declining if we don’t pass a levy. Fear of our children turning out stupid if we don’t pay teachers too much. It is our fear that gets exposed. When you are not afraid, the truth is easy to see. I’m so glad you understood what I was trying to say, and so quickly! You made my night! Thanks!


  3. That’s a great post Rich. I too am saddened by the nanny state that has destroyed the learning and adventure we enjoyed in our youth.

    I’ve got three kids: a twelve year old boy, a nine year old girl, and a seven year old boy. We have never coddled them. My youngest son is a ball of fire. He’s extremely intelligent for his age and knows no fear. He’s now a very good swimmer on the YMCA swim team. When he was 18 months old he jumped into the deep end of a pool and dog-paddled to the side. He just took off from there.

    A few years ago (when he was four) on the night before vacation he was flying down our 400′ driveway on his non-training wheel equipped bike. He decided to do the NASCAR “warm up the tires” left-right maneuver. He jackknifed the bike and went over the handlebars. He went chin-first onto the blacktop. He didn’t so much as scrape his chin as he did tore the skin…he basically tore a flap of skin off his entire chin like peeling an orange. He didn’t even cry as the blood was poring down his shirt. His greatest concern was that he would not be allowed to go swimming on vacation after he got the stitches. He now has a scar which he is very proud of. He also has a big scar on his skull caused somehow by his electric guitar. We’re not sure how he did that one. Of course it was exactly one year from the previous incident, again right before vacation. He then went on vacation (to South Dakota) and got a pocket knife…and promptly cut his thumb down to the tendons. My wife and another lady who was with them super-glued it and they went on with the vacation.


    1. Superglue rocks! Fixes everything, just about. That’s good to hear, Phil. Kids are a lot tougher than people think. It is the adults that “teach” them to be weak and mushy………….future voters who will look to some leader to take care of them.


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