Movie Review of ‘Snowden”: Make the kid a deal and put him to work

I have often thought of Oliver Stone as a brilliant screenwriter, climaxing with the movie Scarface starring Al Pacino.  As a director, I liked JFK and Natural Born Killers—which I thought were very ambitious.  I also liked his movie The Doors for the style of his approach to the subject.  But too often, Stone fizzles out in the second act and his movies never live up to the hype.  Art and activism are tricky bedfellows and most of the time the result just isn’t very good—so when he brought out Snowden just before the 2016 election as an obvious appeal to get a pardon for Edward Snowden stuck in Moscow with his longtime girlfriend unable to return back to the United States due to charges of treason and espionage—I wasn’t all that excited to see it.  However, due to the recent Wikileaks dump from the CIA called Vault 7 I thought it was time to at least see what all the fuss was about and learn the back story of Snowden.  Disappointingly, the last act was flat, as most Oliver Stone movies have been for years where the big payoff sort of sputtered out the moment that Snowden learned that you could turn on a laptop and watch women undressing in their bedrooms.  After that the story was really about a young twenty something who had his sensibilities hurt and had lost his nerve.  A story that was meant to show Snowden as a hero instead showed to me a 29-year-old genius who didn’t know how to handle a veiled threat from the upper levels of the CIA.

When Snowden’s bosses at the CIA let the young contractor know that they had been watching him in his private time he showed a naiveté that couldn’t match his big brain and the two things crashed into each other. Snowden had been given too much access to too much at too early of an age.  That scene based on real life was essentially the moment from the John Grisham novel—The Firm where a bright young prospect is nurtured along by older and wiser mentors only to have them reveal that they have control over every aspect of his life.  It’s essentially a hazing ritual that goes on in just about every place on earth that deals with the flow of money—where gatekeepers want to let someone who might be able to knock them out of a job in a few years, know that they are in control until they decide to hand over the reins.  According to Stone’s movie on Snowden—the kid got cold feet and let his mind erode away his logic.  No, I don’t like that the CIA and FBI are spying on everything we do as Americans, but there is a better way to make the case than what Snowden did out of a neurotic grasp on reality.

One thing that did surprise me was how determined Snowden was to become a special forces trooper, and once he broke his legs joined the CIA. During his entry interview, he was asked what his influences were—artistically, and he stated pretty much verbatim what I would have said, Joseph Campbell, Star Wars, Ayn Rand and Thoreau.  I also didn’t know that Snowden was a pretty straight-laced conservative who didn’t drink or smoke. After the first act I was pretty excited about Edward Snowden—he seemed to me to be a freedom fighter of a reasonable caliber.

But after watching him with his liberal girlfriend who was a sweet girl, but dreadfully naive—then with his co-workers, I realized who the guy was—and he was no hero. He is an excessively smart guy who essentially flew too close to the sun, and his wings melted. Down to earth he fell as The Guardian newspaper from England broke the story which they knew would embarrass the United States who was obviously struggling with a rogue government that had become the Deep State.  There are a lot of parasites out there in the media who want with every fiber of their essence to see any American do anything to embarrass their country even if its justified.  Because they are jealous of America and its reach into and around the world.

Now that the act is done however, there are lessons of plenty to go around. Our intelligence people in the federal government have assumed that everyone wanted to make that deal for security which I illustrated recently in an article about James Comey—and I’m not one of those people.  I don’t need some pinhead in the CIA to protect me from a terrorist.  If I see one, I’ll take care of it—better and cleaner than those idiots.  I practically begged some terrorist in Paris recently to attack me—I was wearing my cowboy hat around a radical poverty-stricken Muslim neighborhood and there were no takers.  These terrorists aren’t nearly as tough as the people in the CIA want to make them out to appear.  The CIA dramatizes everything so that they can get funding and more power—just like everyone else.  And when Snowden was confronted with an invasion of his privacy at the start of the third act of the Stone movie—he should have turned the tables on his bosses.  That would have been the manly thing to do—I would have gathered up pictures of those CIA heads in every compromising position and published them for all to see with even the hint of a threat—instead of overreacting and doing the whole—“I’ll show you” thing and reveal every state secret.  Needless to say, I couldn’t relate to how Snowden handled things in the second part of the film—he went from being very much in control and determined, to being a beaten young man under the emotional manipulation of a liberal girlfriend.   As I said about her, she was sweet and would have been a good match for someone with a fraction of Snowden’s ambitions, and ultimately she likely changed him to the point that he didn’t have the sensibility to work for the CIA anymore seeing people blown up on deserted streets in Syria as designated terrorist cells complete with collateral damage.

The undercurrent of the Snowden film which could have been good—but wasn’t—was that America had no right meddling in other country’s affairs—which of course we do. When other countries don’t solve their own problems, their immigrants come knocking on our doorsteps—so to protect our own nation—we have to go into nations that still entertain socialism, communism, and extreme religions and do what we can to diffuse bad guys planning to harm Americans domestically—and if left alone to their own devices will steal planes and run them into buildings, or bomb us in our many public gatherings as a punishment for embracing capitalism.  Snowden as a conservative changed during the film into something of a millennial crybaby and Stone seized on that aspect of the young man rather than that earlier much more conservative person.  Snowden’s character arch went from something likable to something rather pathetic and I blame the CIA for being second-handers and latching onto the kid so fast because they were essentially out of ideas themselves.

I am all for dismantling the Deep State which was revealed by Snowden and most recently caught manipulating the Presidency of Donald Trump but I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. If I were Trump I’d make Snowden a deal, I’d prosecute him for sure under Jeff Sessions and make him go through the embarrassment of public scrutiny.  But I’d put him into community service as an intelligence operative for a fraction of the cost of what he’s worth as a brilliant mind for 30 years.  A little freedom cheaply paid is better than rotting in prison, and so long as he’s in Russia, or other places—he’s helping other bad guys out there beef up their personal security and he’s not working on behalf of the United States. With a mind like Snowden—he deserves a second chance not for his benefit, but for the benefit of our country.   But his work would have to be more community service at a low wage instead of being thrown in jail only to be useless.  It’s good to keep enemies close, and Snowden should be in the United States doing work toward the next generation of threats instead of letting people like Oliver Stone make movies like Snowden to support in an indirect way George Soros’ open border network.  Yes, it’s a complicated problem but the solution is very easy.  Make a deal with the kid and put him to work limiting his freedom for decades—and we’ll all be better off.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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Even in Europe, People Love Trump: How using Saul Alinsky is making the Democrats extinct

No matter where I traveled in Europe during the month of February 2017, when people found out I was an American they wanted my opinion on Donald Trump. From the local pizza maker across from Westgate in Canterbury to the immigration officer in Paris—and literally everywhere in between, Donald Trump was on everyone’s mind.  On literally every television in every café and pub was the image of Donald Trump’s ruckus romp through the global authenticating of American values, and people everywhere were fascinated by him.  At Heathrow the rental car terminal driver had on a radio news station and all the talk was Donald Trump and as he saw my cowboy hat deduced that I was an American—and he was excited about how the new American president was sticking it to everyone.  “Gotta’ love that the man does what he says he’ll do,” he said to me.  “Do you like what he’s saying there in the States?”  Of course, my answer to all of them was similar, I said that Trump was something new and special—he’s not a politician, he’s a business guy, and the rules have changed for all of us for the better.  That was the most appropriate answer for these political novices in Europe who had simply never experienced someone like Donald Trump in their 2000 years of human history—and they were loving it.  For them Trump represented that courageous push back that they dared not do in their own cultures and it is behind all that which has Democrats in the States so worried.  Trump isn’t just being effective in America—his impact was resonating around the world in ways nobody had calculated—except for maybe me.

This whole business over the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions ties to Russia and other members of the Trump cabinet from Kellyanne Conway’s feet in the couch of the Oval Office furniture to Ivanka Trump’s clothing line has been an attempt to deflate the bombastic Donald Trump and wound this global influence before it’s too late. But I would argue that it’s way too late now.  I stood outside a Paris café waiting on my family to complete some souvenir acquisition tasks and watched a group of men gathered around a flat screen television high up on the wall sipping beverages and pointing at an image of Trump smiling.  It was some soccer match they would otherwise be watching, or a cricket highlight—or even rugby, but it was the American president Trump capturing the imagination of the world with an optimism that was unstoppable.  The broadcast came on the heels of a release from NASA that Trump wanted to go to go back to the moon by 2020, and that Trump was trying to close the “gender gap” while advancing help toward African American communities—which are all things that seem very un-Republican.  As Trump did these things the stock market Dow Jones index shot over 21,000 for the first time as over 3 trillion dollars of investment had flowed into the American economy in just two short months of the Trump presidency.  Something was going on that was capturing the world and there was no way to stop that momentum now, and the Democrats seem to be sensing their own end—and the desperation was becoming more palatable in their actions.

Even more comical was the notion that the same old Saul Alinsky playbook would work with Trump—so by alienating the people attached to him—that the foundations of Trump could be destroyed bringing down the president and putting him into a political version of a prevent defense. But that won’t work with Trump because he’s his own man.  If Jeff Sessions is taken out politically, Trump has a deep bench of people to replace him with and it won’t do anything to slow down the administration.  The biggest problem that current Democrats have is they don’t understand the situation—they believe Trump is defined by the typical middle-class white man who Saul Alinsky broke down in his Rules for Radicals book way back in the 70s—which was constructed by studying the mob and the effectiveness of their lore upon public opinion.  Yet Trump is an evolution beyond that kind of “man,” and even people in other cultures understand that.  The typical “white” male from European decent has never in the history of civilization stepped out of the common mold of human by being created in the vacuum of church and state to produce such a uniquely independent thinker.  So Saul Alinsky’s observations conducted through analysis of Al Capone’s mobsters won’t work because Trump has evolved beyond them.  As a builder in New York with an unusual independence streak, shaped with a family that loved him, a successful father who helped him get a solid start in life, then being sent to a military school to fine tune Trump’s unusual demeanor—as a businessman he has had to deal with unions, mobsters and radical leftist progressives just to get his projects done.  And he’s mastered those needs leaving him uniquely fashioned to sidestep the Saul Alinsky strategies applied to him by the present Democrats.  Even if all of Trump’s cabinet people were eliminated, he would still be successful as a president and would be unstoppable, because what drives him is not any association with groups.  Trump functions best independently and this is the real problem for Democrats who are not equipped for such a person in any of their strategies.

Europe looks at America with fascination anyways, the roads are huge as well as the cars. America makes the best movies and television and their food is limitless.  The lifestyle standard of the typical American far eclipses those of the European who is used to small places to live without dish washers, air conditioning, or large voluminous showers with bountiful quantities of hot water.  In Europe, they don’t tip so the service isn’t very good in restaurants and they still live under the looming control of their medieval churches even if they have turned to satanic cults and radical Islamic terrorism.  The root cause of their misery is their long history of submitting to the controls of the politicians of the state and the various religions and their power-hungry clergy.  People who came to America to get away from those kinds of controls eventually settled and became Republicans.  Democrats were those who came to America to make it more like Europe so collective submission to hokey pokie medieval concepts was their baseline behavior—which is why everything is a cult to them—environmental issues, union membership, political submission—etc.  So now they are dealing with a person who is not like them at all in Trump.   Yet the current president is one of the first of his kind born in America by a system of capitalism that has freed him of the guilt of his European heritage and is truly acting as a product of freedom for the first time at such a level in the history of the world.

There was a lot for the Europeans to be curious about regarding Trump. His behavior mystifies them and they were quite energetic to speak to me about him—not in a bad way, but curious at how a man like Trump could function so independently of collective input.  In America, at least half of us understand—and we typically call ourselves Republicans.  But elsewhere in the world people just don’t stand up against orthodox systems like Trump dose.  It just doesn’t happen.  But now it is and the Europeans trapped behind 2000 years of obedience are seeing for the first time what human potential looks like, because for once, it’s not defined by collective associations, but rather the integrity of the individual, in this case Donald Trump.  And what they are witnessing is more than history, entertainment, or even curiosity—it’s a philosophic transition from dependence to independence at the most fundamental level possible and the Democratic Party is going extinct because of it.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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A Media Coup de Grace: Donald Trump’s call with the second-hander RNC chairman

The left leaning news reports all through Thursday July 9, 2015 were swarming on information that RNC chairman Reince Pribus had called Donald Trump to instruct him to tone down his rhetoric considered by progressives and lame duck politicians as “incendiary.” The centralist candidates jumped on the band-wagon as well hoping that the day would sink the presidential hopeful’s rising poll numbers. The billionaire Trump however met during the day with a barrage of reporters to set the record straight. True, he had spoken to the RNC chairman, yes the Republican leader asked him to tone down things a bit, but that the call was more of a congratulatory nature. Instead of allowing himself to be a progressive whipping boy, he corrected the media by saying “Mr Priebus knows better than to lecture me. We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general.” That is why virtually everyone in politics is afraid of Donald Trump. As a billionaire who has built a life for himself of success, he knows that the progressive dreams of “interconnectivity” terrorism won’t work with him because ultimately, organizations will seek out his money, and he’s in control once they reach out to take it.

 

Interconnectivity terrorism is the type of strategic enterprise that involves democratic emphasis on the collective against an individual so to modify behavior into a desired direction reached through group consensus. The roots of this behavior are taught in public schools where ten children might come to a classroom dressed in the latest fashion trends of the day then in comes one who is different. That student may ha

ve on a t-shirt of a favorite movie that is out-of-step with the rest of society, or they may simply be dressed a decade behind or ahead of the current fashions. Regardless, the ten students make fun of the one hoping to force them through a lack of collective peer approval to come dressed for school in the latest trends to avoid further ridicule. This is essentially how the political left has drug the political right so far past the center toward socialism over a long period of time—through this ingrained mechanism taught to us as children to seek peer approval at any cost—even at the expense of our inner logic.

Just today peers in activities I’m involved with declared that I am hard to work with because people are afraid of my temper, my volatile outbursts, and my otherwise aloofness to their quests for respect. I know what I do and what others do and where my skills are, and where they are otherwise lacking in rivals—so there is no need for me to arrive at a consensus with anybody, because I don’t need to. When people need something from you, they are at a weakened position if they don’t have something equally valuable to offer in return. To just point at a chain of command and hope that peer review is enough to mold behavior it is often scary to such people to learn that it isn’t. It works in the military when soldiers are broken down during basic training and rebuilt in the mold of an American soldier to sacrifice their life to others, and to respect titles, not the people who proudly utilize them for public approval. A soldier is expected to not pass judgment on their commander, to overlook any personal failings they may have. If that commander says to charge a machine gun, the soldier is expected to do so, even if they know it will mean their death. I am that guy who would tell the commander to get off his ass and do it himself. I have a better idea. People like that are terrifying to the established order seeking consensus.

It was the hope of the interconnectivity terrorists out there that once a few major retailers like Macy’s, NASCAR and other high-profile consumer heavyweights castigated Trump publicly, that the political newcomer would yield like a school kid to the pressure of a bully. But Trump didn’t yield, because he knows what they are afraid to admit, that they need his money and eventually, they’ll come to him like snakes shedding their skin if he shows a willingness to open his check book. That is the difference between a second-hander, and a primary. Trump knows he’s a primary and that most everyone else is a second-hander—one who lives through the existence of others.

Second-handers are always prone to gossip, because they can’t do for themselves, they rely too heavily on the opinions of other people. They are chained to others like anchors to a boat cast into deep water—unable to move or see the light of day without being raised to such heights by somebody else. When I spot a second-hander, or one tries to attach themselves to my hard-won efforts I typically choke off the second-hander as soon as possible and let them reel on the vine collapsing on their own efforts. Some might call that mean, I call it moral—in protecting what is mine—my work, and my effort. When some second-hanger attempts to suck off that effort and are cut off, they seek out a group consensus to regurgitate that terrible feeling of being the only kid in a room of ten who is out-of-fashion. Only I was the kid who loved that scrutiny and the older I became, the more I loved pissing off the establishment by rubbing their face in their own ineptness.

Trump knows in his heart that the RNC chairman needs him more than Trump needs the chairman and for most candidates who spend so much of their life trying to appeal to the political machine, that type of confidence is unequivocally terrifying. They don’t understand what it means to be your own man, yet in Trump they have no way to ignore it. They are used to him hosting political fundraisers and writing them checks—which made them feel important, because it included them in the distribution of power. But with Trump’s run for president, he has told the entire establishment that if he wants to see the presidential seat in the White House filled by somebody competent, then he’ll have to fill it himself. He’ll use his own money, his own reputation, and his own effort. He doesn’t need phony speech writers either, he’s been the star of his own television shows, so he is already more poised for the entertainment portion of politics than most politicians—so what does he need Reince Pribus for. Nothing!

So by the end of that same day there was serious concern. Their little coup de grace in the media to paint Trump as a mere mortal being called by the RNC chairman to be told to stop saying the things he had been saying turned out to be a complete failure.   Polls at the close of business showed Trump at the top—and by a sustainable margin. Why—because Trump is one of the first candidates in my lifetime, perhaps ever, who is a truly free person not encumbered by second-hander interconnectivity terrorism. And people know it. The only way to solve today’s problems is with a real person and not some fake piece of plastic who says all the right things to get the right votes at the right time. What people want is something real, that can stand on its own, and be its own person. That is what people are looking for in an American president. And it is quite obvious that Trump is that in every way.

 

Rich Hoffman

The ENORMOUS box office of Godzilla: A skeleton key to human civilization

You could smell it in the air on Friday.  My wife and I went to an early showing of Godzilla after having a nice lunch at Chick-fil-A and already the Showcase Cinema in Springdale, Ohio was cranked up in anticipation of what turned out to be a fabulous movie.  READ MY REVIEW HERE.   It was simply a jaw-dropping experience and the buzz was already percolating into what would become a $32 million dollar evening after a $9 million dollar Thursday night of special showings.  The theater was buzzing with excitement the likes of which I had not seen in years and the film hadn’t even thought of hitting Saturday yet.  Projections had the film only doing $65 million dollars over the weekend, but by Saturday morning, it was obvious that Godzilla would crush the opening of Spiderman 2, from two weeks earlier of $91 million.  My wife and I bought our Imax ticket and quickly discovered on a gigantic poster that we would be treated to a free popcorn just for buying the Imax ticket, so we picked up some wonderfully buttered popcorn and stepped into history as the best monster movie ever to be filmed played before our eyes.  During the climax my wife was so excited she almost leapt at the screen laughing, pointing, and was ready to punch something.

At the conclusion a few of the employees who came in to clean up asked me how the movie was, and stated that they couldn’t wait to get off work so they could see it.  My wife and I were the last to leave the theater and I told them that they needed to clock out right now, and get up in those seats and watch this movie right now.  It was that incredible, history making awe inspiring—and the ramifications of it would manifest long after what would turn out to be a monumental opening weekend.  I knew as the credits stopped rolling that this movie was going to explode with global business that would topple $1 billion dollars and launch new life into a film genre that will ignite the imaginations of millions of young people and I enjoyed the reverence.  Unlike The Amazing Spiderman 2 which saw a major drop in business during its second week of release, Godzilla would likely see even more business over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend as word of mouth will spread like wildfire about how good the movie is.

So what does this mean?  Why is the box office of Godzilla so important?  Well, I have been writing a lot lately about the importance of mythology in our culture.  It shapes everything from philosophy to politics and is likely the most important attribute to any human society.  There are a lot of elements in our present world that makes human beings feel powerless, and subjected to abuses, so when their imaginations are stimulated with thought, there is a sense of freedom in the exchange.  When a movie is as exciting as Godzilla is, and inspires so many people to go to a theater to experience it, a unifying philosophy is being painted across the canvas of human society and it is a wonderful thing to witness.  When a movie does that kind of business, other studios are forced to copy, and that means that films that are losers, like Cloud Atlas, Life of Pi, and other progressive films must adapt and compete against traditional films that a majority of the world population yearns for.

There is no group hugging going on in Godzilla.  The hero is Godzilla who stands as a solitary savior of mankind and the main protagonist who is on his own adventure is also the last man standing to save mankind from disaster.  The rest of the characters can only watch everything happening with passive helplessness.  It is in this attribute that once again traditional films destroy the box office business of collective message stories attempting to sell progressive storylines.  When a traditional old-fashioned film like Godzilla does such good business the public is voting, and the votes favor tradition because other studios—due to capitalism are forced to compete or go out of business.

Japan’s Tolo studios have had the rights to Godzilla for years, and they have nurtured it along.  But they knew that if they wanted to take Godzilla into the realm of international—mainstream sensation, they needed Legendary Pictures to pull off the task.  Legendary Pictures put up 75% of the nearly $200 million dollar budget and hired relative newcomer Gareth Edwards to direct the film.  There weren’t any film studios in France able to perform such a task, not in England, not in Germany, certainly not in China and Japan was obviously limited in their abilities.  It took an American production company to achieve the objective of spreading the Godzilla message and did they ever pull it off.  The risk of Gareth Edwards not only paid off, but the film will evolve into a sensation that will not be forgotten any time soon.  It is a benchmark film that will take the world by storm.

This is yet another example of many themes discussed here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom day in and day out over a number of years now and it was quite refreshing to see the early wave of Godzilla before everything became much noisier.  I was not surprised to see such a ruckus, human beings are starving from substance, and Godzilla delivers it.  If Godzilla were simply about destruction, it wouldn’t do such good box office numbers, and the buildup of the character over the last 60 years has not prepared people for this kind of market desire.  The old films were fun films, but not good ones.  It is for the unspoken themes for which Godzilla is so popular, the one against the many, the mysteries of our own past unrealized, the protection of man’s creations over the creations of nature, the futility of those same creations against the scale of nature at times, and individual will.  It’s also about hopes, dreams, and the importance of family.   The scene where the main protagonist helps a little boy find his parents is just another reiteration of that main family theme found throughout the film.

History has been made and it was a fun weekend watching the events come together as the box office numbers of Godzilla came in.  It felt like victory for all those who support classic elements in movies which builds the mythology not just of our nation, but now of the world.  These days, it’s no longer cars that America exports that are so prized throughout the world, or the aviation industry, or even food—it is mythology which can only come from the imaginations of free people.  Only in America could a movie like Godzilla be made, and that was obvious as I left the theater ahead of a box office wave which consumed the world and brought a smile to my face for more reasons than that the movie was a great one.  Mythology has the answers to many of our contemporary problems and hidden within the Godzilla film is the skeleton key to healing human civilization.   And the key has now been turned.

By the way, Lengendary Pictures is now working with Universal Studios and their next big monster movie after Godzilla is Jurassic World.  And they love the script so much, they are already talking sequels.  I am very happy!  And really looking forward to it!

Rich Hoffman

  www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

The Value of ‘Rebels’: Cartoons are the roots of static patterns

Most young people are not paying attention to the current events in the Ukraine, or the unrest in Venezuela, or the posturing of China against Japan.  They don’t know that President Obama’s administration is attempting to use the FCC to control news content, or that the IRS has been involved in corrupt activity.   The sum of all these events are clashing with the teachings that young people are getting from government schools leaving them unsure who to trust or what to believe.  So they aren’t participating, and are focused on the events of pop culture.  They are not reading books, going to Tea Party rallies, or even searching for a way to save the world.  They just want to get by and enjoy their life to some small degree.  This has opened up the entertainment market to an explosion of comic book sales, movies, and fantasy driven entertainment.  The world of fantasy is far better, and easier to understand than the deceitful world of the present—so it is there where many of the contemporary minds of youth reside.

When I was a kid the very first cartoon I enjoyed watching was Popeye the Sailor, followed closely by Speed Racer.  Over the years, I enjoyed Starblazers, Spiderman, Looney Toons, and Godzilla as some of my favorites and I took the messages of those simple stories into my adult life unfiltered.  To this day the thing I enjoy doing most is the “right thing.”  I learned this from Popeye at age 3 and still remember vividly those early cartoon moments.  Those cartoons had tremendous influence and many people my age and younger share this enthusiasm with me.  Not everyone has preserved their love of those early cartoons to the extent that I have, but most people hold reverence for the cartoons of their youth.  These cartoons have the power to either build up a mind or destroy it.   For instance, Bevis and Butthead on MTV did a great deal to destroy culture while the same animator tried to redeem himself with the Fox cartoon King of the Hill.   Currently Family Guy, the Simpsons, and American Dad—all laced with deep progressive philosophy–are the current trend which is writing upon the minds of countless young people the thought processes they will carry throughout their life.   Teachers want to believe that they are what shape a child’s mind, and politicians caress themselves hoping that Common Core will unite the nation’s children to a government-run message of productivity.  But in reality, cartoons are shaping young people and giving them the foundation thoughts which take them into adulthood.

This is why I am currently ecstatic over the new Disney production of the Star Wars: Rebels animated series coming to the Disney XD channel this fall.   Shown within the videos on these pages are the main characters and the content.  I think the show will be unlike anything ever done on television since Disney produced Zorro, and Davy Crockett for a generation who now attends Tea Party rallies.  When I talk to Tea Party types and really get down to the nitty-gritty with them what they want is justice as defined for them by the temperament created by those old shows from the 50s and 60s.  It’s more complicated than that of course, but the foundations of their thoughts are rooted in the values of those old Disney productions–having a mom and a dad at the dinner table with them, and church on Sundays.  They find the behavior of the current political trend reprehensible, and this leads to a desire for rebellion.  This is the primary cause of most discontent discourse throughout the world—specifically in the Ukraine, in Syria, even on college campuses.

Star Wars: Rebels has the ability to explore the nature of rebellion without it being explicitly investigated by earthly reference.   The creators at Lucasfilm have the ability to explore the deep anxieties of the individual spirit to crave freedom without being political.  They don’t have to deal with race relations, political parties, economic philosophy, or any polarizing trait—they can simply tell the story of how a rebellion formed to overthrow an empire.  It’s a deep human craving that transcends party politics and because of that, I think this is the most important story that will be told in my life time.  I’m sure it will be fun, and entertaining, but more than that—it is giving to a new generation of young people a sense of value—a value that is not presently available to them.

I think often about Popeye the Sailor and some of his messages which were “I am what I am and that’s all that I am,” and Wimpy’s statements about, “I’ll pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”  These basic values I have taken with me throughout my life.  Wimpy’s comments taught me a great deal about debt, while Popeye was always very proud of who he was—flaws and all.  I know how much those simple stories meant to me, and I can only imagine how much impact the new Star Wars: Rebels will have on a new generation of young people.  The previous Star Wars cartoon; The Clone Wars on The Cartoon Network after five seasons is just now starting to have an impact on a very skeptical viewing audience.  I watched every single episode many times.  My wife and I watch them together on Saturday mornings and love them dearly.  But in many ways, Rebels will be a lot better.  Clone Wars for me always felt like a modern commentary on our current situation.  I’m sure the film makers had no intention of doing such a thing—these things have happened over human history many times and aren’t specific to our time.  But there is always a little sadness in knowing that all the heroics performed in Clone Wars will result in the creation of the Empire.  In Rebels, the Empire is already in control.  Now it is up to heroes to save their society from the control of tyrants and that is an important distinction.

Millions of young people are going to watch Star Wars: Rebels and it will become their favorite television show.  They will grow up and take those messages, and values with them into their adult lives just as modern-day older people revere the good ol’ days of Disney shows like Davey Crockett and Zorro.  As simple as that sounds, it really is the foundation principles behind most thought processes.  Just as people from my generation think differently because of the static patterns given to them from their entertainment culture—particularly cartoons, new cartoons like Star Wars: Rebels will have a far greater impact.  I would say that it is the most important contemporary work of art currently being done anywhere in the world because it brings with it through story value.

For many, they will dismiss Star Wars: Rebels as just another cartoon designed to sell action figures at Target and Wal-Mart.    But it’s more than that, and will show the real impact on television this fall.  Needless to say I’m excited about it because there will be dramatic change ushered in behind this simple cartoon.  With the distribution power of Disney, they are uniquely positioned to do great good in the world and Rebels is just the start.  When George Lucas sat down to close the Star Wars deal at the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios in Florida he knew what he was doing.  His Skywalker Ranch had been set up specifically for the purpose of creating such wonderful shows like Star Wars: Rebels.  Lucas knows that education is the most important thing you can give young people, and he knows that public education is failing.  That’s why he has spent a considerable amount of his fortune on education.  Much of that money has been wasted on the current education system, like tossing a cup of water into the ocean and expecting to see the waters rise in proportion.  Real education comes from foundation patterns, and in our society, cartoons are the origin.  This is why millions of people flock to Disney World to retouch the stories of their youth and bring renewed appreciation to lives otherwise plagued by cynicism.  Star Wars: Rebels will mean a great deal to a large number of young and old minds, and the sum of that value will be a benefit to us all.

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

Saying “Yes”: ‘Ian up for Whatever’ Superbowl Bud Light commercial

Obviously, I have lived a colorful life.  I have something to say about just about anything and everything and that ability was carved out of my life experience.  Hey, it’s the Superbowl time of year—I love watching that game and the ceremonial nature that America dedicates to the event, so let’s have a little fun.  I loved several commercials during the game but I particularly enjoyed the new Bud Light commercial “Ian Up for Whatever.”  I knew from the moment that the young lady asked Ian–just a normal guy sitting in a sportsbar–that if she gave him a free Bud Light would be up for anything that followed–she was playing the role of the mythic goddess figures of the past and that Ian was in for an adventure.  There have been many times when life has asked similar questions, and my typical reaction is “YES,” because you never know what kind of adventure comes next—but to get there you always have to say “YES.”

That’s the gist of things in Bud Light’s new “Ian Up For Whatever” Super Bowl commercial—a star-studded spectacle involving hidden cameras and wave after wave of celebrity cameos.

The true star of the commercial, however, is a man named “Ian” who finds himself swept up in a sequence of wild events bordering on the unimaginable, but not quite as crazy as the uninitiated might believe.

Things begin with Ian sitting alone at a bar. He’s approached by a pretty girl named Kelly, who introduces herself and takes a seat. Within moments, Ian’s new friend holds up a Bud Light and asks a single, somewhat ominous question.

“If I give this to you, are you up for whatever happens next?” Kelly asks.

“Uh, I think so,” Ian responds, obviously thinking that Kelly was coming on to him.

That’s how it starts—a night of limousines, twin parties and more Arnold Schwarzenegger ping-pong than ever conceived possible.  Actually, that was my favorite part.

Ian receives a new jacket, courtesy of Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly.

He also finds himself with comedian-musician Reggie Watts, who has been stuffed into a DJ booth inside the Hummer stretch limo designated to chauffeur Ian about New York for the evening.

The one prevailing tie in the commercial is the presence of Bud Light bottles, which Ian and company constantly have in hand. There’s also the omnipresent eye of the commercial’s directors and coordinators, who have the entire experience planned down to the moment and wired for video and sound.

In all, “Ian Up For Whatever” is an impressive feat of planning and videography. Any number of mishaps could’ve turned this commercial into a nightmare, but judging by the final product, things went rather swimmingly.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1943450-bud-light-releases-new-super-bowl-xlviii-ian-up-for-whatever-commercial

I could tell a number of stories where similar things have happened to me.  It is often surprising how a willingness for adventure can pave the way for the unfathomable.  Those events may not happen quite in the same way as Ian’s experience—and they may not involve such New York cultural pleasure, but they are often as outrageous and cryptically elusive to the mind of a planned individual.  The human spirit often carries events beyond conception, and the real magic of life is often beyond those borders.  I have been to such places many times—so much that nothing would shock me now.  Where Ian was amazed, I would have been much more flat lined.  The limo would not have surprised me, playing “baby tennis” with Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn’t have been strange or finding oneself onstage with a major music group, relative to my personal life.   Crazy things do happen, and they often start with the word “Yes.”

A good lesson from that commercial is to say “yes,” a bit more often.  When your boss places before you a tough challenge……………..say, “yes.”  You’d be surprised what might happen.  When your car starts sputtering because you are almost out of gas, say “yes” and keep the petal depressed.  See what happens when you run out of fuel a mile short of a gas station.  Many adventures are likely to transpire.  When you pass by a restaurant that strikes your interest, say “yes” and pull in and try it out.  Stepping out of a routine can be very exciting.  Say “yes” more often and let adventure into your life, and you will discover that Ian’s experience is not that unique.

Good things don’t always happen, but I still say yes to many things, because I love adventure.  It is adventure that has filled my mind with so many opinions, and given voice to so many topics.  I have a story for everything when I talk to younger people because in my past I have said “yes” to many outrageous adventures even the ones that appeared to be kamikaze runs.  I always figured I was cleaver enough to avoid death, and I have been right more times than chance can take credit for.

Because of those adventures I love my life.  I love every day of it and I don’t have regrets.  Even bad decisions were part of the “saying yes” process, and the adventures that followed have led to tremendous amounts of experience which translates to personal wisdom.  In this life, wisdom is capital—more powerful capital than gold, or the perceived values of finance.  Wisdom can gain finances, but finances cannot gain wisdom.  Wisdom is by far more valuable, and wisdom can only be obtained by living life—and to live life, you have to “say yes,” to things.

A guy who reads here a lot will recognize this story immediately but I remember a trip to Panama City with him which nearly mirrored this Bud Light commercial.  It started by “saying yes” to a cold March evening, a complicated engineering problem, and a political stalemate that needed to be broken loose.  It ended hours later over a thousand miles away with me playing football on a beach after jumping off a pier from about 25 feet and breaking my ankle in the sand.   I wrapped the ankle and continued playing football anyway under the moonlight next to the ocean.  We slept with a tent half constructed next to a harbor, and solved our problem over breakfast at a Burger King.  We returned to Cincinnati within 48 hours of leaving for our next meeting and solved all our problems with a fresh perspective.  Adventure is good for building wisdom.

There are hundreds of those types of stories, but most don’t involve the kind of elements seen in that Bud Light commercial.  The Panama City one did, which is the reason for the reference.  But all such adventures lead to the ability to have wisdom—something young people don’t have until it is developed.  At the end of his adventure in the Bud Light commercial Ian was wiser than was when he simply agreed to a girl in a bar to accept whatever happened next.  Adventure happens all the time to many people, and adventure builds wisdom—but before either can be obtained a person has to be willing to “say yes.”  Lucky for Ian, he did.  But you too Dear Reader can experience adventure in the strangest places and times.  All you have to do is, “say yes.

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

Harvey Weinstein’s Stupid Anti-NRA Film: Why ‘Expendables 3’ will destroy Meryl Streep

When Harvey Weinstein promised to make a movie with Meryl Streep going after the National Rifle Association, he declared war against middle America. His statements were a simple declaration that many already knew—that Hollywood is teeming with parasitic liberals hell-bent on a destructive progressive agenda.  For such a prominent producer and actress to make such a bold statement is to declare their alliance with collectivism and the breath of evil which has blown it along through the ages.  So I look forward to Meryl’s anti-gun movie—because I’ll make a bet with the liberal Hollywood elite—I bet as of January 2014 that the Sylvester Stallone film Expendables 3 will out gross Streep’s anti-NRA film by over $700 dollars per screen in every market outside of New York and Los Angeles.  I will also bet that Stallone’s film will top $300 million at the box office while Streep will be lucky to break $100 million. So go ahead Harvey—make your silly NRA movie and watch all the people who will go see Expendables 3 instead.  The bottom line in the movie world is that middle America decides if films are hits or successes—and in that region—they love their guns and they hate big government.  Expendables 3 will do more for the sale of guns than Weinstein’s picture will do against them—and the liberal Hollywood machine will be left scratching their heads.  Their premier actress Meryl Streep will be out grossed by a bunch of retired action stars from the 1980s—and they’ll do it spectacularly.  Critics will pan the film with negative reviews, entertainment web-sites and television broadcasts will declare the Expendables 3 has bad production values and glorifies guns and killing—but it won’t matter.  Expendables 3 will top $300 million at the box office when it hits theaters this upcoming August—place your bets now.  And Harvey’s film will barely make its money back from the production costs.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2014/01/21/harvey-weinsteins-anti-nra-movie-continues-hollywoods-gun-control-obsession

My son-in-law had been raving about how good Expendables 2 was, and even as he was declaring it—I had my doubts.  I enjoyed the first one, but certainly didn’t go out of my way to see the second one at theaters.  Growing up in the 80s I sort of take it for granted that movies like the Expendable films get made—as they used to come out every couple of months in America during the Reagan presidency.  I truly enjoyed seeing all those great action stars again in Jason Stratham, Jet Li, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all in the same movie kicking absolute ass during the entire duration of the plot.  I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as a film like 2013’s Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 or The Hobbit.  But he did convince me recently to watch the movie with him and I’m glad he did.

Expendables 2 was wonderfully testosterone filled without apology.  It was uncompromisingly manly—and for that I was grateful.  I have not laughed so hard genuinely in a long time as I did when Arnold Schwarzenegger ripped the door off a Smart Car that Bruce Willis was driving and declared that he has shoes bigger than the car—all while mowing down bad guys with machine guns.  It was a wonderfully fun movie and it was just pleasurable to see a movie with all those actors known for their tough guy rolls in the same movie.  It was a movie made for the core of America from the rural areas of Pennsylvania to the recluse mobile home dwellers in the Nevada Mountains.  Santa Monica, California might look down their nose at all these old action stars mindlessly killing thousands of people centering around a ridiculous mercenary plot—and New York career climbers would find all the activity repulsive—but everyone else in America loves it.  Expendables 2 is an American movie made for American men.  End of story.  It is a film meant to be watched by men while the women cook in the kitchen during Holiday events gossiping about other family members who aren’t present.  In such times men have very little to do—they usually watch football as grown men run into each other as hard as they can, or they watch movies like Expendables 2.  It is a fun movie that is not afraid to touch the heart of a testosterone driven entity.  Women might complain about that testosterone when its inconvenient to them—but in the bedroom they want it.  Expendables 2 is likely to improve the love lives of many women, so they shouldn’t complain.

As for Harvey Weinstein he’s built his career producing movies that exploit violence and guns—films like Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Grindhouse, Sin City, the Kill Bill movies, Rambo, Django Unchained along with many others.  He also has made several sexually exploitive films.  He had Madonna show her bare breasts in the 1991 film Truth or Dare, and had Nichole Kidman very; very naked in Cold Mountain, which likely ruined her career.  Once people saw her in such a nude fashion in that movie after the film Eyes Wide Shut,there was nothing left to desire in Nichole.  Everyone had seen everything and Nichole was officially old news after that.  Here is Harvey’s film resume:

Executive producer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Weinstein

Because of his Academy Awards he falsely believes that he’s a “serious” filmmaker.  But what he’s done is use action films exploiting massive amounts of violence—some of the most violent movies ever made—and turned those profits into progressive agenda films—like Silver Linings Playbook, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and Chicago.  He is the opposite of someone like Walt Disney who took his profits from animated films to crusade for traditional values. Harvey exploited violence, sex, and over-the-top action to fund progressive films—which never make much money. So now, Harvey thinks he’s the king of Hollywood and that he can command Meryl Streep to make a film that will sink the NRA.  Well, good luck, Harvey.  Your Hollywood friends might like a film like that—but while the women are gabbing in the kitchen during Holidays cooking dinner as they are prone to do—the men won’t be popping in a DVD of your upcoming stupid anti-NRA film.  They’ll put in Expendables 2, and in the future Expendables 3, and if Stallone gets his way, Clint Eastwood will be in Expendables 4 taking the director’s chair and appearing in the film.  I’d pay damn good money to watch Clint Eastwood as an 86-year-old man blasting bad guys with a .500 magnum over one of Harvey’s pictures like Zack and Miri.

So have at it Harvey—take my bet.  Your movie with Meryl Streep will be grossly out performed by Expendables 3 which will add to the cast mentioned above Harrison Ford, Antonia Banderias, and Mel Gibson.  In addition, ten years from now where men have the option to watch all the Expendables movies or the latest anti-gun film from the Weinstein Company what do you think they’ll pick. Even with all of Hollywood’s efforts to make women “equal” or enlightened, they’ll still be in the kitchen cooking dinners for their men and talking about those men’s mothers—and the men will be looking for violent entertainment that features guns—guns, and more GUNS!  And there isn’t a damn thing anybody can do about it. It’s the way God made all of us, and that is the way it will always be even 2000 years from now long after progressivism has fallen off the radar as a failure in social engineering long forgotten—like all of Harvey’s non-violent progressive films—such as Chicago and his upcoming film with Meryl Streep dead before it is ever made.