A Review on the Fantastic HBO Miniseries Chernobyl: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was never better illustrated

As I watched the fantastic HBO miniseries on Chernobyl I couldn’t help but think of someone I admire quite a lot, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the great pinnacle work on human psychology called ‘Flow.’ I finally was able to watch the five part series after many people kept recommending it to me and I have to say at every level of that experience, from the writer by Craig Mazin to the direction of Johan Renck—and everyone in between from the great acting to the executives who put the deal together ‘Chernobyl’ was a bold undertaking on an epic scale. These are not the filmmakers of the 80s and 90s where The Hollywood Reporter measured success by the size of their pay checks, and overall box office, but this trend we have now of streaming projects on the scale of Chernobyl are bringing forth creative filmmakers who are functioning from Csikszentmihalyi’s ‘Flow’ on several projects that are giving the world so many new entertainment options, from projects like Stranger Things to The Mandalorian. But this Chernobyl effort was on a scale of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which is one of my all time favorite films. But there won’t be big Academy Awards for this labor of love, or big Hollywood contracts. I don’t know what the makers of Chernobyl made as far as a paycheck, but its obvious they made this series out of pure love of the content, and the hard truths that come from it.

I don’t think Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi meant to reveal why communism doesn’t work in his own studies, but he did and that footprint of human effort was stamped all over Chernobyl. The film series brilliantly walked the line between the heroics of every day “working” people as Karl Marx fantasized to represent and cast a very bright light into every aspect and social level of Soviet society. The apartments were small and dingy, even the offices of the chief coordinators were skanky and shrill. No wonder everyone was so willing to lie about the status of things because nobody wanted to jeopardize a promotion into something improved. Conditions were so terrible for everyday people in Russia during this period of Chernobyl, which for those who don’t know was the site of the worst nuclear accident in the history of the world and continues to be a blight on Ukrainian politics. Even to this day, Ukraine is in the news and is at the center of an impeachment attempt by modern Democrats in America. For everyday people around the world who don’t know history or geography, the kind of corruption that these old Soviet regions bred is unfathomable.

Comparing lifestyles from the same period such as in the film Wall Street it becomes quite clear that the Soviet Union was so terrified of their people learning about the great gifts that the West might inspire into their society that they put all their efforts into publicity of the state for the purposes of the state robbing people of their natural free will so what the entire country ended up with was a massive economy filled with the Parkinson’s Law. Not the disease but the trend in human beings to fill schedule targets with procrastination when loose parameters to fulfillment are allowed and lazy ambitions fill the void. Where Chernobyl told the stories of many brave people it was only when the tragedy of the moment was able to tap into people’s natural Flow as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi often discussed. When left to their own devices into service to the “state” people took their sweet time, did only what they had to in order not to be shot by the KGB, and the result was a society of peeling paint, small apartments, boxy cars that all looked a like and very little retail options to speak of. Because the entire society was only doing what it had to because their Flow and love of life itself was so micromanaged.

The Chernobyl story could be told in any communist or socialist country and it is ironic that the American left is so enchanted with these efforts and want that for our own society. It is an unfathomably stupid idea unless people just don’t understand the concepts behind the work of very serious modern phycologists such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Modern China is suffering through exactly the same trials and tribulations as the Soviet Union was during this period of Chernobyl. It is the perception of power that they have and only that. That is the reason the state must control information flow so vigorously. The same in modern day Iran. Any society where people live in sloppy conditions and there are economic struggles we will find the elements of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s observations, once you take away the flow of ambition from people and force them to serve institutionalism, you get from them a natural Parkinson’s Law. I use that term to abbreviate Csikszentmihalyi’s teachings, which of course does the trick. This was precisely why the test at the Chernobyl plant was done in spite of the need to shut down for 12 hours to meet the output quotas for the end of the month needs. That Soviet society needed to push quotas on people in such a way says everything about their society, people weren’t naturally inclined to produce, or even motivated to “over produce” as we might see in Western cultures, but they had to be coaxed a gunpoint to do so and there is all the problem with Chernobyl or any communist society.

What was remarkable about the HBO miniseries on Chernobyl is it was done by very creative people functioning from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow ideas reporting on why communism was a massive failure because it robbed Russian society of their Flow. Whether or not this was intentional we may never know. It could just be a happy accident as events provided these filmmakers with the opportunity of a lifetime. But one thing is for sure, they seized on it and created one of the most magnificent narratives about a global tragedy that anybody has ever seen. And the work left in their wake is worth serious scientific study. Terms like Parkinson’s Law have not been around until fairly recently, certainly not as long as the peasant ambitions of Karl Marx over a hundred and fifty years ago. There are still a lot of discoveries that we need to make as a society as to what works and what doesn’t. For now we know that Western ideas do better economically, where these notions of collectivism tend to create Parkinson’s Law when Flow is robbed from individual people. We see it in manufacturing all the time no matter where in the world we are conducting it. Tight, micromanaged establishments tend to get a lot of Parkinson’s Law whereas free flowing creative efforts like at Pixar or Apple generate massive intellectual output. The results are unmistakable.

Chernobyl is the kind of program that every human being should watch once. That something like that is available to HBO subscribers or those with Amazon Prime accounts to me is a modern miracle. Such a great history lesson is available from the comfort of our living rooms any time of day in any length of time that you may wish to view it. We live in a modern world that has always craved Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow. He didn’t invent the desire, he simply observed it and noted conditions when Flow was restricted in people. But seldom is there ever a film series that shows not only what caused a tragedy on an epic scale because of Flow problems created by a government that is more relevant today than even when the event occurred. That’s what we have with Chernobyl. A massive undertaking created by wonderful Flow by the filmmakers about a society that had terrible Flow and ultimately why it’s important without being preachy. Chernobyl is ultimately about the gifts that come from a free society, the ability to look at ourselves and improve to get the desired results, something we all take for granted way too often. And we do so because of Parkinson’s Law, because we always fill the work to fill the comforts of a schedule, we see no horizon on, and think we have all the time in the world to fix it. But we don’t.

Rich Hoffman

Keith Kinnunen and Liberals: There are a lot more mentally depraved people in the world which requires us all to be armed to defend ourselves from

Not that it’s a surprise, but we now know that the shooter of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas was Keith Kinnunen—a loser who had managed his life poorly who targeted that church because they had given him food instead of money. This instance reminds me of many of my personal run-ins with homeless people. Once at the Kenwood Mall a homeless person was on the side of the highway exit looking for food, but what he really wanted was money. My wife and I went to the food court and bought him a bag of Arby’s for which he immediately threw to the ground. I’ve tried to help people like that since, but often with the same result. It doesn’t surprise me when people who find they can’t live in the world due to their lack of mental development (which is almost 100% of the time their own fault) or because they have drug addictions, that this loser Keith Kinnunen was upset that the church only gave him food instead of money, and sought to take his rage out on them due to his own radical ideas of self-indulgence.
When Kinnunen pulled out a 12-gauge shotgun to kill parishioners at that church, he managed to kill a few people before Jack Wilson pulled out his own gun and shot the assailant dead in seconds, as concealed carry holders are supposed to do. Its always sad to see anybody lose their life, but this case had a happy ending, a lot more people were able to return home to their families due to a good guy with a gun shooting a bad guy with a gun. The problem with the case is that liberals put their own two cents into this case by suggesting that instead of focusing on the success of Wilson’s actions that we should be looking at eliminating the need for gun violence in the first place, which is an astonishing statement considering that it is the liberal view of the world that caused the conditions.

Kinnunen was a troubled person his entire 44-year life, as a guy who had been married two times with ex-wives available to tell plenty of stories of his crazed anger and drug abuse, the guy was so irresponsible that he was just another homeless person. Many have pointed out that he wasn’t mentally healthy which is obvious. The burning question in this case and all of them for that matter is what the cause of mental illness is, which I often say the entire Democrat party could be guilty of. Trying to decide what is mental illness and what isn’t is where liberals have a hard time because their entire lives could be said to function out of some mental depravity not that unlike the killer in this Texas church case. They support drug abuse, do not believe in family structure and have a sense of entitlement which suggests that the world owes them something. They are not much different at face value than Kinnunen getting angry with the church because they gave him food instead of money.

This is entirely why most all liberals are opposed to open carrying of firearms because they see themselves in killers like Kinnunen. They want to believe that they are mentally healthy people, but when the facts come out on the kind of people who perform these mass killings in nearly every case, its not just a case of mental illness, but are the products of liberalism in our society—drug abuse, lack of personal responsibility for actions, and a sense of entitlement. Whether that entitlement comes in the form of federal workers demanding higher taxes to cover their inflated pensions, or whether its some loser like this Kinnunen guy who expects people to feel sorry for his bad decisions in life and to give him money for drugs so he can forget about his problems—that he himself created. Liberals sympathize with these killers because they see themselves in the mirrors of their existence—and they certainly wouldn’t want to have an armed society that could protect themselves from liberal incursions, which are frequent if left unchecked.

There are tens of thousands of liberals who are not much healthier than Keith Kinnunen functioning right now in our schools, our BMVs, even at the post office. The only reason they have not become homeless people running around food kitchens looking for free money is because we overpay them to be government leeches. Most of them are about one paycheck away from becoming assassins like Keith Kinnunen. Not that they would go out and shoot someone tomorrow, but they think about it. Believe me they do. It took Keith Kinnunen 44 years to get to that point, so its not like people become killers that fast, but the thought is in their heads and they want desperately to hide it from the rest of us. That is why they are against an armed society. Its not what they fear in people like Jack Wilson, its in a loss of a safety net to catch them if they should fail in life like Kinnunen did. Because they have more in common with the killer than they do a church going do-gooder.

Without question we could have put a suit and tie on Keith Kinnunen and stuck him on MSNBC and called him a political pundit and if he talked about global warming instead of cash from church food giveaways, we’d accept his positions as rational. But its all extremism and rooted in beliefs that need others to fill them for sustenance. Kinnunen was self-righteously religious and likely took Bible verses rooted in socialist sentiment too far and believed that people owed him a living, whereas the global warming crowd requires others to believe in a complete fiction to validate their point of view. Both ideas are rooted in collectivism requiring many sane minds to drop away their logic to accept the premise of lunacy.

We accept logically that liberals can use the IRS to steal our money for their own government theft, and that the power of government can be used to overthrow elections such as the impeachment case against Trump, but that there is some invisible line that separates the actions of Keith Kinnunen from demanding money at a church instead of food, and when a shootout breaks out over the issue liberals want to prosecute the gun owners. When in truth it was a failure of liberalized society that allowed a guy like Keith Kinnunen to live outside of jail, on and off the streets as a drug addict and a violent person to more than one spouse. We all knew Kinnunen was dangerous, but our society failed to recognize that threat because honestly, he was too close in behavior to most Democrats. So, he continued in paralysis until he eventually pulled out a gun to kill people of his own sense of entitlement. His insanity is really the responsibility of a society that did not set him right at an early age and allowed him to become a menace as a grown adult. That is why our future will require more people to carry guns in more places, because this guy isn’t the end by far. There are many just like him ready to snap and they are listening to the liberal dog whistles to fetch them on society as a menace. And it is then that we must defend ourselves.

Rich Hoffman

Dealing with the Leftist Frankenstein Monsters of Evil: The Texas Church shooting and why more guns are needed

If it was the sexual antics toward a government takeover of our 2016 election from Lisa Page that ended our thoughts of 2019 it should be the armed parishioners who took out a domestic terrorist at a Texas church that should launch our ambitions in 2020. Because there were trained participants of a security team armed at the church led by the guy who killed the suspect in the conflict, Jack Wilson—the attacker was subdued in about 6 seconds. Without voluntary armed protectors at the church ready for such action many more people would have been killed. This was a perfect case of what we have been talking about for many years. And this was another high-profile example of how such a system could work thanks to a recently passed state law that permitted concealed firearms inside places of worship. If not for that this tragic case of two people being shot would have been much more egregious, and unnecessary as we must all admit that evil is alive and well in the world, and when it shows bad intentions, it must be dealt with. Of course, the challenge to that assumption is that one person’s evil can be another person’s heaven, so there are additional complications into defining evil. But everyone can agree that when aggression is taken toward others in a life and death matter, that evil is amiss, and it must be eliminated quickly, not a 911 call later.

I always think about these things, but fortunately I live in an area where our local sheriff gets it, he understands the purpose of the Second Amendment. Yet even for me, I was a lot troubled while watching the film Richard Jewell, the day before this shooting, where in a scene where the FBI came to Jewell’s house they confiscated all his guns that had been laid out on his bed. It troubled me to see that just because the FBI accused Jewell of a crime that those agents could come into his house and just confiscate all his property, and given the reaction of the people in my movie theater, they seemed to be OK with it, accustomed to such a tyranny disguised as “safety” for the public at large. That is a very dangerous notion, and one that troubled me tremendously. It was the direct result of a culture that has been sold to us to think of guns as dangerous, or even as part of some counterculture. In that same film Jewell’s lawyer asked if the bombing suspect was a member of any fringe organizations, like the NRA and Jewell had to ask, “is the NRA a ‘fringe’ organization?”

It is that attitude actually that makes our world all that much more dangerous. Guns have always been a part of my life, since I was a very little kid to the present. And I’ve never really had a reason to use a gun on anybody, even though lots of times I could have been more than justified in doing so. It just wasn’t my go-to option when danger was amiss. But its always good to know that the option was there. I think guns should be carried everywhere, to restaurants, shopping complexes, to and from work, everywhere—because you never know when evil will show itself. This is especially true in public schools where everyone knows that they are typically gun free zones—making them obvious soft targets for bad guys looking to invoke terrorism on the innocent. Guns should be in reach of every human being on planet earth. If they were, a lot less evil would be taking place. That is for sure.

When bad guys show themselves, as this one at the Texas church in White Settlement did, the threat should always be eradicated in seconds, not minutes. It is always sad to see anybody die in these kinds of conflicts, especially if they are innocent, but the need to end that threat quickly cannot be understated. And when evil is unleashed, it needs to be quelled as fast as possible. If not faster. This is why also every shooter in America should practice speed and accuracy with their firearms so that when a threat is presented, ending it happens almost second nature with instinct. Taking a kill shot such as Jack Wilson performed is critical, there is no time for talking and pleading. This is why every state should also have a stand your ground law instead of a duty to retreat. When aggression appears, the shooting defender should not think for a second about some silly legal obligation created to retreat when showing a villain a passive attitude could end up getting a lot more people killed. A shooting defender should put a bullet in the head of evil before a countdown of 1 enters the mind. The threat should be over before anybody even realizes it started. That is why having an armed society is the best way to deal with the realities of evil.

There is no reason to contemplate the nature of a villain when they show they are willing to harm innocent people just minding their business. Laws should be clear on the side of gun owners willing to be that stop against threats at a moment’s notice. We want more Jack Wilson’s carrying guns. Whatever we might say about experiments in modern life where we have taught too many people to be parasitic in nature, that stealing, and bad behavior are forms of valor, such as what was suggested in the recent film “Joker’ we shouldn’t be surprised when hopeless losers in life are attracted to the antics of evil and consider using fear as leverage in the games of life. When we make it so that a clear definition of good and evil is blurred with addictions to pornography, drug abuse, and a social state where government takes the place of good parents, we should expect some to go too far and to fall off the edge and become dangerous. And to that warning, we should know that this one shooter at the Texas church is only the tip of the iceberg. That there are many tens of thousands just like him thinking of doing the same, only the next time it may be a school, a shopping mall, or a place of business. And when they make that mistake, someone needs to be there to stop them with a gun and a quick bullet to the head to end the thought and intention of evil that always follows.

It’s time to stop playing patty cake with anti-gun activists who sympathize with evil then want to disarm us to defend ourselves from their Frankenstein monsters. Those on the left who experiment with these false political philosophies build these monsters which we must defend ourselves from and it’s time to stop giving them a seat at the table as equal partners and to call things as they always have been. Guns are part of the solution especially when they are in the hands of skilled users. A person comfortable with a gun is one of the safest people in the world to be around, not the other way. Guns aren’t the danger; it’s trusting a system that is intent to build social monsters that is. And protesting gun use on their creations isn’t “fringe,” it’s actually the most patriotic thing you can do. And we should be doing a lot more of it in 2020.

Rich Hoffman

An Authentic Han Solo Costume: The miracle of Amazon.com amid changing industries–and people

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Everyone knows I’m a huge Star Wars fan—which I view differently from the geeky other types of entertainment exhibitions of public support.  When I see the name Star Wars and participate in its products in whatever form, it evokes in me an optimism that is very specific to it that I am very fond of.  That’s why my favorite character within Star Wars is Han Solo, because he is the most optimistic character perhaps ever created for film.  Nothing is impossible for Han Solo—he’ll try anything under any circumstances because his personality is such that he figures his confidence and sheer will can get him through anything.  He is the Donald Trump of science fiction and I’ve felt that way about that character for more than forty years now.  On more than a few occasions I’ve dressed up as Han Solo for Halloween events, or other science fiction endeavors, conventions, watch parties, literary events at book stores—just various festive gatherings that celebrate costuming and character reverence—but I’ve never had any kind of official Han Solo clothing. I would just piece together whatever I could find that sort of looked like the popular smuggler from the Star Wars series and go from there. But my five-year old grandson is about to have a big birthday party marking that invisible line of being a toddler to a genuine little boy fully aware of the world around him with the memories that now matter—and my daughters are fashioning it to Star Wars.  As I’ve reported before also, these parties my kids do for their kids are not just little events—they go all out in creating a very mythic experience that is almost a theme park occurrence and due to their passion for Star Wars they are going all out.  That meant that of course I had to dress up as Han Solo—but this time I wanted to do it for real—as real as possible because of the effort my kids were putting into this party and the eventual impact it would have on the youth in my family attending this thing.  So I turned to Amazon.com to see what was out there and was stunned by a world I discovered.

My mom made me a little vest like Han Solo’s when I was in the fifth grade and I sort of kept it all these years even though it was way too small for me.  But even a few years ago if you wanted something that looked like a Star Wars character and bought a costume from a place like Party City it always came out looking far from authentic.  If you wanted something that looked like the clothing in the movie you had to make it.  Back when my kids were little we went to a Star Wars Celebration in Indianapolis and my wife made Jedi robes for my girls and their friends so they could dress up at that convention which occurred right before the movie Revenge of the SIth.  The internet at that time had some support—you could get directions from people who built their own costumes but there weren’t suppliers carrying things like that on the shelf.  Even though Star Wars was popular there just wasn’t any money in it for costumers to make costumes of all those characters in the movies  for a public of all shapes and sizes.  The scope of that work was unrealistic. For Han Solo specifically his outfit looks pretty simple yet is really quite complex.  For instance, his vest from A New Hope has a series of very complicated pockets positioned just right—and there is nothing like that off the rack at Wal-Mart or Kholes.  Han Solo’s pants don’t have pockets and have a very specific pin stripe down the side of them which disappears into knee-high boots that are meant to put the swash in the buckle for the very dashing character. The shirt under the vest isn’t just a white button-up but has a very unique collar and v-nick style that has to fit just right through the shoulders to give the correct effect.  Then there is the gun belt which is a thing all its own.  So I went looking for these things and I started with the Star Wars Costume exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center—which has been running all summer and will end around the beginning of October before moving on to the next city.  It’s a good exhibit, most of which I’ve seen before at the Smithsonian, but for my quest it served its purpose.  I was able to get right up to the Han Solo costume and look at things up close so that I could duplicate it authentically.  If I couldn’t find the items online, my wife was willing to build them from scratch so we went and took lots of pictures.

To my shook as I started looking now, in 2017 for these very specific Han Solo costume pieces for this epic party my kids were having I discovered that I was able to buy everything at Amazon.com relatively inexpensively.  For instance the great Han Solo vest that I figured was the most important part of the costume was just under forty dollars from an outfit in China.  I skeptically ordered it expecting it to arrive in a very flawed condition.  I expected something that looked like a typical Party City costume that smelled like plastic and rubber.  But what came to my front door was an exact replica of the Han Solo vest from A New Hope made out of material that was like that of tactical gear for a SWAT team.   It was a very good garment that was legitimate and it fit well the moment I put it on.  I was stunned by the quality of it.  I then proceeded to order the official shirt, the pants, the boots and the gun belt which as of this writing hasn’t yet arrived, but everything else has and again I was stunned by the authenticity of each item.

At different points in my life I had looked for these things and nobody carried them—as I said, everything had to be made by hand.  What’s unique about now from then—and by then I mean like six months ago—is that due to all the COSPLAY that goes on at these Comic Con conventions and now that Disney World is building these amusement parks with Star Wars lands within them there is this big COSPLAY movement that has emerged—where people dress up as characters from their favorite movies to delve into the mythology of these various sci-fi events—and out of nowhere there are all these suppliers who are making these costumes to meet the growing demand.  It’s a whole industry of itself that has virtually arrived out of nowhere.  I am aware of some of it because I find Comic Cons interesting as well as Gen Cons and other conventions.  I also noticed that the plans for the new Star Wars resort coming to Disney World is seeking to tap into this emerging market with a Fantasy Island style of Star Wars experience where they encourage people to show up dressed for the part.   Obviously Disney knew all about this culture and were building their business plans around it.  I only discovered it because of my grandson’s birthday party—but this was big business!

As I had ordered everything from my home computer and each item arrived one by one to my doorstep without having to go anywhere to search for it I became more and more impressed.  Even more shocking was that everything fit nicely, I didn’t have to send anything back.  Just by reading some of the reviews I was able to size myself accordingly with no trouble at all.  I figured that the risk was low because if the stuff showed up and was junky I figured my five-year old grandson would forgive me.  He’d appreciate the effort and wouldn’t get hung up on the details—even though he is a very smart little kid.  He surprises me what he notices.  He’s already playing the video game Battlefront very well which is about two years before I thought he would.  He plays online against other people who are very good—and he’s effective.  He knows all the different types of weapons that can be used, how to outfit each character and how to manage the Star Cards which give unique abilities to tactical engagements.  So if something wasn’t right, he’d notice. But after getting the parts of my Han Solo costume together it was obvious that I had nothing to worry about.  As far as this party was concerned, except for my hairline, the outfit looks just like it would if it was on the actual movie set.  That’s pretty stunning for something that was so easily ordered on Amazon.com.

This is all just another example of how imagination is fueling an entirely new industry and due to the excessive and efficient reach of Amazon.com they were able to connect me to suppliers around the world where I could get a very specific items from a forty-year old movie to my doorstep within two weeks.  And the quality wasn’t junky but meant to impress even under the scrutiny of the most ardent film geek.   In some cases my outfit is better than the movie original on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Those costumes were meant for just a few months of filming, these for purchase were meant to last much longer and under the judgment of live audiences.  Needless to say, which I have before, we are seeing something new and hopeful from these modern movie enthusiasts which starts with a mythology in the movie theater and extends into real life—what Disney is doing down at their theme parks is tapping into the public need to play out their fantasies and is an expansion of imagination that is very specific to our species as human beings.  The need to personify a fantasy experience has deep psychological roots that go far beyond primal necessity.   I think the end result is a very positive one that is headed toward an unknown climax.  I know I love to see the imaginations of so many people at work to make something like all this possible—but it surprised even me at the extent of it all. And the entity most responsible for the success of this new industry was Amazon.com.  They were the middle ground players that connected need with supply and allowed both to get what they wanted at the best price and quality.  If they can do that with a simple costume from Star Wars, just think what they can do with real necessities.  We are living in a whole new world.

Rich Hoffman

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‘Baby Driver’: Reflections where facts are more dramatic than fiction

Even through the new film Baby Driver isn’t quite out yet I think it’s safe to say that my own car chase story Tail of the Dragon is still the most intense action packed of its kind ever put to paper by a human mind to date.  But I’ll have to say, when I wrote that story, I was thinking about movies done in the style of this soon to be Edger Wright classic.  There is room in our culture for a lot more of these types of stories and this one has hit me hard with anticipation for many personal reasons. First of all, since I first heard the song “Radar Love” by the Dutch Band Golden Earring in 1973 I have wanted to see it used as a backdrop for a car chase of some kind and it looks like Edger Wright has done it.  Second of all, by the previews shown so far, the main character of Baby played by Ansel Elgort looks remarkably biographical to my real life between my 17th and 19th years of life.  After all it was those experiences which provoked me to write Tail of the Dragon to begin with—to get all that out on paper.  So it makes me very happy to see movies like Baby Driver getting made and that several of the Fast and Furious movies have continued to push great box office numbers in theaters.  I hope the same for this one—I am very excited for it.

I’ve alluded to it before but after watching these trailers it may be time to get a little more specific because the Baby character just in these previews speaks to me with quite a bit of reflection.  I understand his dilemma.  It was only a month or so ago where a political enemy of mine had looked me up on one of those online searches trying to get dirt on me, and they were stunned at what came back to them.  It showed over 17 hostile interactions with law enforcement and this person sent me that information hoping to get some leverage on me because I’m now living the life of a respectable citizen and they thought I wanted to hide that past.  What they didn’t know is that I consider my actions back then—at that critical juncture between youth and adulthood–to be very respectable—even though it might have been on the wrong side of the law. All I ever wanted was freedom—real freedom—and I wanted to be a millionaire quickly and just step over the nonsense of fighting it out the way I saw was making other people miserable.  I did live heavily in the fast lane and I was willing to use those skills to acquire all the money I could to launch a family and when I found the right girl for me—those people didn’t want to let me out of that lifestyle—and many conflicts ensued.

If I were ever have been said to have an addiction it was probably speed, the kind you get from driving a car extremely fast.  Like I said, as a youth when I first heard the song “Radar Love,” I was thinking of it playing to excessive speed in very fast cars.  The very first person I remember admiring as a young man was Evel Knievel so even at ages 5, 6, and 7 moving fast and recklessly was pretty much all I thought about—so when I was finally able to turn 16 and buy my own car I was ready and I quickly made a reputation for myself. My very first traffic ticket for excessive speed was on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving in 1984 where I was in a race with a Trans Am that clearly out powered my car at the time.  So the only way to win was to have more nerve than he did—so I flew through a swarm of cops parked at the Tri-County Mall in Cincinnati on the wrong side of the road at well over a 100 MPH—against the traffic.  When the police got the radar gun on me they caught my speed at 85 MPH in a 35 zone.  They would have taken me to jail for reckless operation but one call to the Sharonville police station told them to just issue me the ticket.  I was under the protection of the senior judge in that district and literally had a get out of jail free pass given to me by him—because I did work on the side for him which was related to a mob outfit in Chicago—and they wanted me free to do it.

The way that Kevin Spacey’s character is portrayed in Baby Driver reminds me precisely of one of my first “bosses.”  This guy ran a car dealership that I worked for and from that I had to do more than just sell new and used cars.  I did repo work and they liked me because I had no reservations about danger—as people obviously didn’t like having their cars taken back when they failed to make payments. I was always very eager to sneak up to someone’s house and take their car without being shot, and people did shoot at me while doing this kind of thing.  It was very exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  These days repo guys aren’t allowed to do some of the things we did to get our cars back so for me it was a unique opportunity to live very dangerously and get away with it legally—and make great money doing it.  But then again, the car dealership was a front at the time for cocaine dealing—as a way to launder the money and all these repo jobs were ways that this Kevin Spacey style “boss” could check to make sure I wouldn’t be a rat—because they needed a driver to help deliver regionally.

I had my limits of course.  I didn’t mind the danger or the drama of court appearances and the continuous threat of jail—but I did not like drugs.  So when the dealership sent me with another senior car salesman down to Over-the-Rhine to deliver cocaine to a distributer operating across from Union Terminal it was in my precious car which had survived many high-speed encounters and for which I was particularly attached to.  Of course they didn’t tell me what we were doing—they let me believe that the whole operation was going to be a unique repo job, so I didn’t ask what was in the suitcase in my back seat. But I did think it was strange that we didn’t take a company car on this effort—as we typically did.  This was my car and the salesman smoked—and because we were not in a company car I had a little sign on my dashboard telling passengers that there was no smoking allowed. In fact, people who knew me also knew my very strict policy against drug use. So this forty something drug dealer who was very rich I might add, was very upset with  my rules and promised that I’d have a hard time when we got back to the office.  So things weren’t getting off to a good start. When we arrived to the destination he left the suitcase in my back seat and told me he’d be right back as he went to the door of the townhouse where the target lived. While he was in there I took a peek at what was in the suitcase and I saw that it was cocaine.

Over the years up to that point I had a reputation of not flinching at anything.  I knew some of these people I was working with were serious criminals and some were very powerful politicians and sports stars.  I was with them as a body-guard at times even though I was very young, and as an assurance that no matter what happened I was their ticket out of it.  They had never asked me to directly commit a crime—but rather used me as a lifeline back to freedom—and I was very dependable.  But, I had just met my future wife and I was thinking of living a normal life that we could build a family with—and once you’ve been invited to those types of circles—they don’t want you out flapping your mouth about every little thing you’ve seen.  They’d prefer you to be dead or with them—there really isn’t any middle ground.  So with drugs in my backseat I left that guy down there and headed back to the sales office where the mission started and reported back to my Kevin Spacey looking boss that his partner at the dealership was selling drugs.  He looked at me exasperated.  “You left him there?”  Of course I had to tell him yes and there was about a half hour of excessive panic because this Over-the-Rhine distributer had a ruthless reputation and now he had to call in for help while he was in hostile territory.  I was commanded to go back and get him for which I refused.  They had to send someone else.

Maybe I’ll write about the details sometime about what happened next but needless to say the Baby Driver plot reminds me of the two weeks that followed. I can really sympathize with the Baby character especially at that time in my life.  I wanted to be married to this wonderful new girl and I wanted away from those types of people—and it wasn’t easy.  A lot of people got into a lot of trouble and I had to drive very fast a lot to stay out of both jail and this side of the dirt—because these people did play for keeps. It seemed like a long time then, because at only 19 years of age, time moves more slowly, but in reality it was all over in just a few months.  Things worked out for me the way I needed them to.  It was a tough adjustment to live without the level of money I was used to.  Just out of high school I made twice as much money as my dad did at the prime of his career, but my country club wife assured me that she wanted to do everything clean and that holds true to this very day.  It took a while, but eventually I was able to climb out of that hole in my lifestyle—and it was all worth it—especially being able to live and tell about it.

It doesn’t happen often but just watching the previews for this new Baby Driver movie set to “Radar Love” took my mind instantly to this very turbulent time and I won’t even pretend that it was all bad. I loved living like that. It was fun to live beyond the rules and to be so good at things that people would literally do anything to make it so you could keep doing it.  For the first seven years of my marriage I didn’t have a driver’s license because once I stepped away from that life the courts crashed down on me and it wasn’t easy—the penalties were severe.  That past kept clawing away at me trying to either pull me back in, or destroy me in the process—it took about an entire decade to finally outpace that lifestyle I had before my marriage.  People had to die off and the fast life caught up to many of them who did manage to live for the next decade.  They either destroyed themselves or they ended up in jail.  There wasn’t really any middle ground.

Needless to say, I feel a connection to Baby Driver and I really hope it does good business during its run.  Speaking from experience I think what’s worse than a life of crime is a life not lived.  The spontaneity of life is a magical thing and you often don’t really see it until you are pushed well beyond your comfort levels.  And even though he is villainous in this movie Kevy Spacey’s character is right—people do love a good heist—they do need something to talk about over their “lattés” Thinking of “Radar Love” and the way the scenes played out for the preview of Baby Driver, I feel quite a lot of satisfaction knowing that I gave plenty of stories that have been talked about over a great many lattés.  And in the great theater of living, that’s not a bad thing.  I can’t wait to see Baby Driver.

Rich Hoffman

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Donald Trump’s ‘Heartbreak Ridge’: Everything you need to know about his controversial statements

I never had any illusions about Donald Trump and I don’t think anything he has ever said or done in relation to other women is an experience that a typical rock star or movie actor wouldn’t also be involved in.  When a person has power, women throw themselves at your feet—it’s a biological condition that is built into human DNA.  Women want the best DNA they can get for a potential mate—or they want bragging rights that they were able to seduce a man’s attention within the context of all potentialities.  And yet, this is different between men and women because it is the female who holds all the power.  Whatever the motive, powerful men—especially powerful “alpha males” do have to push off women with a conscious effort because as the game goes, the more women who want to sleep with you, the more powerful and honorable you are if you are a man—especially among peers.  The conversation recorded over a hot mic with Access Hollywood is typical “guy talk,” the same that you’d hear at a typical sporting event, golf course, or gun range.  Many times, women who are at these gatherings with other men participate openly—so I don’t see what the big deal is—other than the fact that if the Republicans like Paul Ryan truly are insulted by the comments, then they need their testicles to drop—because nothing Trump said has any bearing on my strategic support of him from the start.

But I have increasingly found myself liking Trump more and more by the month over this last year and a half as he journeys for the White House.  I have seen in him a change that maybe he’s aware of.  I have seen the same kind of change in very powerful people whom I know personally—people who have found within the battles that we all fight a higher level of valor that they didn’t know existed before.  When I’m in these kinds of talks with other men, I never use the pronoun “I” because honestly, I wouldn’t. I always steer the conversation back to some higher topic and everyone comes away better for it.  That is because at my core, I don’t measure my power on such primitive yearnings.  It’s not a big deal to me to engage in biological prowess which has attached to it a lot of emotional baggage, and in that clip I saw about Trump—if I were hiring him for a job back then I still would have figuring that I could “teach” that behavior out of him once he gained access to higher modes of thinking—which by default he would have been exposed to.  Trump during this presidential journey looks to have hit that new gear in thinking.

I noticed it when he recently shook my wife’s hand.  My wife over the years has routinely been hit on by every male who wanted to measure their prowess against mine—because they figured if they were able to do so—that they’d have something over me in some fashion.  The Donald Trump who shook my wife’s hand in 2016 was not the same person who would have shook it in 2005. I think for Trump Melania is his dream girl and slowly over his relationship with her he has evolved.  And I think the birth of the Tea Party movement in 2009 has given him focus toward the world beyond his years.  Additionally, I think his perspective changed once he started becoming a grandpa—where his children started having children of their own—and your parental instincts at that point shifts from your children to your grandchildren because you have power and knowledge at that point that you didn’t have two decades earlier.  I have dealt with people who I expected to attempt to seduce my wife.  In fact, I have lost a lot of friends over it, because I never forgave them over the years for the attempt.  And if I met Donald Trump in 2005 I would have expected an attempt by him.  I would have conducted whatever business I had without giving him an opening to even try. I would of course trust her, but I wouldn’t have trusted him—because in the world of guys—that’s just how things are.  However, if for whatever reason I had to travel somewhere and the Trump who is running for president now offered her a room at his apartment while I was gone to keep her busy while I did whatever needed to be done—I’d take him up on it without worry because I see he has made the proper psychological transition that is beyond such silly representations of terrestrial power.  And to me, only such people should ever run for any public office.

This really only applies to men because women clearly have a different kind of experience.  Sexually, men lose interest in women after age fifty because the role of the women in sex is an enticing one which diminishes with age—where with the woman she might be attracted to a man not by his looks, but by his social status which usually gets stronger as he gets older.  This is why it is so common for a sixty-year-old man to be seen dating a 26-year-old woman.  For most people the thought of sex between those two people is gross—but for the couple, the woman gets what she wants—social prestige and access to wealth while the man gets the massage of his ego that indicates that a young woman who could have anybody she wanted let him into her lair.  For a man who keeps scores of this kind, it is an enticing game which confirms in the mind of the male that he has arrived at success in life when those kinds of options are available to him.  The magic really happens when men graduate beyond such thinking.  Older men—men well over sixty—I have noticed finally start thinking right about these matters because either their private attributes no longer yearn for the biological game offered by women, but more importantly they evolve as people to the point where sexual pursuits no longer “do it for them.”  For this very reason, many of my best friends today are older men—men in their 70s and 80s.  I can’t say that I would have gotten along with them in their 40s, 50s and even 60s, but I do once they stop looking at women and saying—“boy I’d like to tag that ass.”

Ten years ago, Trump was in his upper 50s, and by his own evolution was still a few years away from thinking about bigger things than success in business, success in bed with women, and seeing his name in lights.  I remember watching Ghost with Bo Derrick in the late 80s where Donald Trump made a cameo appearance and I thought at that time that Trump likely slept with Derrick because socially, she was considered a perfect “10,” back then.  But today, if given the same chance, I don’t think Trump would try to sleep with Derrick.  He’s been married to Melania now for many years, and she seems to have settled him in that regard.  Additionally, Trump’s mind has been awakened to considerations that reside well beyond sexual pursuits, likely due to his age, his relationship to his kids who are now the age of the typical women powerful men seek to sleep with, and the addition of grandchildren who look to their grandpa to make the world safe.  Once a man is awakened to this higher calling, exploits with young women for the purpose of climbing the peaking order of social status with other men subsides and new priorities are established.  That is where I see Donald Trump at now.

So the comments Trump made all those years ago doesn’t faze me at all in my support for him.  I see a man today who has graduated into an age where I think all our politicians should be.  I think all people seeking elected office should be older, successful people in their private affairs because giving a man in their 40s and 50s access to the kind of power the presidency of the United States provides has proven to be too much for their minds.  They yield too quickly to the rock star status of celebrity and the beautiful women that come with it.  And the same people from the political left who pretend to be insulted by Trump’s actions are the same idiots promoting sexual theater like The Rocky Horror Picture Show—which is essentially a promotional film advocating sexual deviancy.  The Obama administration along with Hillary Clinton’s primary priorities is giving special rights to people based on their sexual preference—and you can bet that a typical gay conversation is filled with a lot more graphic banter than what Trump said about any woman.  Don’t forget that idiots like Paul Ryan and all these other Republicans who have been tricked into withdrawing support for Trump after the “objectifying” comments about women, are playing right into the playbook of the political left.

Further, I have personally witnessed this behavior myself—when the political left has nothing else to throw at you, they try to turn women against you by exploiting things you’ve said about women to collectively manipulate them into some tribal manifestation of solidarity.  I had many area Republicans do to me on a local scale what elected people like Paul Ryan are doing to Trump now for essentially the same thing—and it really showed me how small-minded they were in the process.  I’ve been known to say more than my fair share of controversial comments before, and it is really weak that Republicans fall for the scam over and over again.  What Trump said is kid’s stuff, and just about every man and most women out there do it—and if they had been in Trump’s position, they’d do far worse—you can bet on that.  I’d say to these Republicans what I’ve said to many around me in the past only for them to find out painfully that they should have listened to me all along—this is not a big deal.  Most women want to be objectified if they can be because it is a source of their power.  Men want to objectify because it represents power and prestige.  And Democrats aren’t interested in mankind evolving beyond such thinking because at the heart of their party politics are homosexual rights which they want to expand.  They are only after the social trend for alpha males to rule society—because they are betas attempting a coup within the peaking order of mankind.  Don’t fool yourself otherwise.  They don’t care about women, Democrats only seek to use them to attack the traditional role of the alpha male in society so that they can achieve a new power structure for which they control—and when Republicans run from alpha males who need their traditional support—they are giving Democrats exactly what they want.  What Trump said was no worse than a typical Clint Eastwood movie.  Society has changed, for the worse—and Republicans like Paul Ryan have played right into the hands of our domestic enemies with his lack of testicular fortitude.

I stand by Donald Trump more now than ever—not because of this little scandal but because he continues to hang tough and is willing to fight the very corrosive forces destroying our country directly.  He’s of the right age, the right temperament which often comes once a person has evolved beyond wealth, women, and peaking order concerns into a new world few people ever arrive at.  Trump is the best man for the tough job ahead because he is a man who has evolved beyond the terrestrial exploits of the very average, and has his mind on a prize far greater than biological yearnings.  His journey over the last decade has delivered him to the precipice of restoring America as for what I believe he believes—is his calling card to entry into the pearly gates of the everlasting.   Always a man answering the call to a great challenge, Trump is doing what he needs to do in order to correct his past by bringing what he has learned to the Executive Office for the benefit of our nation.  And I’m very excited about it—even more so now—because if the left is that scared of him now, think how they would be on November 9th.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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Cliffhanger’s Exopolitical Theater: Giants, a galactic alliance, and human immortality coming to ‘The Curse of Fort Seven Mile’

While I was on the air with Matt Clark during his WAAM radio broadcast recently he wanted me to talk a bit about my latest Curse of Fort Seven Mile series.  However, time ran out and we couldn’t get into the details.  Actually, I don’t think I could cover all the details in an hour show, or a 10 hour show.  For me, what started as a simple pulp fiction series has evolved into something I would term as a philosophy for the 22nd century.  The below videos will help with the context but essentially what I’m doing is this: over the next one hundred years we are going to discover that we are not alone in the solar system, let alone the galaxy.  We will learn to defy death.  We will unlock all the potentials of a Type 1 civilization and that will require us to completely revisit our current political and religious philosophies—because the present ones just won’t be sufficient.  That’s not a knock on anybody, but the discoveries of the next century will just unlock a massive amount of potential that isn’t even forecasted on the horizon as of yet—and people will need some means of thinking about those things if they want to survive.

I have been pretty adamant about my hobbies and positions.  I essentially grew up studying mythologies and religious cultures, but I like to make money, so I chose professional endeavors that I could raise a family on—but there is a lot about me that is very sympathetic to the Nathan Drake video game character.  The people I most admire these days are people like Josh Gates and his friend Erin Ryder.  If I did not love family as much as I do, I would have loved to live the life that they have—and believe me I have no regrets.  But I do read and watch a lot of what those fantastic people have put out as far as discovery over the years.  When they tackle some crypto mystery much of it comes out to nothing, but it’s the asking of the questions that I find absolutely amazing.  There are a lot of people, many whom are featured in these videos who have committed enormous amounts of time and resources to asking hard questions about mankind’s origins—and I’ll be honest—I love each and every one of them.  When I listen to their lectures and read their books I think in the best case scenarios, they may be getting 50% of any given idea correct.  But even 1% of what these people are saying they are major game changers for the entire human race and the world at large.

In spite of my love of guns, capitalism, business entrepreneurial activity, innovation and pop culture, I am most at home with books, museums, and very smart people.  One of my best friends growing up had an IQ of around 170 so I know those types of people excessively well, and I love being around them.  Some of the people in these videos like Steve Quayle remind me of that friend.  They are too smart for mainstream society, and they are usually defined as lunatics by a society which embraces too openly—sheer stupidity.  As long as I’ve been on earth, I have asked similar hard questions and sought the answers and I have a general theory about the reason that ancient cultures collapse—actually all cultures including recent ones.  I published my thesis in a screenplay, which won a few awards along the way called The Lost Cannibals of Cahokia.  While most archaeologists and anthropologists will point to environmental conditions and say that the reason that a culture fails is related to a loss of water, or of food supply—usually those opinions are corrupted by their left leaning educations.  My theory is that cultures fail because of the human inclination to the Vico cycle—where they just can’t seem to get off the treadmill—and they have been like that for their entire existence.  That screenplay would probably make a good movie and I should probably push it more toward production—and maybe I will.  My goal in writing it was to get the thesis down in an entertaining way that people could enjoy—but come away from the story asking hard questions like—what is the primary driver of a successful culture—then offering the answer as the climax amid the usual expectations of exciting storytelling.  After I shopped that script around it became obvious that I’d have to produce the picture myself to do it right, and honestly, I didn’t have the time or patience to “collaborate” the way it takes to make a movie.  So I shelved it and offered it as a legitimate thesis about the rise and fall of civilizations.  On the surface, it was an action adventure horror story, underneath was something that meant a lot to me which was based on many thousands of hours of reading and personal discovery—traveling all over the world checking things out for myself—a little the way Josh Gates has—only with fewer frequent flyer miles.

Lately, there has been an explosion, likely because of the Internet, of conspiracy theories and examinations into a hidden past that does not agree with the Leaky evolutionary theories.  The latest revisions are probably driven more by Jurassic Park’s DNA examples and the popular Lord of the Rings movies about Middle Earth—art has helped our society ask new questions from a fresh perspective—and the answers to those questions might just be explosive.  If only 1% is true, mankind is in for some startling revelations.  The best movies and books are the ones that make you ask, “what if,” and as the videos included here surmise, there are some very smart people who are asking lots of questions tainted by their personal backgrounds.  But it is what they agree on that has stimulated my thinking and focused my mind on the hard evidence that is rapidly pouring in.

I wanted to write another Cliffhanger novel but I wanted it to be relevant to the world 100 years from now the way I read Jules Verne, Ayn Rand, H.P. Lovecraft or even Shakespeare.  My favorite play of his is Titus Andronicus.   His use of extreme violence to tell the moral story of love and loss—as well as dedication are the kinds of things I find infinitely fascinating and it doesn’t matter when in history we read such a story—they still communicate a truth which is valuable.  Having these kinds of interests I couldn’t just write some average piece of fiction reviewers of today would like—I wanted to write something that people a century from now would marvel at and would still draw inspiration from.  Yet I also wanted to make the argument that the values America had from around 1870 to about 1900 were the best the world had ever seen, and that those values should be captured in a bottle and examined in actually a scientific way—as having merit on culture building itself.  The economic means of the country was explosive during that period, morality was respectable, and collectivism was being defeated wherever it was encountered—namely during westward expansion.

For about forty years I have had in my mind a really terrible antagonist and a concept for painting it into a story against the ultimate protagonist—but I needed to collect a lot of information to tell that story.  Finally, I feel like I’m there.  Once I had all the details worked out, I went to work writing it—and as I thought, it has turned out to be the byproduct of a hyperactive imagination, a technical background, legitimate scientific investigation and all the life experience learned in every hard way imaginable.

Knowing that over the next couple decades history will have to reflect what we are learning now—and that we will learn that not only are we not alone, but that we are currently in a relationship with thinking beings not from earth’s origin story and that the essential ingredient to a successful society resides within individual behavior as opposed to collective salvation—and that once that process begins—where democracies run by a mob take over the individual input of actual leaders—that all civilizations stop functioning and regress back to their beginnings.

Even as my protagonist, Cliffhanger fights bad guys with flaming bullwhips all in the name of justice—it is important these days to define the merits of that justice.  It is not enough to simply show bad and good—it has to be defined by actual universal rules of engagement as defined by the observable conditions of our cosmos.  To do that we have to step beyond our veil of politics and modern philosophy and take the next step.  Taking that step is what and why I’m committing so much time to this new Cliffhanger story.  Similarly to that Cannibals of Cahokia story—this Curse of Fort Seven Mile has the benefit of an additional twenty years of hard living and earned observation.  Like H.P. Lovecraft I have a love for pulp fiction written in a romantic fashion—and on the surface that is what these new Cliffhanger stories are.  But, my protagonist, Fletcher Finnegan in The Curse of Fort Seven Mile is actually named after one of my favorite literary figures of all time, the giant in Finnegan’s Wake from the James Joyce classic.  My goals with the work are not to reach the New York Best Seller’s list, or even to get reviews from Publisher’s Weekly.  It is to offer a useful philosophy for people grappling with real significant challenges to everything they believed was true for over 10,000 years and to provide them a softer landing philosophically—so to maybe for the first time in human history to provoke a change in mankind’s propensity to always revert back to the Vico cycle.  Thus Spoke Cliffhanger.

If you want a preview of this work they are available on the sidebar.  But the real meat is yet to come and why I am dedicating some specific time and resources to completing it.  To get a sense of it, just watch all these videos and you’ll get your mind ready to read what I’m putting into a story intended for readers of the next century.  I’m not giving up on politics.  But rather it is too small of a shoe for me now.  The next obvious evolution is exopolitical theater and the vast changes it will bring.  Currently it is a bit on the fringe side, but that will change rapidly—and when it does–well, people will want a point of reference and fiction is a good place to begin—by bridging what we know with what we will come to understand.

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.