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

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Why So Angry: The Jeff Spicoli America

The entire world minus a few exceptions seems directly inspired to become the Spicoli character from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  Those who are the exception are categorized as “angry” and treated much the same way the teacher who took away the pizza from Spicoli’s character in that movie was.  As a continuation of my article yesterday on leadership this one addresses the impact of what happens when leaders are removed from families, business, communities, and politics being replaced by a mindless push into oblivion precluding any judgment what-so-ever about anything (CLICK TO REVIEW).  The modern push by virtually every sector of society is to be “cool” and be a complete douche bag like Spicoli–have fun, live life, make no judgment assessments, and have pizza.  Those who are angry about the destruction of the American family, the failed education system, the corrupt politics, the leeching effect of lawyers in our society, the failed fiscal policies of nations, the attempt at religions to reignite the “crusades,” the mask of the civil rights movement to hide bad behavior behind racism and further encourage the disintegration of entire races of people, the merged sexual relationships of people and a loosening of the boundaries between right and wrong—are termed in a negative connotation as though they were somehow diseased and sick.  Even the national media has bought into this notion—anyone who has strong opinions is to be feared, ridiculed, and treated as a menace.  After all, what they learned in their colleges was not journalism—but how to party—and live the life of Spicoli.  Visit any college in America right now—and what you will find is a swarm of Spicoli’s that number the drops of water in the Atlantic Ocean—and those are tomorrow’s “leaders,” as termed by Liberty Township’s Leadership 21 classes.

Anybody who casts an opinion contrary to the flow of progressive society has been deemed as “unhealthily angry” and treated as an old fogie stuck in the past.  It is as if those who are being robbed of values that they desperately wish to see implemented in the world around them are supposed to enjoy being looted of everything they enjoy and not to be angry about it.  The classic confrontation between Jeff Specoli and the teacher Mr. Hand has become the battle cry of our day—who owns your time, your opinions, and your life—is it you—or the collective will of society?  Is it best to know things like the fogie Mr. Hand or to fall out of a van stoned like Jeff Specoli taking life as it comes without any sense of responsibility or direction?  The world has made its decision—and it has chosen Jeff Specoli.

This is why it is important to understand that if you crave values dear reader—then you must be willing to stand alone—society will not back you.  You will be alone in virtually every sector of society—and if you chose to stand for something these days—you will be considered a diabolical menace to the “surfer life” of the modern partier fresh from their campus adventures mired in marijuana smoke and valueless endeavor.  If you want values, you will have to step away from those people to have them.  You will have to stand against the current of the entire world who desires desperately to live the life of Jeff Spicoli and it will be a painful experience.  Anger will be a dominate emotion.

Spicoli is part of a surfer culture that was brought to America in a time when communism was being marketed to a conservative public.  The surfer life is a very socialist existence and in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it was shown to have merit compared to all the capitalist failures that the coming of age kids were experiencing.  The parents were all goofs, the teachers stuffy caricatures of human bodies, and the main characters had to learn to let go and loosen up to fulfill their journeys through the plot.  Jeff Spicoli was the creation of that pre-hippie lifestyle introduced to America through communist infiltration and KGB influence at a time where the actions were denied, but later proven factual. Our nation was invaded—our youth converted into Jeff Spicoli’s, and yet we are told that we aren’t supposed to be angry about it—that we should buy some weed–party—and loosen up.

But the real reason for the accusation toward anger is that those like Spicoli want to live off the efforts of collective society and to keep the interaction civil—they prefer that society gives them no resistance.  They want to loot value from your back pocket dear reader and consume it from moment to moment without an eye to the future where all value runs out.  A bank robber simply wants you to put your hands up and they wish to rob you without any fight.  They simply want your money.  They don’t want you to fight to keep it.  And so it goes with the modern thief of social value, they don’t want to fight—they just want what you have—and if it is value—they want to consume it then “party” with you so that they can pass by you in the street without guilt.

For those who need social assimilation—they are at a disadvantage when it comes to a world run by Spicoli wanna-bes.  They will always have the upper hand when it comes to a public setting because what they stand for is comfort.  Today’s real leaders who stand alone for social value must be willing to sit alone in the rain—to distance themselves from the social pressure to be Spicoli and to defend values when the current of ancient communism wishes to wash them out to sea forever hidden by the ocean depths.

The problem is so grand that we now have Spicoli types in the White House and IRS.  When the explanation is provided as to why all the IRS emails were destroyed, it sounds like Jeff Spicoli telling Mr. Hand why he was late to class.  When the White House gives a press conference, it sounds like the dream Jeff Spicoli had about being a top-tier surfer partying with the Stones in London.  And for those who find those explanations repulsive, we are just supposed to accept that Jeff Spicoli will be late to class, doesn’t care about any personal ambition for anything, and is a model citizen who just wants to smoke a joint and eat pizza.  To such people of course anyone who finds that lifestyle repulsive will seem angry—because it is disgusting to see such people leech off the public with no ambition or curiosity about life outside of getting high and filling their bellies.

Jeff Spicoli will always be the role that the actor Sean Penn will be known for.  Penn is an unapologetic communist and that personality came out so flamboyantly in the Fast Times of Ridgemont High role. The KGB may have created the hippie and surfer culture in California—but they could never have dreamed of what impact the Jeff Spicoli character would have on American youth and that virtually every young person who has seen that movie has in some way adopted the stoned beach bum into their lifestyle.  Sean Penn did more to spread the valueless utterances of communism than most of the Russian efforts during the Cold War.  And to those who see this erosion of value—they are not supposed to be angry—but accepting and ready to party.

That is why the road to a life of value will be a lonely one—and will be shouldered alone for quite a long time.   It is more important than ever that those who are leaders—naturally—will separate themselves from these Jeff Spicoli types and remake the world.  Of course we will be called “angry” but consider the sources—and be ready to shrug their opinions away for the value they really have.  And it is also important to understand that our local Chambers of Commerce and the political machines of doom are now filled with Jeff Spicoli admirers and that their ideal of leadership is equivalent to ordering a pizza during Mr. Hand’s class.

Rich Hoffman www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

Rise of the Citizen Press: The Enquirer puts one more step in the grave–part 1.

It was wonderful to see Peter Bronson, the former award-winning Cincinnati Enquirer editorial columnist, speak at a recent event because he represents a day when the newspaper was a trusted friend in a confusing twisted world. I used to love Peter’s editorial columns as thousands of others did, and upon his exit from The Enquirer the paper has taken a noticeable downward turn as his influence has faded and a new regime of political boot lickers and levy whores have taken his place, bringing down the quality of the paper to a slow dying entity.

The Enquirer as it is today is like looking at a patient in a hospice center. Everyone knows death is immanent; it is just a matter of time. A newspaper that used to set the pace and trend of Cincinnati now is being replaced by citizen journalists, and twitter gossip, because the reporters at the paper, and the management did not adjust to the changing world and embrace new forms of media.

As Peter explained, newspapers used to receive over 1/3 of their total revenue from classified ads and in this modern environment, many of those ads are now on Grieg’s List, Career Builder, and Monster.com. By the time an ad appears in the paper in this fast-moving world, the event is already over, and that is the way of the future. The result to newspapers like The Enquirer has been that they have to replace those classified ads with auto dealer ads which have given the paper a cheapened appearance. And to make matters worse for them, The Enquirer has pushed reporters like Bronson out the door because of his conservative views, and replaced him with liberal, “touchy,” “feely,” emotional types who are attempting to report the news with a liberal slant to a conservative town. That is not a recipe for success.

My experience with The Cincinnati Enquirer extends back into the days when Bronson was still working there, up until March of this year where my relationship with them disintegrated with the debacle article Michael Clark put out on me which was technically an “assassination article.” CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. Listening to Bronson speak I became more sympathetic of Michael Clark, a reporter I had a good relationship with for a long time, but it ended upon publication of a very provocative article about me that was designed to cause me a lot of trouble. I sympathize that times are not good at The Enquirer, and that it must be terrible always looking over your shoulder wondering when the ax is going to fall on your job, and being an education reporter for a paper that is looking to cut jobs in every possible place, education is a tough topic to cover for schools that are cutting busing, cutting jobs, and trying to keep their dirty laundry out of the public light.

Clark and I had a growing tenuous relationship through the last Lakota levy in 2011 because of a scoop to a story I tried to give him, but he refused citing that I had posted it on my blog here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom first. In my mind I didn’t consider citizen journalism equal to professional journalism, so I considered the story a scoop for legitimate media. Clark let me know that my blog was very much competition to him, which I was surprised to hear him say. I promised him that the next big story I had to release would come to him before I posted it on my site, giving him pure exclusivity.

I always thought Michael Clark gave fair treatment to my side of the story even though he did the typical liberal slant which was to only mention my portion of an interview in the body of each article while the pro levy people seemed to always get the first and last word. I didn’t mind, because my comments were so strong, that no matter what the other side said, they couldn’t answer my three interview lines with eight of their own. So I made good on my promise to Michael even though many of my friends in the anti-levy circles were warning me that Clark was a snake that would stick me in the back eventually. I figured that if Clark did that to me, then I’d find a way to make it work to my advantage, but in the back of my mind, I didn’t think I’d ever see it happen.

With the No Lakota Levy group the plan for a long time was to get more aggressive if the school attempted a fourth attempt and when Lakota showed signs of doing just that, we turned up the heat, as promised. We decided to create a foundation called Yes to Lakota Kids to help with the sports fees that were extremely excessive with a $10,000 donation for the districts’ neediest kids. For my friends in No Lakota Levy they genuinely wanted to help heal the community after three contentious levy failures at Lakota. For me personally, I thought it was like dropping a spoon full of water in the ocean. Hundreds of kids were still being ripped off in the sports scam at Lakota charging over $550 per sport per child, so I wasn’t happy.

I told Michael what we were doing and he and I planned an exclusive that was mutually beneficial. I wanted the coverage to show that No Lakota Levy was not a group that hurt children, but wanted to help them, and Michael wanted a story that The Enquirer could exhibit on the front page. Some of the No Lakota Levy people who were close to people working for Lakota arranged that I would present a $10,000 check to a member of the athletic department at Lakota so I set up a press conference and all the media in town was invited. Channel 5 came out, Channel 19, and of course The Enquirer. The Pulse Journal was contacted but didn’t make the press conference, but did cover it in the following Thursday edition. I did coverage on 700 WLW, so it was a pretty big deal. However, Lakota did not send over an athletic director for me to give the check to, so we basically just let the media take a picture of the $10,000 check with no school representatives present.

I can only speculate on what the school was thinking, but based on their violent reaction to my press conference, it looked as though we hit them too close to where they live. They needed to be able to extort the children to the public otherwise they could never consider passing another levy, and now we were offering a solution to the school they didn’t want to see fixed. So they pulled off the gloves and somewhere in that process they managed to win Michael Clark over to writing a very harsh article about me to get me out of the levy fight. Lakota had enough, now they were fighting for their very survival.

A few weeks prior to this event I received reports from friends of No Lakota Levy that levy supporters had gathered outside of the Lakota East Kroger store and were conducting a survey designed to belittle me in public. CLICK TO REVIEW.  So I did a blog posting about how angry it made me where I called them latté sipping prostitutes with some very descriptive language that school board member Julie Shaffer put on her Facebook and contacted some of our mutual friends at WLW and of course Michael Clark to get him to write his “assassination article.”

I wondered why Michael had done it for the last 6 months–why he betrayed our relationship for the small price of being on the good side of the Lakota School System, for the easy sports stories and covering every time an administration official moves to a new job? My whip targets in my back yard have featured the name of Michael Clark on each of them and I have cut thousands since that day. Why had he turned against me so spectacularly? So blatantly?

Well the answer is that Michael was trying to save his drowning job, and he needed a spectacular, sensational story, and he used my blog to get it. Up until the Clark article I figured that legitimate media required one kind of discussion, and online activity, comments, blogs, Facebook postings were another. But the Cincinnati Enquirer legitimized my blog as an authentic source of news, which was part of my worst case scenario plan, but even so I found the level of human betrayal to be quite extraordinary.  CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW.

Predictably Clark did me a favor he didn’t intend; he made me much more popular and killed the next Lakota Levy till at least 2013 because people saw through the media driven antics, and they smelled a rat. In the process he killed the good relationship we had which was a good source of school oriented stories for the short-term gain of a sensational story that he and his fellow reporters no doubt were high-fiving in the press room by the overwhelming negative reaction that spread across the city of Cincinnati on March 15th 2012 emitting from every radio in town my salacious blog comments about levy supporters. My numbers at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom jumped up from 400 to 500 daily hits to 500 to 800 since then, which is what I needed to get my message out to people. Since I couldn’t trust the legitimate media to cover the education issue in the detail it required, my blog site was the best chance at combating trouble in the future, so the sensational story brought more people to the truth. The attention The Enquire gave me helped spread my blog to the rest of the state to districts who were suffering under heavy taxation in degrees similar to Lakota. And Clark is now left to scamper for silly stories that will probably end up costing him his job as mundane rhetoric settles in the wake of the controversy.

Sad, because it didn’t have to be that way, but it is what it is. Such is the competitive world of news and the changing landscape of who delivers it. In this new world it is not those who play it safe, because the real risk is in collusive protection. Sometimes to find the truth you have to pull aggressively in all the wrong directions to discover the possibilities you never thought possible. And The Enquirer played it safe, and is suffering for it.

To be continued in the next posting.

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Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

Allen High School Spends $60 Million on a New Stadium: The truth about school sports

Keep in mind before I say what will surely infuriate many that I spent much of my previous Friday evening listening to the pre-season football game between my favorite NFL team The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Miami Dolphins. I enjoy the combat of a football game. I understand the drama of sporting events. I have known, and currently know many people who memorize sports stats and pour a lot of personal time and energy into sports as their premier entertainment. I know many people who spend their Friday nights going to football games for their local high school in the fall; have block parties in their cul-de-sacs on Saturdays when Ohio State plays Michigan, then tail gate on Sunday down at Paul Brown Stadium for The Cincinnati Bengals. These same people will rattle off statistics of sport players with great conviction, but couldn’t begin to tell you who Rob Portman is–the State of Ohio Senator who has been a potential candidate for Vice-President of The United States. They drink a lot, and take great pride in losing their senses to drunkenness, and in spite of those human faults, I still enjoy the fanfare of sports.

In Texas, as displayed to the outside world quite wonderfully in the film Friday Night Lights, high school football is the centerpiece of small town entertainment, and it does bond the community together in ways that defy logic. I could write books on why this is destructive in that it shows a tendency toward collectivism that is ultimately disparaging, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that small town politics in the state of Texas loves their Friday night football. It’s an obsession really, so much so that tax payers in Allen, Texas passed a bond package with 63.66 percent of the vote from the booming suburb of north Dallas worth $119.4 million dollars, $60 million of which was designated to building a state-of-the-art stadium for their high school football team.

For the kids who play football in Allen they will play under the Friday Night Lights for their community in a stadium that rivals what many of the stadiums for professional teams play in. 8,252 people signed up for season tickets ranging in price from $40 dollars a game to $8 and they plan to sell out several of their games in the 18,000 seat arena in a town that has a population of 84,236, which is smaller than the Lakota School District in Cincinnati. The demand for football in Allen is so intense that 1 out of every 4 people plan to attend football games at the new stadium.

The residents of Allen have a median household income of $100,843, which is about $10,000 more than the wealthy area of Lakota due in large part to all the businesses that are locating to the area because of Texas pro-business attitudes. Many of the jobs that aren’t in your town because of intense regulation and high taxes are probably in Texas or thinking about it currently. And when people have plenty of money in their pocket they tend to be generous by passing tax increases on themselves without a thought of future sustainability. The people of Allen have the money and they wish to spend it on a football stadium for their local high school, and that’s that. This has led to severe criticism from people outside of Allen who don’t understand why the people of that Texas town will spend so much money on a football stadium when the state of education is so poor in America. Well, the answer is rather harsh, but must be understood in order to be truthful about the real nature of support a community has for their local schools when discussions of tax increases arise. People like to watch violence and mayhem. They love to see gladiators on the battlefield punishing other players in a quest to score a point. Those same audiences do not show up to watch some kid take a math test.

All public schools and all large college campuses use their sports programs to drive their funding models for their education institutions. “Jocks” are treated as special in schools because the school acknowledges the gladiators as the life blood of their existence. Without the Friday Night Lights, without football, schools are boring places of history, art, math and science. Only a few kids in each grade class excel in those categories and go on to become esteemed world-wide scientists or mathematicians. Most parents would rather give birth to the next Payton Manning rather than Albert Einstein and it shows in schools by what parents support. In Allen, Taxes they are just being honest about their priorities. They are not functioning from illusion. When it comes down to it, people do not care about educating a bunch of inner city kids on how to bake a cake in home economics. They don’t care if a 1000 nerds score a perfect 2400 on their SAT scores. But they do care if a kid is 6-4 and weighs 280 pounds in his junior year and can play as a guard on the offensive line protecting the team quarterback. In essence, they care about their own entertainment on a Friday Night, because once the game is over, they are back to their own lives looking forward to the next game.

On a typical Saturday during football season most men will sift through the political section of a newspaper and read intently the sports stats from the game on Friday. On Monday morning he will be able to go into his workplace and impress his co-workers with his vast knowledge about the tackles that 6’, 4” 280 pound kid had in Friday’s football game. He might even claim to know the boy’s father hoping that such a revelation will impress his co-workers with is access to celebrity. But nobody sits around the water cooler talking about how a kid from their public school won a spelling competition, or won an academic scholarship to Yale due to academic excellence in high school physics.

Schools are very aware of this leverage they have over the community. Locally, around the Cincinnati area the closest thing we have to the Texas Friday Night Lights experience is Colerain Football. Already, the band leaders in that town are letting it be known that if residents don’t pass a school levy this November that there will be cuts to the football program, and the band that plays for them. They know as school officials that the community cares about sports, but not about the positions of assistant art teachers, so the threat is directed and quite intentional. At Lakota in my home district, after three failed levies, the district cut off its nose to spite its face threatening to hurt the parents of the district by charging players $550 per sport for each player in order to force levy passage which has ended up backfiring. Lakota isn’t Allen, Texas; people are more indifferent to their Friday Night Football. If it’s there, fine, if not, they’ll go to a movie and out to dinner instead. The only parents who really feel passionate about football like they do in Texas are the parents who are hoping their kid wins a scholarship to college which will save them tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition. Lakota took bad advice from the classes the school board attended at Levy University in Columbus, Ohio that the OSBA puts on every year. In that class they learned that to pass tax increases that public transportation and sports are what motivate voters to throw more money at a public school. If those things don’t work, then nothing will. At Lakota, to make up for picking the wrong strategy in winning the hearts of the community, they have had to spend $160,000 on public relations to attempt to win back community support, which they won’t get as long as 1500 kids are being charged $550 to play sports.

Penn State covered up the sex crimes they all knew about because they understood that it was Penn State Football that drove new enrollment, and therefore revenue to their university. It is sports that drive education, not academics. In Allen, Texas at least they aren’t trying to deceive themselves in being so high-brow to not wish for the blood lust of violent impacts under the Friday Night Lights of their new $60 million dollar stadium. Nobody really cares about “education.” This is well-known, it’s just not publicly acknowledged. The people of Allen are not going to pour $60 million dollars into a program to help the poor and needy. They are not going to give it to a bunch of fools who want to build solar panels and wind mills. They are not going to give it to a bunch of socialist teachers who want to save the world with world peace. In polite conversation the tax payers will utter support for such things, but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, they spend it on blood, broken bones, and drama on a fourth and goal. Everything else is a waste of time and that is the key to the education funding structure. Without the Friday Night Lights, public education is just another stale experience that could easily be replaced with online classes.

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This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon

With Tale of the Dragon, Rich Hoffman combines NASCAR, Rebel Without a Cause, and Smokey and the Bandit. If you like fast cars, and hate speed traps, this is the book for you. And just every once in a while, any real American wishes he had a Firebird like the one in Tale of the Dragon.

Best Selling Co-author Larry Schweikart, A Patriot’s History of the United States  (CLICK ON THE LINK TO VISIT US ON FACEBOOK)

Visit the NEW Tail of the Dragon WEBSITE!  CLICK HERE and help spread the word! TELL SEVEN PEOPLE TO TELL SEVEN PEOPLE!

Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
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www.overmanwarrior.com