So You’ve Played Red Dead Redemption 2 and Loved it: Be a gunslinger in real life, join the Cowboy Fast Draw Association

As much as I talk about other things, I am not completely lost like a lot of people my age might otherwise be on the magical world of video games and their relatively new impact on global entertainment. But let me just say to my usual readers, its big business. I finally finished the story mode of Red Dead Redemption 2 after around 100 hours of game play, taking my time when I could and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed by the result. The game is such an astonishing technical achievement and it is by far the best thing that could have ever happened to the entertainment format of the American Western. As a story and experience it really is like taking a real-life cowboy experience like the movie City Slickers and placing them into a 1960s spaghetti western with all the high drama of something like Game of Thrones. It is big, bold and beautiful in so many ways. And I knew that as I completed the game and all the epilogue missions that there was going to be a Red Dead online coming at the end of November. I planned to revisit the game at that time but wasn’t expecting much. But let me say that I have been pleasantly surprised. It looks like as massive as Red Dead Redemption 2 is as a game with sales well over a billion dollars already and something like 20 million copies sold before the Holiday season, that the purposed of the online play is to use the game as a kind of training experience for the online world that they have created. It is just vast and ultimately never-ending in what it allows players to do and interact with one another.

I couldn’t help but think as I was playing missions with other people the other day, most of them much younger than I am, that this game is really their only experience with a real American western and for many they are very touched by it. The game itself is a very moral story about good and bad and the many quandaries of the critical decisions that went into exploding life across the American frontier. But at its core it’s about gunfighting and is clearly one of the best arguments for the real-life problems of the Second Amendment. A lot of young people may not be paying attention to the real political problems going on in the outside world, but they sure care a lot about earning enough money in the game to purchase upgrades for their guns and dress in the coolest gunfighting outfits. But I couldn’t help notice that many of them probably didn’t know that they could do all the things they are doing in Read Dead Redemption in real life with Cowboy Fast Draw as seen at the following link:

http://www.COWBOYFASTDRAW.com

Belonging to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association is one of the groups I am most proud to affiliate with, they are really a good group of people who meet all over the United States to compete in real life fast draw competitions using real guns. It’s what I think of as one of the coolest sports in the world right now as other countries are trying to participate but have too strict of gun laws to actually do it. But in the good ol’ United States it is much easier to participate in. Yet I have noticed that most of the members are well over 40, largely because guns and holster rigs are expensive so it takes a little upfront investment to get involved. But once you do, it is infinitely rewarding. I enjoyed the original Red Dead Redemption enormously and getting my own fast draw rig was always something I had planned to do. But raising a family every last dollar that I made went into family needs, a car was always breaking down, a kid always needed a school fee or band instrument. Someone needed braces of a family member across the country wanted us to visit them, so there was always something for like twenty years that kept me from getting my own fast draw gun rig.

I ran across a substantial amount of money for a big job I had been working on so I treated myself to my gun rig and have been practicing at Cowboy Fast Draw for several years now, and am getting pretty good at it. After probably 30,000 to 35,000 shots at a fast draw target, I am starting to feel good about my speed and accuracy. It did take a while. It was something that had been on my mind well before I ever played the first Red Dead going way back into my twenties when I was going through a really tough time. Westerns and western music really kept the zest for life alive in me. On their most basic foundations westerns are about the meaning of life so they always had great appeal to me so when I grew up I wanted to be as much of a gunfighter as society could endure. Ironically, I had acquired my gun rig and some advanced fast draw skill before Red Dead Redemption 2 came out which had even more meaning for me because of the new hobby I had.

Traveling around the online world it has become very obvious that many young people are deeply touched by Red Dead Redemption 2 and likely would like to have a similar experience as I have. So let me put this little invite out there. If you are unsure of how to get involved in Cowboy Fast Draw because you are enjoying playing Red Dead Redemption but would like to take everything up a notch, don’t hesitate to ask me. I can help you get started on something that would be infinitely rewarding. While my regular audience here is much older than the people playing Red Dead Redemption 2 I would personally love to see more young people getting involved in Cowboy Fast Draw. It really isn’t any different from what you do in the game, but that it never ends. While the content of Red Dead Redemption does eventually run out, the challenges in real life never do.

In the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, you get to dress up as a gunslinger for real, and have a reason to do it. You have a reason to buy fancy guns for real and learn to take care of them. And the scoring format is safe and fun. Its one of the most satisfying things I’ve done in my life and I would recommend it to anybody. I had been thinking that membership in the cowboy sports may just flicker away because new generations just do not have many positive western entertainment venues that are cool enough to hold their attention, that is until Red Dead Redemption 2 came along and inspired millions of people to live in that world quite authentically. And for those who just want to climb into the world of Red Dead Redemption for real and live it in real life I’d point you to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association at the link shown here. If you have any questions, just ask. I’d love to help as many new people get involved in the sport as possible. While I personally love the world of Red Dead Redemption, it is no match for having a real fast draw rig on your hip which is an experience I have every day. And wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Rich Hoffman

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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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“Shoot Extreme” : The fine dining of target shooting in all of America

One of the true delights in life is to have a gun in your hand. Guns are the great equalizers that are among the greatest human inventions, because due to guns, tyranny has a hard time digging its claws into the individual lives of citizens. This has paved the way for a productive society not afraid to invent and to look down their nose at the political class with comfortable disdain. Because of the gun, the political class in America cannot believe that they are superior in any way to the average person. Because of the gun, freedom exists. Because of the gun, diversity of business can thrive in abundance. And because of the gun one of the most interesting businesses I have yet come across has started in West Chester, Ohio, the unusual concept called Shoot Extreme.

As I prepared to enter the Shoot Extreme facility at the corner of Tylersville and Cincinnati-Dayton Road I noticed that The Cone ice cream store was almost right across the street and I felt pride to live in a community that could sell ice cream in a unique specialized shop less than 200 yards from a shooting range that is indoor and set up to practice tactical target shooting with real guns. The concept of Shoot Extreme is a great one–move through a haunted house like maze with live ammunition and shoot at zombies that jump out at you from every direction. It’s a unique way to practice strategic skill, blow off some steam, and target shoot under pressure.

Shooting at fixed targets is one thing, and Target World in Sharonville is a wonderful venue for that. But shooting under pressure, where the shooter only has three seconds in a low light environment to identify a “friend or foe” target is a wonderful benefit to the civilian community of West Chester. It’s a wonderful option to live in a community that allows a person to get a fine steak diner at Jags, then to cap off the evening with a run through the tactical course at Shoot Extreme and take out the frustrations of the day by blasting the hordes of zombies set up throughout the maze. After the shooting is done, all the shooter has to do is turn the guns back in at the counter and Shoot Extreme takes care of cleaning and maintenance. The shooter can then have desert over at The Cone without further worry.

Needless to say, I am deeply impressed with the staff and concept at Shoot Extreme. For a gun loving community like West Chester, Mason and Liberty Twp, I would expect a place like this wonderful shooting range to be packed all the time. It is highly recommended that reservations are made online ahead of time to reserve a spot, and to fill out the release form on the website www.shootextreme.com before arrival because it speeds up the process of getting guns and ammunition just a bit quicker, because that is the goal of shooting at Shoot Extreme, to shoot zombies and to sharpen your senses.

This is a wonderful idea since some of the most popular videos games currently on the market are Undead 4, and Call of Duty. Shoot Extreme allows average people without access to military training and hardware to get a taste of tactical training in real life, beyond a video game environment where the smell of gunpowder and the urgency of the moment are elements of additional danger. For the cost of a night at the movies, a shooter can run the gauntlet of zombies and increase their combat skill level combining entertainment and practicality into a wonderful symphony.

More timid spectators might wonder why such things are important—why people would desire to shoot guns, let alone to do it in such a fantasy environment. The answer is because guns are cool, and are an important part of American culture. For those who don’t like guns, I would suggest that they do not understand what being an American is. Guns are the foundation of freedom, and it is healthy to become competent with them. I would say that shooting guns is as important as eating ice cream at The Cone, or buying new cloths at a department store. Shooting guns is the essence of freedom in America and there is simply no better way to celebrate it than with a trip to Shoot Extreme.

If you want fine dining, in West Chester, Mitchells Fish Market or Jags are the places to go. If you want to shop, then Voice of America shopping complex is where it’s all at. But if you want the fine dining equivalent of target shooting, then it is Shoot Extreme that becomes a must. This is simply the best indoor shooting experience of its kind anywhere, and it’s found in West Chester, Ohio.

The public perception of guns is that they are somehow a taboo subject, and that they should be feared. The timid types who still believe these ridiculous notions are in for a harsh reality as the new shooting range Shoot Extreme is just the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming. America has a youth that has been brought up on films and video games that heavily involve shooting, and as they come into age, thoughts about guns will loosen up considerably. I foresee a day in the not too distant future where guns will be openly carried by civilians like jewelry is displayed today. They will be just as common, and will not raise alarm when seen. And in the near future gun ranges like Extreme Shooting will be more common than unique as this range in West Chester is now.

The creation of Shoot Extreme is out of a desire for an indoor facility that gives to the public the same type of training only the military had access to before. The fun addition of zombies being the targets instead of actual terrorist insurgents only adds a layer of commercial appeal to a functionally sound tactical course that makes it just more than average entertainment. The desire of the timid to remove guns from society with rules and regulations is to suppress a fundamental American right that is never better present than at Shoot Extreme and the eradication of zombies in a mock apocalypse that can befall anyone with the price of a ticket. And the ticket is well worth it!   Part 2 of this posting will go up tomorrow and will dig deeper into the actual merit behind tactical training and the weapons involved at Shoot Extreme.  I am very proud to be a card-carrying member!

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