Individuality and Thinking Outside the Box.

I never planned to become so involved in education policies. By contrast, the things I’m interested in are so far away from structured education that they might as well be from another planet.

Fortunately, I understand why I feel this way. And I’ve covered it elsewhere in my other bodies of work. Google (institutional failure Rich Hoffman) and you’ll find much of what I have said about the dismal failure of thinking from within the conventions of a box.

My endeavors against the school levies are not an anti-education position for me. I’m not looking to destroy the schools, or to single handedly defeat communism, as some have said. But where my personal work and the work of standing up against the deceit of school systems looking to wrestle property tax money from residents in order to feed an institutional monster intersects with my personal interests and that is why I am involved. That is where the cowboy hats, and bullwhips come into the picture, because for me, those are symbols of individually and freedom. I think I’ll let Nicholas Cage explain it best for me. The following clip is from Wild at Heart, one of David Lynches greatest.

Individuality is what I’d consider to be the paramount trait of the human condition. Through individuality everything can be fixed. If everyone cared for themselves, there wouldn’t be a need for large institutions.

Progressives look at government as a job creation measure that assists the masses. I view the progressive kind of help to damage the individual gumption of mankind. And much of that progressive teaching is going directly to our youth through the school system. And that is where the schools cross over and interfere with my interests as an artist.

In my art, the promotion of bullwhips, cowboy hats, firearms, motorcycles, etc are all rooted in individuality, which I see being the elements lost in our American culture, and the key to the preservation of society. It is a long standing American tradition of one person making a difference. When a majority of Americans believe such things, they will therefore vote and participate in the republic. Films used to display such individuality, are embraced over a long span of time. Progressive themed films come and go and people quickly forget them. But films rooted in American tradition and individuality have staying power. In the following clip, Clint Eastwood takes over an entire town and punishes it for its corruption in the film High Plains Drifter.

Another American idea of one person taking on several others when grossly outnumbered, Clint Eastwood, Fistful of Dollars.

Star Wars was essentially a western set in space. One of the most popular characters in the entire Star Wars saga by most every survey was Han Solo. Another was Boba Fett, and Fett only has a couple of lines in the entire six film series. What both characters have in common are that they are both faithfully individualistic characters. This provides some insight into what the psychology of mankind if analyzed without filters will chose. In a classic scene from 1977, Han Solo kills a bounty hunter in a cantina. Notice Han shoots first and in cold blood. Solo is a survivor. He has a bounty hunter there to kill him, so why not shoot first.

However, later, and under pressure from his progressive friends, Lucas changed this scene 1997 to where the bounty hunter shot first, which turned out to be a joke among Star Wars fans that felt betrayed by the edit.

Here is one of the most humorous satires on the subject.

What this tells me is that people see through the thin vale of progressive thought. Movie goers do not like “team” players. Look at the James Bond franchise. In the modern era, Bond has been watered down as they have tried to make him more “human.”

But the James Bond that I grew up with was a survivor that always had a smart answer and enough wit to escape any situation.

Bond single handedly takes on some of the world’s most dangerous villains. He doesn’t work well with others and frequently thumbs his nose at his superiors. That is the key to Bond’s success.

Yet, in socialism, it is desired to remove such individualist traits. Here is the reality of socialism expressed well in the film Brazil.

Here is another scene from Brazil of an individual getting revenge on a symbol of the STATE.

In fact, Brazil should be seen by everyone. What are you waiting for? Go rent it now!

The fact is movies are boring when they involve flat characters that don’t have individual attributes that are defined and charismatic. The only way socialist principled films work is when shown in a negative light.

This clip from THX-1138, another GREAT FILM!

Here is a great speech by Jeff Bridges playing the wonderfully individualist Preston Tucker.

The point of all this is that collectivism does not work. It never has, and never will. And telling society to get into a box that it doesn’t want is wrong.

In my own work, I’ve dedicated my life to living, thinking, and teaching people to live outside the box. So I am not a fan of funding an education system that is teaching people to live inside a box. I’m fine with teaching reading, writing, arithmetic, college prep, and basic social skills. But the sex education, the counseling, the physical education crosses the lines, because all those types of social concerns have been reduced to a level of collectivism that paves the way to a much less individualistic society.

I already felt that public education leaned in a direction that went too far in that direction. But I put up with it because my community desires the services, so I go along with it for their sake. But, I see many, many aspects that are wrong with public education because the emphasis is not being applied to individualism. Only in sports does our society embrace individual traits fully, and that is a failure in social value.

I have spent a lot of my time figuring out what those values are, and have committed my life to preserving individualism. And I was doing this well before the Lakota Levy ever came to be.

Being involved in a political issue, I will tend to have a different approach because personally, I despise politics. The films I have displayed here provide some insight into my belief structure. The people I look up to are not the types that do what they’re told without question. I have no desire to become a politician, a board member, a congressman, even a governor or president. None of those jobs would be enjoyable for me.

As a concerned citizen, I’m fine to call things as I see them. But being a lover of individualism, I don’t require the approval of anyone else to act. I don’t need the approval of another to approve of my attire. And I don’t require any approval to weigh my comments in the context of history.

I am happy to share that lack of burden with others in order to free them of such shackles, because the answers are outside of the box. Not in it. But you have to enjoy the freedom of living shackle free.

So it is not of any offense to groups like unions, and political organizations that are wishing to maintain the status quo. I don’t pass judgment on your collective actions until you ask me for money, because at that point, you are involving me in your action. At that time, action on my part must be taken to eliminate the grip of your collectivism on my life style.

So criticize and belittle from your perspective the images of the traditional cowboy. But as evidence to what the true nature of mankind enjoys from the psychology of the darkened theater, I know that my position is supported by the infrastructure of individualism embraced by the masses from the vote of the movie ticket and film history.

The concepts taught by modern progressives are simply flimsy musings of sociological theory. And as for the direction of a one world identity, I would direct the world to the cowboy, not Al Gore or any like him.

And that is the platform I stand on. And that is my commitment for every endeavor I become a part of. There isn’t any class that can teach you to defend a position held within the institutional box-like thinking. The only kind of thinking I truly value is from outside the box.

Rich Hoffman

http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior

www.overmanwarrior.com

My Contribution to Justice: Sales of The Symposium of Justice will go to Education PAC.

The Symposium Initiative.

The freedom fighter, Cliffhanger battles the assassin, R.L. Justice and his Dark Knights of Order as sinister plots unfold upon the seemingly unimportant town of Fort Seven Mile. Inspired by Cliffhanger’s writing and heroic actions council members, Mary Lawson, Misty Finnegan, and the gunsmith, Ben Carter plant the seeds of rebellion as powerful forces set their sights on a secret project called, “The Veil of Knowledge,” a form of mind control being conducted as an experiment soon to be unleashed upon the world.

Plot to The Symposium of Justice, 2004 Rich Hoffman

One thing that is hard to come up with in a campaign is money, especially in a tax initiative. People are reluctant or just can’t give especially when they don’t see any direct result from the money they’ve given.

When you have a situation like we have in Lakota, and now that we’re talking about legislative movement where a very entrenched teachers union has invested millions of dollars lobbying to protect the initiatives that created the legislation that has embroiled itself in this whole education mess, it is apparent that money will be needed to take the fight even further.

If you look at just the idea of a third levy attempt within a year’s period of time, it will typically be the same three or four people that will give money to defeat the levy. And for them, the cost will be over three to four thousand each during that span, and that’s a lot of money for anybody.

Unlike the Pro Levy campaign, which has direct access to over 18,000 students and their parents through direct flyers, and many PTO organizations that contribute large sums of money, it is difficult to generate enough money to combat a tax initiative.

(How much did Lakota spend on the last levy attempt?  Check this out)

There is also an additional problem, it is apparent that virtually all school systems violate Ohio Revised Code 3315.07 (C)(1) which states:

Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, no board of education shall use public funds to support or oppose the passage of a school levy or bond issue or to compensate any school district employee for time spent on any activity intended to influence the outcome of a school levy or bond issue election.

What this basically says is that schools cannot use school resources to pass a levy. And what is happening is that virtually every school system openly violates this because prosecutors turn away from it. What is required for enforcement is a legal precedent to put the issue on the table, and that will cost money as well.

I personally don’t have the financial resources to continue to throw money at these issues, and even the most well off people that contribute to our campaigns can’t as well. It just doesn’t make economic sense. So what we need is a revenue stream, a fundraiser of some kind so we can fund the legal activities of fighting school levies and standing up to the politics that have built fortunes off education.

That puts my mind on a book I wrote back in 2004 called The Symposium of Justice, based loosely on timeless storybook heroes such as Zorro. The lead character and vigilante, Cliffhanger prevents the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in the book’s opening chapter and leaves behind the Symposium of Justice, a manifesto that includes Cliffhanger’s 10 rules that read like Moses’ Ten Commandments, and a series of stories that are intended to justify his vigilante behavior.

Henceforth, the main character becomes an avenger of evil while walking the thin line of the law. The local authorities and criminals alike come to despise him.

Woven into the novel are stories of political conspiracies, horror, romance, science fiction and a legal drama that are deliciously vivid in their depictions.

I was very happy to publish this book in 2004, and I accomplished what I set out to do, which was let the book teach my kids some things about life that I wanted them to know. Some of the things I wanted to teach them had more potency coming from a book then if I just sat down and told them. So writing the book helped me introduce them to some very complicated issues in the form of a story.  I knew the lessons would sink in, because they both did book reports for school on their dad’s book, which made them proud, and they therefore remembered the material because for a few months they were minor celebrities.

Further sales, although nice, and may contribute to a vacation fund, isn’t the most important thing in the world to me. This leads me to put the book to new use. Any future sales of The Symposium of Justice will go to add a PAC fund starting with the Lakota School Levy, and depending on how much money the book generates, extending to statewide education issues.
So what I’m saying is that starting on November 1st of 2010, I will donate all profit I would otherwise receive from sales coming from The Symposium of Justice and use that money to continue to fight education issues at Lakota and hopefully across the state of Ohio.

Using The Symposium of Justice as a fundraiser option at least gives the donor something back instead of having the feeling of contributing money and not getting anything back as a result, although, we will still take donations the traditional way at the NoLakotaLevy Website, emailing your intentions to NoLakota@roadrunner.com.

If you’re looking for something to read, or a gift to give at Christmas or somebody’s birthday, and you want to know that the money the author is making off the book is going to fight an important issue, then I will make that pledge now, and for the duration of time it takes to get the State of Ohio to fulfill its constitutional obligation, and so long as I continue to work with the original publisher which looks to continue well into the future, the profit I make will go straight to education reform issues.

The book is available at Amazon.com in a traditional format, or it can be purchased as a Kindle version for a much reduced price.   Click here to buy the book at Amazon.com

I wrote this book to bring a sense of justice to my kids in a world that seemed to be going mad at a young and impressionable age. It would give me a lot of pride to know that The Symposium of Justice could extend that influence to others not only in the written word, but also as a financial resource to combat education reform resistance.

The Symposium of Justice at Amazon.com

Rich Hoffman

www.overmanwarrior.com

Bullwhip Consultant on Films

After the Enquire article, one of the natural questions resulting was about how do you consult for films with whips?

Unfortunately, these days there are fewer films using whips as a part of the story line than there was in the early days of cinema. That of course is directly attributable to the decline of the western in modern film and television. But occasionally, a storyline comes forth that requires them, and a decision will be made on how to go about it from the studio. Recently, Whiplash from Iron Man 2 was produced which featured whips of a sort. But their approach was to use film of how a whip moves to create the effects in CGI.

But CGI works great in some cases, but not so great in others, and whip work is something that is more dramatic in real life. And such is a recent call I received from Peter Facinelli who I met at the Indie Gathering Film Festival while I was doing some firewhip work.

This is from the actual stunt demonstration where Peter and the director Rob Gunnerson were a part of.

They approached me about a project they were doing with RealD 3D where they wanted to capture the firewhips with RealD’s new 3D camera system in HD. So I flew out to LA to help them bring that project to life, called for now tentatively, The Delivery.

Peter of course is currently busy with the Twilight franchise, so further development of The Delivery is ongoing.

Here is the trailer that we shot, which consisted of a series of test shots to test the camera equipment. I served as the whip consultant and handler in all whip action. I am particularly proud of the shot we got where I cracked the cigarette backwards using one of my 12 foot bullwhips. The director wanted to do it for real, not in CGI, and we pulled it off with just a few takes.

View the Trailer at the links:
The Delivery 3D Trailer
http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=102190281,t=1,mt=video
The Delivery 3D | MySpace Video

 
More info and production stills can be found at this link.

http://twilighttreasury.blogspot.com/2010/01/peter-facinelli-delivery-3d.html

Here are some images from the shoot:  Here Rob Gunnerson sets me up for the stand in work for Peter who is in the background. 

Here is Mat Wilig, who played the demon, standing with me.  We had the awkward issue of sharing a trailer on set since they were short one and we both had extensive makeup to do.  The very first thing I said to him was something negative about playing for the Panthers because I’m a Tampa Bay fan.  But after that, we got along well.   Matthew is recently retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. He played for 6 teams (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers). He went to 2 Super Bowls while winning 1 and losing the other. He is steadily rising up the Acting ladder and receiving acclaim as his roles get bigger and better.


Here is Rob and Peter going through the shots with me so we can measure distance for all the equipment. 

Here are the Producers, the face paint really got on my nerves after 12 hours.

Peter and I on break. 

Test shot of how the 3D camera’s were capturing the fireball given off by the firewhip.

Rich Hoffman

www.overmanwarrior.com

My New Book: The Tail of the Dragon

For the last couple of months I have received a lot of email asking me why I spent so much time dealing with education issues but not addressing the obvious problems involved in law enforcement and the incredibly top-heavy budgets involved with them.  Well, it’s a bigger issue and can’t really be dealt with locally like education issues can.  And to me, I knew I recently completed the first draft of my second book The Tail of the Dragon that takes a hard look at just how far law enforcement has a right to go into our lives and the impact ethically that having too much restriction can have on the human soul. 

It has been quite a journey writing that novel. It started with a trip my wife and I took to the Smoky Mountains, where we ran the famous Tail of the Dragon on our motorcycle.  On that trip we witnessed the heavy hand of the THP as shown proudly in the video below.

I’m a small government guy. My childhood roots are in great car chase films like Hooper and Smokey and the Bandit. The way the Tennessee Highway Patrol acted toward drivers on the Tail of the Dragon set my blood boiling a bit.  So I wanted to do a story about The Tail of the Dragon, and the aggressive, and in some cases oppressive police presence there, and make the whole story like the climax of Hooper.   View that video below.

It is my belief that writing a novel can add new mythology to the embroidery of human existence, and is the most important, and responsible job on the face of the planet.

While most of the old car chase stories are considered to be low brow entertainment, I see a level of sophistication in simplicity that is missing from modern stories, which prevents readers from falling in love with the characters like some of the beloved characters of those old films and TV shows.  

The Dukes of Hazzard, which was on every Friday when I was a kid, still has a popular appeal to many.   To this day they still have these Dukesfest events where they jump and crash cars and everybody has a great time. I love events like this, because everything is so “unsafe,” and people have fun knowing how dangerous everything is. It’s a culture that most in New York and Los Angeles don’t know much about, but it represents a huge part of the country, particularly in the south.  And it’s a market that has been largely ignored.

Below is the famous Blues Brothers mall scene. Nobody has done a mall car chase like this in over thirty years! This is still a classic and beloved by millions, many for this scene alone.  So I made sure there was a mall scene in my book.

This past election put me on every news station in southwest Ohio, I was quoted in every newspaper, my presence was in high demand on talk radio, but above all those efforts, it was my ability to write, and communicate that made the difference on the unpopular issue of forcing education reform and defeating issue 2.  But I don’t plan to stop there.  Those of you that know me best understand I am not new to taking positions where I speak out on topics.  The issues explored in the Tail of the Dragon however, are larger and more complicated and require a broader public tapestry than what I can explore in a blog, and those other forms of communication.     

I think it’s time that something in our modern culture can reflect the happy-go-lucky attitude and tenacity displayed in scenes like this one from Hooper.  Socially, we’ve all become so sensitive that we’re all about to burst with frustration.  I offer the Tail of the Dragon as a relief valve for that frustration.

I wrote The Tail of the Dragon to entertain, and provoke thought.  It is an exploration of an authentic human existence explored through Rick Steven’s who after 20 years of marriage and a grown son that has just moved out of the house, finds he and his wife had seen their personal hopes and dreams drift away over the years.  Rick had put aside a career as a race car driver to raise a family, a decision that had always haunted him. Rick meets Chet Watson, a powerful attorney and former candidate for governor of Tennessee and finds himself caught up in the games of Watson and the current Governor of Tennessee in a plot to run for President of the United States by increasing the hiring of police officers all over the state.

CLICK BELOW AND LISTEN TO ME READ THE FIRST TWO PAGES:

After reading the first draft, I feel the work is close to what I’m looking for. The story is there and I’m happy with how the scenes go to together. Now it’s time for some re-writing. But, I am happy that I was able to capture the good old fashion thrill of the car chase story spewing with romance and danger, and to have characters that people might actually invest their emotions in.

And for the record, it’s OK to thumb you nose at the law……………..it’s even healthy for our republic.  So please, enjoy my new novel Tail of the Dragon, seen in the clip above and celebrate the law breakers who keep America free.

Rich Hoffman

www.overmanwarrior.com

For info on my screenplay The Lost Cannibals of Cahokia, check it out here.  I’ve been looking for a good group to assemble for that project.