Godzilla For President: A review of the new Gareth Edwards masterpiece

What would you get if Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, and Akira Kurosawa all made a movie—it would be Gareth Edwards new Godzilla film.  That is not to say for a second that Edwards is a copy-cat filmmaker paying homage to his boyhood heroes.  The 2014 Godzilla film released by Legendary Pictures is simply that good, and is sincere in its tip of the hat to those great filmmakers.  While watching I kept thinking of films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Birds, Ran, Dreams without attempting for a second to show its superiority to the classic Godzilla movies—but rather being very respectful of them.  If there is a tight rope of movie marketing, authenticity to a beloved character, and the necessity to navigate the needs of the movie industry, Gareth Edwards just propelled himself into one of the top filmmakers in the world forever by walking it cleanly.  The new Godzilla film is simply astonishing.  I have read the reviews and spoken to several people who had seen the movie and I have come to realize that the movie is so vast in its scale that most viewers can only grip one of the many plot lines of the film.  Being spoiled spoon fed movie goers for so many years; they have forgotten the old Hitchcock films and likely didn’t bother with Kurosawa due to the subtitles.  Well, Edwards didn’t have that problem and has simply made a masterpiece that will have a major impact on film history.   I know good when I see it and this Godzilla film is great, incredible, astonishingly beautiful, captivating in virtually every way, and is simply a benchmark film redefining the genre of monster movies.  This Godzilla movie is what Cloverfield wanted to be.  It is simply jaw-dropping grand.  It will take several viewings for everything to settle in and history will study this movie as a masterpiece of modern film.

While waiting in line to see the movie I wrote yesterday’s article about Godzilla.  CLICK HERE TO REVIEW.  So I am already a fan of the 60-year-old monster.  I had to take a few hours after watching the movie to calm down and check my emotions to ensure that I wasn’t just being inflammatory with my enthusiasm.  After rolling around in bed for about 10 hours unable to sleep still excited about this Godzilla film I have concluded that perhaps I haven’t been excited enough.  Four key scenes will explain why without giving away the movie.  The first is the birthday metaphor so carefully weaved into the Bryan Cranston portion of the story.  It was remarkably powerful, and so subtle that most viewers appear to have missed it upon their first viewing.  It was a touch of Steven Spielberg that I haven’t seen from a filmmaker since the film Always.  Then there was the flaming train engine coming out of an intense fog at night across a railroad bridge.  The film quality looked as though it belonged on the pages of National Geographic.  The cinematic effort of that shot was simply mind-blowing.  Then there was the airport scene where the power had gone out across an Hawaiian city then came back on to reveal a giant monster destroying everything—with the main characters rushing toward the devastation.  There has been nothing like that done in movie since Jurassic Park, The Lost World, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  It was over-the-top exciting, but never so much that it came out campy.  Godzilla pays tribute to these beloved old films without insulting them with direct mimicry.   Then there is the airdrop into the city of San Francisco during the monster fight.  The only filmmaker who ever attempted portions of these kinds of visuals is Akira Kurosawa.  The colors, the atmospheric conditions, the ceremonial aspect of the scene, the immensity of the whole enterprise culminated in that portion of the movie and was simply magnificent.  Edwards was well aware of his geography during the entire film.  The film went from extreme long shots of a storm over the city with the tiny troops falling toward their apparent doom with swirling cumulus nimbus clouds reaching into the upper atmosphere.  Then there are the hand-held shots as they fall through the cloud layer and into the destruction of the city while Godzilla is fighting with the monsters.  All these were cut together with the same level of continuity and it was seamless.  The long view of existence right along with the human perspective was astonishing.  I can’t say it has ever been done more effectively than what Edwards did in this movie.  There was a scene from Close Encounters years ago where the shadow of the mother ship was cast against the ground at night over the unaware human drivers of a truck.  That shot was incredibly difficult to pull off and came from the mind of a very young Steven Spielberg before he got old and stuffy.  I can’t recall another filmmaker trying such a thing since then—until this Godzilla movie.  It is hard to do such atmospheric scenes and Spielberg has given up on trying now that he is in his “mature” years.  But the ambition of Edwards deserves recognition as film schools will study this scene for years attempting to break down its effectiveness.

Speaking of geography it was impressive to tie in events happening halfway around the globe in simultaneous bits of story.  For instance, Las Vegas gets attacked by a monster as Godzilla is hunting the beast from the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Hawaii.  The extra attention to little details like proximity of terrain to each other in a world shrunk by Google Earth was so refreshing that even smart people seeing the movie will be impressed that Edwards thought of them while staging scenes.  The characters in this Godzilla film were intelligent, and cared about the circumstances around them.  That was refreshing.

Then there was the soundtrack which was equally remarkable.  I had never knowingly heard any of Alexandre Desplat’s work until this film, but it was quite powerful.  Desplat certainly tapped into great film scores by John Williams, particularly Jaws because it was evident in the film score.  The resemblance to that classic piece was unmistakable.  I have listened to the soundtracks of Jurassic Park and The Lost World countless times, and the notes and cues from Godzilla are right in line with those pieces.  It was yet another circumstance of welcomed surprise in a film full of them.  There was a raw majestic energy included with the music that was as big as Godzilla and the story line itself.

The character of Godzilla unlike the past had a deep intelligence to him, a knowing alertness to the circumstances of civilization and his desire to advance it.  That is a new element to these kinds of monster films, Godzilla was quite well aware of his ancient role as a kind of protector of man’s achievements.  He wasn’t interested in the mindless toppling of buildings and power lines, but of hunting down and destroying the monsters which were destroying the cities of earth.  There has been a lot of talk about Godzilla being a boon to nature—reminding mankind that it is not in charge.  Yet if Godzilla were so interested in nature, he would have allowed the giant creatures—MUTOs (Massive Unidentified terrestrial Organisms) to breed and hatch their babies which are all they really wanted to do.  From the vantage point of Godzilla mankind’s creations are pretty insignificant, yet he consciously made a decision to pick mankind over the MUTO creatures.  Several times in Godzilla’s efforts were close-ups on his weary face as if he had been fighting this battle for several millennia.  Edwards smartly captured this intelligence and made this Godzilla much less primal, and much more sophisticated.  As strange as it sounds the creature seemed so smart that I wouldn’t have been shocked if he didn’t sit down with some tea and discuss James Joyce as a literary endeavor.  He was what I described in my referred article written prior to seeing the film as a kind of overman.

Godzilla is movie making at its absolute best.  There isn’t anything better out now and hasn’t been in many years.  Even the epic nature of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films can’t hold a candle to Godzilla.  This monster film is a benchmark for these types of things that will set the bar very high.  Many reviewers continue to compare Godzilla 2014 to Pacific Rim, but the two aren’t even close.   The only thing they have in common is that both films deal with large creatures.  Godzilla is about so much more.  It’s a movie that needs to be seen many times to understand, and even more times for just the sheer entertainment value of it.  The cost of seeing the movie is worth the climax of the film itself.  They simply don’t get better than that and will still be fun after the 100th viewing.  Godzilla 2014 will become the next favorite film of many little boys desperately seeking something meaningful in their young lives.  But for the adults who grew up with the old versions, this Edwards film is a sheer work of art that will be difficult for any filmmaker to surpass for many, many years.  It is a treasure onto itself and a gift to every creature with eyes, ears and an imagination.  I give Godzilla an enthusiastic thumb up with both hands and both big toes and a smile from ear to ear.  It is movie making at its absolute best and then some and will never be forgotten in my household likely being played continuously forever once it hits Blue Ray.  In the meantime, I will go see it again.

Rich Hoffman

  www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

The Lone Ranger’s Nominate a Hero Award: Nominate a local hero who rides for “Justice” in your community

Ahead of Disney’s new Lone Ranger film they are running a promotion for all fighters for justice to receive an advance screening of their new film prior to its July 3rd release.  Given the kind of readers who frequent Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom, there are more than a few such people in Southern Ohio who deserve a ticket.

Nominate a local hero or agency who rides for Justice in your community to receive the Lone Ranger Ride for Justice Award and an advance screening of Disney’s The Lone Ranger.  Post your nominations to @LoneRanger on Twitter with the #LRRideforJustice and your city of residence, to honor your local heroes.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-lone-ranger/nominate-a-hero/10151668716963373

Pick a local hero and honor them with a nomination!  And be sure to see The Lone Ranger for the 4th of July!   Click here to read my thoughts and tradition with The Lone Ranger!

“HIGH HO SILVER–AWAY!” CLICK HERE FOR MORE!

Rich Hoffman

www.tailofthedragonbook.com

  

The Millennium Falcon: Keeping dreams alive through James Luceno and Chris Lee

One of the questions I get asked most often is how I have remained so diversified over the years, and so passionate over such a wide variety of subjects and still maintain my optimism.  My answer is often difficult and obscure in articulating, and most do not understand once they have heard it, but symbols are a powerful ally into healing the mind from the many unfathomable tribulations it might encounter in a lifetime—and when a mind beholds a symbol it holds in reverence, it becomes possible to always calibrate ones thoughts to the values that are most functional, and beloved.  Religions often use such symbols to focus their minds on eternity, or spiritual awakening.  Voodoo priests use symbols to focus their minds to speaking to those who have crossed over dimensional understanding.  Shamans use symbols to invoke focus on the problems at hand that only have answers in the world of the unknown.    I have always needed something that does all that and more, and for me, the symbol that I most reverently adhere to is the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, the intergalactic starship that is the hero of the entire saga, and has been a representation of complete freedom as shown in that fantasy epic from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.Millennium Falcon

The picture shown above is one that I have had on my freestanding Craftsman tool box that I have had for years as I worked in machine shops and other assembly plants where exotic tools were needed to perform the task at hand, and as every real man knows, the size of a man’s tool box says a lot about the level of the mind that owns it, and their ability to solve problems—and my tool boxes have always been big.  While my co-workers would fill their opened tool box lids with pictures of women in various states of undress, hot rod cars, and images from their favorite sports teams, my tool box had pictures of the Millennium Falcon pasted all over it as it has been a long-standing dream of mine to build an actual full-scale model of that famous movie space ship, and looking at those old construction photos from The Empire Strikes Back has always inspired me to think outside the box, and to never allow my mind to linger on the impossible.   The Millennium Falcon for me is a symbol of always having hope, never surrendering even when the odds are terrible, and trusting that effort will always triumph over technical superiority.  I wrote recently about my intention to build a real Millennium Falcon for $15 million dollars that actually flies with anti-gravity technology.  CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW.  In Tennessee there is a small group that is planning to build a replica of the Millennium Falcon for similar education purposes, which I am very excited to see.  CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO VISIT AND OFFER SUPPORT:

http://fullscalefalcon.com/

I adore people like those at Full Scale Falcon.com.  I wish the world was filled with more of them.

I have made it no secret that the car in my new novel Tail of the Dragon was inspired heavily from the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars and many times in my life, I have looked reverently to that classic star ship to reset my thinking on any given topic.  My wife can attest that I engage the engines to my electronic Millennium Falcon that sits right next to our bed every night before I go to sleep.  So I did what I promised myself I would do after a contentious election season in 2012 and that is give myself a break.  I decided to rest from all the heavy-duty philosophy and history that I typically read and pulled a book off our book selves that my wife read last year and had been urging me to give a chance, James Luceno’s novel called Millennium Falcon.

To be honest I did not think the book would be any good and the reason I did not read it earlier was because I needed to finish a few books ahead of it on the Star Wars timeline from the Legacy of the Force series, so just picking the book up to read was not as easy as just reading one book.  Millennium Falcon is a sort of bridge book between the Legacy series and the Fate of the Jedi series, so I didn’t want to spoil anything for myself.  I waited till I had a chance to get to it when I wasn’t so busy.  After the election and all the very heavy reading I did after November 6th 2012 going through books like War and Peace, The Golden Bough and many others, I decided to catch up on some of the Star Wars books from the Legacy and Fate series as well as the Old Republic novels.

James Luceno’s book Millennium Falcon was marvelous, and well worth the wait.  I didn’t know how much I had been wanting to read it, or how much I would enjoy it, because the story is about the 100 year lifespan of the Millennium Falcon from its construction on an assembly line to almost the events that will lead up to the new films that Disney is about to produce, Episodes 7 through 9.  In the Millennium Falcon’s long history under many different owners featuring crime lords, galactic pirates, rogue politicians, fortune hunters, medical innovators, circus performers, and rebel heroes it is literally a star ship that has launched a thousand fates—perhaps billions.  The Millennium Falcon is to Star Wars what the Black Pearl is to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.  The Millennium Falcon is a hot rod pirate ship and is simply the coolest piece of technology ever put into a movie.  Unlike other famous movie star ships, the Falcon represents individuality, and freedom which is why I behold it as a symbol still after all these years.

I enjoyed every page thoroughly of Luceno’s book as he takes readers on a heck of a fun story into the Millennium Falcon’s past which was unknown previously in the Star Wars mythology.  I didn’t think it would be possible for a skeptical 45 year-old man to be as excited as a 10-year-old boy over a fictional symbol of freedom in a galaxy that only exists in the mind.   But after reading the book it made me think even more seriously about someday walking through a real Millennium Falcon that I build for real function, or one like the good people at Full Scale Falcon.com are building to inspire a whole new generation  of young people to reach for the stars.  The Millennium Falcon has a special place in the hearts and minds of millions and as this evolution has occurred I am more proud than ever that I displayed those original construction pictures so prominently on my tool box, which are still there.  The only difference is that the big stand up unit I used for staying gainfully employed is now in my garage.  That tool box got me through some hard times as I worked excessively hard to make a living for my growing family, and never let my co-workers provoke me into removing my pictures of the Millennium Falcon from my tool box in favor of girls in bikinis.  I can honestly say that the Millennium Falcon is sexier than any lingerie model in any state of super normal sign stimuli pose.

I feel that my life has reflected the fictional history of the Millennium Falcon after reading the Luceno novel, which I never would have known prior.  But there is something destructive and positive at the same time in reaching for one’s individual freedom and sovereignty, and the Millennium Falcon represents that quest.  And I’m not alone in my sentiments.  Good people like Chris Lee at Full Scale Falcon.com feel it as strongly as I do, and are taking actions to make the Millennium Falcon a reality that young people can touch, smell, and walk through—and from those young minds are the next great inventions that will bestow upon the human race a wave of miracles that will usher in a new day in the long story of all of us.  Everything starts with a thought, and a symbol can hold those thoughts into focus as the turbulence of life tries to wash away our dreams.  Holding onto our symbols can keep those dreams anchored to the foundations of our souls.

That is why I LOVE the Millennium Falcon!

And if you’d like, visit me while I take a personal vacation, not in some faraway place, but on Star Wars: The Old Republic.  CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE.

Rich Hoffman

www.tailofthedragonbook.com

  

Tom Cruise in the film ‘Jack Reacher': The Future of ‘Tail of the Dragon?’

The number one comment that readers of my new novel Tail of the Dragon ask me is when will it be a movie, because the car chase in the book—which takes place over half of the story is so stunningly exciting that they want to see it up on the silver screen. I have been telling them that it’s not likely to be soon, because Hollywood isn’t making many car chase films these days, not like they did in the 1970s, which was my inspiration behind the book. On top of that–I am a conservative writer, and while Hollywood does endorse far left political activists like George Clooney and Sean Penn, it does not have a tolerance for people as fiscally and socially conservative as I am. So the list of producers and actors out there that would be able to take Tail of the Dragon from a novel and put it up on a movie screen in the manner that it is written is pretty short.

The other big problem is that the main character of Rick Stevens is so iconic, and strong that Hollywood isn’t producing actors that are able to reach the kind of emotional firmness that can capture the hero of Tail of the Dragon with the proper valor required. In these more politically left leaning times, characters like Rick Stevens are way too sure of themselves, and that is currently out of fashion in American film—where it used to be common place in Hollywood. Tail of the Dragon is in essence dedicated to all the great car chases of my youth set into overdrive. To accurately portray the high-speed chases that Rick Stevens embarks on in Tail of the Dragon it would require an actor like Steve McQueen, or a Burt Reynolds type who is actually a tough guy in real life–a thrill seeker, and would need to be a professional driver in some regard. Because the stunts that would be required to put Tail of the Dragon up on the silver screen would be unlike anything ever filmed before in any motion picture—so I don’t have much hope of finding the right combination of studio involvement, actor skill level, and financial commitment. CLICK HERE FOR SOME OF MY PREVIOUS WORK IN HOLLYWOOD. That is until I saw the clip below on Top Gear discussing the new Tom Cruise film Jack Reacher—which looks very promising.

It would take an actor/producer like Tom Cruise to bring the larger than life character of Rick Stevens to film, and it appears Cruise is back in that kind of character generating business, as his Jack Reacher looks like the kind of old-fashion throwback to the decades prior to 1990 filmmaking. That shouldn’t surprise me as Cruise is from Cincinnati just as Steven Spielberg is along with George Clooney and it takes someone from the Midwest to understand a story that takes place in the heart of the country. Tail of the Dragon is truly a modern version of Smokey and the Bandit and the great Tom Cruise classic Days of Thunder, so Tom Cruise would be a good fit—if the stars lined up properly.

I knew when I wrote the novel that it was a bit out of fashion in the present day as it makes no attempt to be contemporary except for the fact that the 700 HP 1977 Firebird in the story runs off a special vegetable oil fuel mixture which is very much in line with modern technical achievement, but the rest of the story is good ol ‘fashioned storytelling that is unapologetic in its larger-than-life presentation. I figured that sometime over the next 20 years such personal valor as exhibited from Rick Stevens in Tail of the Dragon would come back into style, and at that time there might be a chance for such a grand story to find its way to the silver screen.

I am delighted to see that Tom Cruise is back at it with Jack Reacher because honestly, I have missed these types of films terribly. The Fast and Furious films are good, but there is human nobility that is missing from those characters that is all too common in so many modern stories. Tom Cruise made his living for many years playing larger than life characters in films like Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Mission Impossible, so there are still actors/producers in Hollywood who are capable of getting behind the wheel of a car like the one in Tail of the Dragon and telling the story of Rick Stevens and his bold, high-speed adventure through the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to go see Jack Reacher and relish in Tom Cruise’s latest movie. There is a part of me that is rooting for Cruise to make a comeback to the silver screen, because honestly, I think Hollywood needs him.

To learn more about Tail of the Dragon CLICK HERE.

And how fast is Tail of the Dragon?  CLICK HERE!

Rich Hoffman

www.tailofthedragonbook.com

  

George Lucas the Great Anthropologist: What ‘Star Wars’ means under the flag of Walt Disney

In the small political battles of our day—the ones over which idea is better than the other, I see such conflicts to be minor squabbles in the scheme of existence.  I prefer always the long view of looking at big things with much distance between myself and the object so I can see the situation clearly.  When I have to engage against competing tribes of political view who attempt to interrupt my enjoyment of the long view I am all too happy to display their conquered scalps as trophies of war, but I am very aware that such things are small insignificant victories upon the tapestry of living.  When battles are raging around you, political or otherwise, there are only two choices, win or become a victim.  Choosing not to play is a choice towards becoming a victim.

I will have to thank my friend over at the Atlas Shrugged site Galt’s Gulch, Dr. Brett for being the first to break the news to me that Lucasfilm had been sold to Disney for $4 billion dollars.  As any who read here clearly know, I think a lot of Star Wars, and specifically George Lucas, so the news that Lucas has officially hung up a company he built all his life as a sole proprietor was very sad for me, almost as sad as losing a loved one to a death.  I respect deeply the creative environment that Lucas utilized to build Star Wars into one of the most recognizable names in the entire world.  I respect all the companies of George Lucas because he maintained his ownership of them the way he should have, and he never yielded to pressure to make his films into anything but what they are.  He reserved his right to make films like Howard the Duck which were bombs, but he also made wonderfully powerful films like Tucker: A Man and His Dreams, Willow, and of course the Indiana Jones series which has changed dramatically the entire field of archaeology and anthropology.  But it was and is Star Wars that made all those films possible, films that couldn’t be made by anybody else no matter how big the studio or the personalities behind them were.

It might seem that no amount of news could eclipse the massive Hurricane Sandy that had shut down the eastern United States, but news that Star Wars was now under the tent of the Disney Company eclipsed the tragedy of that event–even of the presidential elections.  The news that Star Wars was now owned by Disney and that the company fully intended to make more Star Wars films rocked the world of Twitter, Facebook and news organizations all over the world with shock and awe.

I grew up with Star Wars; I raised my family on Star Wars.  Star Wars is one of the great sacred bonds that my wife and I share.  We love it, have watched the movies thousands of times, and read all the books.  In fact, she has read every single Star Wars book ever written. They take up an entire section of our home.  I enjoy watching Family Guy primarily because of all the parodies that Seth McFarland has done as a tribute to Star Wars.  I get along most with Star Wars geeks and adults who aren’t afraid to admit that they love the films.  My father-in-law and I have always shared an intense love for Star Wars.  My nephews and I have stayed up entire nights playing Star Wars video games, and those memories still bond us as busy adults.  Star Wars is always a dominate topic at every Christmas and Thanksgiving Dinner on both sides of the family.  It is also the most commonly given gift for birthdays and Christmas in my family on both sides for over 30 years now.  For me the love of the films are not an immature reach for eternal youth and fantasy, but rather, the long view at philosophy and life in general that they offer against the backdrop of fantasy in a far away time and space that allows ideas to reside in neutral territory.  I find it repulsive when some fans accuse George Lucas of turning Star Wars into simply a cash cow, or that he sold out to the big and powerful Disney—allowing his sole creation to be turned over to some evil empire of the Disney Company.  They simply don’t understand the situation and how the dots connect.

I have spent considerable time explaining at this site Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom why some people believe making money is bad—where those ideas came from, and actually how they hold society back.  This is why I propose that Ayn Rand’s ideas are far more relevant philosophically for mankind than Karl Marx and that if one idea must be refined philosophically over another it should be those of Rand over Marx.  Those reflections can be heard clearly in the opinions of Star Wars by the general public, but one thing that Star Wars does is unite people who would otherwise not be able to talk politics.

For instance, many of the writers of The Huffington Post who might argue with me about the merits of socialism versus capitalism share a love and passion for Star Wars Many who believe that Star Wars is just a movie don’t understand why it is such a phenomena, but Star Wars is not just a movie intending to make money, but a tool that George Lucas has utilized to create the most important, and powerful mythology human civilization has ever known and it is intended to take Earth from a .7 Type Civilization that it is now, to a Type 1 Civilization on it’s way to an accelerated Type 2 with an intent to become a Type 3 and still have a basic philosophy that will hold up to such an expansion.  For people who think Star Wars is just a silly movie, they do not understand that the foundation blocks of any civilization is its basic philosophy that is reinforced by its mythology, and Star Wars created by George Lucas is intended to be a giant mythology.  Disney as a company envisioned by Uncle Walt was created to interpret and communicate mythology to the world, not to just make money.  What most people miss due to the fact that they have been taught to hate money is that Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Company have billions of dollars of value between them because they offer a very good product—but the value of that product is cultural enrichment through mythological creation that improves the general philosophy of all human beings.  While it is true that Star Wars is geared for children, the messages within that mythology contribute greatly to the improvement of world-wide philosophy.  Lucas and Disney both as heads of their companies have managed to perfectly bring together two important attributes necessary to human survival, the ability to produce wealth, and to use that wealth to dramatically improve the living conditions of mankind.

The limits so far with Star Wars is that George Lucas has been the “brand” of his company.  He has become so big that anything done in Star Wars as a story, because they are so important mythically speaking to so many millions of people, is distracting, even limiting.  I believe Lucas being the “way ahead of the curve” kind of guy that he is has recognized this and has positioned his company, its employees, and the product of Star Wars itself through the television experiment of Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network to make this move with Disney at a very reasonable price.  Disney, as a giant company with no direct face that is the “brand” can take Star Wars to places it could not otherwise go being headed by George Lucas.  Disney has the ability to build an entire Star Wars park so visitors can actually walk around in the Star Wars Universe.  They can expand on the television, the movies, even the video games.  Disney has the power to take Star Wars from a household name and make it a room to room name within that household.

To understand why I think this move to Disney for Star Wars might have a severe impact for the positive it would require knowledge of George Lucas as I have, so to know what he is most likely thinking.  Back in the 1990’s George Lucas was a board member for The Joseph Campbell Foundation who was being carried on by Campbell’s wife Jean after Campbell’s death of which I was also a member.  Lucas has always been interested in using Star Wars to bring young people to the study of comparative religion and world mythology studies.  Few people know it, but Lucas always wanted to be an Anthropologist and books like The Golden Bough and The Hero with A Thousand Faces had a powerful impact on him as a youth and he has always planned to use Star Wars as a way to introduce youth to higher philosophical concepts.  To understand to what extent Lucas has been committed to this just look at his company Lucas Learning.  I would bet everything I have and everything I ever obtain on the notion that Lucas has intentionally planned to inspire young people to reach for the stars with the stories of Star Wars in fields of science, medicine, politics, art, virtually every aspect of society, and Lucas has done this as an anthropology/archaeology enthusiast, not as a film maker.  Lucas, never really wanted to be a film maker, but instead used film making to communicate his interest in cultural studies.  It is his interest in anthropology that gives the Star Wars Universe such a rich texture, that far exceeds any other science fiction endeavor so far to date.  And I believe the result of this investment Lucas has made in civilization will be the necessary mythological tool that is needed to continue the social evolution into a Type 1 Civilization where religious barriers, scientific limitations, and politics get in the way of arriving at these necessary human advancements.  This was why George Lucas made Episodes 1 through 3 the way he did about Galactic Republics and the demise of governments in spite of the efforts of the noble Jedi Knights.   Lucas solved the political problems of his galaxy that has embraced laissez-faire capitalism but is not regulated by untrustworthy politicians, by using Jedi Knights who are governed by a deep commitment to philosophy, not crony capitalism that goes on between gangsters, pirates and politicians, to maintain order.

In a 1964 article on searching for extraterrestrial civilizations, the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev suggested using radio telescopes to detect energy signals from other solar systems in which there might be civilizations of three levels of advancement: Type 1 can harness all of the energy of its home planet; Type 2 can harvest all of the power of its sun; and Type 3 can master the energy from its entire galaxy.

Based on our energy efficiency at the time, in 1973 the astronomer Carl Sagan estimated that Earth represented a Type 0.7 civilization on a Type 0 to Type 1 scale. (More current assessments put us at 0.72.) As the Kardashevian scale is logarithmic — where any increase in power consumption requires a huge leap in power production — we have a ways before 1.0.

Fossil fuels won’t get us there. Renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal are a good start, and coupled to nuclear power could eventually get us to Type 1.  More  info can be found at this article.

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jul/22/opinion/oe-shermer22

Nothing ever starts until the human mind can behold the concept.  From there, invention and personal innovation will bridge the gaps.  Currently, politically, our global societies are locked between a struggle between individualism and collectivism as political systems of all types are struggling to maintain the former power bases of class society indentured to resources controlled by the very few, whether that few are crony capitalists, socialists, pirates, thieves, looters, or kingdoms.  The future is moving away from these kinds of regionalized controls and the internet is the first step in that particular direction.  But there are still religions that are standing in the way of life expectancy and medicine, and governments that are restricting space travel as the human race is pushing violently against the limits of the past.  Star Wars is a giant leap forward, but at the same time, into the past so to join in the minds of mankind with the possibilities of now.  In Star Wars the galaxy they are living in is coming close to a Type 3 as they are able to travel across the entire Galaxy through hyperspace routes that are like intergalactic highways through worm holes in space.  Such a concept is scientifically viable and scientists are beginning to seriously think about such things—because of Star Wars.  And the utilization of the religious aspect of Star Wars, which is the Force follows many aspects that are just being discovered in quantum mechanics and presents them in story form in ways that human minds can find a practical use in the randomness of ideas.  I could literally go on and on about this type of thinking, but in short, Star Wars is a big galaxy that has a lot of very fresh ideas in it from communication devices to propulsion systems, and those scientific concepts are quickly finding their way into the everyday lives of our current civilization.

Further, Disney as a company is about to do something that I think Walt Disney always fantasized about–it is about to take a bold step forward from a market driven motion picture market place and become a truly world power that will benefit the lives of the entire planet.  For instance, China because it is a communist country only allows 10 foreign films to show in their country per year, which is actually a big step for them.  The people of China are already looking forward to the next installment of Iron Man that is gearing up for a tremendous 2013 release—again another property by Disney who is uniquely positioned to take such a powerful mythology as the Marvel Comic properties and present them to a world hungry for the ideas in those stories.  This is greatly helping China become more and more prone to the free market in all manners of business, slowly but surely brushing aside the kind of communism that has held those people down for over 60 years now.  Star Wars has the potential to communicate those types of messages to a mass audience perhaps 10 times more powerfully, because the texture and depth of Star Wars is so deep and engrossing, and if Earth is to become a Type 1 Civilization, the same idea has to be held in the mind over most of the world.  In other words, the people of China cannot think so much more different from those in The United States.  But the lifestyle of The United States cannot be brought down just to level the playing field globally, but the rest of the world must be brought up to the level of America.  The best way to do that is to export American ideas, like Star Wars to those countries so they can understand what they should be doing, and how to do it.

I feel sorry for some of my fellow adults who share my age, but not my youthful optimism.  They truly believe that Star Wars is just another movie like everything else designed to make money for Lucas, or Disney.  In fact in the days after this big announcement of Disney buying Lucasfilm that was the first thing that most people said to me, “Looks like Lucas just got even richer.”  Those same people rush their kids to soccer practice while they update their Facebook accounts religiously and po-poo anything that isn’t rooted in the reality of their current busy lives.  Their kids feel the magic on Christmas morning hoping they get a new Star Wars toy, or on Halloween when they get to dress up like a Jedi Knight.  The parents feel the magic just a bit when they walk down the isles at Target and look at all the Star Wars toys designed specifically to massage the mind of young people by the toy makers in a plot Lucas hatched decades ago to expand the consciousness of the human race by beholding in their minds all of life’s potential.

When I was a little kid, I wanted the full-sized Millennium Falcon from Star Wars for Christmas like nothing else.  This would be way back in 1980.  But my parents couldn’t afford it, because it was really expensive.  So I built my own Millennium Falcon out of a card board box that I played with for years.  Once I got older and could afford to buy it myself, the toy had been off the market for a number of years, so I was never able to get it.  But in 1995, prior to the Special Editions in 1997 Lucasfilm released all the old toys only updated with new manufacturing techniques complete with the “battle worn” condition made so popular in the films.  That year for Christmas my wife bought me the new electronic Millennium Falcon with the updated paint scheme and everyday since that Christmas I have proudly set it next to my bed where I engage the engines every night before I go to sleep.  Every night.  And what’s strange is that it still has the same batteries in it from 1995, and they still work.  Call it the FORCE!  When I have had to fix a number of complicated problems around the house from broken dishwashers to electrical problems I have sometimes stared at that toy for hours pushing the buttons and thinking about the problem at hand which often frames the answer for me with perspective.  The toy for me is a symbol of innovation and technical marvel, so it often elevates my logical trouble shooting thinking.  That magic has stayed with me my whole life so far and doesn’t appear to be abating.  And I know I’m not alone.

Under Disney, these toys, the books, the multiple nick-knacks will flood the marketplace and without question a sector of the population who hates money will call the whole ordeal a symbol of capitalist excess that is just making a lot of money for Disney and its shareholders.  But the estimates from people like George Lucas are that the money drives the product and allows more people to experience such magic, and even the most hardened skeptic against capitalism or fantasy stories knows that they too feel a little of that magic when the media blankets the release of a new film, or they hear the famous tune to Star Wars which indicates to the ear that something great awaits the witness of the story at hand, they feel the magic.  Lucas has attended many of the Star Wars Celebration events that take place each year, and he has seen the multitude of grown adults who share with their children love for a mythology that makes more sense to them than the reality of their daily life.  With Disney now pushing the mythology machine of Star Wars, these events will explode with interest by even more people. Already the Star Wars weekends at Hollywood Studios in Florida that take place from May to June is so packed that the visitors have to use the parking lots at Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom to hold all the extra Star Wars fans.  That was before Disney owned Star Wars.  Now, it is certain that the parks in Florida will have a continued and much, much larger presence during the entire year and new generations will catch the fever even more than in the past, because if Disney does with Star Wars what they did with The Avengers the possibilities for how big Star Wars may become is immeasurable.

I have my doubts that the new Star Wars films will be as good as Episode 4 and Episode 5.  But I have no doubt they can be as good as the other four.  The proof is in the Cartoon Network episodes of The Clone Wars currently on television every Saturday morning at 9:30 AM.  With that in mind, Disney could make Star Wars movies for centuries, because the material is that rich, and is so vast that the plot lines are literally infinite.  I believe that with Disney at the helm of Star Wars, the ideas contained within it will find their way to every corner of the globe and in that way, will put every human being on common ground for the first time since the Tower of Babel separated all human beings with foreign language.   That is what it will take to move Earth to a Type 1 Civilization, and Star Wars is the best hope for getting there.

So, in a lot of ways the news announced on October 30th 2012 has seismic consequences for every human being on planet Earth.  Star Wars is not just another movie, and it is not just another product of Hollywood.  It is modern mythology that surpasses the work of the Iliad, all the Greek classics, the Book of the Dead from Egypt, War and Peace, or all the works of Shakespeare, anything ever done in literature.  It is the next step put into visual form what human beings are supposed to be working toward and they weren’t created superficially by whim from the mind of George Lucas, but are mythic characters dusted off from past stories and placed into the future for all to see with common eyes transcending language, political, and sociological backgrounds.  That is the magic of Star Wars and the potential impact that the decision to move Lucasfilm under the umbrella of Disney can explode into uncharted waters never before seen by–anybody.

So I’m a fan of the move even though it does sadden me.  The sadness is a selfish one, which I wish to preserve what Star Wars meant to me growing up, wanting to freeze-frame those films in time for my own enjoyment and memory.  But I see the strategy and like Lucas I want the same thing.  I want to see a world that embraces capitalism, embraces technical advancement, embraces philosophy, and never losses its belief in the limitless potential of the human imagination.  There are only two directions possible at this juncture in history one where societies regress backward, or one where they move forward into space, colonizing the moon, Mars, and planets beyond with the effortless propulsion utilized in Star Wars.  And the inventors of those future technologies are probably not yet even born, but will grow up in a world where Star Wars entices their minds with sounds and images plunging their imaginations into fantasy yearning for a Christmas toy under the tree to open and play with while they work out all the problems of advanced propulsion systems, gravity manipulation, and medical miracles performed without the added complication of losing their very souls to a shackled embrace of institutional imprisonment which always threatens to cast the mind of man back to the creation of fire.

That is what the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm means, and why it is very good. Also as  a side note to George Lucas, when he enrolled in Modesto Junior college to become an anthropologist, and a philosopher he succeeded as both and those titles many years from now will come to describe him once all the concept of filmmaker is lost to the scrolls of time.  Not only was he successful in studying the past and developing an expertise of history, but he has also changed the future for the better in ways that are subtle, yet unfathomably powerful for a civilization that is teetering on the brink and may yet survive thanks to Star Wars.

And…………………..for me, Han Shot First! 

Rich Hoffman

www.tailofthedragonbook.com

 

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‘We The Living’ Book Review: ABSOLUTELY STUNNING–Thank you John Aglialoro

Stunning is the best way to describe Ayn Rand’s classic novel, We The Living. Absolutely stunning! I feel upon completing that novel similar to what I felt when I finished Allen Eckert’s novel The Frontiersman—by asking the question, “why hasn’t this book been read by every single eighth grader in America?” Because We The Living should be read by every single person who either calls themselves Americans, or wants to become one. The book is absolutely knock-your-socks-off—stunning. The entire time I was reading the book, I kept thinking back to my teenage years when the restaurant chain Wendy’s used to air commercials like the one shown below at the height of the Cold War during President Reagan’s time in the Oval Office.

I used to think that commercial was a gross exaggeration of what life in the Soviet Union was really like. I thought it was just propaganda designed to steer people away from communism and toward capitalism. But I now know because I read We The Living, that life in the Soviet Union was about 20 times worse than what was shown in that old Wendy’s commercial and I am literally stunned that academia in The United States embraced communism to the high level that they have, because We The Living takes readers on a very intimate journey into the lives of many characters who are struggling to live under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat brought about by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.

I suppose I have to thank John Aglialoro who is the financial mind behind making Ayn Rand’s classic book Atlas Shrugged into a movie. It was because of the upcoming Atlas Shrugged Part II film that I picked up We The Living to enjoy while I waited for the movie to come out. I waited so I could celebrate Ayn Rand in the weeks leading up to the film’s release with a book that I hadn’t read by her. If not for the Atlas Shrugged movies I may never have picked up We The Living because honestly I have had no desire to read about life in Russia, even though I have always been curious about it. When I think of Russia I think of snow and communism, neither of which I am particularly fond of. I like snow a little bit, but I absolutely despise communism. Collectivism for me has always been a dirty word, well before I ever bumped into Ayn Rand’s work. I feel that way to such a degree that I don’t even let people call me, “brother,” including when I was a part of a large motorcycle group in Ohio. I withdrew as Vice-President of that group because I recognized the collectivism in the bikers as I was making a documentary of how motorcycle riders were, so “independent.” I abandoned the documentary when I acknowledged that most bikers were behaving with collectivism down to the simple process of riding in formation behind a pack leader on the highway which to me was unacceptable. As I delved into the Easy Rider Chillicothe Rodeo and learned that public displays of sexual intercourse and drunkenness were important parts of the culture, I felt so disenfranchised that along with college fraternities, athletic institutions, academic politics and labor unions determined collectivism was a rampant problem that threatened the sanctity of The United States by intending to crush individual identity.

Today Ayn Rand is so hated, so despised by all the members of groups like the ones mentioned because her opinions threaten their existence. Yet the truth is the truth. It cannot be escaped. The hatred for Ayn Rand will be on full display once again when John Aglialoro, Harmon Kaslow and the rest of the Atlas Shrugged film team release ‘Either Or,’ (Part II of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy) on October 12th. Fans will love the movie. Collectivists, democrats, progressives, communists, intelligentsia, hippies, welfare recipients, neurotic parents, bleeding heart liberals, tree hugging green tech advocates, most of the viewership of Comedy Central, MTV, and fans of daytime soap operas will hate the movie. In fact if forced to watch the film they will wither about as though Holy Water had been cast upon their foreheads during a Catholic exorcism ritual inciting demons to flee from their bodies when Atlas Shrugged Part II hits screens in spite of all their efforts to keep the world from reading Ayn Rand or seeing a movie adaptation of her literary work. The question then comes to pass, why is she so hated? If so many people think one way, and only a few think the way she did—in a democracy—aren’t the majority entitled to rule over the majority? The answer is———a resounding——NO!

To understand who Ayn Rand was and how she thought, reading her book We The Living is absolutely essential. I can understand why Rand’s later characters are so hated by collectivists. John Galt and Howard Roark were the way they were in Rand’s later literary work because it was revealed in We The Living the true relationship that Ayn Rand had with her very first love as a 17-year-old teenager in a man named Leo. Leo in the book We The Living was trying to live a good life under a Soviet system that absolutely would not allow for such people to exist, and all during the book I kept thinking that life in America is not very much different. The heroine of We The Living is Kira Argounov which is the literal antithesis of Ayn Rand herself living in Petrograd in the year of 1924 trying to start a life with the man she loved, which was impossible without allowing her personal identity to be smashed into collective soup.

We The Living was the first time I had ever gained intimate knowledge of what life was like behind the Iron Curtain. This was my first realistic glance at what went on behind the Berlin Wall, and why people risked life and limb to climb over, to get away from the oppressive, Soviet dominated East Germany. We The Living takes readers on a journey into the bread lines at the co-operatives, into the minds of the communists ruling as Karl Marx’s proletariat, into the minds of the bourgeois, into their education system, into their economic engine, into their whole philosophy. The genius of the book is in how effectively the characters are developed so that their demise into having their individuality stripped away completely is revealed from the years of 1924 to 1926. In just a few years, once proud families were stripped down to nothing, forced to live like insects in public housing seized by the state, and begging for a job run by the state so they could receive a food ration card. The living conditions were absolutely appalling. The way the communists gained control of each and every person’s life in Russia was revealed in graphic detail and their motivations for doing so was also exposed. Many of those methods can be found in the modern United Nations Agenda 21 initiative, which was written by former fans of open communism, now calling themselves socialists and progressives.

For me the most heart-wrenching scene was when a young couple was thrown into Siberian jails because of their counter-revolutionary intentions against the great Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The couple simply wanted to eat, and because they didn’t belong to any of the trade unions, they couldn’t get a job, and therefore couldn’t get a food ration card. So they plotted to overthrow the government by passing out flyers in factories urging people to stand up against the communists. They were sentenced to 10 years in Siberia at different prisons which they both knew was a death sentence because nobody came back from Siberia. They typically died from suicide or consumption, there just wasn’t any food in that frozen land but what was brought in by train. The couple rode for most of the trip together in a train holding each other as long as they could. Then at a particular train stop the woman was ripped from the arms of her man and put on another train to head to a different prison and that was the last they would ever see of each other ever. It was a terrible scene beautifully written. I often thought of Steven Spielberg’s Schindlers’ List during these kinds of scenes where the content was just terrible, but the delivery was magnificent.

The book is filled with scenes like that; all of them absolutely catastrophic. It is no wonder that it took three years to get published in the United States in 1936 and was rejected by a dozen publishing houses before Macmillan finally considered it over the violent protests of Granville Hicks, who would later get revenge on Ayn Rand through the New York Times when he was sought out by them to review Atlas Shrugged twenty years later. The owner of Macmillan overruled Hicks by saying “I don’t know whether the book will make any money, but that it was important and ought to be published.” Hicks was revealed to be a card-carrying member of Communist Party USA as was many members of the media, academia, and labor unions in the period of the 1920’s to the 1950’s. They were later forced to go underground into hiding behind the Democratic Party disguised as political progressives. And it was clear that the Soviet Union Dictatorship of the Proletariat planned for the entire world to be converted to communism. They had extremely elaborate plans to move their utopia of misery to every nation on earth, and many in the United States were willing to help them do it, because they didn’t see the real conditions of what the people in the Soviet Union were undergoing. All they saw was the idealistic utterances broadcast from Moscow through the G.P.U, and later the K.G.B.

During my reading of We The Living I kept thinking of modern life in America and how much communism has shaped the way many people think. I thought of the green movement, particularly the smart meters that are going onto all of our homes for all the reasons that the government in 1920 Russia controlled the food supply, so that the citizens would have to follow instructions in order to eat, and if they stepped out of line, the card would be taken, and the people would starve. This control was not taken over night, but gradually, over a ten-year period. The same thing has been going on here in The United States over the last thirty years. Government, which leans toward communism by its very nature, is gaining control of the food supply, and is placing a particular emphasis on power supply. If the government can control how much electricity flows into a home, they can control the behavior of the people who live in that home and this is how so many people in Russia allowed themselves to be ruled by a Dictatorship of the Proletariat, because their everyday lives were completely focused on just trying to eat. They didn’t have the time, or mind to question anything about freedom—because they were just trying to survive moment by moment, which was by design.

It would seem that a book written over 75 years ago would resemble very little of the modern world, but on virtually every page I read something that reminded me of what I read recently in my local newspaper, or heard from some politician declaring that the rich in America make too much money and that they should give some of it to the poor. That statement started in the Soviet Union in the opening days of communist rule chronicled so effectively in We The Living and we hear it today under labor unions, and politicians—particularly on the Democratic side. After reading We The Living it is not far-fetched at all to consider that communists would plot with great care to place a president into power like Obama. For those who have seen the movie Dreams of my Real Father, you know what I’m talking about. The communists have planned for such things as far back as the turn of the century. Progressives started in America what the communists did in Russia. The only difference was that America had a culture of independence that was difficult to overcome, and it would take a long time—but they were prepared to wait. In We The Living the communists spoke of Soviet education, which is alive and well in America right now. If you have a child in public school, they are getting that education right now. If you are going to college, or sending a child through college, then you already know the rest of the story. It is not by accident, it has all been on purpose. We The Living shows clearly what the plan has always been and we are living it today in 2012 what was planned with great detail in 1920 to implement.

If I hated communism before I read We The Living, I don’t think there are human words yet invented to describe the level I despise such a collective concept now. I liked Ayn Rand before I read We The Living, but now I think she may be the greatest author in the last 200 years. I think Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are two of the greatest books not only in American literature, but in world literature, and yes that includes the great classics. I would say that We The Living is more important than The Diary of Anne Frank, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, or The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. We The Living should be read by every single human being on planet earth.

We The Living is in its most simple form a skeleton key to understanding Ayn Rand. If only 50% of the book were true, which I think is closer to 80%, but even at fifty, Ayn Rand had great reason to hate communism and those who advocated it, which these days are a majority of the American population. Rand lost her first love to communism and she despises it for damn good reason. It destroyed everything she cared about. She was unique because she didn’t allow communism to crush her spirit the way it did so many of her friends and family. If she hadn’t gotten out of the country, she may have been crushed within a year or two of 1926 when a guest at a party she attended in Russia found out she was leaving The Soviet Union and asked her to get the message out of what was happening behind the Iron Curtain. “When you get there, tell them Russia is a huge cemetery and that we are all dying. Tell them We The Living told them.” Ayn Rand kept her promise and wrote We The Living which was criticized, and shut down in the United States for nearly 25 years. It was only after the success of Atlas Shrugged in 1957 that Random House finally re-released it to the public. Today We The Living is enjoying a renewed interest almost 80 years after its publication in large part because John Aglialoro, and Harmon Kaslow are making a modern movie of Ayn Rand’s work Atlas Shrugged and curious minds like mine are reading We The Living because we want more of what Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead offered. It is too bad that the new interest didn’t happen 60 years ago, otherwise America might avoid the pain and suffering it is about to go through. So when the bad reviews for Atlas Shrugged Part II come out, it is for all the reasons told above and more, not because the film is bad. Communist sympathizers, which extend from Barack Obama and Joe Biden all the way down to the local unionized firehouse and FOP station, do sympathize with communism. Anyone who preaches the message of the proletariat (middleclass) advocates communism and that message is no clearer upon the world stage than in the book We The Living.

We The Living is a must read. If you have not read it then you must do so as soon as possible. I would recommend closing this site right now and going over to Amazon.com and buying We The Living right now! Don’t rent any movies, don’t go to any public meetings, don’t watch any sporting events until you have read this book and understand that the communism of that book is as real today as it was then. IT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN AMERICA FOR GOD’S SAKE, and Ayn Rand was trying to warn the world, and they didn’t listen, because the communists were already in place the way the party began to come into power in 1915 in Russia, when the world thought the Bolsheviks were “small potatoes.” It is not an overstatement to say that this is an emergency. It might have taken nearly 80 years to get the message out, but don’t let it become 81 or 82 years. Get the message today so you can act tomorrow, because you have to know who and what you’re fighting. In America we let the communists change the names of what they are without calling them on it, and we are paying for it dearly. 12 years of the Bush presidents, 8 years of Clinton, and now 4 years of Obama have delivered America to the doors of communism as it was established as a world revolution in Petrograd–1924 after the revolution of 1917. And it took one little woman out of the millions trapped in that country of collectivism to escape and report to the world what was happening, and that the wave was about to hit them too. That warning came in her book We The Living, but people didn’t listen. So she knew that she had to provide a blueprint for how to rebuild society after communism collapsed it. That is why she wrote The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged, so people could see for themselves how things “should” be, since they were unable to act based on what “was” happening. We The Living is just a stunning portrayal of life in the Soviet Union and a vision of what intelligentsia has in mind for America, and provides the evidence to even the dullest minds what the intent has always been. It is a book that must be read, must be understood, and must be communicated to every friend, family member and loved one. It is in my mind the most crucial, historical novel of our time, not because its content is uplifting, but because it’s all too real.

Rich Hoffman

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The Meaning of Maturity: Comic books and the nudity of ‘Equus’ “HULK SMASH!”

Maturity is a word that was invented to keep the adult population dormant from the dreams of their youth. Maturity is designed to be a concession to mediocrity. When someone says that a person is mature, they mean it as an insult. They intend it to mean that one knows their place, takes orders well and won’t rock the boat. In essence, maturity is the bolts that hold machine politics together. When young people put away the things of childhood to embrace the realism of adulthood, we call them “mature,” or say that they have “grown up.”

Well, more than once, I have been referred to as “immature” by my peers because as a man in my 40’s I still love video games and comic books, just as I did when I was younger. I also still hold to an idealistic state of justice that only exists in the world of comic books. Contemporaries insist that my youthful views have no place in the political arena, and it is for that reason that I write books instead of hold any public office. The characters in my novels are often reflections of events I’ve personally witnessed in actual confrontations with members of the established political arena, and my reluctance to play ball the way they learned to play the game makes them very, very angry. That’s typically when the word “immature” is used.

I grew up with comic books, and I have never left them. Comic book stores were some of the first places I took my children and they learned to read by getting comic books and looking at the pictures and trying to figure out what the words meant. I see comic books as works of art that emit modern mythology that is very much needed. The definitions of right and wrong are very apparent in the comic book universe of youth, which the adult likes to call unrealistic. To the “mature” adult compromises must be made, and the world is shades of gray. That is in essence an incorrect view of life that opens the world to evil.

I can say such things about comic books because I have the context of advanced literature behind me. I have read and enjoyed many of the most complicated literary classics there are, particularly Shakespeare, and can report that the comic book wins over the characters of advanced literature in most every case. For instance, Bruce Wayne as a character is superior to Titus Andronicus because he does not collapse into madness finding himself a victim to a corrupt regime of Roman superiority as Titus did. Wayne took the fight to the corrupt instead of letting the corrupt bring the fight to him, leaving the only measure of redemption available in making a pie out of the dead bodies of the Empresses’ two sons who raped and maimed Titus’s daughter. Batman is better, by far than not only Titus, but Henry the Fifth, Hamlet, and Othello. That’s not to take anything away from Shakespeare but if he were alive today, he would probably write comic books.

I have been to live stage plays of Equus where the characters act with fully nudity on the stage and had sex in front of thousands of people, and I can say that the message of Captain America has more meaning, Superman is more profound, Iron Man is more realistic, and The Hulk much more sophisticated. In fact I thought of The Hulk while watching the nude woman on stage in Equus attempting to seduce the naked Alan Strang. Alan in his confused obsession with horses had nothing on Bruce Banner in fighting off the rage that dwells within him. The Hulk is far better theater than Equus, yet it is Equus that gets all the praise in our “mature” society. In fact when Daniel Radcliffe made famous by the Harry Potter films decided to play the part of Alan Strang in a London, and a Broadway rendition of Equus he received a lot of positive media attention because the hero of the Harry Potter films appeared nude, and vulnerable on stage, which was highly commended in the high brow society of maturity. Such performances say to the world that Radcliffe does not plan to be a superhuman hero in all his future acting roles, but is mature enough to play a “vulnerable” parasite who murders horses because he loves them. Natilie Portman received the same kind of praise for her role in The Black Swan for much the same reason.  Anne Hathaway was very naked in Love and Other Drugs, which was designed to show she could be a sophisticated actress and not just a fairy princess.  See Anne Hathaway very nude at the link below for context.

 

However the chances are, more people in society could name off their favorite comic book characters in their favorite Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, or DC Comics than even know that their icon of fantasy in Harry Potter took off his cloths for a Broadway play at 17 years old. That is because it is more important to strive for perfection in the human heart than to yield to human weakness as Alan Strang did in Equus when he cut out the eyes of the horses that witnessed him having sex with a woman seeking to blind them so they couldn’t see his sins.

This comic book morality of mine is frowned down upon by those who give Equus favorable reviews. To me, Equus is just an excuse to get people naked on stage and call it art, when it’s simple pornography. The theme is one of human weakness and I instead find comic books much more honest emotionally. Over the years comic books have kept my moral compass pointed in the right direction. I have had many offers from machine politics in the realm of the “mature” to take bags of looted gold placed at my feet which I rejected many times over in favor of honesty which is the theme of many comic books. If I had taken the gold I may never have had to worry about money, I probably wouldn’t have had the fire to write novels and participate in political reforms. Instead I might be on a golf course patting myself on the back talking about the hot chick that was naked on stage in the Equus stage play and discouraging my children from buying comic books as symbols of childhood.

When I practice with whips in the yard and work to keep myself in shape I am working to give to the youth in my own family something to look up to, because young people need that. It is a sad situation when all they have to idolize are drawn characters on a printed page and stories told out of deep human desire not rooted in sexual tension, but in a sense of justice. The whips shown in the pictures here are the new whips that David Crain is making for me. At the heart of a lot of people who want lessons on how to crack a whip is a person enchanted by Zorro, Indiana Jones, or even the Jedi Knights of Star Wars. In fact David specializes in making very special whips that mimic the light sabers from Star Wars which allows handlers of those weapons to get the feel of using a weapon that is very similar to the sophisticated management of an art form of the Jedi against the Sith in a fight for philosophic control over an entire galaxy.

Comic books and the heroes that come from them are about big ideas, and for that they are called immature by the adult population that has already given up. Most people when gold is laid at their feet take it without question, even if the intention was to purchase their silence and cooperation. They yield to the hero that dwells within them nurtured by the fantasies of youth and justify their weakness by sophisticated stage plays like Equus, which confirms in their weakened state that they are not as corrupt as the poor, deranged Alan Strang. Those poor souls pulled into the depths of maturity would have seen the folly of their actions if they had only read more comic books and seen the intentions behind the bags of money contextually written by artists who still look forward to the greatness of man.

As for my favorite comic book character of all time, it is The Incredible Hulk. I have always identified most with The Hulk since my temper is legendary and has always been something I have had to work on to keep under control. Every now and then it is fun to let my inner Hulk go, but it always seems to get me into a lot of trouble.  When they can’t beat you mentally, or physically, they simply call you “immature.”    The cry for maturity comes from those who are too lazy to match the lofty minds that reach for the stars and have the muscle to get there.  Rather, they hope to keep their enemies at stage plays kneeling before their nudity, their delusion, and their apathy. 


Puny gods of theater and guardians of maturity. HULK SMASH!!!!!!

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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
http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
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