“Interstellar” Epiphany and Soundtrack Review: A 50th Anniversary at Virgin Galactic’s first space resort

I had an epiphany that my wife and I were stepping off a Virgin Galactic vessel into the first hotel of their design floating above the earth with the horizon spinning outside of a massive lobby window. It is Virgin’s first hotel in space established as a resort location rivaling the Atlantis vacation destination in the Bahamas complete with an indoor water park covered with large glass windows looking out into the vastness of space. The lobby was lush and expensive with exotic restaurants all offering outrageously epic views out every window. The moon is always full and casts a constant—haunting shadow through every object and mixed with the brilliant light shining off the earth is a bluish hue that has never been replicated by any light on the home planet. It’s our 50th wedding anniversary and we have a $5000 bottle of wine to mark the year of this writing to celebrate our first week-long vacation in space. We have worked hard and deserve to pamper ourselves with a very expensive outing that will mark many years of persistence. In the lobby is playing the old soundtrack to the classic 2014 movie Interstellar, which has by then become the standard of music referencing space. It was that award-winning Christopher Nolan movie that changed it all and set the tone for the second world-wide space race causing Hilton, Marriott and Virgin Galactic to build the first space stations catering to tourism. Virgin was the first to achieve it.

The majestic views out of the multiple windows demand the music of Interstellar because nothing else would be sufficient. The hotel operators just play constantly the old Hans Zimmer soundtrack to help alleviate the shock of being grounded so firmly to the floor as the view outside swirls around like a marry-go-round. It takes some getting used to for some people; some actually throw up with the disorienting effect of the earth’s horizon spinning around so rhythmically. There are trash cans stationed along the pathway toward the check-in counter large enough for visitors to dump their stomachs in the most graceful way possible. A cleaning crew quickly removes the contents so not to alter the smell of space—that rusty metal odor mixed with the fragrance of lobby vegetation that is intended carefully to greet guests as they step off the shuttle from their journey below.

We walk to the counter as track 7 on that enchanting soundtrack plays with organs chiming to the tempo of a clock’s second hand—the earth still swirling, the light from the moon and sun moving around the room casting shadows in all directions hauntingly. Bright overhead lights on the ceiling between more large windows cast stabilizing light so that the lobby looks to be the only stable element of a universe in chaos outside—which adds to the otherworldly sensation of a species raised on a planet where the sun rises and falls every 12 hours and the horizon is always fixed. Here, the sun is always out, the moon is always full, and the horizon never stills—it spins perpetually so to provide an earth like gravity for the visitors—some who are already in their swimming suits and heading for the massive domed Water Park behind the check-in counter.

My wife and I aren’t sick; the music brings our minds to ease with a familiarity that we know well. We have listened to that soundtrack every week for the last 25 years and know its notes by heart. Before checking in we just listen to it while we sit in one of the lobby seats and watch the Virgin Galactic shuttle pull away from the docking station and head back to earth with its navigational thrusters silently pushing it back into a declination orbit to Spaceport America—our home launch point. In another three hours that same ship will be back with more visitors and within 30 minutes another ship will arrive from Spaceport America and fifteen minutes after that, one from Space Port Japan, then one from Spaceport Europe. Because Virgin Galactic has brought the Internet to Africa—they now have one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Soon they will have their own spaceport in right in the middle of the Congo.

My wife and I head to our rooms and prepare for dinner. We spend five solid hours drinking our expensive bottle of wine sitting on our hotel bed watching the world turn—literally. And we cherish that this event has finally been made possible after many years of dreaming. The whole time we listen to our well-played soundtrack for the several hundred thousandth time—Interstellar, as we have always loved it and likely always will.

That soundtrack actually only came out a few days ago, on November 17, 2014, so my son-in-law rushed to Barnes and Nobel to get it for he and my daughter the moment it was unloaded from the delivery truck. They spent their evening listening to it while eating Chinese food from their favorite restaurant—and they gave me a copy. They have already seen the movie twice and are looking for ways to see it many more times. In what’s being touted as a first-of-its-kind promotion, Paramount and AMC Theatres are offering movie patrons in North America the chance to see Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar as many times as they want, for one price.

As with any deal, there are rules. Those who want to participate must be members of the AMC Stubs program, which has an annual fee of $12.

The unlimited tickets will be available for sale to AMC Stubs members at 330 AMC theater across the country, including AMC Imax locations. The price will range from $19.99 to $34.99, depending upon the location (currently, the average cost of a movie ticket price in the U.S. is $8.08.


Interstellar requires for most people many viewings just to understand everything that is happening. Many critics of the film on their first viewings were used to a more conventional film experience and didn’t know what to make of some of the sound issues. As I said in my review—I think I was the first and only one to date to point it out—the sound in Interstellar was entirely on purpose. Christopher Nolan wanted there to be times where the events overwhelmed the sound made by the actors—because in real life—that happens often.

“I’ve always loved films that approach sound in an impressionistic way and that is an unusual approach for a mainstream blockbuster, but I feel it’s the right approach for this experiential film,” Christopher Nolan said, speaking for the first time in detail about the use of sound in his new film.


It is because of this approach to sound that the Interstellar soundtrack was so exceptionally good—and is why it will become the inspiration for all that I described above. When my kids gave me the first copy of the soundtrack and I played it for much of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday listening to it many, many times—it was easy to conclude that it was a masterpiece. I remember the music being great during the movie, but listening to it by itself, it was simply phenomenal as it steps up and well beyond anything that’s ever been attempted. The closest that I can think of is Philip Glass—but the Hans Zimmer approach comes with a much bolder, and narrative link to the future by drawing so historically on the past.

Blasting through the track on the soundtrack titled “S.T.A.Y” all that I began this writing above occurred with the epiphany. Many of the world’s problems seemed so miniscule and the minds that made them that way even less relevant. I could literally reach out and touch that future space station/hotel as if I were there, as if I could smell it, taste it and walk across its vast floors with Richard Branson still alive and standing in the corner welcoming his guests with long flowing locks still beyond his shoulders with a smile from ear to ear.

At dinner in my epiphany there was a guest who played in the center of a vast dinning hall with a clear picture of the moon out the distant window—again spinning around with rhythmic precision upon a large glass piano lit from beneath with blue lights that made it look like it was made out of ice. That guest was an elderly Hans Zimmer playing the Interstellar soundtrack live with a deeply personal concert, graced too with a smile from ear to ear knowing that it was his soundtrack that helped build this palace of achievement in defiance of the earthly stupidity which attempted to shackle man’s ankles to earth forever. His music helped free those shackles to usher in this entirely new age of dreamers, fortune hunters and lovers of science and possibility. It was and would be the best dinner of our lives. Happy 50th Anniversary to us—and it was.

Rich Hoffman


Hollywood’s Lost Opportunities: Bo and Luke Duke return to the General Lee

I once had an interesting discussion with Skip Press, the author of several books on screenwriting and an instructor of the topic in Hollywood. He was even kind enough to put me in touch with Steven Spielberg’s manager but in my endeavors I hit a brick wall of opposition there centering on the ridiculous progressive belief that characters written for the screen needed to be flawed. Skip Press is a good guy and a very helpful and generous person—but he and I disagreed fundamentally about the very nature of character narrative. He will tell writers that the best way to get a screenplay funded and made for the big screen in Hollywood is to write a comedy, a vampire flick, or a story filled with flawed characters that mass audiences can relate to. I on the other hand have no interest in such topics, my characters are always strong—nearly flawlessly strong, and they take life very seriously—certainly not a comedic flair for the irrelevant. There are no fart jokes in my material—so Skip tried to advise me where I was wrong and needed to correct my approach—which I was not interested in resulting in the referred to “wall.”

Over many years I stand by my argument, there are many vampire flicks that have come and gone, many comedies that have drifted off into irrelevancy—but the kind of films I have always loved and are still loved by millions even if the quality of the originals are cheesy–have stuck around. To that consideration, I wrote my novel Tail of the Dragon which stayed sold-out at Amazon.com nine months of the year my publisher carried it as a direct tribute to the Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit violating every modern law of content writing—because I still love those stories and wanted to update that type of content. And I’m not alone. Recently as an ad for Auto Trader illustrated with great spectacle the Duke boys returned to their famous car the General Lee to film a two-minute commercial that featured a good old classic car chase. Bo and Luke Duke were looking for a faster, more updated General Lee to outrun the more modern police cars in hot pursuit. It was a lot of fun, and a very clever campaign which can be seen above. To see how that commercial was made—which I found more interesting, see the making of it below.


The Dukes of Hazzard was a dynamic slapstick comedy and each of the characters was an exaggeration of a real life counterpart. Boss Hogg was the epitome of the crony capitalist corrupt to his very core with a name resembling a pig. Daisy Duke, who still has an impact on our modern culture with Daisy Duke shorts was a dream girl who was nice, loyal, beautiful, feminine enough to be everyone’s favorite mother, sister, or wife, but strong enough to hold her own with the guys. Then of course there were the Duke Boys, Bo and Luke. Both of the guys looked like male models and were good clean people who didn’t drink too much, did not smoke, did not curse, and always—always helped people who were in trouble. They were the closest thing to perfect human beings that there was on television and at the end of each show they always won. They always overcame any obstacle and achieved their objective without being hateful monsters.

Now, over 35 years later people still hunger for that show. They still want Bo and Luke Duke as the Auto Trader commercial eloquently displayed. Their popularity is so intense that there is even a 2014 Christmas album coming out featuring the characters from the Dukes of Hazzard. That old television show is still popular, even with young people who weren’t even born when it originally aired. It was nice to see Tom Wopat and John Schneider playing the Dukes again. Wopat was (63) in that Auto Trader commercial and still in fantastic shape. Schneider was (54) and has even been successful as a song writer and performer—after all he became a born-again Christian while living with none other than Johnny Cash. They are just good dudes who have spent their careers making decently clean entertainment. But for all of their lives no matter what they do elsewhere, they will always be known as the Duke Boys which they embrace openly.


That returns us back to the premise that Hollywood screenplays should feature, comedies, vampires, or some other emotional travesty to become a viable seller–and the answer is a resounding NO. Hollywood is losing massive amounts of money by producing that kind of crap as opposed to more of the material represented by the Duke Boys. Movie audiences want bold, flawless characters as much as possible. If they want flaws, they’ll look in the mirror for free. They go to the movies and watch television to see something greater—not to revel in mediocrity.

Hollywood as they currently are for the most part with only a few exceptions—mostly coming from filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and his brother, and a few others—are completely wrong in their selections of cinematic material to purchase and produce. The Hollywood studio system is a rudderless vessel caught in the tumultuous chaos of river rapids. By default their projects will move down river although not very efficiently. They bounce off a lot of rocks in the process and take on enormous damage—and they are slow to get where they want to go. Material like the Dukes of Hazzard may be frowned upon by the social reformers who think it’s better to get wet and banged up in the rapids of life toward humbling imperfection as opposed to just jumping over the river in the General Lee—but they would be wrong. Nobody remembers the loser who chooses to just cruise down the rapids of story telling—they remember the daredevils who seek to leap the gorge and the river all together—and those that survive are always loved and memorialized for their valor in the effort. That is what the Dukes of Hazzard mean to our 2014 American culture.

It is better to have characters who are so larger than life that they are silly compared to reality than to have grimly realistic characters who really aren’t much better than the slugs who often populate the lives of most people. It is in that yearning that Bo and Luke Duke still have star appeal and represent a time when men were men, women were women, and good wanted to defeat evil instead of make friends with it that fuels that hunger for the Duke Boys. Hollywood has missed many opportunities convincing nice screenwriters like Skip Press that they need to bend their projects to the will of movie producers who fall in love with Democratic politicians and feel good social policies. The core of America does not relate—so the lack of box office take and quick life-spans of most modern films—such as 22 Jump Street and Let’s be Cops will always lose their audience before the Duke Boys or a classic Clint Eastwood cop drama like Dirty Harry. Average is not memorable, but super good is—and in the context of television and movies in modern entertainment, there were few better than Bo and Luke Duke. Their short two-minute commercial for Auto Trader was better than most feature films and television from over the last 30 years—and that is truly a sad statement that only Hollywood can look in the mirror and blame.

Rich Hoffman


Renaming the Norwood Lateral: The disasterous and toxic memory of Barack Obama


You might have heard that a group of progressive liberals want to rename the Norwood Lateral in Cincinnati after Barack Obama. At first this seemed like a terrible idea–absolutely appalling. Obama will be known in history as one of the most terrible American presidents ever—even worse than the worst. I don’t say that as a racist because I’m not—I would have gladly voted for Alan Keys, Herman Cain, or Ben Carson—skin color doesn’t concern me in the least. Rather it is the content of the character of the public official and Obama is dreadfully lacking. I do sometimes use the Norwood Lateral to get back over to I-75 when visiting downtown. If Obama’s name were on the road I would likely find another way—just because I would hesitate to use a road with Obama’s name on it even if it saved me some time. Channel 12 news reported the attempt this way:

NORWOOD, Ohio (Angenette Levy) — The Norwood Lateral could be renamed for President Barack Obama. State Sen. Eric Kearney has introduced legislation in the state legislature to rename State Route 562 for the nation’s 44rd president. “The Norwood Lateral would be renamed the Barack Obama Norwood Lateral because we have the Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway and so it would be a complimentary type of naming opportunity,” Sen. Kearney said. Kearney was a supporter of President Obama’s during his two election campaigns. Kearney said President Obama deserves the honor because he won Hamilton County twice as President Ronald Reagan did in the 1980′s. State Route 126 – also known as Cross County Highway – was named for Reagan in the 1990′s after he left office. “I don’t have a problem with that. I like President Obama,” said Norwood resident Charles Gatling. Norwood Mayor Tom Williams, a conservative democrat, wants the lateral’s name to stay the same.  “I’m as opposed to it as I can get,” Mayor Williams said.


I am likely even more opposed to Barack Obama having a cat named after him, let alone a tax payer funded road. But, after some consideration, it might actually be appropriate as the Norwood Lateral actually does represent the Obama presidency. After all, the road does run past the parking lot that used to be the Norwood General Motors plant which used to build Camaros. Unions killed the productivity at that plant and now the jobs are gone. Also, the Norwood Lateral runs past the empty lot that used to be the Showcase Cinemas of Cincinnati—one of the largest and best movie theaters in the Midwest—just twenty years ago. Now it’s gone and is an empty lot filled with grass growing between the cracks in the pavement. Also, the Norwood Lateral runs by homes that used to be some of the best in the city, but are now considered Section 8 as government intrusion into the neighborhoods there have built a dependency culture that has destroyed the local economy and crushed future investment. Where the Norwood Lateral begins used to stand Cincinnati Milacron, a vast campus of precision machinery manufacturing that dried up and died by the year 2000, just eight years before Barack Obama became president—liberal policies and a nation of labor unions killed the machining market in America giving no place to go for Cincinnati Milacron but to close. Now the buildings which used to make such technical wonders are gone and replaced by some retail shopping selling shoes and cloths made in China

Perhaps the Norwood Lateral should be named after Barack Obama after all, as it represents what he has done to the nation of America during his tenure. I won’t drive on it any longer, but others who voted for that complete idiot would and could reap the world they helped to create—lost businesses, welfare expansion, and redistribution of wealth. The only thing Obama has created during his presidency was a wasteland. He will be the first president since perhaps the Civil War that has left America less than it was before he was first elected—a depleted place destroyed by progressive politics and old hippie economic philosophy.

There would be nothing worse for the economic development of Norwood going into the future than to remind Americans of such a ridiculously stupid and terrible president than to force them to see his name each time they drive down the Norwood Lateral. Social degenerates will love to see the name of their religious savior who stole from the productive and gave to the lazy, but unfortunately for Norwood the entire community will trend toward the latter and not the former, dooming the city forever. At least the current mayor of Norwood is smart enough to understand just how toxic the name of Barack Obama will be in the future. Obama is still fashionable among radical groups for the time being, but that window is quickly closing as history is about to cast its opinion of the debacle for posterity.

What’s even worse than the possibility of naming the Norwood Lateral after Obama, it is the sheer stupidity of suggesting it in the first place as the news headlines are currently filled with his immense failures. It is a terrible idea brought forth with equally terrible timing. Naming the Norwood Lateral after the diminished president would seal the fate of Norwood forever—because there are people who feel even stronger about the guy than me and just the site of such a name is enough to cause them to go someplace else. It’s not due to race, but the reminder of such a failure. Nobody wants to remember the terrible game their favorite team played, nobody wants to remember the time they did something embarrassing—and nobody will want to remember a president who was such a sheer failure. They will do whatever they can to overlook that failure in the future and those who wish to remember are the types who are capable of nothing short of destruction.

Rich Hoffman


Cliffhanger is Coming: A tip of the hat to Johnston McCulley

It is a neat time that we live in, years ago when I first found the old Johnston McCulley novel, The Curse of Capistrano, I considered it a real treasure. Actually, I still do. But these days with the simple click of a mouse you can not only find the book, but you can have someone read it to you, which is the case in the below video. I have always loved that novel for its expressive language and colorful expose of righteousness. I didn’t understand when I was younger why critics ridiculed McCulley so intensely—but have since learned that a progressive push was well underway in the second half of the 20th century to steer society away from tradition and into something else. That something else I simply despise and it has been quite an ordeal for me to find entertainment that I enjoy because of it. So it is a treat to revisit McCulley’s work whenever I can and relish in his pulp fiction.


There was obviously a time in our history when that kind of writing was all the rage and considered masterful. These days it’s out of fashion, and ridiculed so nobody makes the attempt. But in McCulley’s day, many westerns were made to emulate his style which defined early cinema. Being the type of person that I am, a person who loves traditional American western arts, there just isn’t much that impresses me in regards to entertainment from music to movies. My love of the Star Wars films and books could be simplified by attributing that they are simply westerns set in space. The old western values started by Johnston McCulley are there, which is the key reason that they are so popular—because people now are the same people as they were in 1919, 1419, or 0019—they essentially have the same hopes and dreams as they always have and from Johnston McCulley, his character of Zorro epitomized those values.

In recent years those values have been under attack, and those assailants know that people have values in line with tradition—so their solution has been to kill tradition. They have entered publishing, movie making, television broadcasting, music, commercial art—virtually every category with the sole intention of destroying American tradition—an aspect of American life that I enjoy. So I have taken this slight quite personal, as is in evidence by my many words upon these pages

I am in a unique position as opposed to Johnston McCulley to add to these traditions of westerns even in a modern context. Most writers are good with the pen but shrivel up in real life at the slightest drizzle of rain upon their skin. So they tend not to be men of action. I am the opposite; I have developed a writing ability as a natural overflow of my life of action. I have been all over and done virtually everything and associated with people at every level of society. So my perspective on things is unusually hands-on which carries over directly into my writing style and content.

The villains in the old McCulley novels were corrupt governors and big government statists aligned through crony capitalists to exploit the efforts of the innocent. However, times these days are more complicated so a similar story dealing with the same type of material would naturally involve government labor unions, diabolical politicians, and grand conspiracies involving sacrifice to supernatural beings. These will be the types of stories that will flow from the upcoming Cliffhanger stories offered under the banner, The Curse of Fort Seven Mile.

For years I have put up with the political messages with a liberal/progressive slant in movies and music, so I expect the same respect from that sector of the population when they see that the type of villains in my stories are the heroes of theirs. Surely they didn’t expect that the flow of artistic enterprise would move in only one progressive direction? But my hunch says that they did, and they will find Cliffhanger repulsive. I’ve been through the meat grinder of progressive influence in entertainment and am in the very unique position to have never compromised with them—which means that the Cliffhanger stories will have a uniquely authentic attribute that is innocently filled with righteousness—in a similar way that McCulley’s work was when it first appeared. America was a more innocent place then, so people like McCulley were a little more common. But today, there is no innocence left; most people fall in either a category of being intellectually damaged, or naively removed from reality. In my life, I have managed to have neither infliction which gives quite a lot more thrust to my prose. Within that thrust there will be familiar themes that will likely incite the political left. I can only say to them that they’ll have to live with it. Their sensitivities are not something that society should be molded around—and they won’t be as far as I’m concerned

It’s taken quite a number of years for me to solve the riddles of these upcoming chapters in The Curse of Fort Seven Mile. I had a pretty good ideal what Cliffhanger was all about when he was first introduced in 2004, but I had some more living to conduct before I felt comfortable with the philosophical assertions that were to be made. I still had young children at the time, money to make, and political navigation to understand. For those who follow me here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom you have seen much of that first-hand. But it was always my desire to take those experiences and place them into a story context involving the character of Cliffhanger.

A lot of people have been patiently waiting for my next Cliffhanger additions, and now is the time. So it will be with great fun and fanfare as soon as we figure out the distribution channels which accommodate all the modern tools that Cliffhanger will return to print quite audaciously. But it should never be forgotten that the tradition of Cliffhanger is a direct tip of the hat to Johnston McCulley and his character of Zorro. Zorro was needed in the 20th century to define values—and he did that. But for the 21st century, a new hero is needed, someone who can deal with all the strange new influences indicative to the modern times. That character is Cliffhanger, and he is coming.

Rich Hoffman


Nickelback’s Edge of Revolution: Communism hidden behind the Occupy Movement

There is a lot of talk these days about revolution. For those statists who want to pretend that their grip on the old world will remain, they are dreadfully in for some big surprises. There are two revolutions afoot across the world and often they are mixed together in the headlines of news reports. To novice eyes, it all looks the same, but that is not the case. There are moves toward capitalism, like what is going on in modern-day Hong Kong—where the people of that city hope to retain much of the type of government that is taken for granted in the West. Then there is the disguised communist push hidden behind progressivism centering on today’s youth and the Occupy Wall Street types. That is the type of revolution that the rock group Nickelback is presenting with their new 2014 album. The Edge Of A Revolution is the lead single from the rock band’s eighth album due in stores on Republic Records. “Edge of a Revolution” is political protest song sympathetic to radicals against capitalism. Here are the lyrics:

Head high, protest line Freedom scribbled on your spine Headline,New York Times Standing on the edge of a revolution Hey, hey, just obey Your secret’s safe with the NSA In God we trust, or the CIA Standing on the edge of a revolution Yeah, we’re standing on the edge of a revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution No, we won’t give up We won’t go away ‘Cause we’ll never thought to live in this mass delusion No, we don’t wanna hear it, another word that you say ‘Cause we know they’re out depending on mass confusion No, we can’t turn back, we can’t turn away ‘Cause it’s time we all rely on the lost illusion No, we won’t lay down and accept our fate, We’re standing on the edge of a revolution Wall streets, common thief When they get caught, they all go free A brand new yacht, and a finders fee Standing on the edge of a revolution Same shit, different day Can’t keep fed if I can’t get paid We’ll all be dead if this shit don’t change Standing on the edge of a revolution Yeah, we’re standing on the edge of a revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution No, we won’t give up We won’t go away ‘Cause we’ll never thought to live in this mass delusion No, we don’t wanna hear it, another word that you say ‘Cause we know they’re out depending on mass confusion No, we can’t turn back, we can’t turn away ‘Cause it’s time we all rely on the lost illusion No, we won’t lay down and accept our fate, We’re standing on the edge of a revolution


Nickelback is proving to follow their rock music diatribes against capitalism appealing to a life of excess while at the same time preaching against it, like they did in their single, “Rockstar.” The rock band is Canadian in origin and have quite a history making songs about excess sound appealing while sending a strong message to their listeners portraying capitalism as a vile evil. This is the same thing they are doing with their new single “Revolution.” Their suggestion is mixed truth, such the libertarian concerns about the NSA, but then features their focus on Wall Street thieves buying yachts and making livings off finder’s fees. Their appeal is directly communicating to the young people sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street. Whereas “Rockstar” was a self satirized attack against the life of excess that groups like Nickleback live while on the road, this new song paints the rich in America as something to revolutionize against and is a call to action.


The message from Nickleback is to use common anxieties such as the NSA to sell communism through the same type of revolution that the Bolsheviks used in St Petersburg in Russia during 1917 to bring communism to a newly formed Soviet Union. The Wall Street protestors called upon by Nickleback is demanding the same type of thing painting the bourgeoisie of American culture as something that must be overcome. Many of the same youth chanting with upraised hands to the beat of this new song have no idea that much of the political push behind the uprisings of the Middle East is communism using the religion of Islam as a mask for cultural penetration.

They don’t call it out by name but communism is the revolution Nickleback is calling for. The flags waved in their music video shown above are all modern manifestations of communism. There are no American flags waving toward the tyranny of progressive Europe, or support of the Hong Kong capitalists against communist China—the revolution Nickleback is advocating is one supporting communism.


So think about that when you hear the new Nickleback song on the radio and at nightclubs provoking you to dance a bit to the rhythm. Then consider where the voices in favor of capitalism are—they aren’t in the music and movie industry. They are alone and voiceless for the most part. Capitalists do not have advocates at the level of entertainment that Nickleback represents. The music industry certainly doesn’t support such artists, and lyrics that support capitalism against socialism. Pro capitalist messages certainly don’t get played on the radio. But if a group like the Canadian rock stars Nickleback want to sing against capitalism, they’ll get all the weapons of the media on their side to broadcast straight into the ears of America’s youth—so that they will demand change from a capitalist system to a communist one.

Nickleback doesn’t sing about what life will be like after the revolution when all their listeners are sitting around waiting for someone to give them a job. Or nobody is moving money on Wall Street to create new Apple stores in shopping malls to sell those same fans iPhones so that they can listen to Nickleback sing anti-capitalist songs against America. They just preach revolution against the American system of capitalism. They don’t say what comes next. For that, today’s youth only need to look at modern-day Hong Kong and see what happens after a communist revolution. Today’s Nickleback fans will give to their grandchildren a revolution going back the other way—the same as Hong Kong is currently—hoping to take some capitalism from a communist government after the freedoms of today are long gone.

Rich Hoffman


Star Wars: Commander–How the Apple Company greatly increases the quality of life

I have predicted and discussed much of what is happening today in virtually every category over the last 4 years.  Some listened, most didn’t.  For those who didn’t—hopefully you learned your lesson and will in the future. However, for me, which has been the case all of my life, humanity has let me down.  People do not aspire to be what they should, and the times are often regulated and maintained by the laziest of our species.  This is why I often turn to mythology for inspiration, because the Wall Street Journal doesn’t offer much inspiration—just raw news.  Contemporary real-life characters fall short of my expectations—so I don’t even bother.  Thus, my love of Star Wars and the reason I discuss it so much—especially lately is because it provides such motivation.  It is the creation of minds in need of something bigger than the human race is currently offering.  So I often vacation there to recharge my own batteries.  As such, it should come as no surprise that I had a viewing party at my home for the new Disney television series Rebels, which premiered with an introductory movie on Friday, October 03, 2014.

To celebrate I spent the day in the world of Star Wars in one fashion or another.  My wife and I played the Old Republic’s Galactic Starfighter online—which is always fun.  I then spent the morning playing X-wing Miniatures which is of course my latest passion.  I rounded out the time between those events up until the airing of Rebels playing a new game downloaded for free onto my iPad called Star Wars: Commander.  My brother texted me excitedly about it recently and after a few weeks of prodding, I finally downloaded it.  I didn’t give the free app much though because I didn’t think it would be any good—that it would be a kid’s game.  Let me say that it is far from a kid’s game—it is a wonderful war simulation of resource management and I have been wonderfully consumed by its contents.

Years ago—way back in the 90s I once spent an entire week playing an old game similar called Armada 2000—or something to that effect.  One of my nephews introduced it to me and it required the building of fleets by mining raw materials and going to war to conquer planets.  The graphics were rough, but the game content was wonderful.  Around that same time I started enjoying the various Sim City games which developed into a game called Outpost, which required you to terraform an entire alien planet by using the resources there to build a civilization.  I have also been a fan of the various Civilization games over the years including the most recent introduction.  Those are endlessly fun games of strategy and construction that are designed for those with a keen eye for productivity.  Never before in the history of the human race were such tools of resource management available to so many people.  The new Star Wars: Commander is all of those games wrapped up into one.  It is incredible—especially for a free app. It’s a whole new age that we’re living in where such a thing is offered as a simple download.  I can’t recall a time when I enjoyed blowing stuff up so much.

Star Wars: Commander lets you as a player pick a faction—either Rebel player or the Empire and build a base that must maintain an economy through your credit vaults while continually mining alloy for the construction of everything from factories to starships.   You have to build and maintain troop strength, engage in research and development, and deploy defense strategies as your base will constantly be attacked by other player’s bases looking for credits and alloy, and shield generation.  It is fairly involved for a game designed to be played on the go—anywhere and everywhere.  I’m used to playing those types of things on a PC locked in my room and not dressing for days.  This ability to put such a thing on a computer device that I carry in my jacket pocket is unreal to my previous generation eyes.

On that note as I have been playing Star Wars: Commander all week diligently—everywhere that I can really, in restaurants, in shopping malls, in the fabric stores as my wife shops for supplies for the many blankets and craft items she makes, I have been fascinated by how portable this new age of ours really is.  Commander is really a game that must be played against other players so it requires interaction.  The brilliance of the game is that the designers created the basic template, but most of the way the content is used is created by other players—leaving players to essentially let the game evolve through competition.  But it is the portability that I find so strangely interesting.  While shopping at Kenwood Mall with my wife and daughter at the Eddie Bauer store, I stood outside across from the Apple Store and marveled at how busy it was at 7:30 PM on a weekday evening.  Business was thumping inside and a line requiring service was outside the door.  It was amazing.  People were very active in looking at the various Apple products—everything from iPads, iPhones, to new computers.

I’m a huge fan of the iPad as I use mine everywhere for everything.  I use it primarily for maps, and for processing data on spreadsheets.  It is a remarkable device—there is no question about it.  I’m not so keen on the iPhone as I like to separate those two functions.  But Apple and its innovations are game changing aspects to human civilization.  Most of the people shopping in the store were there to pick up devices to allow them to have more versatility in texting their friends or updating their facebook accounts.  They weren’t looking for performance as much as being fashionable.  But, their interest is driving the market in new directions regardless of the quality of their desires.  It is largely because of that swarm in the Apple Store that Disney put out the new game Commander.  It’s the perfect game for a touch screen device.

The new game only enhanced my Star Wars day experience leading me up to the Disney Channel airing of the new Rebels cartoon—which was fabulous I might add.   I’ve been talking about it for a year now—and it was worth the wait.  Cartoons like that and content on the Apple products like what Commander is certainly elevates the expectations of entertainment.  But what’s more important is the reason people like Star Wars so much—as I’m far from alone on the topic.  Star Wars offers hope and expectations on human potential that is higher than it otherwise would be.  And Apple is there to provide a format to further the mythology into ways that were unfathomable a decade ago.  Star Wars: Commander just seven years ago would have cost $50 dollars for a PC title sold in a store like Gamestop.  Now it’s a free app.  The game makes its money off the impatience and mismanagement of its players.  For those who don’t know how to manage resources, they will pay extra for crystals to build up their defenses or increase their offensive mobility.  Many of the upgrades take several hours to implement, especially shield generators and alloy depots—but they can be sped up through the consumption of crystals and Disney sells them by the bag which I’m sure is generating millions upon millions of dollars.  I typically launch an attack from my base every three and a half minutes—and I have yet to meet the same player twice—that’s how many people are on the game.  I would say that it’s a successful enterprise.

For those who want to play, you can look me up when you arrive by typing in the name of Cliffhanger—the character from my first novel The Symposium of Justice.  Of course you know—I’m playing for the Rebels.

Rich Hoffman



White House Activism Against Corporations: A ridiculous argument against inversions

This is what happens when you get activists who think like communists in the White House. I received this email from them recently trying to build a consensus against the American corporation desire to create tax inversions for themselves to avoid the incredibly high corporate tax rates found in North America.  This is also what happens when corporations are demonized by a political class who wishes to believe that everyone underneath them is in the “middle class” and willingly submits to their gross miss management of national resources.  What the idiots who wrote the below letter conveniently forget is that it was they who spent too much money—not corporate desire to hang on to the profits they’ve earned that is the cause of the problem.  Read their ridiculous utterances here:

Here’s What Inversions Are Costing Us

You don’t get to pick your tax rate. Neither should corporations.

That’s why, earlier this week, the Treasury Department took initial steps to prevent U.S. corporations from using a tax maneuver to avoid paying taxes in America. This loophole — known as an “inversion” — lets a company avoid taxes by relocating their tax residence overseas while changing very little else about its operations or business.

And it’s costing Americans nearly $20 billion over the next decade — critical dollars that could grow and expand the middle class.

Take a look at why we are taking action to close the inversion tax loophole — then share it with everyone who needs to know.Inversions

Notice what type of presidents were in the White House during the periods of time shown on the graph.  Big government socialist types as opposed to conservatives.  When the White House says that it will cost $20 billion in lost revenue over the next decade what they really mean is that they have already promised too much money through mismanagement to future endeavors that cannot be paid for but through higher rates of taxation.  This is the same lunacy that comes from public school mismanagement when they sneak through school levies to pay for unfunded desires—like inflated wages, elaborate buildings, and ridiculously wonderful benefits packages.  What they all have in common is that they are government enterprises built by government minds that spend too much money so to remain in power—then expect tax payers to cover their costs out of some patriotic obligation.


What this is called ladies and gentlemen is “mismanagement” of tax payer resources—not obligatory sacrifices to strengthen a middle class of subjects worshiping the feet of the political class.  When they say this “is what inversions are costing us” they don’t mean……”us” as in you, me, rich and poor—they mean the political class who desires under a socialist mentality to rule over everyone else.  They also want a blank check to waste as much tax payer money as possible then expect payment by their subjects without complaint.  But to make matters worse, because corporations don’t have the ability to vote except through lobby power—the government targets them to pay a disproportionate amount of corporate tax by demonizing them into compliance.  However, corporations in this new international trading system that the government so proudly sponsored is voting with their feet and leaving America for oversea tax shelters to protect themselves from a grubby government desiring to steal all the profits gained through production.  This is the inversion process that the White House is complaining about and rather than deal with the problem they caused they are using email activism to attempt and build an argument of democracy against corporations to protect the financial burdens they already committed America to through mismanagement to pay.

These same fools in government almost in the very next sentence promise that they want to create jobs—yet their proposal is to create more government positions paid for by tax payers forgetting that the only real jobs that directly contribute to the GDP of a nation come from corporations and small businesses.  They neglect to inform anyone that it is their mismanagement that is not only spending too much money, but also pushing jobs out of America making unemployment un-naturally high.  Government is the cause of both problems.

It is truly arrogant for a political class to assume that nobody sees what they are up to, yet there it is directly from the White House to my email inbox.  They are that audacious to complain about the life blood of the American economy—corporations—then promise jobs to people was if they had them tucked away in their back pocket like a condemn intended for use in a whore house.  They are that ridiculously foolish.

Rich Hoffman