I holler about Gold Rush
On a previous post Royce Lerwick had some choice words for the Hoffman clan and their circus called Gold Rush. I thought Royce’s comment was a good one so I’m printing it below as its own post. Enjoy…
Todd Hoffman is a manipulative sociopath. He is a know-nothing. Jack Hoffman, is a mildly demented old morphine addict who played a very minor role in the gold craze of the late 70′s to mid-80′s. Skills: Todd: BS Artist. Has apparently made a lifestyle out of manipulating religious, family and friendship connections to self-promote various grandiose projects. Jack: Has a basic understanding of how an excavator works, but not the slightest clue about even rudimentary engineering or physics connected to actual excavation. Jack has a basic familiarity with panning, the most rudimentary gold mining skill that is normally a testing and prospecting tool, not a means of production. Little boys who read Westerns think grizzled old prospectors actually mine gold with a pan.
The main Hoffman accomplishments: Todd–has a talent for losing claims, excavating the wrong claims, the wrong areas on own claims, buying nonexistent claims on the internet, and when finally getting a workable claim, doesn’t know enough not to be telling the claim owner’s man to piss off when he is sent out to investigate the Hoffman crew’s obvious lack of knowledge, experience, performance, or talent in gold mining. Jack–spends most of his time through all three seasons so far, undermining himself while mindlessly digging holes with all the skill and intelligence of a toddler in a sandbox. While much was made of Jack for his genius in finding a small amount of gold in his “glory hole,” the fact is, anyone digging down to bedrock anywhere would probably find some amount of gold on that claim.
The reason for investigation of Hoffmann’s old claim at Porcupine Creek? Parker Schnabel’s operation as well? That’s clearly down to Todd and Jack Hoffman’s shamefully ignorant television exposure on national and international television making the entire mining industry look like a circus run by mentally and emotionally challenged children. In the west, it’s usually the wagon train following the arse-holes who pass through stirring up the natives and locals that gets retaliated against.
Before Harness tried to beat up the claim owner’s representative when he came out to personally report on the wisdom of continuing to allow the Hoffman’s to mine on his land, they’d already run off one Jim Dorsey, and made him the butt for all the frustration over Todd Hoffman’s ignorance and poor leadership skills. (Manipulation is not necessarily leadership.) Dorsey was a bit too soft for the lifestyle and had no skills but his rather sharp mind to offer, but the truth is his whining came about because he was the first to realize that Todd and Jack knew absolutely nothing about mining gold and his life’s savings was all down the toilet.
Dorsey knew, for example, just enough to know that the money in any mining operation is made at the concentrating table–a table that should have been set up and tested on day-one and running all season to tweak into fine tune. Instead, in just one of dozens of proofs of the combined Hoffman ignorance and stupidity about mining and life in general, even though Dorsey was the only one who bothered to read the instructions, and free to spend the time to adjust the table, Jack in particular deemed this to be a waste of time and preferred to hand-pan some several tons of buckets. Likewise, one of the reasons Dorsey had so much trouble, apart from Jack’s idiotic jerking it around instead of making gradual adjustments, was that both Jack and Todd bought and packed in a wavetable, entirely the wrong sort of concentration table for the claim and soils. When he was finally at wits end, Dorsey became the object of scorn and abuse by these “good Christians” and Harness was ready to shoot him. Dorsey fled leaving the local authorities with not a very pretty picture of the Hoffman camp.
This picture of tragic, emotional idiocy, as I say, was also confirmed by Fred Hurt, who had been sent by the mine’s owner, so not only did Fred report back to the owner, but Harness’ assault and other threatening words and actions from Todd and company played this out on international television. Why then, is anyone surprised when you have a Federal mine inspector dogging down the claim at the start of the next season?
Of course, by then, Todd had botched the payment on the lease and lost it. There was no skullduggery. Todd was told very clearly by Fred who he was and why he was here and that he was in danger of defaulting on his lease out of sheer incompetence. (Yes, that’s a clause in the lease.) But it became even easier than that for the owner, who wanted the Hoffman carnival off his land however he had to manage it. Todd took himself out of the picture. Todd just screwed up as usual. He skipped a payment on the lease. End of story.
Yes, producer Doyle and Discovery at that time imagined the Hoffman’s to be brilliant entrepreneurs, but they had no idea how to mine gold either. So they let Todd have the benefit of the doubt, and based on the BS Todd was spinning, made Fred out to be the villain to deflect blame from himself.
It still amazes me that anyone can see the Hoffman’s, Jack and Todd, specifically, to be anything like heroic or even honest. Certainly not self-honest. I don’t blame the dupes they conned into facilitating their fantasy adventure, partners or Discovery or Doyle. But anyone who’s ever had anything to do with gold mining or even general construction could immediately see the Hoffman’s were fools with no useful knowledge or skill related to mining anything.
Not only are Todd’s idiotic moves immediately obvious to anyone knowing anything about mining or gold recovery on even the lowest level, but it becomes equally clear, as in the concentrating table struggle, he invariably relies on a thick haze of his own mouth-borne methane to cloud the minds and eyes of his “friends” when he very quietly brings in the gear or experts he should have had in the first place, as if it was all a surprise, or unexpected.
When jack spent all of season one digging straight down under himself till he almost fell in to his own “glory hole,” Todd begged in Dave Turin, a guy who actually knew how to terrace an excavation. He brought in Freddy Dodge to do tables and wash plants. So basically he replaced himself and his old man and all the skills he and dad pretended to have when they conned their church and personal families into investing. The show has evolved in two and a half seasons to prove that the Hoffman’s are useless and worse, counter-productive, and that their friends have actually learned how to mine in spite of them, not because of them.
For instance, a recent show in the third season shows Todd being strong-armed by Turin, Greg Remsburg and others, into breaking into two teams, one led successfully by Dave Turin and another a dismal failure and expensive waste of time and money led by Todd and Jack. Todd’s solution is to combine the crews, and Todd’s “night shift” starts off first thing by cramming so much material through the previously very reliable wash plant that they jam the feed belt, then erode most of the support base below the sluiceway. When Turin wastes most of the next day backfilling the sluiceway to make sure that doesn’t collapse, he gets behind on stockpiling material for the night shift. Todd discovers this when the dirt runs low, and sends one of his crew to back up dump truck loads of earth to a 50-foot sheer cliff in the pitch black night, to dump it over the side to the plant below. Hoffman actually balks at freeing up another man to watch the cliff and direct the backing process even while the driver is refusing to take his life into his own hands.
Then Todd claims (breaking the 4th wall, oh, mugging the camera really) that he’s not doing it for himself, he’s doing it for them. This however, actually has some connection to a boast he made to his main investor that he’d produce a thousand ounces of gold, so in truth, it’s not about reliably making the plant pay off, it’s about proving just another of Todd Hoffman’s boasts.
In summary, this season is no better than any of his other seasons, and the issue is not who showed up to investigate Parker or Dakota Dave. The issue is the non-stop, dangerous, deadly stupidity with which Todd Hoffman and his demented, dope-fiend of a father run their operations. They ran Harness off because of his addiction to morphine, but they make no such protestations about Jack, who continues to operate massive machinery in a pointless fashion, and for some reason remains the only moron they trust to concentrate and measure their gold.
So, really. It’s about the Hoffmans yes, but in the end, the camera eventually showed us, even you uninformed masses, just who the Hoffmans are. From the first “after the show” interviews, it became clear that Todd has made many efforts to snivel and complain and weasel his way out of camera-shot when he’s being stupid. To extort the producer, director and editor to extract his most asinine moments. But that’s video verify for you. The truth tends to come out anyway.