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I am a dedicated and ambitious aspiring freelance journalist, blogger, and writer. My main asset is my international background - I was born in Germany, then moved to France, and proceeded to grow up in China - and the cultural open-mindedness inherent to such a life story. I specialize in opinion pieces, but am also well-versed in travel/event reporting, and writing general news stories. I blog regularly on my two pages, and have contributed to multiple online publications, including Gonzo Today, a web page dedicated to Hunter S. Thompson's "gonzo" journalism and his legacy. If you have any writing needs, I am the right person to talk to! I will be able to match the tone and style you desire, will work overtime to make you happy, and will deliver high quality content. You can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn as "Mark Linnhoefer", and on Twitter as "@markalinnhoefer". For work proposals please feel free to use the contact form on either of my blogs!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014, eh?

In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.                                                                                                                                                                              - Hunter S. Thompson

Well, in a month and a few days it will be nine years since the genius Hunter S. Thompson shot himself.

Most of you will, if at all, only have heard of him due to the movie "Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas", which is nothing to be ashamed of, but I personally was so fascinated by this character's depiction in said cinematic masterpiece that I had to start digging into his real-life counterpart, Hunter S. Thompson. And I was amazed by my findings to say the least. This guy was the living epitome of all I have ever wanted - a crazy, uncontrolled lifestyle only held together by an underlying genius expressed in his works that will remain for eternity.

And he left the way all the good ones leave us - Cobain-style if you will. But the thing that sets Thompson aside is that he did not finally work up the guts to end his life because he was wallowing in misery and depression like Kurt, but rather because he had serious health problems that would have impaired him in his abilities to function on his own, which is something he wanted to avoid. I believe he said that he always wanted to retain the ability to kill himself if he wanted to, but you'd have to google that if you want a reliable source confirming it.

Point being that he valued his free will more than anything, even more than life itself, ready to die when it was compromised.

And god damn it, this guy is fucking inspiring. He speaks the language of liberty, formulates the fabric of freedom and shows the significance of self-determination in a world dominated by pseudo-freedom and oppression, all while remaining genuinely entertaining and not getting all preachy on his audience.

I am seriously starting to think about writing something "real" in the future, maybe even pursue a career in writing of sorts, not that I have any aspiration of every making any money doing so, but I'd consider it a win if I could get my thoughts on real paper, as opposed to contributing to the deterioration of the English language and proper communication by blogging, as my favorite fictional author Hank Moody would say. But I am loosing my train of thought here and getting off-topic, if there ever was a topic to begin with.

Hm, seeing as I have already dipped into the whole freedom and self-determination thing once again, I might as well use that as a starting point, which also relates to the Hunter S. Thompson introduction, simply due to the fact that he had quite similar views as myself on these topics from what I have read. 
Beware that I am right now only really getting into the guy, I have just ordered the "Gonzo Papers" on Amazon and am currently waiting to discover more of his works, so I am by no means an expert in this field and all information here is subject to errors in research, ergo, if you want to find out more details about him, do some research yourself and don't rely on my ramblings here.
Hunter believed, as I do, that people looking to expand their consciousness using psychoactive substances should not criminalized by any governmental entity, but a controlled and regulated market should be made accessible to adults, because "[l]ook at Prohibition: all it did was make a lot of criminals rich. Should be legalized for a matter of sanity." (Thompson, 1997)

Of course, he is also a man that was referred to as a "walking chemical laboratory" so this statement may not seem surprising or convincing to some, but if you have ever read any of his more political works you would quickly come to the conclusion that this man was not a mere drug-addict that happened to have a way with words, no, this man was pure genius infused into a drug-crazed journalist that did not feel like writing journalistic texts the way everyone else did but rather founded a new style of journalistic writing.
And how could a person judge or even just talk about something without having experienced it? How can people that have merely read about possible specters of the effects that something may have on certain individuals decide that said thing should not be made available to the public by their governments, but rather by criminals? Yes I know, I am essentially just paraphrasing a Food For Thought from earlier, but this topic apparently needs to be revisited again and again in order to slowly make people understand that other people have the right to decide what they put in their bodies for themselves. It's not like they're doing anything else as I type. The people that have never touched drugs now would also not have touched them if they were legal and vice versa, meaning the legal status of a substance does not affect demand or supply, making prohibition a fallacious way of reasoning - forcing abstinence on people has never worked, does not work, and is not ever going to work. Period.

And the sooner the people in power realize this simple fact and allow us to free our minds the better - for the development of humanity away from oppression and chains to liberation and freedom - for psyche and body alike.

Hunter S. Thompson had realized this. And he was on the board of NORML in the earliest days of the movement, and dedicated many hours and pages to drugs, their use and legalization alike. He showed us that albeit taking many many drugs and not showing any limitations, he managed to be one of the greatest authors/journalists I have ever had the pleasure of reading and retained his independence even in death, which is actually quite beautiful if you ask me.

I see in the man an iconic figure, for his generation and many to come, including mine. We need people like H.S. Thompson to show us that the status quo is not the dull, never-ending, relentless pursuit of the bourgeois life, but rather an exciting, empowering and simply weird journey that will only end when the body can no longer support the mind and collapses in a final, norm-defying grin that echoes in history.

The very idea of going out like that gives me superhuman chills running up my spine like Olympic sprinters defying the concept of speed and instantly arriving at the finish line that is the release of various molecular substances in my brain, making the mere thought a sensational experience in itself. Don't get me wrong, I have never seriously contemplated suicide, but if I had the choice I would rather burn out than fade away, as aforementioned musical legend Kurt Cobain once rightly said.

Anyway, I think what I am getting at is that how you think and how you live or even act is not what you'll judged by in the long run - your words however, are. They will live on even after the last person to remember you being a complete asshole to those around you has died, they will carry on your legacy, and they will define your worth to future generations. If H.S. Thompson and K. Cobain had not written, in one case books and articles and in the other one lyrics, they would, if at all, only have been remembered for being drug-users that ended up killing themselves, yet another fantastic fairytale for the prohibitionists to exploit, but seeing as both of them did write, we can today remember them as the geniuses they were, a piece of their minds is and always will be within those that have been touched by their words, and that is true immortality.
These words will also have an effect on the future itself, seeing as words formulate ideas, ideas create thoughts, thoughts lead to actions, and actions ultimately bring change, maybe just for one person, maybe for all of mankind, but the effect is present, making above-mentioned immortality even more graspable due to the fact that one can change lives even in death.

So, if you "buy the ticket, take the ride" my readers, and live your life to its fullest extent, whether it is within societal norms or not, be yourself and indulge whenever possible, restraint is for the dead.

....and to conclude this entry, no more words are needed, just music:

Flux Pavilion feat. Major Lazer - Jah No Partial
-> two great artists came together and made a great song, 'nuff said!

Tupac feat. Jah Cure - All By Myself
-> I didn't know this song until I heard it in a Coffeeshop one day tbh, it is a great song with a great message that definitely needs to be here!

You think this will link to a song...
...NOPE! Just Chuck Testa :D I have to admit that it's pretty stupid, but rib-crushingly funny non the less, so if you don't know, now you know, biatch!

Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
-> whether you first heard it in the Rocky Movies, referenced by some cartoon, or elsewhere - everybody has heard this song, and everybody enjoys it, I really wonder why I didn't put it here earlier (if I did please let me know, I don't cross-check these things)...

Dead Prez - Hip Hop
-> 'nuff said.

The Black Eyed Peas - Where Is The Love?
-> I know that this song is not necessarily what you'd expect from me, but it's a beautiful song from a time when music was about more than just partying and sounding 'cool', a time when music was used to show social inequalities, bring injustices to a large audience and stick it to the man...

...and in the spirit of sticking it to the the man , and of course in the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson, I wish all of my readers and everyone who wants to hear it a great year 2014 and lots of personal fulfillment!


P.S.: I might update more regularly from now on, and then again I might not, we'll see :D

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I have a thick skin, so go ahead if you feel like criticizing, but if you keep going on and on about details of carnal relations you claim to have had with my mother your comment will be removed.
I guess what I'm saying is that you can express your opinion, just try to do so in a constructive or at least moderately respectful manner, otherwise the comment section is just going to go to shit and I'll be forced to close it, seeing as I will definitely not be moderating it if unwanted/spam/bullshit comments keep coming...
If you can not behave, the possibility of commenting here will disappear, that's as simple as it is.