About Me

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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!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

So, here we are

at the very top of western civilization. And is there anything to take away from this maddening scheme that is our time? I am not so sure that there actually is.
I mean we have all these amazing achievements, mankind has come such a long way since the first ape decided to walk on two legs, but still I am ambivalent when it comes to defining what worth there actually is in our existence. And I am not even going to touch the whole big question thing here. I am simply trying to wrap my mind around the ego that us humans have developed in the course of evolution. All we're doing is fucking, drinking, and slowly killing each other, we're essentially playing GTA with the world. And I'm not even sure of that.

What I am sure of though is that I am sitting on my couch right now, showcasing my inner makings to an anonymous public with my roommate snoring on an air-mattress next to me, slowly drifting through various stratospheres whilst watching Californication and smoking. My eyes are somewhat focused on the screen of my laptop and on the TV at the same time, and I can't help but feel a certain resemblance between myself and Hank Moody. I know it's fucking cliche, and I also know that everybody likes to think that they can identify with their favorite fictional character, but goddamn, I have been where this guy is portrayed as being in my own way, so I feel somewhat of a strange relation between myself and the idea of "Hank Moody". Not the person per se obviously, seeing as we're talking about a fictional character, but much more the idea of the guy. The free-lancing writer, the crazed, erratic, gonzo-influenced author, the anti-hero essentially. The other extreme so to say. The anti-gravitational pole, the scapegoat, the punching bag.
I think that we all create our lives in a way so that we are the protagonist of our own little tale, we all want to be the martyr, the chosen one, we all want recognition in some way or another.  What we're all essentially striving for is immortality of sorts, be it by monetary success, literary excellence, musical masterpieces, or anything else that can enable us to buy a place in the expensive neighborhood called 'history' forever. By expensive I do not mean any actual value, but rather the effort and sacrifice that is necessary to achieve such a place, the relentless pursuit of having one's name remembered by the world that costs its high price in its own way, simply because remembrance is almost exclusively created in destruction and despair. In order to be known you need to have suffered, seems to be the most common denominator found among ïtoday's audiences, which is pretty rough on those creating entertainment because albeit leading to works of staggering genius, these rough patches that are the root of excellence do fuck you up quite intensely over time, and results are usually just a coincidental side-effect of these lows, which in themselves are not defined by a feeling of contributing to the literary pedigree by using the blues to create an epitaph to these periods of sadness, but rather just by wallowing in narcissistic despair and self-loathing until the brink of collapse, at which point words are the only thing keeping one from entering an eternal drug and drinking binge. Still, these fruits grown from sad soil using depressed fertilizers are usually the rarest literary gems that authors have to offer, making the fear and loathing leading up to their creation a necessity for actual greatness, which is a pretty hard blow on the writing and entertainment community seeing as no-one really wants to suffer for an essentially unknown audience, but everybody has to in order to achieve true greatness, at least that's what it seems like.

But this tangent about immortality through depressive genius just coincidentally appeared above to be honest. I am still unsure, once again, about the actual points I was thinking of making when I started to write this about two days ago in a hazed frenzy in the middle of the night, completely strung out and manically trying to recognize the letters I was typing, which I did up to a point of complete desperation, then I stopped continuing working until now. But even in retrospect I am quite contend with what I wrote, I believe I touched on some interesting issues in there, but this is not the time for self-flattery. No, I think I will now address a different topic altogether, namely that of communication.

Sounds boring enough when put like that, but I can assure you that it's not. Think about it, in all of its aspects. We communicate to express things in a way that other individuals can understand and respond to, that much is obvious. But why is it so hard still, after a few million years of practice, to actually say what we want to say in a way that people understand? I mean, the biggest problems usually arise from miscommunication, and its the simplest things, the smallest of words, the slightest of mistakes that can set into motion a chain-reaction of unforeseeable events leading up to huge altercations or similar nuisances. And why? Most words aren't even that ambiguous in themselves, but it's the context in which they are used combined with the humans natural need to over-analyze and interpret utterances by others that renders them indecipherable to some, making these individuals prone to misunderstandings, which is not their fault per se, but they are rather, in most cases that is, to be seen as mere victims of circumstance. But unfortunately, there is an equal amount of people either too stupid to understand the actual essence of what they are being told, or too biased by their own preconceived notions to even try to understand anything but what they want to understand, making fruitful communication damn near impossible. We have now essentially made out that there are people that are enticed by circumstance to misunderstand, that there are people too stupid to understand, and that there are people who don't want to understand what is being said because of their own prejudice. So, why do we even bother communicating anymore? 
The answer to that is, as many things are, based on the basic human need for social recognition by others, we are social animals after all, driven by the instinct to express and impress ourselves and others, meaning that even though most people we will encounter will not understand, not properly at least, what we're trying to tell them we will still keep on uttering sentences and opinions in their proximity because of the slight chance that at least one of them will be able to grasp the intended meaning. Because we need our personal meaning to be conveyed to other people, we want others to understand the essence behind the sentences, but unfortunately the understanding usually does not match the intentions, which is just sad because messages and opinions are easily deluded simply by misinterpretation, by ambiguity. 
Even these words right here will not sound to you the way they sound to me, will not convey to you what they convey to me, and will not reach you the way I mean them to, and I am very aware of that. But I know what I want to say, and I know that the people who feel as I feel can usually understand underlying themes and subtle references in these texts, and those who do not feel that way are not meant to understand anyway and will therefore read and understand whatever fits best into their narrow perception, and not what I actually want to say, which is fine, because it separates the wheat from the chaff, separates those that see actual value in what I write from those just along for the ride.

"The ride". The inexplicable yet omnipresent journey, the basic drive forward that compels us all to move towards an unidentified goal. This crazy roller-coaster of life that jolts us up and down in completely randomized and erratic patterns with seemingly no logical adjacency. We all know it to be true, life is composed of its highs and lows that in the long-run cancel each other out to create a comfortable drift in retrospect. In retrospect mind you, an up always feels like an up, and a down always feels like a down, but looking back it was all just somewhere in the middle. And isn't that exactly what we're programmed to be striving for? The passive middle, the inactive acceptance, the elemination of all the extremes, a dulling numbness of the senses? Searching for what's right or what's true is no longer perceived as necessary, no, just finding what works, however badly, has become the most prestigious achievement attainable. But unfortunately that's nicely aligning with my point about mediocrity being the end that is in itself a mean to obtain personal gratification, meaning that I am actually part of the root of this problem to some extent. But then again maintaining that level of constant mediocrity essentially boils down to being well above average in order to be able to seem mediocre enough so as to not having to do more than needed and expected at that level, which in turn means that the search for right and true has already been done personally, just not publicly. Notwithstanding it is just small percentage where this applies, most people seeming to be fine with what works and allegedly not searching for truth or rightfulness are actually like that and do not pretend to be just to have to do less. Or maybe we just don't know it yet.

But anyway. I have been drifting around between topics and ideas way too much in this post, which is why I'll put a stop to this madness now, and leave you be with some music, as always: 

Iron Maiden - No Prayer For The Dying
-> Great track from the Maiden' album of the same name, beautiful guitars and vocal, legendary band, and the rest of the album is definitely worth listening to as well if you haven't yet, so... Enjoy! 

Leonard Cohen - Hallejulah (Rufus Wrainwright Cover)
-> I first heard Cohen's original version back in the 2000 or so when my I was riding in my mum's car to somewhere, heard it again in the Watchmen movie like eight years later, and now found this awesome cover of it. And albeit not being the least bit religious I find this song to be amazingly beautiful and somewhat inspiring, so... Enjoy!

Bob Marley - Jammin' (Live Version)
-> Unfortunately I could not find the studio version of this on the mobile version of YouTube, don't know if it's there in the desktop version, but it doesn't really matter, you all know this song anyway, and it's an all-time classic that needed featuring on here, so... Enjoy!

Alborosie - Kingston Town
-> I haven't listened to this song in what feels like forever, a friend of my showed it to me in 2009 or 10 I believe, during a weekend of camping that consisted solely of getting too messed up for words, which was fun, and the song reminds me of that and is in itself really awesome, so... Enjoy! 

Keizer - Niet Haten
-> First of all, I want to emphasize that I neither condone nor endorse the whole "hashtag" craze that has taken over the internet, I am thoroughly despised by it actually. Nevertheless, Keizer is a fucking beast and one of the fastet European rappers to date, make sure to listen to the complete track, the third part is the most mind-blowing (starts at 1:50 for all you impatient people), but the whole song is pretty cool, so... Enjoy!

Ice Cube - Hello (ft. Mc Ren & Dr. Dre)
-> Did I put this on here already at some point? If I did I'm sorry, but I don't think so... Anyway, awesome classic track, first heard whilst watching the "Up In Smoke" Tour on DVD and on numerous occassions since... Enjoy! 

So, this turned out to be a somewhat disorganized post, dealing with my multiple lines of thought throughout, but I do hope it's still enjoyable, I completed it in multiple sittings and usually in an altered state of mind, so it may seem somewhat erratic at some points, but I think I managed to mostly keep it together. Anyway, I am uploading this from my mobile phone in a Coffeeshop, and seeing as I have never done that before I don't know whether there are any adverse effects on layout or links when accessing it from a PC, please let me know if that is the case!


Edit: it was the case, the spacings and paragraphs were off, but I took care of that now. And btw, that kind of thing is what the comment section is there for, someone could have said that it looks weird, there were at least 8 people that read it before I fixed it, and in my opinion it was clearly visible that the spacing etc. were not the way they're supposed to, but maybe that's just me...  

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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.