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, April 1, 2014

"Better watch out, 'cause I'm the assassin"

are the words that Bruce Dickinson is screaming at me through my 6-inch sub-woofer and 2-inch speakers as I am writing this post. 
And I just deleted about 450 words that stood here simply because it got to a point of being barely understandable to myself the next morning. Which is why I decided to not continue or god forbid publish that god-awful mess I had created and start anew. Normally I would just dump that kind of rambling on you and expect you to make sense of it, but I was so displeased with the way I had portrayed things in those now lost sentences that I could not bring myself to actually go on working on them. Hence the deletion. Anyway, it is not like I am keeping some grand literary creation from you, no, I am just protecting you from really really bad and disorganized writing with weird to no real points being made. But seeing as these words will never reappear again, there is no real point in talking about them here either, so I will now go on with this post.

I am unsure if I'll be able to find a good topic today though, my last post was not that long ago and my inspiration seems to have been drained by it a little to be honest. Plus I've actually started to work on a "trial novel" so to say, which is proving to be quite time consuming and taking a lot of my energy and creativity. But I am not going to forget you guys, and so I decided to sit down today and not work on aforementioned novel for a while but write this entry and vent a little about something that still needs figuring out. 
I have to say though that when I started writing this blog I thought I had a lot more to say and could go on easily filling pages for ever and ever, but it is actually getting harder to find themes to wrap my words around than it used to be. Then again I may just not be in the mood right now or something like that, but I doubt it to be honest, as I've outlined in an earlier post it is usually a bad mood that induces the best kinds of creative outputs. And I am not in a bad mood. But maybe a bad mood to write? Is there such a thing? I don't know where one could find that out and am too lazy to skim through the masses of articles and essays debating the existence of a writers block, I've read too many of those in the past half year. Yet I am still not able to form my own opinion on the subject and can not for the life of me figure out how to figure it out and it's driving me a little crazy. Just a little though. It's not like a dominant nuisance within my existence, just a little speck that keeps nudging me every now and then when I am wondering why I sometimes feel able and sometimes unable to produce nicely formulated sentences that have more meaning than mere mundane statements barely resembling coherent lines of thought. I am quite puzzled by this to say the least, and am at some point at some time going to get to the bottom of it, but in all likelihood not today and not anytime soon, but as soon as I do I will publish the results here and revolutionize writing forever. Or maybe I'll just forget about it. 
Either way, this is definitely something that has somewhat peaked my interest these past weeks but I have never had so little inspiration that I actually included it in a post. Well, today I have apparently reached a new low, and so the paragraph above here came into being. What can I say, shit tends to happen. The self-loathing is not as strong in me as it may appear to be in these sentences though, I am just setting ridiculously high standards and expectations for myself that I have so far not be able to reach in any form or shape. Which is good, because it means that I am always striving for further excellence and have not exhausted my full potential quite yet. Perhaps I never will, but perhaps I won't even have to, but who knows. Nobody knows... Nobody knows but me... Anyone remember that song? Is that even a song? But whatever, back to topic. Well that actually kind of says it all doesn't it, nobody knows and no-one could possibly know and that's the great adventure blah blah blah. I mean come on. We all know what would follow if I went down that road, essentially non-sense about life being a journey with an unknown end and life being the mean to get there that should be exploited to its fullest extent because the journey that is the mean is in itself the end and so on and so forth. And that is not the least bit satisfying to read or write because it doesn't hold any existential answers with substantial potential to enrich you, your life, or your way of thinking. 

So I'm not touching that topic with a ten-foot pole today. Instead I'll focus on something different alltogether. What I intend to center my focus on this time is the issue of mental stability, normality, and the so-called abnormality that is often treated with dangerously lethal and mind-altering pharmaceutical poison. I am not saying that people with psychoses or similar problems should not be receiving medication, I am not saying that these diseases are not completely real. All that I am saying is that there is a line that is rather thin between simply not being the way one is expected to be and actually being insane in the membrane. I mean, this is especially an issue when you're using psychoactive substances as part of your life-style, the assumption is automatically that you must be deranged and your brain destroyed by drugs. And that you need more drugs to "get better" again. Isn't that bullshit? And isn't it equally nonsensical that once you get busted with such substances, you get the choice of getting locked up in jail with rapists and murderers, or getting locked up in therapy with criminally insane rapists and murderers? That we have sunk so fucking low is just mind-boggling to me. I have touched on the problems created by prohibition before, I know, but this aspect of it occurred to me again today and did so with such intensity that I really felt compelled to write about it. So, let's get back to it then, shall we? Let us take an example to illustrate: A friend of mine is a completely healthy and normal young adult, he has finished his education and was about to start working at a company making money and so on, his life was developing quite nicely. Along came the state and its repressive executive organs, and found a couple of magic truffles (yeah, truffles, like the ones that grow in any forest in Central Europe) and a few grams of grass (yeah, the wild-growing weed). And now my friend is in a therapy where he doesn't belong with criminally insane assholes, with the therapists trying to force-feed him insanely hard medication that I myself have tried. Trying this shit made me realize how fucked up the entire system is, it was harder than most illegal drugs I have tried so far, and completely debased my inner make-up, changing my entire personality for a couple of days. No illegal narcotic has ever done anything even similarly gruesome to my psyche. So why the fuck are we still relying on this system?

Well, the explanation to this is much more logical than I would like to admit. There is a percentage of people in these therapies who are there because their excessive drug abuse has cause their psychological make-up to derail and in these cases aforementioned "medicine" is actually use- and helpful. The problem here is that those there because of penalties of the prohibition are thrown into the same pot with those described before, which causes normal people who've enjoyed psychoactive substances and simply got caught to be turned into dulled zombies because of the drugs they were giving, turning their brains to mush much more than illegal substances ever could. And that is what's wrong with the entire concept, and would be easily avoidable, like so many things, by the legalization of such substances. Then these institutions would be filled with people actually needing help and perhaps even pills in order to get in touch with their inner-self and achieve a feeling of mental stability once again.
But of course not, because drugs are bad, and doing drugs would be bad, and you wouldn't want to be bad by doing drugs, 'cause that would be bad, mkay? Gotta love South Park. But I am once again getting off track.
The vital point I want to get across though is that the prohibition of psychoactive recreation-enhancers is once again proving to be more harmful to those partaking in such pastimes than the substances themselves, making the entire assumption that such a system would protect the citizens and minimize possible harm being inflicted to them fallacious. I do realize that I have made this point before, but I feel the need to emphasize it constantly because most people seem to still be stuck in the 30s-thinking that Weed=Heroin=LSD, which in 2014 is just a sign of incredible backwardness and inability to adapt and think outside the box, and it is just sad to see just how many people, and especially people in power still think this way. I mean we're seeing such powerful movements, such intelligent and well-respected people speaking up for either marijuana or other drugs and their legalization, and still the corrupted and greedy governments controlled, among others, by powerful pharmaceutical industries are still unwilling to give in and finally listen to the anguished cries of wrongfully criminalized citizens. "Controlled" - by that I don't mean an evil illuminati-like secret puppet-master pulling the strings of all governments, but rather that most political parties' campaigns and other funding is 'sponsored' by various large industrial and financial players, meaning that they have a very high amount of influence on the politicians' doing within the party, and therefore also on the world-leaders seeing as no party without substantial 'sponsoring' ever won any elections, or very rarely to say the least. And that is the problem in any so-called modern-day 'democracy'. The word in itself is composed of the ancient Greek "demos", which means as much as "common people", and "kratos", which essentially translate to "rule". So it can be translated as "the ruling of the common people", meaning that the citizens themselves should be empowered and the representative government should enforce their wants and protect them from harm. But the will of the common folk is too often, almost exclusively overlooked and undermined by those in power, and the will of the small percentage of industrial corporate giants with enough spare cash is too often enforced and adapted. 
Which once again leads us to the root of all evil: Money. It's impossible to opt out of the monetary system and maintain a standard of living worthy of a dignified human being, but it's at the same time the exact same system that corrupts and destroys our integrity from inside, slowly turning us into something worse than any junkie, always chasing for the next dollar and striving for the highest possible accumulation of wealth imaginable, until we realize the emptiness and shallow instability in our life, but at that point it's too late. And well, to quote Snoop Lion: "Money makes a man, and that's a crime/ If we all were rich we'd spent more time/". Not to rehash his words, but this sentence holds a lot of truth. If we didn't have the constant pressure of maintaining a certain amount of valuable assets in our life, we would spend much more time focusing on learning, loving, laughing, and simply living. We could get out of the hassle of worrying about paying bills and simply indulge in life to the fullest extent, take time to cherish those we love. But that is unfortunately an utopian fantasy for obvious and unfortunately very logical reasons. Unless we'd go back to simple trading, like a watch for three hams or something like that. But then again, we would need to define which item is worth which other item(s), and for that we'd need some sort of centralized institution to regulate the exchange rates, and we'd back to an abuse-able and possibly corrupt-able system, which is what we were trying to avoid in the first place. It's a vicious cycle, isn't it? But well, if we can't change it we can at least use it for our own purposes and defy its laws by working within to be able to live outside. And I know that I have said the exact same thing before, but I could not think of a better way to formulate it, and since I am reopening a topic anyway I can also plagiarize my own works. And fuck quoting, my words are mine to use and re-use as often as it pleases me. 

But it is getting somewhat late, and I will in all likelihood go to the first lectures I have in the morning. Plus I know for sure that I will have a hard time falling asleep today, so I am really considering at least lying down pretty soon in order to trick my body into sleep-mode. Or I'll just lay awake for a few hours before I fall into a somewhat psychotic half-sleep that leaves me drifting in- and out of actual dreams, which is not even remotely relaxing, but a dreadful and in itself tiring experience that usually leaves me with close to no power and motivation the next day, and is something I should definitely avoid. And seeing as I have prepared enough smoke-able material I am really hoping to be fine this time, and retain the ability of functioning properly the next day so that I can attend all lectures. 
Although I really have to say that attending an English lesson in an all English study seems kind of silly to me, I mean, proper command of the English language should be a requirement for international studies whose sole teaching language is in fact English. But this is not the first time I have been annoyed by English classes, I have always had a certain aversion towards them, mainly due to the fact that I could not be bothered with doing anything but still maintained an almost perfect grade which really really pissed my teachers off. Because they couldn't let me fail but couldn't get me to participate the way they wanted to either. It was quite fun for me actually in retrospect, but I remember that during the times themselves I was thoroughly pissed by this and just wanted English lessons to disappear from my life forever. I mean, I obviously enjoyed creative or essay writing, but there were almost always boundaries or themes to adhere to which really took the wind out of my sails. But I usually managed to skirt around these 'rules' and create something well-written but subliminally offensive to the teacher. Still, I am usually more than annoyed by to me nonsensical English lessons that always seem to take place in whatever level of education I happen to be. And that is fucking displeasing. I do not want to demean all English lessons though, e.g. the correct format for specific types of letters and similar things are topics simply necessary to be learned and do not come naturally. But things like grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation come easily to me, I have never ever had to learn any grammar rules or anything like that. I just feel the way the words need to be, and it's this way for all languages I speak. I mean of course for a completely new language I need to have a look at basic sentences and the likes in order to get a feeling for it, i.e. for Chinese. But once I got that feeling for the prose of the language and the way it needs to be used I am able to formulate proper sentences without learning any further rules.
It's always been like this. For mathematics and things based on it the exact opposite applies though. I mean I get the logic behind the exercises, but I can for the life of me not figure out formulas, can not calculate in my head, and am completely useless for all tasks that require complex computations. Well, it's always Ying&Yang, up and down, and a balance of power as the British would put it, so if there are a number of things that one excels at there is an equal number of things one, put rakishly, quite simply sucks at. And that's life, many great philosophers have already said and formulated it, but I'll stick to the words of Mick Jagger: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need", which quite simply sums up the way life goes. What you want is not always what you'll get, sometimes you'll get the exact opposite, but you'll usually get by and get what you need to, well, get by.

And this pretty much concludes this post, which once again turned out to be quite long. I am getting more and more fond of writing for an eternity and just letting my thoughts go, because I am no longer in real need of thinking about proper ways to formulate delicately as I did in the beginning, I now have an approximate idea of what I can write and how, I have gotten a certain feeling (in italic because I have to emphasize that it's a subjective emotion exclusively felt by me at least in this moment and in my near surroundings. I do realize I can not possibly be the only person thinking that, but for the sake of this entry I am) about my writings on here and am now at relative ease when composing a post, meaning that my mind is no longer hung up on finding nice metaphors and similes or words or formulations, but rather focused on creating content on a certain level, leading to hopefully even more enjoyable texts for you. But then again I have never published anything that I did not think of as being of adequately high quality, so the difference may not be as noticeable whilst reading, but whilst writing it most definitely is. Anyway, I am getting lost in ramblings once again, and will now (finally) leave you be with some music to enjoy:

Harry Chapin - Cat's In The Cradle
-> Wow, I can not believe I didn't feature this classic on here yet! And to all of you naive souls with not enough musical knowledge out there: No, this is not a Cat Stevens song. This is a beautiful and deep track by Harry Chapin, and somewhat relates to the tangent about money and its time-consumption somewhere above, seeing as with the dough out of the picture the whole story would have been quite different. Anyway, great, meaningful and simply dazzling tune... Enjoy!

Black Label Society - Fire It Up
-> Another great song that has not quite stood the test of time like the one featured above yet, but still is a great tune. Gotta love Zakk Wylde and the guys, Black Label Society had always had a certain outlaw kind of flair, and that coupled with their awesome Heavy Metal music just makes them irresistible to me, meaning that I had to share this song with you, so... Enjoy!

Snoop Lion - No Guns Allowed (feat. Cori B. & Drake)
-> First off let me start by saying that I thoroughly despise Drake as a rapper and probably also as a person although I can't say that with certainty. I mean, yeah his flow is somewhat 'special' and yeah he is on time unlike many may claim in this song, but he just doesn't deliver the emotions and rhythmic variations that this track so clearly offers, and that's just bad to say the least. But secondly, I want to say how fucking great this song is. I don't give a fuck about questions of Snoop's authenticity in this case, I don't give a fuck about it being mainstream and way too well-known. No, this is one powerful piece of beautifully sad music coupled with a deep message that America should definitely start wrapping its ugly head around. But leaving all preaching aside, this song is really chill and amazingly melodious, so... Enjoy!

Ice Cube - Today Was A Good Day
-> I did not feature this song yet? Did I just miss that whilst skimming through my blog right now or did I actually not put this song on here yet? Shame on me! This song is so old-school and awesome, just describes the rough realities of a poverty-stricken part of the population but in an essentially funny or at least ironic way. By portraying mundane or simply 'normal' things for the middle- and upper-class citizens as being the requirements for the day being good where Ice Cube is from, he shows the social inequalities and lack of perspective and law there. And the song itself is really really chill, I simply love sparking up to it, so do the same and... Enjoy!

2Pac feat. Snoop Dogg - 2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted 
-> Such a classic and epic collaboration of two of the biggest MCs that Hip Hop of the early nineties had to offer, it needed featuring here and I am again disappointed with myself for not having put it up here earlier! Starting with blatant disrespect to Biggie, and continuing to one of the most awesome, funky, and simply cool tracks. Really a gem I stumbled upon, should have been here already, but well it is now, so... Enjoy!

Flux Pavilion - Dropkick
-> This is apparently a rip from a set that Flux and N'Type played for the Rinse.FM radio station. And as you know I adore Flux Pavilion's music anyway, so I had to put this on here as soon as I found it, this drop, this nicely melodic yet fucking heavy bass-sound prevalent throughout most parts of this rather short, but notwithstanding extremely awesome song is just too great to be put into mere words, so... Enjoy!

As said before, this post turned out to be almost as long as the last one, which was not intended but nice to see nevertheless. I was actually planning to release it while it was still March, but well, April happened all of a sudden and now it's the first post for it, which is not necessarily a bad thing but was not my intention meaning that I am kind of grumpy right now. And by the way, quick word about April's Fools: Fucking stop it. 98% of these pranks are not even remotely funny, most of them extremely annoying and nerve-rattling, and some of them even downright dangerous, so please for fuck's sake leave it be. Just one year of peaceful silence and no nuisances on the first of April would be nice. That's all I'm asking for. 

Peace!

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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.