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!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The holidays

have brought with them a weird tingling feel inside of me - I am annoyed. By all those things summer actually: Sun, happiness, love, and all similarly mind-numbing happy-makers that us humans seem to so desperately depend on.
Yes, I am once again in my favorite state of being: alone, pissed off, and eager to vent in writing. So this will be a treat for you cynically-depressed maniacs out there. I cannot for the life of me figure out where this mood comes from though. I mean, I have been alone again for a while now; I haven't had any problems with other people, and am generally not feeling bad per se. So why is this annoyed anger amassing amongst my neuronal axons? I don't know to be honest. I simply don't. All I know is that I sifted through tons of trash and spam mail this morning and came across an old e-mail by my bitch of an ex-girlfriend from a few years ago. And well, this got me curious enough to see if she had still blocked me on Facebook, and well, she has. Which I find funny actually, seeing as she was the one who tore my heart to pieces back then, but somehow felt that I was the one that needing blocking out. 

Anyway. I am not here to rant about some lower life-form crawling around somewhere in the more disgusting parts of Germany. No, I am today going to address the grand topic of why summery weather is annoying as fuck. Don't get me wrong though, I like having it warm and lying down in the sun near a lake with a beer,  but still, the summer always brings along your typical, ever-grinning idiots that cannot seem to find a thing wrong with this fucked up world of ours. At least not when "the sun is shining, man". Fuckers all. It's a trend that has and probably always will be prevalent in some people, and it's always worst during summer. I have had it with those kind of humans always seeing the best in any situation, worsening my usual annoyance with their overly enthusiastic attitude about anything. I mean, I sound like a grumpy asshole right now, but in reality I just want to chill. It's not like I'm running around with a sour face all day and poisoning everyones' good mood. I just cannot stand the fact that people seem to think that things are always that much better in the summer. And I cannot stand the relentless and redundant notion of constantly perpetuating a status of this jolly but ultimately annoying overdrive-happiness that some people exude as soon as the temperatures outside start to rise even the slightest bit. It's just downright stupid if you ask me. I mean of course it's deeply rooted in our evolutionary make-up, seeing as sun means warmth and life, and stands for fertility and prosperity, so it is understandable that sunlight speaks to our primal instincts and therefore compels us to feel more enthusiastic and "alive". But still, aren't we at the top of the food chain because we managed not to succumb to these primitive urges but rather developed a consciousness and a rational mind to think abstractly about situations before entering a thoughtless frenzy of emotion-based dumbness? It seems to me that the same way rose-tainted glasses manage to alter my perception of things when socially intertwined in what is commonly referred to as a "relationship", sunny weather alters the perception of aforementioned people. I mean I can relate to being completely tangled in an emotional net of instinct-driven decisions, but at some point a stop needs to be put to the madness that is emotional thinking and logic needs to return as the prevalent influence on decisions. Without logic, we'd return to a state of dumb beasts, purely living for survival and reproduction. And if we get back to that point we might as well go back to living in the woods and sustaining ourselves by hunting. So please people, keep your emotions aside next time you decide to be happy and think about actual reasons to be besides it being warm outside, which for me simply does not count.

But well. Most people, as do I, do base a lot of everyday decisions on instinct and intuition. And that is not wrong. Per se. It is normal that we don't analyze every step we take, otherwise humanity would still be stuck in the dark ages simply due to the fact that development would have taken forever. But the problem I addressed above refers much more to those decisions and/or feelings that should be analyzed properly before being taken or felt, seeing as their impact is large enough to justify a slow but well thought through decision.

Okay, I am going to be honest with you guys: I have no idea where I'm going with this, and no clue how to go on. So I am not going to go on, and instead switch my focus to a different topic altogether: a lifestyle I have encountered during a sort of job interview I've had recently. I was meeting the guy I am now going to write articles for in a larger city close to the little town I live in, and he decided to take me with him to meet a few producers and artists he works with in order to write a trial article which would be the base for his appraisal of my writing and therefore also for his decision whether to hire me or not. And well, we ended up in an alternative kind of living community, where artists work, live, drink and smoke together. An enthralling experience to say the least. These people represent for me the kind of life I have always been keen on: the life of a drifter, only marginal responsibilities but full dedication to their art and their peers, a harmonious togetherness outside of mainstream society but not entirely cut-off either. They're doing what I've always been preaching: "living without, but working within". All of them have small jobs to pay the bills and make ends meet, but ultimately their life revolves around their passion that is music. I want that. Exactly that. Which is why I am so glad I got the job as a columnist for the guy, seeing as I have now direct access to these people and can get my foot in the door of journalism, meaning that I am one step closer to being able to lead a similar life: focusing on writing and maybe even making music whilst not being held down in the grudges and dogmas of regular society. The feeling elicited by this vibrant community of like-minded people was as gargantuan in deepness as it was in exhilaration. I finally got to see the kind of life and dedication to a passion I had thought lost in this day and age. I cannot stress how fucking authentic these guys were, how damn cool and relaxed their view of the world was, and how they had very similar views on issues I find important. I mean, this is exactly what I have been striving for, it's quite liberating to know that the possibility of leading such a life is very real and not that far out of reach for me anymore. Plus I now have the opportunity to prove myself in the journalistic field to some extent, which makes me really anxious to finally get to writing the next article. These articles I am writing are by the way almost exclusively going to be coverages of parties this guys' organization throws, and all my expenses will be covered, which is nice. But I am actually just happy to get my name out there. That can of course, as most things in life be traced back to the most basic of human needs asides from shelter and food: the need for recognition. I know that, you know that, everyone does. Understandable enough though, isn't it? As I had already ascertained in an earlier post, we all strive for immortality of sorts. And getting a step closer to being able to work as a journalist/columnist, and thereby having hundreds, if not thousands of people read my words, however mundane and formal they may be in the case of my new job (I was told to keep things formal and clean, at least in the articles that is), and that alone already brings me a bit closer to being unforgettable and rooted in peoples' minds for eternity. I like to think that at least my writing will be able to live on when my body slowly crumbles under the sum of accidents and intoxicants that should long ago have killed me; and if that is actually the case at any point in my life, I will gladly embrace death with a laughter that will echo in history. But enough of that. If I talk about this fascinating idea too much it'll become mundane and I risk sounding self-absorbed, which is something I am not and therefore want to avoid coming across as. 
The point I want to make in all this is actually just that I feel like I've finally crossed the first of probably many bridges on my way to establishing myself as an actual wordsmith and journalist of sorts, and it just feels good. Plus I've gotten a look at the life of those that have music as a main priority in their being; I have gotten a look at real-life examples of the lifestyle I have always striven to live myself. And I also have the feeling that the crossing of aforementioned bridge also has the potential to bring me closer to that kind of existence, making the whole thing even more exciting and enthralling for me.

And that's actually about it. This post turned out to start as depressive, then a sudden cut followed by positivity. And I have to apologize for the inelegance of said switch in topic, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to go on after the first couple of paragraphs, so I decided to be honest about that, cut the golden thread and start anew on something taken directly out of my personal life. Anyway. I do hope that this was enjoyable to you nevertheless, and I am almost on deadline by the way. Well, nothing further need be said, except that I'll leave you, as always, with some good music:

RacknRuin - Dazed & Confused (SKisM's Baroque Out Remix)
-> This melody is so fucking awesome, I can't even begin to describe it, and combined with the heavy fucking drop and the quite well done rap, plus the female vocals, all infused into two and a half minute of awesomeness... Grand track, great artists, amazing music; those were the good days for UKF Dubstep, and Dubstep generally, so... Enjoy!

The Agitator - Say No (Cutline Remix)
-> Asides from having awesome political, anti-oppression lyrics, this song further is fucking amazing musically, with an unexpectedly executed but nevertheless gargantuan drop and an overall nice melodic make-up that reminds me of the earlier Dubstep realeases, so... Enjoy!

Kendrick Lamar feat. Mc Eiht - m.A.A.d City
-> After having put it off for an eternity because I don't believe in the newest rap releases, I finally got around to listening to Kendrick Lamar's "Good Kid, m.A.A.d City" and I can't say that I regret doing so. This guy's actually bringing Compton back on the map, and doing so quite awesomely. Plus he's featuring Mc Eiht who's pretty well-known from his work with "Compton's Most Wanted" back in the NWA-days, which is pretty huge. And Kendrick is not one of your "hoes, money, weed" kind of guys, he actually has substance in his lyrics, so... Enjoy!

Method Man & Redman - Y.O.U 
-> "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it" - Red&Meth together are just funny as hell and awesomely talented MCs, I have always loved all of their work, be it solo or together, and well this song is no exception. The only problem with this is that VEVO needed to censor it of course, but well, now you know which song I mean and can procure an uncensored version somewhere else, so... Enjoy!

Curse feat. Gentleman - Widerstand 
-> Gentleman are a German reggae group that you might have heard of seeing as they're somewhat internationally acclaimed, and Curse is one of the best German lyricists, with deep texts and awesome messages, the one in this song being love, harmony, and standing up to a corrupt and depraved system. All in all this is a great and really chill song, so... Enjoy!

Warren Zevon - The Hula Hula Boys 
-> Guess how I got the idea to feature this song? Exactly! "The curse of Lono", a great book written by my favorite author, Hunter S. Thompson. He mentioned it in there, and I've just had to Google it, and I was not disappointed. Cool song with a funny story in it, and well "I didn't come to Maui to be treated like a jerk", so... Enjoy!

So, this is it for now. And I know I'm somewhat past my deadline once again, which this time was not because I didn't get time to write, but rather because I took an eternity to choose the songs I would feature. I don't know why it took me as much time as it did, but I am definitely pleased with the outcome and I hope you are as well, I've got a pretty awesome selection above I think. And well, this post was somewhat weirder than my previous ones, but "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" (HST), so I am confident that this entry is worth of being on here. I hope you feel the same and that I did not bore you to death. And if I did, please be so kind as to make your demise noticeable so that you don't stink up your apartment building; rotten corpses smell really intensely bad. 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The demise of the wicked

is always accompanied by some grand victory of those deemed decent by society, isn't it? When Bin Laden died, Obama was jolted into a mainstream hype around his persona. When the Allies finally got rid of Nazi-Germany they were (rightly) put up on a golden pedestal as well. And in most cases, that is fully justifiable. But we also need to examine these kind of developments from another perspective. Perhaps these "wicked" common enemies are only made out to be that by those that want society to deem them as heroes of decency so to say. Which would mean that those we perceive as wicked are actually just punching bags of goodie two-shoes gone mad. Of course, I do not want to imply that the above examples of Nazis and Bin Laden are only scapegoats or anything like that. In their case, it was actually just them being assholes that needed stopping by people with some sort of decency. But in a more general context, we can see far too often that people talk smack about others in order to make themselves seem better to their audience. A sign of sad humans with diminutive self-esteem. But alas, these are the persons in charge nowadays. Insecure and hollow shells of human beings.

I don't want to rant on and on about politicians again though. I think I have stumbled upon another context in which the above glorification can be applied, namely that of relationships, or rather that of break-ups. When a split occurs, and two formerly intertwined individuals decide to part again, one of the two parties will always try and make the other party seem like a wicked being that is solely responsible for things not working out between them. Such behavior clearly leads to one thing and one thing only: "neutral" members of the audience (friends' friends, not-so-close relatives, etc.) will be led to believe that the party dragging the other one down is in reality the victim of the vicious break-up. It makes the person being talked smack about seem like a shallow caricature of a human being. And that is just sad to say the least. Happenings as dire as a break-up usually put a lot of strain on both former partners, and it is usually a combination of bother partners' misbehavior and annoyance that brings the coupling to its final destination. 
So, what do we have here? Two people, both equally responsible for their drifting apart. And one of them trying to make it seem like the other is more so by talking shit. At least that's what it seems like if you look at broken-up couples around you, isn't it? I mean, it's probably equally as likely that that behavior stems from trying to cope with the new situation somehow. The new situation being that the one person you trusted completely, the most intimate connection you had in your life, all of sudden turning into a complete stranger. Our primitive brains cannot handle that kind of drastic change, so it is left with a few options at best; one of these is the aforementioned smack-talking about the former partner. I guess the underlying concept at work there is the basic human need for recognition once again. If we were to blame ourselves, our social surroundings would look down upon and judge us for our inability to keep the relationship functioning; if we delegate that blame to our former special someone though, we're perceived as mere victims of circumstance and therefore receive attention en masse, thereby satisfying aforementioned need. But that's not the main point I am trying to make here. What that is is essentially that people need to refrain from talking bullshit about others. I don't even have any specific example in mind right now, it's just a general thing that I've noticed that definitely needs to stop.

But well, that's about all that I have to say about that actually. I am sitting in front of my TV set right now, dumbly staring at commercials and wondering who the fuck falls for these blunt and downright stupid marketing tricks at work there? I mean there are TV spots advertising a fucking smartphone by having some ladies in a swimsuit do "yoga" to some fucked up music. They're barely even showing the phone for fuck's sake. I cannot believe that that appeals to people so much that it's run on national television. I mean there are of course some creative and actually funny ads out there that I have genuinely enjoyed, aside from the fact that they're still designed to push some BS product on to me of course, but those are the exception rather than the rule. But I can complain about it all I want, my studies are going to land me in a job where I'll be part of the people benefiting from this kind of blatant exploitation of basic human desires. I mean, some of these promotional tools are downright manipulative. Of course there are laws restraining the deceptiveness that advertisements are allowed to exude, but still, labile people are being conned into buying things they don't really need, and that's just unfair. Sure, if you're dumb enough to actually buy into these advertisement schemes it's essentially your own fault because their methods are so fucking obvious it hurts, but still, shouldn't companies have some sort of responsibility towards those mentally unable to recognize these subtle influential messages in the ads? I guess not, seeing as if they had that kind of responsibility their sales would probably drop significantly due to the fact that they rely on those gullible enough to be persuaded by the firms' marketing wizards. A sad truth, isn't it? The entire economical system is built up on the exploitation of others it seems. Cheap labor, bad quality products, deluding advertisement, and so on. But unfortunately the system has worked so far, and you don't change a working system. Until it collapses and you're forced to. Although even that's not the case with our economy: we've had tons of economic recessions and depressions causing huge problems on a global scale, and we did not even adapt the system to meet the root of these problems. Or barely did so at best. And isn't that just sad to see? We're too stupid to learn from our mistakes, and we haven proven to be over and over again.

I am somehow reminded of words from the "Matrix" movie: "You [Humans] move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague [...]"
Just let these words sink in for a minute, wait until they develop their full effects like a good hit of ecstasy. Only that it's going to be a bad trip. Because once you think about it you see just how much fucking truth that statement holds. I mean, you know me. I'm not your hippie, eco- and nature-loving wuss that thinks we need to harmonize with the environment by hugging trees and eating some disgusting vegan stew all day long. But still. We're fucking up the only place to live pretty harshly, and despite having the technology necessary to change our ways in a fashion that would not alter our everyday life a lot, greedy corporate plugs called "politicians" are hanging on to the old and destructive methods because they are more profitable. Fucked up, isn't it? Maybe some sort of Armageddon might help. Maybe we need to be almost wiped off the face of the earth to start caring about things. Or maybe we'll just go on and on until we have the technology to conquer a new planet and leave Earth as a disgusting, hollow shell only inhabited by monstrous radioactively-poisoned beings barely resembling the humans they once were. Or we'll all just fucking perish. Which would probably be best for the planet anyway. But fuck all that, when that shit goes down I'll probably be long buried and forgotten about anyways. Not that I wouldn't encourage environmental-friendly actions by the governments. But I'm not willing to make a huge effort in my everyday life simply because of the fact that the world leaders could make most of their economies completely eco-friendly by ignoring the pleas of the companies that are funding their campaigns. And seeing as they're not willing to show a tiny bit of incentive and backbone and stand up to their corporate puppeteers, I'm not willing to recycle or shit like that. All trash is burned anyway, so why the fuck should I have to use separate trashcans? Okay, I can understand it for like glass and paper, but everything else is burned together anyways, so why the fuck can't I just throw my fucking garbage in a single fucking bag?

I got somewhat off topic there. From politicians to trashcans. Well that's actually not that far off-topic is it? Politicians are essentially human trashcans, so that works quite nicely.
But I am just putting together ramblings about other ramblings of myself again, so I'll put a stop to this post now.

I took some time to finish this things once again, but I was kind of busy with Green Scorpion News, which is a blog dedicated to news coverage that I have started a couple of days ago. And well, finding time to write is kind of hard during holidays, seeing as I am constantly overwhelmed by people wanting to go somewhere and do something, and I am just too nice a person to say no to every single one of them, so I end up being pretty busy all day anyway.
But well, I hope I managed to entertain you with this post and also hope that you will enjoy GSN, where I will be posting in random intervals.
And with this, and some good music, I'll leave you be: 

Diam's - Ma France à moi
-> This is a song I really enjoyed during my time in France obviously, but also afterwards, and now decided to share with you after "rediscovering" it this morning whilst cleaning dishes. Well, Diam's is a talented French artist, and this song is really critical of French society and politics, and as you know I enjoy that kind of message in music. Plus, she's also musically awesome, and I enjoy her rapping in general, so... Enjoy!

Wiz Khalifa & Snoop Dogg - Smokin' On (feat. Juicy J) 
-> Well, I am not really familiar with Juicy J and his works, but apart from being part of this new wave in Hip Hop that I am somewhat suspicious about I cannot see much wrong with him, and this song is all in all a great weed smoking tune by two of my favorite weed smokers ever. I am not sure if I had posted this on here before, but I don't think so. If I did, please let me know, otherwise... Enjoy!

Space Laces - Digital Gangsta 
-> I have, as always, looked on the UKF Dubstep channel for their newest uploads, and stumbled upon this gem. It takes a while to get to the drop, but it is definitely worth the wait. I mean I've heard a similar things before, but like a minute after the first drop the bass gets extremely interesting, and all in all the song is pretty fucking awesome and has a certain energy within that is just stupefying, so... Enjoy!

Feed Me - One Click Headshot 
-> Awesome! Simply fucking awesome! This popped up in the recommendations section of the above video, and following this link was the best thing I could possibly do, because it led me to this bit of pure filthy awesomeness, much more violent and energy-laden than most songs I've heard in the past couple of weeks, and it has a great melodic aspect too, making this tune an overall amazing piece of music, which needed featuring on here, so... Enjoy!

Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be Thy Name 
-> Amazing track by a classic band, I cannot believe I haven't featured this epic piece of musical greatness on here yet; it's such an amazing mixture of heavenly guitar-play, fiery vocals, and awesome rhythm made possible by bass and drums. All in all an epic slice of musical perfection that needed to be brought to your attention (again hopefully), so... Enjoy!

Hunter S. Thompson & Ralph Steadman - Weird And Twisted Nights 
-> I couldn't believe it at first, but it's actually true: Hunter S. Thompson made a song with British artist Ralph Steadman. I believe it's Steadman singing and Hunter playing. And well, the song is pretty fucking awesome, especially when mixed with stimulating intoxicants. And well, I idolize Thompson anyway, and am still baffled by this discovery, meaning that I will now play this song on repeat for a couple of days. Anyway. Amazing song, legendary artists... Enjoy!

Well, this post kind of jumped between topics rather shallowly, but I was as mentioned earlier quite busy with Green Scorpion News and real life. But well, I do hope that this belated entry was still enjoyable to you, and I do think I touched on some important issues I hadn't talked about so far, meaning that the essential purpose of the blog, namely to inform, educate, and serving as an eye-opener to people, has still been accomplished. So, as always, I hope that you're now thinking or rethinking things, and/or that your eyes were opened by some of the things mentioned.

And I will really, really try to post more regularly from now on. Really!