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!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I have many vices

but apparently I did not feel that they were enough yet, so I decided to add a bad gambling habit to them. I had actually planned to get into gambling since I started to report on the World Cup games a few months ago but have not had the financial liquidity necessary for it up until now. And well, I've already lost most of the money I had put down, but am now very enticed to put some more dough down and try to win back what has been lost so far. Which is a bad idea, trust me I know that it is, but so are alcohol, drugs, and borderline insanity, but those have always worked for me (not wanting to plagiarize Hunter S. Thompson here), meaning that gambling will probably work for me as well. Or not, and I'll never post here again because I'll lose all my assets and end up living on the streets. But up to that point, I will continue to gamble on a variety of sporting events I know nothing about. Which is in all likelihood not the best way to go, but quite exciting nevertheless. Or just because of that?

I mean, I have not embraced risk and danger all too much in my life, or at least I thought that I didn't. But come to think of it, I might be a lot more prone to taking huge risks and putting myself in dangerous situations than I had originally thought. It's not a huge surprise though due to the fact that I have been close to dying both physically and mentally purely out of neglect for the possible consequences of my doing, meaning that I had taken as large a risk as I possibly could, and that it almost backfired on me. Which did not stop me from doing the same things over and over again though, each time with the same possibility of imminent death. Not that I take pride in having done so. But this behavior definitely shows that there is a risk-taking aspect to my personality that might be a lot stronger than I had gauged it to be so far. 
And if that's good or bad, I don't know. All I do know is that it seems to exist at times. There are other moments however; moments in which I do not take the slightest of risk and remain as stale as I imagine soups in prison to be. But those are usually passing rather quickly, and almost exclusively appear in situations that I did not get in of my own accord. So, am I a risk-taker by definition? Or am I just blind to risk in situations that would actually call for both eyes being wide open? Am I reckless or just stupid? I believe the line one has to cross to turn from the one to the other to be extremely thin, borderline anorexic actually. Recklessness can have its roots in stupidity, and stupid behavior can be induced by reckless thinking. The both are interdependent, and yet they stem from different worlds, hell, from different universes altogether. Which makes this whole thing a lot more complicated. Because even if the risks of an action underway are just too obvious for one to be oblivious about their existence, and one still decides to partake in said action, one is either a complete moron or a daredevil. Leaving us at the same impasse we were at two sentences ago. Hm. This is certainly a dilemma of large proportions. I mean, I could go the easy way and just state that all people exhibiting a daredevil attitude are in reality just idiots seemingly looking to accelerate their inescapable demise by acting foolishly. But that would just be what the government does; throwing people in a pot with others that may seem similar but are in reality equipped with a myriad of differences to separate them from each other. And I am not going to stoop to that level, pandering to the lowest common denominator found in society. No, I am much rather going to shed some light on this issue. The thing that separates those taking risks for a thrill and those taking risks out of stupid negligence is essentially that those taking the risk for a thrill are trying to accelerate towards the notorious edge I have already discussed at length in order to reach a state of understanding; they're taking these risks as means to an end, as stepping stones paving the way to recognition, to an epiphany of sorts. They're looking to reach a new mental platform of being, and can only do so by pushing the risks associated with their actions to an absolute maximum. Whereas those taking risks out of stupidity and/or negligence will quickly back down once they've seen the hazards accompanying their doing; they're not looking to "see the light" when the prospect becomes reality, they're not wanting to use the danger as a mean to reach an understanding and revelation-inducing end. No, they have simply overstepped their boundaries by accident, and are paralyzed with fear like they've been struck by lighting, just looking for a way back to their normal, peril-free, dull, and relentlessly stagnating way of life. Which is fine, really. No-one should be forced to partake in any possibly dangerous action, and nobody should be allowed to force others out of their insanely boring comfort zone. Then again, no human being should be taking drugs by the definition of most governments, and we all know damn well that that is just wrong, ludicrous, and has lost all touch with real life. 
So, to all of you daredevils: go and grab one of your dullest acquaintances and throw them in a situation they cannot possibly handle in order to get these boring fuckers to finally live their lives in a way that is worthy of being called that. 

Ha. Those that know me personally will have snickered at the above sentence, simply because I am really not the type of guy to go out and do things that others would file under 'daredevil'. But I am living life to the fullest in another way, I am deliberately entering perilous situations in order to dash towards the illustrious edge, so, no, I would not consider myself as being dull, stagnating, fester, languish, or stall in any way. Maybe in the way that the sporting-fitness kind of people would consider as being idle. But I have at best slim interest for their definitions, seeing as my quest for an interesting and fulfilled life usually largely differs from theirs. This does not imply that I want to demean aforementioned group's definition though. It just means that mine is largely different, and that theirs cannot possibly apply to me just as much as mine cannot possibly apply to them. Which is not a bad thing by any means, it just shows the great diversity in the approaches different people have when it comes to the question of how to define yourself and your goals in life. It is pernicious to think your ideas and ideologies are right for everyone, and trying to insidiously push these on others is a heinous act of what essentially boils down to fascism. So, like I always say, "live and let live". That is as simple but at the same time as efficient as it gets. And I know that I have said that like a million times already, but it does not cease to be the best advice I could possibly give to anyone reading these words and pondering their meaning. 
I mean, there are obviously situations that call for an active involvement rather than passive disregard, and in those cases, such as the government trying to take your freedoms or some asshole trying to rob you, it is better not to stick to the electric principle of taking the path of least resistance, and rather go ahead and kick some ass and take some names. But generally speaking, as long as your freedom isn't at stake, it's much better to just let people go about their business and not interfere because you don't perceive it as being "right" or "morally/socially acceptable". 
So, the essence of this paragraph is essentially the anarchic principle of being able to take any and all freedoms for oneself as long as they do not obstruct the freedom of others, which, if people were smart enough to adhere to it, would make for a much better world than the war-ridden one we inhabit today.

All in all, I think that I'm touching on an all-too-familiar issue here once again: the idiocy of fellow man, and the disastrous consequences resulting from it. We humans are the only animal capable of actual thought, we're the only animal capable of judging its own actions, and yet we're completely unable to behave in a way that would honor such a high place in the world, unable to cope with the responsibility that arises from such great intellect, and completely unfit to rule over our own lives, much less over the faith of the entire fucking planet. And yet here we are, trying to do just that. And failing miserably, as always. Failure seems to be the only real constant in human history anyway. Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to demean all the great achievements of mankind, we have come a long-ass way since the first ape decided it was time to walk on two legs instead of four and communicate using language instead of signs, but there has always been somewhat of a downward trend in all of our development, hasn't there? We had the industrialization, which was in itself good, but brought on inhumane treatment of workers, horrid environmental damages, and made some very fucking evil people very fucking rich. Then along came the globalization, which in itself had, and still has many positive aspects, but also created the means necessary for an even greater exploitation of the third world, a merging of standards only helpful to corporations, and an unprecedented opportunity for foreign secret services to spy on us. But well, globalization is of course not the sole responsible for these developments, and neither is the industrialization for that matter. It's us humans that cannot cope with great discoveries, it's us as a species that are unable to use these developments for the betterment of society and the environment. So, I reiterate: failure really is the only constant in human development so far. And that is sad, because there is such grand potential in all of mankind's achievements. But well, money and greed will always prevail, and we can therefore shove that potential up our asses, because we are not the ones that have the financial means necessary to make the corporate giants topple and finally use their might for good. "Good" - such a loosely defined term, but I think it is quite clear what I mean by it in this particular case.

Anyway. I am getting tired of this topic. It seems like no matter how many times I insist on it, no matter how many times I write about it, the same shit completely opposing my words just keeps on going down. So, I'll just hope that at least some of you manage to incorporate some of the things mentioned in this post in your own lives. Or at least think about some of the things and make up your own mind, you know the deal. So -- in this light -- I'll leave you be with some good music:

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California 
->Blah blah blah. You can rip on me all you want for posting a Red Hot Chili Peppers song on here, but fact of the matter is that this song is pretty damn cool and catchy, plus it somehow reminds me of a time not all too long ago when I did not think about things as much and everything was much simpler. And even if it didn't remind me of anything - this song is awesome, the guitar riff has an awesome ring to it, the vocals are really nicely put on there, alternating between spoken and sung, and all in all this is just a great classic tune, so... Enjoy!

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
-> I might be pushing my luck by putting yet another RHCP tune here, but since the topic is fitting, and I just heard this track on the radio, I decided to put it on here as well. And well, the title is the same as that of my favorite non-animated TV-show, so I guess it needed to appear here at some point anyway, so why not today? Plus the song in itself is quite nice, I really enjoy the melancholic guitar that starts with the intro and is present throughout the entire song, and the lyrics are quite cool as well, so... Enjoy!

Dr. Dre feat. Ice Cube - Natural Born Killaz
-> "You've got a problem? I've a got a problem solver, and his name is revolver" Awesome lyrics, legendary MCs, grimy-ass beat, and an overall great song! And well, pretty sick lyrics, but that's the way things went down back in the day I guess, and they're mostly an expression of rage anyway. Plus, Death Row used to be the most dangerous record label, so they had a certain reputation to uphold. And regardless of all that, this tune is fucking awesome and an absolute classic, so... Enjoy!

Eminem - Mosh
-> Here is an anti-Bush song, and as you can imagine, I thoroughly despise George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney for that matter), his politics, and everything he stands for, meaning that I immensely enjoy this tune. And well, Hunter S. Thompson, who was very well known for really hating Richard Nixon, said the following during an interview in 2004: "[...] if Nixon was running against George Bush. I’d vote for Nixon. Yeah... I never thought I’d say that." Which just goes to show how bad of a president George actually was. But anyway, this is a great political song that bashes Bush quite nicely, so... Enjoy!

Dimitri Vegas, Moguai & Like Mike - Mammoth (Original Mix) 
-> I know that this song has by now reached what one could consider a mainstream-status, but that does not diminish its quality in anyway. I first heard this great track in 2012 or 13 at a friend's place, and had somewhat of an eargasm when the awesome melodic part combined with the heavy bass hit my eardrums for the first time in my life. Needless to say, I've enjoyed this song ever since, and I think that it is one of the very best tunes modern EDM has to offer, so... Enjoy!

Flux Pavilion - The Scientist 
-> You know I love the UKF Dubstep Channel, you know that I love Flux Pavilion, and you know I love emphasizing my love for the both of them, so here goes another classic Flux Pavilion tune that I should have put on here long ago but for some reason failed to do so. Anyway, this song is just fucking awesome, great vocals, beautiful melody, and an outer-worldly drop that leaves your ears bleeding but your mind happy, so... Enjoy!

Well. This post turned out to be of a little more than average length, sifting through a couple of topics, but remaining a lot more organized than the previous mess I decided to publish. From gambling to risk-taking to freedom to mankind's overall failure. A nice, logically adjacent chain of themes I think. Or at least hope. Anyway. I hope that you've enjoyed this post, and want to apologize for missing the "deadline" (the quotes are there because I have shifted said date from being every other day to every week to every ten days, meaning that there is no real regularity and therefore also no real deadline to adhere to) by a couple of days once again. The main reason for it this time is that I am enjoying my holidays at the North Sea and only have my cellphone's mobile network to rely on, which sucks. But well, I hope you're not all too disappointed and have enjoyed the above ramblings. 


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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.