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, November 30, 2014

Some stones are better left unturned

if you don't want to see their parasite-ridden underside, that is. But isn't that parasitic abscess, normally hidden from the eye, as much part of the stone as its polished, usually visible surface? Why would one not want to know of that aspect? Because it is much easier to tolerate a pretty rock than the rotting remains of one, I suppose. And as long as you can fool yourself into ignoring the ugly mess below the surface, you will be sure that the stone's underside is akin to, if not an exact replica of, the visible part. Which is exactly what's going on in so many forms in our world: ugly truths are flipped so as to make them radiate positively, and the public at large would much rather see and believe the pretty illusion than dig down to the fucked up crux of the matter and see the shit that's really going on.

But I'm not going to get into the aspect of mass-media-manipulation that is inherent to the issues at hand quite yet. I'll start with another aspect, namely the personal auto-deception many of us - including me - are falling victim to, which is in itself just a pathetic little charade our brain is playing with our minds. Let's take myself as an example: these past weeks have been horrible; I stayed up too long, smoked too much, slept too little, and did not eat enough. Yet I, our rather my demented cerebrum, have - has - somewhat managed to press the notion that I am actually feeling and living quite well to the very front of my cerebral lobes, thereby deluding myself - me - to a shudder-inducing degree. Of course I realize that I am just fooling myself - hence this post - but the inevitability of falling in the traps of auto-deceit has come weighing down upon me in the interim leading up to this realization, and that is something I have always striven to avoid: the loss of control, or rather the lack of realization in my thinking. But that might be a rather melodramatic way of portraying things after all. In the end, it's not like deceiving yourself leads to a complete loss of coherent thought. It does however, lead to you essentially misjudging yourself and the things happening to you, which might lead to self-neglect, as it has happened to me. I am just not taking care of myself lately, I feel. Although I am doing sports each and every morning, and have cut down on all chemical psychoactive substances, I know that I could do a lot of things a lot better: I could, for example, start going to classes again; I could eat more and go to bed early, and I could just not smoke any cigarettes. The problem here is that I simply do not feel like it. I don't even see any actual reason to do so, which is weird because I know that there are plenty. Shit, it's like I have this reasonable side that's compelled to drastically alter the way I go about living my life right now, but on the other hand I also have this fuck-you-all-side that tells me to just keep doing what I like until I find something actually productive that I enjoy doing. I'm guessing that neither of those ways is going to make me happy though. It's as always going to be a compromised middle between the both of them that will make for a comfortable ride. But this tangent is not entirely relevant to the topic to be honest. What I was getting to is actually the auto-deceit and its power within human nature: we like thinking that everything is fine, and our brains are stupid enough to produce endorphins as soon as we decide to like something, meaning that deceiving yourself into believing you're feeling fine will eventually make you feel fine, simply because our brains are primitive as fuck when it comes to emotions. Which is in all likelihood also the reason why I'm not enticed to change my way of living right now; I have gotten so used to it that my brain is now producing endorphins where it would have made me aware of misery just a few weeks ago. And that is the actual danger of deceiving yourself: at some point deceit turns into belief and then into conviction, meaning that tricking yourself into feeling a certain way might ultimately result in you actually feeling that way in similar situations from that point on. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it might lead to weird up to downright questionable behavior in some cases.

But enough of this. What I haven't gotten into yet is the aspect of the mass-media, which have degenerated into filthy, smut-ridden, propaganda-spewing, war-instigating, government-controlled, brainwashing little puppets. Facts are being misrepresented, people are being misquoted, one-sided and biased reporting has become the norm, and all just to create a new common enemy, to distract the population from the dying economy, to distract the people from the failure of capitalism, to distract us from the evils of free market and the privatized bank system. And no, I am not a communist although the previous sentences might suggest that to some, I don't like to think in terms of political orientation to be honest, I just like to think logically; and logically speaking, you cannot possibly rationalize the free market capitalism any longer. It has failed. The middle class is essentially gone, the poor are getting poorer, and the rich have isolated themselves with their own schools and their own fenced-off and guarded compounds. And yet politicians are still in favor of not taxing these people more heavily. And yet politicians are still not doing anything about companies taking away public money (taxes) by "smart geographical re-distribution of their returns", ergo taking them to Luxemburg, Cayman Islands, etc. Companies are officially bragging about evading taxes, and nothing is being done about it. That money could have gone into better education, new infrastructure; it could have been used for public needs. But instead, it went into the pockets of those that already have more digits on their bank accounts than words are able to express. Is anyone upset by this? Yes, many people are. Are governments taking serious steps to address this problem? You bet your sweet ass they don't. They're profiting from it too! Oh, and of course there's proof to all of this: you may check the "panama corporate database", and you will see for yourselves, which names are registered there; and for Germany, you can check the annual report of the "Commerzbank", in which they pat themselves on the back for having evaded taxes. Mind you, this bank was saved by German taxpayers' money, and now they're refusing to pay theirs? That is just fucked up. And again, the government is not doing anything about it.
But I drifted off-topic there. The media are turning things around. For example, Russia is made out to be the root of all evil lately. Now of course, Russia is not a great example of a peaceful, non-militarized state, no-one is going to deny that. But still, the US is equally aggressive, and the greatest war instigator of this century, and they're not being criticized as heavily for their actions in the whole Ukraine debacle. Fact of the matter is, the NATO has promised the Russians long ago that they would not expand eastwards, and yet they did. A step that former US Secretary Of Defense Robert McNamara, amongst more than forty former senators, cabinet secretaries and ambassadors, heavily criticized in an open letter to president Clinton. So, naturally, Russia is going to feel threatened and try to extend its sphere of influence as well. And please don't be so naive as to think that 'Russia doesn't have to fear the NATO expansion as long as it behaves', because that is just bullshit. Tell that to the bombed remains of Syria and Algeria. Anyway. I am not condoning Russia's behavior either, but it's not like they're the main aggressor we need to be afraid of. The foreign policies of NATO states have actually revived the dead and buried corpse of the Cold War. People that have lived to see the actual Cold War are reminded of the anti-Russian propaganda from back then when watching the news today. And that already says quite a lot if you ask me. Selah. 

Well, this entry took quite some time to finish once again, but well, as long as it's still November I have managed to keep my promise of posting twice a month, which is something. But I am really eager to write some more in the future, and I hope I will succeed at doing so. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this post and that it has shown you some things. I don't want you to rely on anything you read here though, especially not when it comes to political things: do some research and develop your own opinion! Just be sure not to stop your research at the first source you find, and be sure to use sources from both sides, so that you can form your own differentiated opinion on it. 
But enough preaching for today, here's some good music for you:

The Hieroglyphics - You Never Know
-> I've recently rediscovered The Hieroglyphics, and cannot believe how I could not have gotten into them a lot more way earlier! Amazing old-school Hip Hop, awesome beat, great flows, deep message, and just all in all mind-boggling. I love this kind of Hip Hop most, and will probably just stick to that for all songs in this post, so sorry to all non-Hip Hop fans out there! Anyway, great tune, legendary artists, 'nuff said!

Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)
-> Another amazing song, I am not sure if I haven't featured it on here before though, if that is the case please let me know!
Anyhow, this track is just so insanely great, the jazzy samples, the raw beat, the inspiring vocals, everything! Enjoy!

The Hieroglyphics feat. Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - At The Helm 
-> Awesome fucking song! Deep message, amazing flows, raw old-school beat; this tune has everything I love about Hip Hop incorporated into its cocoon of greatness! "Rap ain't about bustin caps and fuckin bitches. It's about fluency with rhymin ingenuity"....Enjoy!

The Pharcyde - Drop 
-> Legendary artists, awesome song, and a great video, that was actually shot with them walking backwards and then reversed to make it look they're going forward, hence their "goofy" way of walking as on YouTube commentator put it. Anyhow, amazing track that definitely needed featuring on here, so... Enjoy!

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - If You Must 
-> "It's important to practice good hygiene, at least if you want to run with my team!" A song about cleaning yourself properly! Funny topic, realized amazingly well by Del, and just all in all a great tune that you'll definitely... Enjoy!

The Pharcyde - Pandemonium
-> From the Street Fighter soundtrack from 1994, as you can see in the video description. Still, this song takes me back, used to love that movie, and the track in itself is also close to perfection, amazing flows, dope beat, and all in all real old-school Hip Hop that I love! Enjoy!

This post turned out to be a bit shorter than I had expected, but well, at least it's appearing within a reasonable time-frame. Plus I have to say that I am quite happy with what I wrote here, and hope that it is as enjoyable for you to read this as it was for me to write it. I'll try to write more regularly in the future, but I've said that so often by now that this promise has somewhat lost its value. So, not minding the redundancy, I hope that his post holds some truths or values for you, that it entices you think a bit, you know the deal.

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.