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, August 25, 2015

Porn, Drugs, and a gun

As I have received quite a lot of positive feedback on my vlogging try, I have decided to keep on doing it for a while until I get bored with it.

This time around I'm talking about a rather funny incident at a Maryland Correctional Facility. I have also written an article about this on GonzoToday!, which you can find here.

I hope you guys enjoy today's post, and below are the to the YouTube videos of the songs I talk about at the end of the vlog:

R.A. The Rugged Man - Lessons

R.A. The Rugged Man - The People's Champ

R.A. The Rugged Man - Brawl

R.A. The Rugged Man - The Dangerous Three (feat. Brother Ali & Masta Ace)

R.A. The Rugged Man - Holla-Loo-Yuh (feat. Tech N9ne & Krizz Kaliko)

...and as a little bonus, here's "Definition of a rap flow" by him:

So I hope you guys liked today's vlog and song selection. Let me know what you think about the two dudes and their drone in the comments, by mail, or on Facebook!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Vlog #1

As I haven't posted in an eternity, I have decided to start "vlogging" on the issues I usually write about. Making a video takes a lot less time than writing an entry as I don't edit the video. I haven't added songs this time, but will return to doing so next time.

Anyhow, I hope you guys like this new format!


Monday, May 25, 2015

It's been a while

since the last time I've gotten around to post something on here. Quite a while, actually. Probably the longest while I've ever put writing on here off, but well, I'm busy as fuck. I've got four books to write, am doing sports, working, and continue to write regularly for GonzoToday, all of which combined makes scribbling on here utterly impossible. 

But I've gotten all my chores done for the day, and can therefore just sit back for a minute and let the words flow from my brain, through my veins, and onto this fucked up laptop that hasn't been working properly since Christmas. There are so many things to say I don't even know where to start; for one, I've moved up my flight date to China to the first of July, and am therefore swamped in various kinds of preparations. I'm also working as a waiter these days, which is possibly the best job for the kind of money I'm making there, but also means that on most days I come home with my energy fully depleted and unable to produce a coherent line of thought, much less write one down. I've also taken to smoking again, which is just another vice to add on my long list, and therefore not all that bad. Although I have to say that cigarettes are the devil's playmates, and I certainly loathe the addiction, there are still so many things my insane cerebrum perceives as positive about them that I cannot seem to fully stop. I'll have to find some sort of a middle-way I can take there in order not to fuck myself up all too much and still not having to give up the smoking. Or I'll manage to just stop again, which would of course be better. At least I've stopped betting unreasonably large amounts of money on soccer games, which is a huge relief for both my conscience and my wallet. There are not many things going on in my life besides my work, my preparations, and GonzoToday at the moment, which means that there isn't so much to write about either. 

Although I do have a topic that's been lingering in my mind since a job I've had a few weeks ago; I was at some sort of fancy private bank where a few artists displayed their works and the bank's clients dined for free. Serving these money-ridden, arrogant pricks made me realize just how little ability to handle money these people actually have. First of all, they're letting their money rot away in a bank, which shows that they have no clue as to what to do with their money anyways. Secondly, these snobby bastards have somehow, somewhere gotten so entrenched in the notion that their money makes them morally and socially better than everyone else that they're now just looking down on anyone they deem "too poor" or "too weird" to associate themselves with. I mean I offered some of these bastards something to drink or eat and they just took it with their head raised slightly higher, not looking or god forbid talking to me. I was a fucking peasant in their eyes, and I can simply not understand how blinded one can be by some worthless fucking slips of paper. It is just so damn sad to see how we have 90% of the world's population starving to death, and then these rich fucks have the audacity to look down on someone bringing them free food. It's mind-boggling madness to me, really. These people do not have one shred of human dignity left in their filthy bodies, and I can not understand how these kind of people are what we're being taught to strive for. Big money is a good dream, don't get me wrong, I myself am trying to get as rich as I can, but this dream was somehow blurred and distorted in our everyday society to mean that striving for money is striving for materialistic decadence, and that's what's being glorified on the news, and in pop-culture. It's sad, really, to what level we have stooped. We used to understand that with great power - monetary influence in this case - comes great responsibility, but apparently this understanding has been lost, we have been deluded by the influence on TV and in movies, and are now aiming for the power, but not willing to take on the responsibilities anymore, and that is breeding a culture of people that have such a large financial wealth, but no idea and no drive to do something good for others with it, and that just cannot stand. I'm not loathing someone for being rich, why would I? If that person's has paid his or her dues, and gotten rich by doing something he or she knows how - great! But please, prior to getting rich, understand the responsibilities that come with it - if you're rich and you do nothing but sit on your ass all day, then I loathe you, your existence, and everything you stand for. Arrogance is something that I really, and thoroughly despise, and, working in the field of "Haute Cuisine", I see so much of it each and every day, and have therefore developed a burning passion to purge the earth of those snobby fucks with a stick so far up their ass that it tickles their nose once and for all. 

Ha. A good, old-fashioned rant is just what I need to unwind sometimes. And it really did the trick, I'm now so much at ease that I'm getting sleepy... Ah... This will have to wait, first going to smoke then go to bed now...

...and I'm back. Took two whole days to actually find the time again, but I'm slowly working through this post so as to have it done by Saturday, which is the day on which I'll hopefully be able to upload it. Anyhow. I am quite anxious as to finally get the fuck out of Europe and back into wonderful Asia again, let me tell you that. There is nothing that takes more toll on my creativity than being surrounding by these energy-sucking parasites of Europeans again. I had forgotten just how annoying, arrogant, selfish, and utterly distasteful German people can be during my 7 years in China, and now that I've been back here for almost two years, I am so fucking eager to get back East that I'd take the next plane if it weren't for money and preparation needing to be gotten and made. There's literally nothing else holding me back here. With a few good friends of mine and my parents being the obvious exception. 

I complain too much, I know. There are some great things about being back in Germany, too, but the disadvantages clearly outweigh any positive points I could possibly find. Politics alone drive me mad here. It's not like it's better in Asia, politics suck all over the globe, but at least it's not this hypocritical lie-fest that we're being subjected to in our oh-so-free Western culture. It boggles the mind how many fucking lies and misrepresentations of facts some suit-wearing assholes can fit into a single sentence. I fucking hate that in the Western world it's all about how something sounds or how someone looks instead of about the content of the sentences and the personality of the individual. And I know that I'm repeating myself for like the billionth time with this, but, well, it's not like anything's changed since I've last approached this topic, so I might either not have reached the right people or they didn't give a fuck last time and need to be reminded of their own hypocrisy. 

Argh. I don't post for two months or so, and then my big comeback post is the above repetitive bullshit. Big disappointment, I know. But all of my creative juices are currently being put into the books and articles and interviews and video scripts and so on that I'm currently writing, which is why only the dull left-overs scraped off of the last unused parts of my worn-out brain actually arrive here, which actually saddens me, but has to be treated as an unchangeable fact for now. I hope I'll be less busy at some point in the next couple of months and be able to produce some quality content for you guys again! Until then, please just hang on and enjoy the good music below: 

Die Antwoord - Fatty Boom Boom
-> Well, Die Antwoord is quite clearly unlike anything I have ever posted, but I immensely enjoy their music, and especially their message; they're the blueprint for anti-establishment. They were signed with Interscope Records, but decided to drop that label when they were to be forced to cooperate with a popular artists. And the above video is their response to being asked to open for Lady Gaga, which is a pretty awesome fucking answer if you ask me. Anyway, great song, talented and authentic musicians, and a simply weird, freaky video... Enjoy! 
Die Antwoord - So What?
-> This track illustrates my reason for liking Die Antwoord quite well, I think. It's a great, old-school style Hip Hop track with a great carpe diem kind of message, which really speaks to me. Plus it is just shows the raw, creative potential within this group, which I think is virtually limitless. These are two really good rappers come together with a great DJ, and they do everything from sad love songs to energetic rave music, which is another reason why I enjoy them so much; they diversify, they don't stay on the same boring path all the time, and that's what makes them so awesomely unique! Enjoy!
Jetta - I'd love to change the world (Matstubs Remix)
-> This sounds like an angel came down from heaven to sit down at a mixer and make a heavenly sound straight outta paradise. I cannot put into the words the cosmic buzz listening to this song gives me, it's orgasmic, really. This is really a wave of beauty that crashes through your eardrum and straight into your brain, drowning out any thought and giving you over to an emotional roller-coaster that leaves you exhausted, exhilarated, cranked up, and hungry for more... Enjoy!

Tove Lo - Habits (Hippie Sabotage Remix)
-> With a name like "Hippie Sabotage", I expected something a bit different, but was positively surprised - this is perhaps the best remix of this otherwise rather dull song that I have heard. The great build-up to the soul-freeing hook that just screams drug use in excess, but also encompasses that spiritual, dreamy part of the brain that forces you to think about what you're doing and how you're doing it. I don't know, this song just evokes a lot of interesting feelings, especially when listening to it under the influence. Plus this remix just brings out the very best of this tune, so... Enjoy!
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
-> Well, I remember posting the Gus Black acoustic version of this song on here, but not the original song, which is a huge error on my part for which I apologize! I don't think that there's much to say to this song seeing as it is simply a pure classic that should get everyone wet between their legs. Enjoy!
Iron Maiden - The Trooper
-> I am on my classics trip once again, and dug up this old gem. An energetic, riff-laden masterpiece of epic proportions. The opening riff alone is one of the most memorable in history, and the rest of the song continues in like fashion. There is seldom a person who wouldn't list "the trooper" as one of the first songs when asked if he or she knows any good Iron Maiden songs. This tune has truly stood the test of time, and is an all-time classic that shan't ever be forgotten. Enjoy!

Well, it has really taken me a lot of time to actually get through writing this, and it is by now not Saturday but Monday, but what the hell, at least I managed to finally post something again. I think I will have to reduce the interval of my posts to once a month, because in my current situation nothing else is really possible, for which I apologize. But well, I hope that you've enjoyed this post nevertheless, and that you'll keep on following my blog until I have time to post on a weekly or bi-weekly basis again.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A wise man's advice

tends to go unheard by those needing it the most. It seems as if the people that are on their way to complete self-destruction and eternal despair are the very people entirely unfazed by  wise advice directed at them in a desperate attempt to save their lives. I don't know why that is, maybe ignorance is inherent to the kind of mindset that inhibits those set on self-destruction. Or maybe a wise man is not perceived as such and therefore the advice does not arrive in the minds of those targeted.

I don't know. I'm not even sure that there is an actual point I was trying to make in the paragraph above. Something about wise men and their advice being unheard by those needing it the most... but I don't see anything interesting coming out of that topic to be honest. So, we'll need something else. It's getting hard to find things to write about once again, which is partially due to my work for GonzoToday!, seeing as I am now listed as Staff Writer there and am so quite eager to get articles published as often as possible, which leads to me having less time and energy to put into this blog. But I still want to post on here as much as I can, hence this entry. My uncertainty regarding a topic has still not disappeared though, and I am facing the same dilemma I am always facing... I don't know what to write about... Hm...

Holy fucking shit. I am so fucking far behind deadline that I cannot even produce the words to describe that time span. And of course I'm sorry, but I know that I have done this and apologized for it far too often than to be able to reasonably expect anyone to actually believe my reasons - which are the same as usually - anymore. Which is fine, really. 

Anyway. I am going to get back to the topic I hinted at in the first and then dismissed in the second paragraph, which is the way that advice uttered by those that are generally, or at least by me personally, considered to be wise completely gets missed or even worse misinterpreted by those needing it the most. One example that comes to mind would be most religious leaders; they - or at least most of them - are preaching a message of peace, of love, of unity with yourself and your surroundings, but a helluva lot of extremists are misinterpreting these messages and turn them into formulas for blind hatred and senseless violence. This is a trend inherent to most faiths, at least the biggest groups, with the most prominent examples being the crusades and the infamous jihad. I have never heard anyone rape, kill, or plunder in the name of Buddhism though. There should be more Buddhists then, I suppose, but those needing advice of wise men usually do not tend to look further than the established religions for guidance, or are easily caught by some cults like Scientology. Ah, so we're going down that road again... Alright, let's do it. These kind of cults and sects realize when a person has come to an extreme down point in their life, it's like they can smell misery, and they can easily position themselves as wise and knowledgeable and happy in the minds of those poor sorrow-struck souls. Which is not something those actually possessing valuable information are apparently unable of doing, and that sucks. 

Fucking hell, I still have no idea where I'm going with this. Like literally, none. I started this with a clear line of thought in mind, as usually, but ended up not continuing to write right away, and lost that train of thought completely by now. Which makes this whole entry somewhat weird..

Well. It's currently 9AM and I have already been awake for a few hours. I've actually managed to create a habit of getting up early lately, and it's doing wonders for my energy. I've also started going to the gym, which is also proving to be working out quite well for me, and that is really something I would not ever have expected just a year ago. It's funny how some things can change so drastically whereas others remain unaltered for a lifetime. Stagnation is one of the great forces in life, and some part within each and everyone of us is definitely affected by it. "People don't change", as said Dr. House, and he was right; most people you'll meet are pathological liars that will often pretend to have changed but will never actually try and alter their personality. Which is not bad per se, at the least the latter isn't, but it does get frustrating to see people around you still clinging to the crazy notion that humans are actually capable of change when subjected to enough pressure and/or information. I call absolute bullshit on this; you can naturally mess a person's head up enough until even their most basic character traits become unrecognizable, but in any normal scenario, people will do everything to convince themselves that they have changed whilst repeating the same old shit. That is why History repeats itself, that is why most of us are completely unable to learn from our mistakes... We say we do, we have our logical reasons to not do something again, and yet we keep on working the same tired routine, day in, day out... I am sitting here, 50 Cent blasting on full volume next to me, sipping on some Green Tea, and contemplating the life path that lies ahead of me. I have by now decided to go about realizing myself a little differently: I will actually go back to the business environment I loathe, but I will not be an employee - I'll start my own business. And I will reinvest that money smartly, and so create passive and/or portfolio income that I can then live of. And at that point, my entire life will be completely focused on doing what I love - writing. No financial worries anymore. That is now part of my plan for life that is slowly appearing in the mist of what I had planned... being self-employed is nice, you know, but what I strive for is true independence. The kind of independence that will allow me to fully indulge in journalism, and not getting doors slammed in front of my face anymore. The kind of independence that allows me to do whatever the fuck I want, and getting in the face of anyone I please. And of course the road to there will be paved with hardship, long business talks, and lots of annoying-ass money-related BS, but I am willing to take that road in order to be able to use the influence that is inherent to wealth coupled with the journalistic sense of justice that is inherent to myself in order to finally get some people to wake the fuck up and bring some change into this messed up planet of ours. But I digress. 

I was actually talking about the way I will invest in my future from now on. A way that was largely influenced by Robert T. Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", to be honest. Now, of course, I am not one to simply buy into any self-proclaimed guru's expertise, but as a nudge and life philosophy changer, this book has done a lot of good to the way I think about money, and changed the way I will go about handling it. And while I am not deluding myself with thoughts of billions of dollars piling up on my bank account, I do think that a life of financial freedom is possible, and will do my best to achieve it as quickly as I can reasonably expect to. Because although money is the sole root of all evil in this world, it is also the only weapon powerful enough to stop it - "an immortal can only be killed by another immortal", as it were. 

But that is already pretty much everything I have to say for this post, that is so fucking delayed that even trying to justify it would be an insult to you guys. So let me just leave you with my sincerest apologies, and some good music:

Pane Mua - Powerstomp (Spag Heddy Remix) 
-> I have spent some time on the Most Addictive Dubstep channel once again, and stumbled upon this beauty right here. Although the high-pitched build-up is a tad hard on my ears, the drop has this amazing energy that is reflected in the following three-step in- and decreases of the melody, which just forces my head into a state of mindless nodding that only starts to fade when the last second of this epic piece of greatness has passed... Enjoy!

Fox Stevenson - Trigger
-> Yup, I'm still roaming around the realms of MA Dubstep, and just when I was on the verge of going to another channel for the next song, I came across this bit of beautiful filth right here. Now, I have no idea whatsoever who Fox Stevenson may be - and I hope he doesn't get mad at me if he ever reads this - but I do know that this guy has just managed to blow my fucking brain out of my skull, and that is saying something! It's always so hard to find good electronic music online, especially Dubstep, simply because any idiot who can fiddle a bit with the gain and bass of a song believes they're the next big thing in EDM, and that makes separating the wheat from the chaff insanely hard. That being sad, this is an awesome tune, so... Enjoy!

Gang Starr - Full Clip
 -> "Big L, Rest In Peace!", and then the beat comes in, and Guru gets on top of it, with his unique flow and delivery, combined with his double-rhymes, and just dominates the whole thing from beginning to end. Too bad he died, shall he rest in peace as well. Anyhow. This song is fucking great - the scratched-together hook, the amazing beat that induces heavy nodding to the beat, and the awesome lyrics, all together form a grand piece of Hip Hop music! Enjoy!

Das EFX - Real Hip Hop
-> Do I really need to say anything about this classic? From the third Das EFX studio album, "Hold It Down", this song quickly spiraled to be the benchmark for real old-school Hip-Hop tunes, and has stayed with heads from all around the globe ever since. The funky beat, the cool rapping, the raw and rugged flavor of the video... This is just an all in all amazing track, produced by the one and only Dj Premier, and a must-know for anyone who considers himself even loosely affiliated with the notion of Hip Hop culture, so... Enjoy!
Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer
-> Wow. Just wow. Simon & Garfunkel do not fail to amaze me with their amazing songs. This great, partly autobiographical song that looks at a boxer trying to make it in New York City, is a momentum to the past. This riptide of craziness and solitude flowing against the current of this beautiful tune, this underlying anger, these two talented artists hearing the mere echo of a voice that rang so loudly in past days... This song gives me truly supernatural chills... Enjoy!
Warren Zevon - Don't Let Us Get Sick
-> Warren Zevon was a musical genius in many ways. He was the kind of person who forced you to look at yourself the way you really are, not the way you would like to be seen by others. He was indeed "good people". He was a close personal friend of Hunter S. Thompson. And he wrote this beautiful piece of musical excellence that could make grown man weep little girl's tears of innocence. Why do all the good ones leave us so early? Rest In Peace, Warren, you will be missed! 

So. I have once again managed to completely miss my deadline, and haven't even gotten a good post to show for it... I mean, honestly, the above ramblings are quite a bit below par, but I cannot for the life of me bring myself to deleting them and writing anew, so you'll just have to deal with an aggressively mediocre content this time, as sorry as I am for that! Anyhow. I hope that -- in spite of the horrid lack of organization, sense, or a golden thread -- there were a few things you could take away from this entry and apply to your own lives, you know the deal. I cannot promise that I will post regularly again next time seeing as I am still going through a number of major transitions in my life and am writing more and more for GonzoToday, but I can promise that the next entry will be of adequate quality once again. With that in mind, I hope that these ramblings were at least moderately enjoyable to you! 


Friday, February 20, 2015

A day like any other

has been a rare occurrence these past weeks. I have been jolted out of my transfixed routine, and I like it. My move to China is set in stone now, and so there's preparations to make, lists to work through, people to inform, and money to somehow get, which is proving to be an all in all very tiring, but also quite fulfilling experience. I have also started to write an actual journal with a pen in a notebook, so that, if the internet ever breaks down completely, I'll have at least some of my thoughts and ideas written down and not lost for eternity. I am getting more and more into the idea of just realizing myself and my writing, and am getting more and more positive, as well as negative, feedback on my scrambled ramblings, which is really giving me the edge I need to push on; on the one hand I want to show the bastards still doubting me, and on the other hand I want to deliver the kind of quality those believing in me expect from me, so I'm generally striving to be the best goddamned writer I can be, which should be helpful on my quest to become a self-supporting journalist, writer, blogger, author, or someone of that ilk. 

But I've said that so many times by now, it's getting old, isn't it? You all know by now that I have some sort of manic, borderline psychotic obsession for writing, and that I intend to use that obsession to sustain myself financially throughout the rest of my life. I like to think that if I set my mind to something, I can also achieve it, and whilst I'm not deluding myself with dreams of money and fame, I do believe that I have what it takes to get a shot at the life of a self-providing freelancing writer, preferably journalist, and I have every intention of setting all hell in motion to get and make that shot. I know the life and work as a writer to be a very hateful one, filled with impossible deadlines, hard months, and borderline starvation at times; but I also know that there is no real alternative for me out there: I can't go back now that I've developed a taste for blood. I'm hungry now, I've been unleashed, and I won't restrain myself before I haven't gotten my name out there and my voice heard. Even if I don't make a dime, even if I end up on the streets, in jail, or in a loony bin, I'll keep on writing, and though I know I'm being a bit melodramatic right now, I really do mean the essence of what I'm saying:

“As things stand now, I am going to be a writer. I'm not sure that I'm going to be a good one or even a self-supporting one, but until the dark thumb of fate presses me to the dust and says 'you are nothing', I will be a writer.”  - HST

Once again, the good Doctor has formulated the point I was trying to make a lot better than I could ever hope to. The above quote just expresses my exact sentiments: I don't actually know that my writing is any good, and I have no way of knowing if I'll ever make enough money with it to support myself, but I do know that I'm going to be a writer, whatever that means. Ha. It certainly feels good to finally being able to refer to myself as a journalist and writer, or at least to be able to say that I'm going to try and be one, which is now that I'm quitting my studies to chase that dream, actually the very least I can say about myself. And though I realize that there are many obstacles yet to overcome on the long path that lies ahead of me, I do feel a certain sense of victory lingering in the air, a certain sense of overcoming the odds and finally getting off-shore and battling the stormy winds of life out at sea with no lifebuoy on board, just relying on my own strength and knowledge. I am in the throes of an all-out writing frenzy that will probably keep me going until fate reduces my existence to nothingness, and maybe even for a little while after that. The problem is that I need to keep vigil over my manic streak that loves to manifest itself in what is admittedly my best work, but that is also quite damaging to other areas of my life, like human relations, meeting deadlines, and simply getting up in the morning, which all turn into insurmountable obstacles once I am back in that borderline psychotic mood that hits me every once in a while. Hm. Remember my previous entry? I should probably be very leery of writing about any 'abnormalities' in my mental health, for I fear that some three-letter-agency henchmen might come bursting through my door in order to get me pumped full of pharmaceutical poison and thrown in some nice padded cell in some asylum for the mentally ill. But I'm reiterating my last post. I was actually getting at the way that knowing I'll become some sort of writer has altered my perspective on a lot of things; I am doing much more to advertise myself as a writer, blogger, and journalist, and am taking every opportunity I see to get my name out there, which is slowly starting to yield some possibilities of writing work, which I think is pretty awesome! I have to say that back in school I would never have dreamed of actually trying to make a living with my writing; I had been told my writing is good, but to me it was always just an easy way to get good grades with little effort. Until I started to write my blog and get actual feedback by people unknown to me, that is. When I realized that the words I produce are apparently of actual value to some, I  also started realizing just how much putting words onto paper satisfies my inner-most needs. I was always a man of words come to think of it: back in grade school I knew how to convince teachers better than most others did, and even started working on a "novel"; in high school I was rapping - still do by the way - and actually part of the Model United Nations Debate Club; and now.... well now I am quitting my studies to become a journalist and writer. Many of you will have wondered by now why I choose not to write in my native language, German. Well, I can't really answer that question to be honest; I have always felt some inexplicable connection to the English language, and am much more at ease when formulating sentences in English, simply because the syntax and grammar comes easily to me. Now of course I am also working as a journalist for a German event-planning organization, so I naturally also write articles in German, but they don't work as well, if you catch my drift. English just has so many more synonyms and stylistic devices to offer than German. Hm. That's not entirely true either, there is some grand German writing, like Kafka, Nietzsche, and Goethe, that will prove the opposite, but I am for some reason much more proficient in the use of English vocabulary and rhetorical devices. It's weird, really. I think my focus on the English language in literature and film - coupled with the six years I spent living in China alongside American and British students - is to 'blame' here. I'm personally appalled by the miserable standard of English in German schools, and also by the fact that most consider their school-level English to be adequate in a professional context; don't get me wrong, I don't want to bash anyone whose English isn't perfect, not everyone is good at learning languages after all, but I do have a problem with people simply not recognizing that their skills aren't really up to par and in the worst case even getting all up in your face when you call them out on a mistake. It's not like I'm one of those condescending fucks that treat your every false utterance like a huge crime to their personal ethics, I'm usually very quiet and polite when telling someone about their errors, but even then there are some people who apparently just cannot handle being criticized at all and throw a real fit whenever I approach an erroneous aspect of their English speaking. Those are the same people that pounce on my every mistake to try and ridicule me, mind you. Which is obviously not working, for I'm well aware that I'm far from perfect; I know that I do have a certain knowledge of the English language that probably exceeds that of other non-native speakers not building their career on writing in English, but I also know that there are many errors I am still prone to, and so I am thankful for everyone pointing these errors out to me, for only by seeing one's mistakes learning becomes possible. Anyway. What I was getting is is that some people simply cannot admit their wrongdoings and are so entrenched in their egomania that they will never be able to actually learn anything; because you don't learn by supposedly doing things right and being praised all the time, but rather by fucking up and getting yelled at. You won't realize what not to do unless you've tried doing it, which is why I cannot understand how people can react so badly to criticism; it's understandable that you get agitated if a review of your work is actually insulting, but if someone calmly addresses some issues they feel compromise the quality of what you're doing, you should definitely listen to that someone. You don't necessarily have to implement what you're being told, but it is always advantageous to get a third or fourth opinion on whatever it is you happen to be doing in order to see either what you're already doing properly, or what you need to change in the way you're going about doing things. It just gives you some perspective on your work, and perspective allows you to look at your work from a meta-level, evaluating it more objectively. 
There's obviously always going to be a natural bias in the way you think about your own creations. As soon as you get feedback from others it pertains to gaining objectivity when evaluating your work though, and can so ultimately lead to at least partially overcoming that bias. Said bias is not necessarily positive though, mind you; I for one am almost always sure that what I have published is utter bullshit once it's online, but after a couple of days my regular sources for objective feedback usually tell me that they have enjoyed (at least most of) what I wrote, and that's the point at which I slowly begin to see that the piece of writing in question doesn't show an utter lack of quality content after all. The point being that my natural bias is a negative one, unlike most peoples' apparently, at least those of the people I have encountered so far: most of them tend to think that what they produce - be it writing, music, art, whatever - is top-notch and will revolutionize the whole world, and can only begin to admit that their production is maybe not as good as they had thought after they have been told so by multiple people. Both of these schools of thought hold their obvious pitfalls, but I personally would say that being negatively biased is better for your creative process to some extent; if you think you're doing worse than you actually are doing, you'll be more prone to striving to fully exhaust your potential capabilities, at least I know that I am, although there are some people that are so negatively biased that they either don't show their work to anyone or don't accept any positive remarks, at which point the bias is obviously an obstacle that needs to be overcome. With a positive bias however, you're more likely to produce lesser quality work, because you think that every shit you take is composed of solid gold anyways, which might make your mind resort to egomania at some point if your work isn't all that good and you're constantly being told so, because your disturbed ego won't be able to handle the criticism of something it considers to be perfect, and at that point you've become a mentally damaged asshole. This does not imply that you cannot have a positive bias towards your creations without being a dick about it, but it is certainly a pitfall of said bias to be aware of. Anyhow. This tangent about objectivity and biases suddenly came out of nowhere, didn't it? I was actually talking about the reasoning behind me using English instead of German for my writing needs; and well, there's the few reasons mentioned above, but the truth remains that I cannot really put my finger on my actual motivation for doing so. I just enjoy English. A lot. I solely watch American and British TV shows, I almost exclusively read American and British books, and am generally more versed in the English language than in any of the other languages I speak, and that is probably the main reason I chose English as my writing language: I can express what I want to the way I want to, using the words that do not only sound but also feel right in the context, and I am able to elicit the kind of associations I want to in my readers' minds, or at least I hope that I am. All I do know is that for my purposes and to the best of my knowledge I am using the right words at the right time, and am much more successful at doing so in English than for example in my native language, German, as weird as that may be to some. 

But I have come across an unspeakably tasteless atrocity that needs to be brought to everyone's attention: the shooting at Chapel Hill, N.C.. Some guy shot three young Muslims, allegedly because of a "parking dispute", according to local police. Whatever his reasons may have been, I do not care to be honest. It is saddening and sobering that everyone is so hellbent on connecting religion and xenophobia to this case, when all that really counts is the family and friends of these poor souls that were shot, and of course that the judicial entities bring the guy who did it to justice. But what I see are things like a Facebook group dedicated to "saving Craig Stephen Hicks", and one post in that group defends this guy with the disgusting argument that what he did was something that "most infidels would love to do!" and a comment on that saying "I hope that this is just the beginning and [...] people will follow his example"... Well. I seriously hope that that is some sort of very dark satire. Because I could not emphasize how fucked up that would be otherwise. Here's a guy that shot 3 people, and just because these people happened to be Muslim, there are now some racist fucks defending his actions. If a Muslim had happened to shoot three Christians, these same people would be condemning these very actions. Fucking hell, this world has bred some messed up personalities. And naturally the media coverage for this tragedy has been rather meager; it's just not as interesting or scandalous to see Muslims being shot by White people, apparently, as sickening as that realization is. And it does not fit into the media created image of the evil Islam either, so of course it descended into the footnotes of the newscast instead of being the headline it deserves to be. Isn't it gruesome to see just how political the medias' decision whether to cover a story in-depth or not has become? It's pathetic, really.

I can't get more into this topic now though, maybe I'll do a separate post about it or something. Just do your own research, you've got my thoughts about the issue already. I'm getting really tired, it's 4 AM already, and I am not even remotely done with all the writing work I still have to do; there's a translation still to be completed, there's this blog post, and there are five interviews in my notebook waiting to be compiled into full articles. And most, if not all of it won't be done prior to tomorrow evening, simply because my concentration is dwindling at an alarming rate right now, and so tonight I won't be able to actually select the songs that will appear below...

The Mamas & The Papas - California Dreaming
-> Great, classic tune. I love the guitar play, the lyrics, and the voices. It's just one of those timeless evergreens that you only come across a few times in your lifetime. A song that stays with you wherever you go, and well, it's just beautiful music, so... Enjoy!
Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence
-> Wow. Goosebumps slowly creeping up my spine and slowly but surely encompassing my entire body. Blood rushing to my head, a little dizziness coming on, and then the realization of the inner beauty of the words that flow with the stream of music, hitting me with the might of a hammer but with the subtlety of a feather. "But my words, like silent raindrops fell and echoed in the wells of silence...". I can't stress enough how amazing this song is, so... Enjoy!

Knife Party - Give It Up
-> Awesome! This is some great, energetic Dubstep just the way I like it! Great, Reggae-like intro that slowly morphs into an eargasm-inducing build-up ultimately leading to a great drop that coerces your limps to start jerking around to the beat! At this point I would once again like to recommend the "MA Dubstep" YouTube channel, they feature some really amazing tracks on there from time to time, and are definitely a good source if you like that kind of music! Enjoy!

Music Predators - Adventure Time (Condukta Remix)
-> Well, MA Dubstep doesn't fail to amaze me! Epic remix of a great song! I love the build-up, the melodic parts, and the drops that keep getting a bit heavier and adding a little more crunch to the bass each time they come around, it's just an all in all great song in my opinion. And for those of you wondering, yes, I have just discovered this song because I was still browsing the MA Dubstep channel after posting the last tune. As I said, it's a great source for this kind of music, and this is a great example to prove just that, so... Enjoy!

Afu-Ra feat. Gentleman - Why Cry
-> Now this is what I call music! Afu-Ra, who is part of the Gang Starr Foundation, a great, underground rapper, together with the German reggae sensation Gentleman on a great, peaceful, anti-system track that has a great message and spreads awesomely positive vibes! This song is truly a legendary piece of art, so... Enjoy!

Jedi Mind Tricks ft. Young Zee & Pacewon - Design in Malice
-> "They're no longer Christian! They no longer follow Jesus! They follow the devil, one hundred percent!" Which is extremely true on a meta-level; those claiming to be extremely religious nowadays are those acting in complete opposition to the values most, if not all religions preach. Anyhow. This song is fucking awesome, and Jedi Mind Tricks are pretty great in my opinion. Vinnie Paz might overuse some topics and not be the very best Enjoy!

Let me start this paragraph by saying that I am really sorry about the delay in publishing, but, as I have explained in the first paragraphs of this entry, a lot of things are happening in my life, and I am doing a whole lot of writing work for a number of different people, which is really taken a toll on my creativity, and so, because I don't want to dump low quality writing on you either, I need a bit more time to finish the posts for this blog, find music, and make everything ready for publication. But I will keep doing my best to continue posting at least twice a month on here, and hopefully entertaining, educating, and providing an interesting read for you guys. I am really happy that this blog still has the 20-40 people reading it regularly, and I do wish to attract more readers in the future, so if you guys would be so kind as to inform your friends of this blog's existence, I'd be extremely happy! I might actually do some sort of contest in the not too far future, maybe a writing contest, or just a lottery kind of thing, and there will be a prize in form of a nice book or something like that! So, look out for that, I'll be announcing the details sometime soon!
Anyhow. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this rather belated entry, that it has taught you something, or at least caused you to rethink a few things, but you know the deal...


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Drugging the creative people

has been a convenient way for oppressive regimes to keep freethinkers at bay for a few hundred years now, by simply calling them "mentally unfit", pumping them full of harmful medication, and locking them up with actual lunatics in insane asylums, with the sole purpose of maintaining their "social stability" and doing away with dissidents. It has happened in Soviet Russia and the Third Reich, and is probably happening in the US to some extent as well.

Goddamn, I just can't get focused enough right now, can't get my energy up to actually get any in depth writing done at the moment, which is why I have to take a break from all meaningful writing for a second and just ramble around a bit before getting back to topic, which I will, I promise. I'm just really tired from an entire day of writing, smoking, and watching TV. I think I might go and get a beer or two in order to get my creative flow going again. I'm at a huge turning point in my life that requires me to work more and more, but also to get more immersed in my writing, which is proving to be immensely tiring. I am currently watching the fourth (or fifth, I'm not sure) movie of the 'A Nightmare On Elm Street' series, eating, and getting annoyed at the lack of smoke-able material in my vicinity, which is an all in all crappy set-up for sleep. But I'm not remotely in the mood for an all-night writing and eating debacle, and will therefore lie down and at least try to get some sleep.

...and I am awake again. Trying to sleep apparently did the trick this time, which is not as normal as it may sound, seeing as usually, when I try to sleep my brain really gets going and keeps me from sleeping for at least a couple of hours. But this time, I actually slept until the next morning right away, which is pretty awesome. And now, replenished and full of energy, I will get back to topic.

What I was getting at is the way that those in power - at least those knowing that they are solely there for dubious reasons and harsh oppression that is - are using alleged mental illnesses and their treatment to keep those criticizing them silent and obedient, which is in itself such a morally fucked up thing to do. Broadening the definition of such illnesses to make room for those they want voiceless whilst taking the seriousness out of the sickness for those actually afflicted. Like the DSM-5 definition of the Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which reads like a blueprint to do away with troublemakers. There are, as always, people actually affected by this disorder that probably really do need treatment, but then again there are also those reasonably defiant that could just be dealt with by saying they have ODD and forcing so much pharmaceuticals into their bodies that they have no choice anymore but to blindly follow the masses. Shit, I probably fulfill a lot of the criteria used to diagnose said illness. Ha. Maybe my next visit to a doctor will now land me in an asylum, and I'll go down in history as "that crazy guy who thought that mental sickness is used to keep people voiceless". Let it be noted for the record then, that I'm a hundred percent sure that I qualify for some psychological condition, but am equally sure that I am not impaired in my coherent lines of thought, and that the only reason for which I could possibly be locked up with actual lunatics is dissidence. And I know that that might seem very far-fetched - it actually does to me too - but unfortunately it is not as unlikely as it seems. There are people all over the world now rotting in cells that probably deemed that possibility equally absurd before it happened to them. It's hard to imagine really; you know you're sane, and you're put away with people also claiming to be, which you know they are not, but have no real way of proving the truthfulness of your claim over theirs... well... if you weren't insane prior to getting there, you will be after you've spent a bit of time in that kind of environment. Seriously, just thinking about it makes the manic streak in me quiver with eagerness to manifest itself. This certainly is a conundrum. How can we know who is institutionalized because of an actual illness, and who is just made out to be sick in order to be kept quiet? We cannot really, because there is a stigma inherent to our definition and treatment of those mentally ill that doesn't allow for an actual differentiation, which makes it easy for the pharmaceutical lobby - that works closely with the government (they spend about 800 million dollars on their lobbying and campaign financing... this and this confirm it)- to introduce medication and definitions for illnesses that do not necessarily aim at helping those afflicted by mental problems but rather at identifying and quietly disposing of any 'troublemakers'. Said lobbying and influence Big Pharma does and has in Washington are also the reason that efforts for legalizing weed have been yielding only meager results so far. But change is coming on despites their million-dollar campaigns, because the people are realizing the potential that the wonderful green herb has to offer, and if the government doesn't give in at some point they won't be able to keep the illusion of a people-ruled democracy up for much longer. But before I get lost in anti-prohibition ramblings again, I'll just put a stop to this post, I reckon I've made all the points I wanted to make when I started working on this mess.

Hm. Maybe there is one more aspect that needs highlighting after all, namely that of the common misconception that pharma industries are interested in curing you, because that's what their least priority is. After all, if you cure an illness, it's gone, and the patient won't need to come back; if you only treat the symptoms of an illness however, you can keep the patient on medication forever and force him to spend tons and tons of money on it. Plus there's always some side-effect to their poisonous little pills, which can of course be treated by yet another medicament. It's a vicious circle, really. Plus there have been reports of people that actually had cancerous cells in them, but never knew about it, and so didn't suffer from the disease; you heard that right, these people just did not get sick albeit technically having cancer. Same thing with AIDS. Our mind seems to be the main cause for our sickness, and if it never knows of a disease, the likelihood of that disease breaking out is close to zero. At least that's what I like to think, and there are some cases seemingly confirming this. What I am getting at with this tangent is that we're creating a society of over-medicated zombies, either on some prescription drugs to "make them normal again" or on some other prescription pills to "help with their disease". Both of which are of course necessary in some cases, but are clearly much too prevalent in society to still be exclusive to those needing them. We're being fooled here, and cannot possibly know to what extent, which is pretty fucked up to say the least. So, steer clear of medication unless you're sure you need it would be the main point to take away here. And now on to some good music. Selah.

Vance Joy - Riptide
-> I immensely enjoy this song. The guitar playing, the guy's angelic voice, the catchy chorus, and the sing-along melody just make this tune what I call a 'good-mood song', simply because it's one of those songs that just make you smile for no apparent reason, and that is pretty damn awesome. Plus the guy himself seems pretty laid back, you might want to check out the "Tram Sessions" version of this track; he sits down in a tram, and just starts playing this song on a ukulele, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me. Anyway, great song, cool guy, so... Enjoy!

Eagles - Hotel California

-> Classic, well-known song that I somehow forgot to put on here so far, which is why it's here now. It's a great tune about the flip side of the American Dream, and the greed and decadence in the music industry, which are topics I really enjoy to begin with, and they were realized extremely well in these lyrics, plus are accompanied by really awesome music, which makes for an all in all amazing track, so... Enjoy!

Jamal - Keep It Real

-> Here's an amazing track back from '95, when Hip Hop was still good. The album Last Chance, No Breaks on which this gem appeared was produce in cooperation with Erick Sermon from Def Squad, which is pretty awesome! This track is just really awesome and describes what rap nowadays lacks so much: the realness. And I'm not even one of those people that expect rappers to have eaten dirt half their lives before joining a gang by means of a bloody initiation ceremony prior to rapping. I just want those fake-ass bitches claiming to be hardcore to stop doing that, because it deludes the whole genre; if everyone's a gangster, no one really is. Anyway, awesome track, great MC, Enjoy!

Masta Ace - Born To Roll
-> Do I really need to say anything about this masterpiece? Masta Ace in his best form, way back in 1994, with awesome and funny lyrics on a classic-ass beat. Just pure genius! Masta Ace has been there from the very start along with the big names like Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, KRS-One, Rakime, and the like, and is as far as I've noticed way too underappreciated and sometimes even overlooked, which I cannot understand because he is a fucking genius! Anyway. Legendary MC, awesome beat, and great lyrics... Enjoy!

Passenger - Let Her Go (Kygo Remix)

-> Let me start by saying that I have no idea what this genre is called. It sounds like very chill deep house to me, but I could be completely off with this. Anyhow. This is a great, extremely relaxing remix of the rather melancholic Passenger song, and it is one of the few remixes I actually prefer over the original, simply because it has this calmness in it that makes me want to lie down at a beach and enjoy the sunset, whereas the original song makes me want to slit my throat, figuratively speaking. But well, this version is really chill, so... Enjoy!

Flume - What You Need

-> I've featured Flume on here a number of times already, and will keep on doing so because I fucking love what they do. It's somewhat of a new genre I think, I'd classify it as grimy chill trap or something like that, but I once again might be completely off with that definition. Anyhow, this is a grand piece of musical awesomeness, the vocals, and this tangy string instrument coupled with the chill, drawn-out bass is a treat for any ear trained to appreciate good music. Great artist, awesome tune, Enjoy!

Well, this post is actually appearing within a reasonable time frame and is of adequate length; I must say I'm a little proud of myself in light of my continued work for Bassmania, my new freelance position at Gonzo Today, where I have already submitted three articles successfully so far, and of course my new blog on which I try and post quite regularly too. I'm all in all swamped in much voluntary writing work, and was therefore quite sure I wouldn't make my two week deadline, but I did. 
So, I hope you've enjoyed this post, and of course the selection of songs, which I think is especially nice today.


Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 already?

The year 2014 really flew by, didn't it? It seems like I barely read the words "January 1st, 2014" on the screen of my mobile phone, and all of a sudden I am back in Amsterdam celebrating the New Year 2015. 

And what a fucked up year 2014 was. We saw the outright demise of all things most of us used to take for granted, except of course those willing to question what they saw, because they had known all along; the CIA torture report, the NSA scandal, the rise of the originally US-financed ISIS, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria. The fall of capitalism, the undermining of citizens' rights, excessive police brutality, fracking, free-trade agreements, increased fascism, Ebola, the revival of the Cold War, and of course the ever-lasting greed of mankind slowly propelling a small number of psychopaths into power whilst oppressing the rest of us.

Ha. It seems like the developments of this year literally force me to rehash the same old topics again and again. It's just getting worse. I have heard so many stupid utterances by unreasonably powerful people this year that I see no way things are going to stay the way they are for much longer. We're on a slippery slope, heading straight to hell. People are getting pissed off at a system that is slowly beginning to show its rotten true face, slowly beginning to show that it is no longer upholding the values it was created to protect, slowly beginning to show that it is made up of greed, corruption, and egomania. Which is nothing new to a lot of people, but unfortunately not enough people feel the need to bring on changes. Of course there are protests and riots all around the globe, but they're always dismissed by force or rhetoric and therefore those who used to be in power remain in power, and the damn population still votes for those retarded fucks. I simply don't get how a majority of the people can actually vote for those that have proven again and again to be unable to represent the voters' will. And I'm not even talking about Obama here, he has done a few very good and a few very bad things, but the actual issue is the whole Democrat/Republican debacle; neither of them have remotely done what they claim to stand for. It's time to find an alternative. Same thing for Germany; the Christian-Democratic-Union coupled with so-called German-Social-Democratic-Party (they somehow forgot to include the whole "social" and "democracy" part in their political policy) have been in power way too long, and the other parties don't really show any differences in their program either, so we're in somewhat of a rut. I can't emphasize the importance of change once again here. 
But that's of course not remotely everything; we also saw the rise of a couple of cruel terrorist organizations (Hamas and ISIS), that both used to be US-financed, but then went rogue and started attacking America with its own weapons. Which has happened quite a number of times, and could have taught the US government long ago that funding renegade movements usually does not yield the results that they hope for, but apparently they're too stubborn to learn from their mistakes.
Furthermore, we saw Russia being turned into the root of all evil once again by smart propaganda. I don't want to glorify Russia here, they have done some questionable up to downright horrific things in their time, and have some very conservative laws that do not really seem to fit in our time anymore, but they are not the main aggressor in the newest scenarios unfolding in Eastern Europe at the time. The NATO expansion to the East has been going on for a few decades now despite many critical voices from within the US government, and poking a sleeping bear with a stick will eventually get it to react. Russia reacted by "taking back" Crimea by means of a democratic referendum, which then sparked multiple movements also wanting to join Russia. And then the US just installed a new "democratic" government in Ukraine, of which some ministers are openly affiliated with major Nazi parties and networks! And now Europe is being entangled in some economic sanctioning scheme directed at the Russians, which is just stupid strategically. An alliance between Europe and Russia would be much more viable for both parties than a European-American partnership could ever hope to be. But thanks to Europe's head being so far up America's ass, we're facing a new Cold War that might actually turn hot this time, seeing as the propaganda is much more elaborate and the fronts are more hardened than ever.
Oh, and let's not forget the past few months which saw multiple unarmed African-Americans get shot, including a twelve year old child, by police men. For some cases the reports are obviously unclear, and I am not one to just generalize an entire group of people, but these cases show that racism is still much more present within the American everyday life than one would believe possible in the 21st century, and that it is an issue that still needs to be evaluated over and over. The war on drugs is partially responsible for this as well, mind you. There are less African-American than Caucasian drug users, yet there are more African-Americans rotting in jail cells for drug-related offenses. The profiling used by the DEA is clearly racist, and gives police an easy excuse to target ethnic minorities for strip searches, which obviously leads to those minorities feeling mistreated and unrepresented by those that should protect them and their rights, and that is something that cannot possibly stand! All citizens have to feel that all governmental organs are serving and protecting them, not just a few, otherwise the entire system of democracy and freedom doesn't mean shit.
And finally, we also saw the Ebola virus cripple West Africa, and we saw just how short the attention span of the media is when it comes to an actual crisis. Ebola was in the news for a couple of months at best, and all of a sudden it disappeared. Not from Africa mind you, the people there are still suffering, and there are still people there trying to help, and funds are hopefully still going there too, but the media's attention just switched to more violent and sensational stories and completely started ignoring the virus it made out to be the "biggest epidemic of modern time" just a few months ago. It's ridiculous, really. And then those damn tunes that are made to "help" the affected regions by donating part of the profits to charity. I mean I don't disagree with the essence of these actions, but if you want to help the people, then just donate to some medical NGOs instead of buying a fucking song which will also make some musicians, producers, and label bosses even richer. The whole thing is just perfect promotion: crappy singers are selling millions because they appear in such songs, which is why these tunes are in themselves corrupted and used by those people to gain more fame than they deserve, and that is just pathetic. So yes to helping those regions crippled by Ebola, and no to phony charity song projects. 

But of course there were not only bad things in 2014, there were quite a few personal highlights, and a few global things went quite well too. For example, the legal status of cannabis. Things improved quite drastically last year, and I am sure they will skyrocket in 2015: more and more states are thinking of legalization, Uruguay and Portugal have shown that liberal drug regulations are the right way to go, and there are more and more experts in all fields speaking up for the green plant. And in Germany there are now pro-legalization ads running in a couple of hundred cinemas all over the country, right before blockbusters like "The Hobbit". It has also been a good year in terms of the overall opinion on drug use generally. People that have been sworn enemies of the dreadful plague they believe psychoactive substances to be are now speaking for a more lenient approach, because many are starting to realize that prohibition is criminalizing the wrong people and allowing the actual criminals to make billions of dollars by being the only supplier for a gargantuan market. And those wrongly criminalized are branded as, well, criminals for life, and will always be looked upon with suspicion, and furthermore receive a 'training in crime' when imprisoned seeing as they are living in a confined space with all kinds of sick people, forced to join a gang in order to survive the time there. So a friendly pothead that got caught a few times too much goes to prison and comes out a hardened criminal with new knowledge on all kinds of illegal activities and not many perspective besides a gangster's life due to his criminal record, which he only got for being thrown in jail for burning some plants and inhaling the smoke. 
But I'm getting off topic. I told myself to do less rambling in these posts, and I'll try and stick to it a bit. I was talking about the general consensus on drugs slowly drifting towards a more lenient approach that focuses on education and emancipation of drug users rather than their wrongful criminalization. We're not there yet, not by a long shot, but we're seeing the first signs, the first underground tremors of an earthquake that will eventually spawn a tsunami of reforms regarding psychoactive substances, and it's nice to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. And of course there's always the usual suspects trying to hinder that development, but it's somewhat like Domino; once the first piece falls, all others will follow. And I don't know how long it's going to take, but I'm sure it will happen, and I guarantee that the world will be a better place for it.

Anyway. There's also some personal highlights this year that I would like to share with you: I am more and more sure of needing to get the fuck away from studying, and rather focus on finally starting to build my own career, on my own terms, and not in some goddamn company where I work so that my boss can make tons of money, just so that I can retire when I'm seventy and "enjoy" my few years of lousy retirement. Hell no. I'm thinking of signing up for an online degree in freelance journalism, expanding my blogs, work freelance, do some small jobs to make ends meet, and get back to Asia, preferably Shanghai. I can't take the European way of life. People here have so little ambition, they cannot think outside the box; it's school, study, work, marry, retire, die, and I can simply not do that! And the mentality of the population, especially Germany, is so fucking apathetic, it's unbearable! Everything is stagnating, everybody is afraid to do their own thing and take risks, all everyone wants is diplomas, jobs, security and routine, and that just pisses me the fuck off!
I wasn't born to pay bills, I was not born to work for some rich ass-wipe! I want to travel, learn, write, see things, just fucking live, and not merely exist, and seeing the people at university and all round me just existing, essentially wasting their lives on some bullshit diplomas so they can work for other people, never leave their home country (except for the obligatory trip to Majorca every year), and at some point just slowly rot on their couches living off their lousy retirement funds, really makes me sick to my stomach and drains my energy up to a point where merely existing doesn't seem all that bad anymore. Shanghai is just so much different from that, most people there are there to make their dreams come true, to live out the American Dream in its original essence, to truly live and make an impact on the world. Shanghai is where things are happening, Asia generally is, and I don't see any reason to miss out on that. I love writing, I love Shanghai, I love Asia, and I don't see why I should not at least try to tailor my life to suit these passions in a way that I can still make ends meet and live comfortably. Which is why I am seriously contemplating making some money until the end of the academic year, then leaving the rotten village I am currently living in, quitting the studies I don't enjoy anyways, and going to Shanghai on a student visa to just do my thing and try to build an existence doing what I enjoy. And if that doesn't work I can always go back to studying seeing as I have the advantage of being young. I still have a good chunk of my life ahead of me, and I've always lived by the maxim of not ever regretting not having tried something I think could enjoy, so I just need to get off my ass and finally make things happen. No more working to get a diploma, no more learning things I have absolutely no interest in, just hard work to get to my goals, and then enjoying the fruits my labor will hopefully yield. 

But I don't want to bore you with details of my plans for the future any longer. It's getting late, and I have to get up early tomorrow, so I'll just add the music in the morning and post this thing by evening. Few is really left to say, except that I wish all of you reading this a happy New Year, and I really hope that whatever you're trying to do, whatever things it is you set to accomplish, that you succeed at all of it, and that things turn out for the best. Selah.

Dilated Peoples - You can't hide, you can't run
 -> This is pure old school right here! Such an epic tune with an awesome beat and the amazing artists of Dilated Peoples filling the track with great, meaningful rap, it's hard not to love it! Plus the beat is such a neck-breaking piece of awesomeness, that, coupled with aforementioned rap, you cannot not listen when this bad boy is played, so...Enjoy!

Marco Polo feat. Masta Ace - Nostalgia
-> And here is one more track that is old school as fuck! The legendary Masta Ace together with Marco Polo and a scratched-up sampled beat that underlines the funky awesomeness of this tune simply deliver their message straight to the heart of any real Hip Hop head! And the rhyming is mind-boggling too; "People in the audience, Masta Ace the name/ I write rhymes and insert them inside your vein/ They run through your bloodstream, get inside you brain/ 'Cause I first put my name up inside the train/"! If that's not fucking awesome, I don't know what is, so... Enjoy!

Jack Johnson - Good People  
-> This is just such a true song on so many levels. Firstly, the number of people I would deem 'good' is actually receding, at least here in Central Europe, and that song expresses just that. Secondly, the good people have mostly disappeared from TV and the news, simply because yellow journalism has become the norm, and the tragic stories of murderers and rapists attract a much larger, more easily sensationalized crowd than stories of the good neighbor who helped get kitty down the tree, and so they're the ones that make the newscast. Which is sad. We shouldn't constantly be shown the bad people, because that creates a negative sentiment in the population, and that just sucks. But anyway, this is a really cool song, so... Enjoy!

Warren Zevon - Keep me in your heart for a while
-> A beautiful Warren Zevon song right here. This is the kind of timeless music that would fit at any given occasion, ranging from birthday to funeral. Zevon just has that exceptional voice and is in essence a great musician, which makes his songs so amazing! I really, really enjoy this song, it has this strangely positive vibe to it that coupled with the melancholy in the lyrics makes for an interesting ride. Enjoy!

Spag Heddy - Pastanian Express
 -&> "THIS IS PASTA", orgasm-inducing drop, melody, more pasta. That's pretty much what this pure bit of Drumstep filth has to offer, and it does not disappoint in the least! This song has an awesome melodic part, coupled with such epic drops and funny, well-used vocals! I really enjoy Spag Heddy's work, and this one is no exception! Awesome tune, great artist! Enjoy!

KDrew - Bullseye 
-> Wow! Just wow. This is one of those fucking filthy tracks that you stumble across every few months or so at best! A great melody brought on by those wobbly high-pitched notes, entangled in a maze of amazing bass and drops, fused into four minutes and ten seconds of musical awesomeness and pure energy, propelling those listening to push on and go forward! I fucking love this kind of music, this is why I always include electronic music on here! Epic track, amazing artist... Enjoy!

So, this concludes today's entry, which turned out to be a whole of a lot longer than I had expected it to be, but seeing as I think I have touched on some interesting issues it should still be manageable as readers. Oh, and you have probably seen the changes that I have made to the blog: layout and theme has been altered entirely, and I have decided to embed the actual video for the selection of songs at the end of each post, which I think will be much easier on you guys' eyes, and make the whole page more attractive to potential readers. But the entries will remain the way they always have been, I have no reason to change the way I convey my message on here entirely!
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this post, liked today's musical selection, and that there are some things in this entry that you can take away for your own life, you know the deal...