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This is Finland This is Finland
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-09-24 10:06:48
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The last few hours I’m sitting in front my computer looking at a white document page and thinking what should I write. The last few hours, friends from abroad have called me asking if I know anything about the events in Kauhajoki as most of them remember walking around the streets of the small Finnish town. You see I know Kauhajoki. I have stayed in Kauhajoki, I know people in Kauhajoki, I have friends in Kauhajoki and I know people from Kauhajoki.

Kauhajoki is a small typical Finnish town, with a post office, a big church, two pubs and a pizzeria, the usual grill-kiosk, a bank and a main street where boys drive up and down with music blasting out of the open windows in the summer and girls watch them from the side benches, a very usual Finnish town. Actually for me who comes from a very alive country, Kauhajoki seems like a really dull place, boredom could die there! But then again within a few hours, Kauhajoki became the centre of the international news. It took a 22 year-old man, a gun, at least eleven dead and a number of wounded to do so. Not the historic heritage, not the beautiful landscape, not the people; a bloody gun in the hands of a 22 year-old boy.

This moment I feel sad, stupid, numb and angry at the same time and I have no way to put these feelings on a piece of white paper and most of all I cannot suppress them in the limit of words demanding for a publication. I’m sad for the eleven kids that died today for no reason, because they just happened to be there at the wrong moment. I’m sad because these kids died while trying to build a future, because these kids will never fall in love, because these kids will never live! I feel stupid because the last four years from this magazine, the Ovi magazine I have often wrote that something has changed in this country and I feel stupid because every time I said so I got the reaction …you are complaining and in the end I shut my mouth.

I feel numb because a boy, a boy of 22 years who committed these unbelievable crimes, never had the chance to understand what the hell he was doing. I’m numb because this boy is the victim and the guilty party at the same time. I’m angry because the Finnish state just like the Finnish society didn’t do anything when a similar event hit Finland a year ago, covering everything up in the name of the good looking society! I’m angry because I was not surprised and I’m going to watch the state and the people of Finland going for another gigantic cover up just like the cat covers her shit using the usual excuses, bad childhood, depress youth ignoring the facts until the next time!

A year ago when another boy in the city of Tuusula, very close to Helsinki, did exactly the same thing the first question raised was how the hell a young boy found himself in position of owning a gun and it was totally legal. Then the numbers, the facts came that shocked all of us, in a country with a population just above 5 million there are 1.6 million firearms in private hands. A country where the minimum age to buy a gun is 15 years-old. Perhaps you didn’t understand so I repeat it, in Finland a 15 year-old school kid is allowed to enter a shop and buy a gun! Of course all owners of a gun are required to have a licence so in Finland there is a new ethic: it is legal then it is right! On Monday after posting a series of videos on the internet the certain boy was called by the police and asked certain questions but then let free. But then again it is legal!

One year ago from this very same Ovi magazine we asked a series of questions,  how a school boy could base his acts that led to the death of other school kids in theories that natural led in the influence of people who knew how to manipulate and arm his hand. This is the second but the most important question to me, who the hell armed this boy's hand and they did it again, and who knows if they are not doing it again this very moment I’m writing these words.

I have lived in this country for the last ten years and I visited the country three years before immigrating here, I have spent summers and holidays here, I have made friends and family in Finland and one thing I noticed from the beginning in this country is the feeling that there is a huge cover up conspiracy. When there is something negative, doesn’t matter if it is financial, governmental, social. it might be in the local news but nothing, absolutely nothing in the foreign languages news. If you don’t speak Finnish and remember that we are talking about one of the most difficult languages in the world, it is like living in paradise. If anything goes wrong with your life that are two explanations and only, it is either your fault or you didn’t understand that this is Finland!

This is Finland! The story of my life for the last ten years. There are things, small things, everyday life things and there are big issues, occasionally issues that have to do with international legal practise and reality that just don’t work here and when you ask why, the answer you get is …this is Finland. This is one thing in this country, Finland was isolated for years but no more, nowadays Finland is a full and active member of the international community but still they feel that they are isolated. And the state doesn’t help. These people grow up without real national identity so they create it.

What’s the most important thing in Finland? Formula 1 driver! What’s the most important event the last thirty years? Winning the Eurovision contest. Who is the most famous historic persona? Somebody, who due to the balance of time, escaped war crimes court and is responsible for the worst and bloodiest civil war in European history. A country where her people consider winning a lottery to be born Finns! A country that is proud for an educational system comparing it with the Nigeria that leads ‘educated’ workers to the factories of Nokia or the unemployment office, a country that leads in transparency and civil servants live in corruption but the window looks clean! The outsiders must not see it! The outsiders see all of us smiling and happy as long they stay outsiders.

The last ten years the number of immigrants rose from 20,000 to 400,000! These people can see behind the window but if you say that is all fake the answer is …this is Finland, you don’t understand, you complain all the time! And all the effort of creating a national identity has led to nationalism. It is not to be proud to be a Finn, it is to be pride to born a Finn! And nationalism representing in t-shirts and jackets with huge proud nationalistic logos, a nationalism that soon turns a natural xenophobia to racism. Racism against anybody who is not Finn and things have changed dramatically the last few years.

Nowadays the lotto to born a Finn is won from kids that their parents originated in Somalia, in Iran, in Turkey, in Russia and China. And the Finnish state was just watching all this time making new legislations against racism and discrimination. But they did all these legislations the same way they do legislations for the farmers expecting the people to obey. The people, the same state taught that Nazis are the good guys because they helped us to beat the Russians. A state that hosts in the national museums swastikas and is proud of it.

A nation that cannot understand that you don’t force things like that, you explain again and again, you educate people not only how to calculate but how to think, you educate people especially young people the truth. You teach young people that you made mistakes but you learned from them, you didn’t teach them that they live in the perfect country in paradise and then let them walk the streets of unemployment, insecure and fear. You don’t have generals screaming on the top of their voices that landmines are necessary, that cluster bombs are a necessity and serving your country means to hate Russia. You educate people in tolerance and understanding because this is NOT Finland but it is the world!

Because I’m afraid that I will be misunderstood, I don’t think that immigration is behind all that but I think that this immigration tsunami that found suddenly Finland the last five years is one of the strong elements that brought this national identity into crisis. It is one thing to believe that you are wonderful when you only see your image in the mirror and totally different when you see other faces you can actually compare. And again when I talk about lack of tolerance I don’t mean the tolerance towards other cultures but the tolerance towards a global society with totally different demands from an isolated and often lonely society like Finland was till the beginning of '80s.

Tolerance in a world we are not proud for being the country with least corruption in the world and upset when we fall from the first place to the third, but being sad because we are in a world with corruption at all, this is tolerance, there is no pride to be the least corrupt country in an unverified and doubtful survey but been sorry that the rest of the world has problem and that is something unfortunately not taught to the Finnish kids and that’s another example of hysterically building a national identity on sand!

A 22 year-old boy killed at least 11 of his school mates and an unclear at the moment others, I suppose while this is published we will find out the final numbers. The next few days famous Finn psychologists and analysts will tell us about the winter and dark depression in Finland and about the boy’s bad and lonely childhood; while the police will investigate reporters who embarrassed the country making a report for mistakes in the new nuclear plant and asking more money for security reasons in case Bin Laden hits Santa Claus village and the prime minister Matti Vanhanen will promise again to rethink the weapons laws while another 15 year-old will legally buy a gun. This is Finland!

I’m sorry for the dead, I’m sorry for the wounded, I’m sorry for the boy and I’m sorry for the Tuusula victims but I am more sorry because I’ve lost faith in this country. I’m sorry because the responsibility of arming this boy's hand is collective and it seems that nobody is willing to do anything because …this is Finland! I’m sorry because from where I’m standing it looks like a curse to born a Finn!


    
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Emanuel Paparella2008-09-24 11:03:28
Indeed, Thanos, déjà vu? On November 8th 2007 you wrote a commentary on the Tuusula's student massacre where in the finest journalistic tradition you attempted to speak truth to power on an issue that needs urgent attention not only in Finland but in the West as a whole. The article was followed by 47 comments within a mostly subjective ad hominem diatribe producing much heat and little light and focusing mainly on gratuitous accusations of aspersion casting on Finnish culture. I suspect that this sad sequel to the first massacre will be followed by the same sorry reaction. There will be comments galore defending or attacking Finnish culture, the xenophobes will advise you to go home and accuse you of ingratitude (as happened to the Time jornalist who dared tell the truth last year and this too; see article in the comments on the Hydra), all sorts of straw men will be set up to be duly knocked down but the real questions which need to be asked to even begin to examine the issue at hand seriously, as you aptly point out in the above article, will be side-stepped. Pity. I hope I am wrong but I wouldn’t wager on it.


Sand2008-09-24 15:01:39
I am not minimizing the problem when I seriously ask how anyone can stop a really determined off balanced but relatively intelligent individual from obtaining a firearm anywhere under a relatively free governmental system. We all count on the relative sanity of the bulk of our neighbors but there is no way to stop someone from going wild with a gun unless you take guns away from everyone. I think that would be a great idea but I doubt it would become popular.


AP2008-09-24 21:44:21
Yes you are :) (minimizing by trivializing - and you don't base yourself in any scientific sample either)
Taking guns away is a problem and not popular why? Is there a civil war going on, or is life itself not popular?


Eero Nevalainen2008-09-25 01:06:23
Thanos, I am sorry that Finland and Finns is not exactly the way you expect and want it to be. It seems to me that you consider yourself some kind of measuring rod of tolerance and cosmopolitanism, so it indeed may be hard to accommodate the fact that there really is no conspiracy, there's just a bunch of people who live their lives the best they can, and have actually managed quite well at it, no matter how much you take every opportunity to prove something... I am not sure what.

This is kind of sad, because rants like this aren't productive. It would be interesting to hear some concrete solutions and suggestions from you, as this would give us something to chew on, but as it stands, you just like to insinuate.

If you're not going to start providing policy solutions or arguing matters more specifically, then by all means, draw conclusions. It seems like you've almost had it with the place.


AP2008-09-25 02:05:34
Nero:

"may be hard to accommodate the fact that there really is no conspiracy"
I believe conspiracy here means "you're always trying to cover up shit inside the country so that it will look very clean from the outside, but sometimes that doesn't help you fellows nor anyone who lives here at all"

Man, you couldn't find anything to chew on in the article above??!

"If you're not going to start providing policy solutions or arguing matters more specifically"
Politicians have to provide policy solutions, not common people (though they may have some ideas of their own too!!). Common people have the responsibility not to close their eyes and to demand that from the politicians they elected.
Arguing matters even more specifically? Is it really that you can see no relation between all the things described above? - any sociologist would. Look at the big picture, don't get offended with facts.

"It seems like you've almost had it with the place."
Am I wrong or is this just another way of saying: "you just complain and don't understand us, it's your problem, this is just quiet little Finland" again?


AP2008-09-25 02:14:53
Eero, sorry... you're not the emperor ups


Eero Nevalainen2008-09-25 02:19:37
AP,

Let's start by trying to at least spell my name right. :-)

No, I really did not find anything to chew on in this article. It's a rant that is short on substance. Apparently "Finland is awful because it fails to be paradise and this is proof of it. Therefore, 'something should be done', but I really don't have any idea what, but it's your job to figure it out".

Finland is being held up to a totally unfair standard. When someone shoots 33 people in Virginia Tech, nothing changes in the US "because it was a deranged individual". When someone shoots up people in Finland -- which is unfortunately something that is very hard to prevent if you really put your mind to it, unless you're a total control-society like North Korea -- it's the fault of Finland and entire Finland must change, because it's the fault of the society/system.

I really want a proper, clear argument here, nothing more.

And yes, Thanos shouts down everything and anything as a nationalist xenophobe that he doesn't approve of. It's a nice way to pretend to win an argument.


AP2008-09-25 03:12:40
"It's a rant that is short on substance"
Really? Did we read different articles? You're on Ovi magazine page, right?
Besides all the ideas expressed above, what pops up as obvious substance to me is feeling "sad, stupid, numb and angry" as a consequence of hearing the tragic news, etc.

"Apparently "Finland is awful because it fails to be paradise and this is proof of it."
What we've been saying all the time is: "apparently it is hypocritical and self-destructive to keep focusing on appearances while trying to advertise it as paradise at all cost"! Finns have created this myth my friend, it hasn't much to do with immigrant deception (and they have the right to feel deception and joy for Finland sometimes, don't they?).

"Therefore, 'something should be done"
It's not because it fails to be paradise that something should be done, it's for everyone's sake. I think this is pretty obvious?

"When someone shoots 33 people in Virginia Tech, nothing changes in the US "because it was a deranged individual"
And do you think that people agree with the fact that nothing changed in the US? Does that excuse some kind of negligence across the Atlantic?

"it's the fault of Finland and entire Finland must change, because it's the fault of the society/system"
It's a sign of maturity to assume responsibility for internal criminality, in any society, not blaming immigrants nor external forces, and not preaching helplessness. But you were the one saying there is a culture fierce individualist/loser, not us immigrants!

"which is unfortunately something that is very hard to prevent if you really put your mind to it"
I did put my mind seriously to it and I thought: how the hell could the cops let this one go home with his guns? Don't tell me you didn't?

"And yes, Thanos shouts down everything and anything as a nationalist xenophobe that he doesn't approve of. It's a nice way to pretend to win an argument."
Or then he has just years of experience as an immigrant in Finland. By the way, these tensions created by immigration can have something to do with it, and that's also in the article, right?


AP2008-09-25 03:30:13
And about measures in the US after Virginia Tech (actually there were some):
"legislators and administrators began to take preventive measures to keep this nightmare from ever repeating itself. For example, in January, a bill was signed that strengthened a state's right of barring certain people from purchasing guns, such as known criminals and the mentally ill (the shooter at Virginia Tech had been declared mentally ill in 2005).
On the local level, school officials began enforcing strict ID rules and strengthened no-tolerance policies. Other measures included installing metal detectors and performing regular backpack checks.
Fortunately, there have not been many "copycat killings" — although there have been a few that have been stopped in the planning stages.
However, it seems there are always rumors floating around that someone is going to attempt a mass shooting.
Keya Balar, a sophomore at Edison High School, said "The school has come a long way from the first evacuation drills held immediately after Virginia Tech.""


AP2008-09-25 03:36:58
So I guess there's no true way around it but... trying to deal with it and prevent it! No one deals with problems not talking about them, nor trying to stop others from saying how they feel about them. It's sad.


Eero Nevalainen2008-09-25 05:01:22
"Besides all the ideas expressed above, what pops up as obvious substance to me is feeling "sad, stupid, numb and angry" as a consequence of hearing the tragic news, etc."

Like probably all of us do. Nothing particularly special there, is there.

"What we've been saying all the time is: "apparently it is hypocritical and self-destructive to keep focusing on appearances while trying to advertise it as paradise at all cost"! Finns have created this myth my friend, it hasn't much to do with immigrant deception (and they have the right to feel deception and joy for Finland sometimes, don't they?)."

Actually, this "placid sheepish people of Finland imagine Finland is paradise" is a straw man and an assumption only a clueless outsider would make. This place is specifically *not Sweden*, in good and evil, and the inhabitants *know it*, although you may not recognize it. Even the 19th century poem "Turmiolan Tommi" already characterizes the age-old downside of Finnishness rather well. Heck, read Kalevala! Listen to Eppu Normaali about "murheellisten laulujen maa" -- it is a sign of total non-understanding of the local culture to portray us some sort of wide-eyed naive idiots about this. Of course school shootings are just really not the way one expects the problems to manifest -- usually it's just alcoholism and drunken violence among those people who are prone to hanging out in those crowds. Extended suicide of such spectacular kind does not fit the picture of Finns taking themselves to their destruction when they feel like it, and *this* is why people are shocked. Some people just can't be helped from ruining their own lives, even in a social-democratic utopia, and it's not the utopia's fault. At least it tries, and actually tries much harder than most other societies.

Making a direct connection between the "classic way to fall by the wayside" in Finnish society and these fame-seeking, almost ideological shooters (admittedly, Auvinen seems like the really committed one) tends to be a total trivialization though. It's possible that a tiny fraction of the people who in the old days would have just gone to the woods to hang themselves these days emulate what is essentially a global phenomenon originating in Columbine (don't tell me that there isn't a general, "non-typically-Finnish" modus operandi to these actions). I am willing to discuss the *general* problem of alienation in Finnish society as it relates to our culture and the modern world in general and what can be done about it, but I am not all that sure that I want to take these guys as some kind of representative examples of anything in general at large in society.

"It's a sign of maturity to assume responsibility for internal criminality, in any society, not blaming immigrants nor external forces, and not preaching helplessness. But you were the one saying there is a culture fierce individualist/loser, not us immigrants!"

I, and most sane Finns I know, are most definitely not saying there is not crime. Where do you get this idea that we need to be condemned for believing in something patently false?

Now... do I assume responsibility for what these shooters do? What kind of responsibility do I think that me or society should assume?

In the end, it's all in the individual, no matter how much we may try to support them. I support our social model in principle, and do not expect it to either produce 100% perfect results, or be discarded. It works for you if you're willing to let it -- if you imagine you're an übermensch entitled to kill people, I am not sure society can do anything but lock you up.

"I did put my mind seriously to it and I thought: how the hell could the cops let this one go home with his guns? Don't tell me you didn't?"

I meant that if you really want to go out and kill people, you easily can. I can think of numerous ways of causing mass casualties, and I bet I could plan it in secrecy and execute my plan without any interference from authorities.

It is true though that the police made a very bad call in this case. This is exactly the kind of "specific argument" I am looking for here instead of the "OMG the evil Finns actually like Finland despite this again showing it's all a lie and they are xenophobic racists!!1".

"Or then he has just years of experience as an immigrant in Finland. By the way, these tensions created by immigration can have something to do with it, and that's also in the article, right?"

Actually, I get along great with immigrants in Finland in general. They understand they didn't arrive in paradise and that I don't think it's paradise, but that my own patriotism is rational in the sense that although society is an ongoing project, it has worked pretty well for us so far.

"No one deals with problems not talking about them, nor trying to stop others from saying how they feel about them. It's sad."

This assumption of not being allowed to talk about them bugs me. It feels like Coalition Party's political platform that constantly tries to suggest that stuff needs to be "openly talked about" and then they don't -- they just implicitly assume that this nagging in the background must go on until we reach appropriate conclusions, without them even ever pushing for anything in open argument.


Thanos2008-09-25 10:34:18
Eero my friend, please don’t let an overzealous patriotism and defensive attitude darken you judgment; you have often proved with your writings that that’s the last thing you suffer of. So you don’t need to fall into stereotypes, ‘you foreigner, complain a lot, go home.’ Feelings like disappointment, sadness and anger don’t come from somebody who has fallen off but from somebody who’s aching because bad things happening in a place he loves. Without wanted to bring out excuses nobody forced me to come to Finland it was purely my choice which I haven’t regret and the only thing I want – and I presume you want the same thing – is for this country to improve any faults and mistakes not only for the good of the Finnish people but for the good of everybody. If you think sound patronising, my apologies, it is not my aim.

However and to answer to some other comments, I don’t disagree that if somebody really wants to find a gun they will find it the point is to make them understand that there is something wrong with a 15 year-old carrying and having the legal right in using a gun. The laws are there not to punish but to prevent and unfortunately this is one of the mistakes people do understanding the laws. Asking for a law that will stop this 15 year-old carrying a gun you prevent the possibility of the kid thinking that has the right to use it.

That the Finnish society is on a crisis since 80s is another fact and there are many reasons for that, historic, social sometimes even geographical and the responsibility lays a lot in a state that tried to force a national identity from the beginning of the creation of this nation instead of letting people build it just like it started in the days before the independence. And it is natural to demand action from a government that promised to do something already last year when the first incident happened. Except that we, who live in this country and are members of this society know well that there is something obviously wrong the last decade. Furthermore because we heard these things from the mouth of politicians and state people like the Justice Minister Tuija Brax – a person a know personally and appreciate long before holding a ministerial seat – the demands and expectations are higher.


Thanos2008-09-25 10:41:20
Something I missed. I never thought that Finland is paradise, I don’t have illusions like this and I don’t believe that there is any perfect country in this world however as Asa well points in his article the problem is that the Finnish people believe so not me!!!


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 11:50:17
Emanuel Paparella 2008-09-25 11:38:32
Here is the full article from Time magazine:

Commentary: it is time the Finns looked hard and close at their kids
Roger Boyes

The youth of Finland seems to be living on a short fuse. Only ten months after the Jokela school shooting — eight dead that time — there is again blood in the corridors and classrooms of a college in this apparently placid and consensus-loving country.

Early indications are that the latest assault was a bid for similar global notoriety. The Jokela slaughter last November stunned Finland and placed the killer, Pekka-Erik Auvinen, on the growing roster of desperate male teenagers ready to release their frustrations with a gun. Like Jokela, the latest shooter carefully planned the attack: from the timing, soon after the start of the academic year, to the YouTube manifesto, it was an act of theatre.
Auvinen’s YouTube message was a rambling Nietzschean tirade together with some clumsy attempts to demonstrate his shooting skills. No matter — before it was taken down it was viewed by thousands. Something similar happened in the case of the Kauhajoki killer. Sad to say, he had been motivated by no more than a desire for internet celebrity.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 11:52:31
(continued from above)
School massacres feed off each other, and plainly the youth who blasted his schoolmates learned from Auvinen; Auvinen in turn had been in touch with a would-be American shooter.
Yet at the risk of howls of displeasure from Finnish readers — who raged at my commentary on Jokela — it has to be said that there is something disturbing going on in their proud, self-regulating Nordic culture. After not one, but two massacres in a year, it is time that the Finns looked hard and close at their children.
After Jokela — an average school in Tuusala, an average dormitory suburb of the Finnish capital — my argument was that the Finns were letting down their young generation, allowing them to slip into a kind of psychological isolation. In small-town Finland — with nothing much to do except hang around in cliques forged in school, with the days shortening, with parents absent and the geographical distance between the homes of classmates unusually long — traditional friendship was slipping away and being replaced by social networking sites. Although all Finnish schools have psychiatrists, they are overworked. Teachers geared to ensuring exam results are failing to spot depression. And in a society with a hunting tradition, guns are readilly available.
Well, young Finnish readers deemed this to be a parade of stereotypes. There was, they said, nothing specifically Finnish about the Jokela tragedy. If anything it was an American import, or a disease easily spread by the internet and video-game makers.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 11:54:23
(continued from above)
In short, there was nothing much to be done — apart from mourn the pupils and teachers caught in the sights of a mentally deranged killer.
Now, it has happened again. Time, surely, for the Finns to ask themselves a few questions. Or would that be unpatriotic, un-Finnish, rocking the boat?
After Jokela, I was invited to a Finnish school to help to dispose of my prejudices. Situated on the outskirts of Helsinki, it was indeed an impressive place. Great effort was being invested in integrating immigrants, helping them to come up to scratch in Finnish. The reason why Finnish schools always do so well in international school league tables is that they try so hard to bring up class averages. Nobody is left behind. In one class a very bright Russian immigrant teased his native-born Finnish ice-hockey obsessed mate and declared: “Jokela couldn’t happen here — he would have talked over his problems with friends.”


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 11:55:33
(continued from above)
But later I visited a special, almost quarantined, part of the school, a block that sought to bring drop-outs back into the system. It was well intentioned. The teenagers were given free breakfasts and fresh coffee to get them out of bed. They had classes when they wanted but mainly played cards and listened to music. They were plainly an embarrassment to many teachers, part of a government scheme that had been hatched before Jokela. The truth is that they were there to improve the statistics of the education system. The kids, nice but withdrawn, needed a different kind of help. Other children in school regarded them as freaks.
No, they betrayed no signs of latent violence: they were not reaching for their guns. But they had been set aside by a society still striving for a kind of perfection, a social democratic utopia. The Jokela killer was not spotted because, said his class teacher, he got good marks; interest in him stopped at that point. Perhaps the Kauhajoli killer was also being earmarked by the teachers in his catering college as a promising restaurant manager.


Eero Nevalainen2008-09-25 12:24:06
Thanos... nope, I really do not believe that all criticism of your views is to be seen as nationalist zealotry. It is a strange problem in this country that one essentially has to take some views as given, or have the "nazi card" pulled at them.

The national identity argument is odd... all nation-states especially in Europe have fairly institutionalized national identities that are borne out of an interplay of the people and the state. Finland is no different, and I would suggest ours has been much less destructive than the identities of some other European ones.

The 90s recession was a bit of a watershed in social evolution and I'm sure sociologists can and have written lots on it -- but I am still at pains to see how these gunmen are a specifically significant symptom of anything. I'd be much more interested in something more statistically verifiable and widespread.

But that Boyes guy... man. he's a great example of exactly the kind of insinuation I am somewhat sick of. He really is after a political point, although he doesn't say it -- that public education where everyone is included and really tried to be included, is BAD, and it is especially bad if there is special educational arrangements for those who can't/won't keep up.

He really has to go out of his way to suggest that there's something creepy about a school that he otherwise seems to feel is functional. It's like if he had been going to some "model school" in North Korea or something!


AP2008-09-25 15:56:47
"Nothing particularly special there, is there"
I would say there is. But also in proposing:
- the need of political action
- the need to investigate relations between political power and gun business
- the need to follow the teenagers psychologically with more attention and care
- the fundamental need to develop in the youth a strong sense of community and tolerance, which can be extrapolated to a sense of global world (it is not necessary to tell you that a school killer has no idea of what the words "community" and "the other" stand for)
- the need the review the strange and inflexible relation of the police with laws and their application

---> many of these are worries common to most western countries, but each country has its specificities, right?

"Where do you get this idea that we need to be condemned for believing in something patently false?"
You don't need to be condemned and the proof is no one condemned you, you need to be pulled down to planet Earth and to learn what democracy is about! People with responsibilities before all Finns, those I'm not sure if they shouldn't be condemned. But again responsibility doesn't imply condemnation, it's just common regular trivial banal citizen responsibility and their right to indignation! That's what defines participative democracies, you know?

"This place is specifically *not Sweden*, in good and evil, and the inhabitants *know it*, although you may not recognize it."
Really? I thought it was... part of Russia!

"In the end, it's all in the individual, no matter how much we may try to support them."
I don't agree with this.

"It is true though that the police made a very bad call in this case."
My God, your opinions ARE changing (from the comments to Asa's article to this one)!

"They understand they didn't arrive in paradise and that I don't think it's paradise, but that my own patriotism is rational in the sense that although society is an ongoing project, it has worked pretty well for us so far"
If they do understand that, why did you accuse them before of not understanding that? Makes no sense.
Fervorent nationalism is always more or less rational and stupid. You have to question things, and you are not alone in the world.

"Some people just can't be helped from ruining their own lives, even in a social-democratic utopia, and it's not the utopia's fault"
No, but it's reality's fault that they didn't teach you at school that utopias DON'T exist.

" meant that if you really want to go out and kill people, you easily can. I can think of numerous ways of causing mass casualties, and I bet I could plan it in secrecy and execute my plan without any interference from authorities."
It's the second time you refer to this, both in this article's comments and the other one. You really seem tempted!


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 16:53:14
Mr. Nevalainen, the point made by "the Boyes guy" is exactly the opposite of a critique of inclusivity, that unfortunately there are schools which, in order to raise the national score, practice exclusivity and do not include everybody; they segragate the less able. In other words, they violate Kant's categorical moral imperative that one should never treat human beings as means to an end but as ends in themselves. Individuals so treated usually react in unpredictable and abnormal ways.


Sand2008-09-25 17:03:21
Since almost every human social interaction treats humans as means to an end it's obvious Kant was somewhat off his rocker.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 19:22:25
That being the case, I have a proposal: let's burn all of Kant's books, put it on U-tube and Mr. S. too shall have our 15 minutes of fame a la Andy Warhol.


Sand2008-09-25 19:28:36
Predictable as any old robot, Mr.P. prefers to burn ideas instead of refuting them. But of course, once you get to like burning as per Joan of Arc and Bruno it's habit forming.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 19:35:39
True to his sophistic tricks, Mr. S. takes and ironic prtends to be a five year old who does not understand irony, takes that ironic statement and puts it in the mouth of the one who proffered. It's an old juvenile trick going back to Socrates which anybody over the age of seven can easily spot. Meanwhile Mr. S. can net a high five or two from his like-minded birds of a feather.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 19:38:24
Errata abpve: takes an ironic statement. The adjective ironic is missing. Moreover, it should be placed after "proffered."


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 19:42:22
And of course the bigger irony and myopia is wholly missed: that some of today's youth go for that 15 minute of fame in a very tragic and misguided way. That is unfortunately the example and heritage they have been handed over by some of their misguided and blind elders.


Sand2008-09-25 19:44:02
Once you can distinguish irony from blatant stupidity, Mr.P., maybe we can figure something out. Shall we continue this idiotic insult series or talk sense? - Oh, sorry. I am asking too much of you.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 19:46:57
In the Punch and Judy show, who is stupid and who is ironic? I am curious. What do the voices in the head say about that? I would not include them in any discussion aiming at the truth. They are incapable of that.


Sand2008-09-25 20:02:44
Ah well. It seems it's insults you want. If yours were interesting it might be fun but you're merely a terrible bore. You'll have to play with yourself.


Hank W.2008-09-25 20:38:32
You know what - one of these days when I get rich I'll buy one of those swastika rings for the sole purpose just to piss you off.


Hank W.2008-09-25 20:43:37
I am really fed up with idiots complaining about Finland. Why can you not shut the fuck up for once just for the sake of decency? Is it too much asked?


Sand2008-09-25 20:59:59
The swastika is a very ancient symbol. Just because the Nazis used it doesn't mean it isn't a neat design. The American Indians used it also. Good luck with your ring.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 22:18:15
Spoken as one who is abysmally ignorant of the power and influence of symbols, prone to confuse symbols for mere signs.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-25 22:42:23
Mr. Hank W. are you the same one who displayed his xenophobia and graced the comments to Thanos' piece "To be born a Finn" 10 months ago with the f word the first time there was school shoot out in Finland? Have you noticed that despite the different tales you share a common trait with Mr. S? You both believe that argumenti ad hominem spiced with f words is the equivalent of a well reasoned argument. I suppose we'll hear from you again next time, God forbid, there is another shoot out in Finland or any place else in the world, for birds of a feather always congregate together no matter where they decide to reside in the world. I am willing to wager that this observation too will be considered a provocation and will be swiftly answered with some f word or expression but I'll keep an open mind and remain willing to be surprised.


AP2008-09-26 00:01:39
Hank W.:
"I am really fed up with idiots complaining about Finland. Why can you not shut the fuck up for once just for the sake of decency?"
My god, how much hate you betray! And I'm fed up with non-critic idiots putting their national pride and absolutely desperate (though economically interesting!) "need to look collectively perfect" above their brains! And fed up with people who are not interested in solving problems, and arrogantly tell others to shut up! Maybe because silence and impunity are the opposite of decency? Duhhh!! They didn't teach you that at school either??

Sand:
"The swastika is a very ancient symbol. Just because the Nazis used it doesn't mean it isn't a neat design. The American Indians used it also."
The cultures of present India and Buddhism or Hinduism or Jainism used it also. But the Nazis used it, not only with a particular design (right-facing and not left-facing, 45 degrees rotation, fixed proportions), but in a particular context and within a very uninteresting ideological frame. As it was used also in Baltic, Finnic, Germanic and Celtic and Sami, Indo-Aryans, and Slavs pre-christian cultures, they took advantage of it to proclaim and advertise their pride in the "superior aryan race", distorting and dramatically detaching it from its original meaning ("good-luck" and religious symbol). Its resurection in Nordic and Central Europe is deeply associated with movements of völkisch, racial pride, Romantic and ethnic Nationalism, which had dramatic consequences - this is what Finnish kids should learn - and, of course, with the order of the White Rose of Finland established by Mannerheim (that heroic militaristic guy with german ascendants who posed together with Hitler!) and to which Gallen-Kallella designed some pretty neat swastikas!


AP2008-09-26 02:20:07
This is dedicated to you Sand, recipes of Chocolate Bullets:

1. the ouzo cocktail:

http://www.familyoven.com/offsite?r_id=195259&u=http://www.recipezaar.com/139433

2. the russian roulette (with red pepper inside):

http://www.firebox.com/product/604/Roulette-Chocolate

Enjoy! :)


AP2008-09-26 03:02:51
Eero:
"If it weren't totally illegal and immoral and end me in trouble, I'd bet good money that I could pull something like this off easily. Pulling off a Petri Gerdt in a classroom would beat these guys in body count trivially, and nobody would know anything beforehand."


"meant that if you really want to go out and kill people, you easily can. I can think of numerous ways of causing mass casualties, and I bet I could plan it in secrecy and execute my plan without any interference from authorities."

What am I supposed to say? "Go on, prove it to me"??!!!


AP2008-09-26 03:06:28
ps - Sand, I will also find for you, one of these days, the recipe of a chocolate cake with bullet holes.


Sand2008-09-26 03:57:14
My chocolate cakes have no aggressive tendencies whatsoever unless you eat too much of them late at night.


Hank W.2008-09-26 11:26:54
It is a time of mourning and you cuntheads just whine. You have no decency and no morals.


The Ovi Team2008-09-26 12:16:52
It isn't the policy of Ovi to delete comments, but your comment Hank has really pushed us close to doing so.

Please refrain from testing our censoring limits by placing comments that don't descend into 'that' - we know you can behave, so do so.


AP2008-09-26 15:37:35
Hank W.:
uhh this is getting polemic... We can see you have that particular kind of head in very high consideration.

Sand:
"My chocolate cakes have no aggressive tendencies whatsoever"
They don't, but I wouldn't be surprised, if the place keeps being as wonderfully bucolic as it is lately, if you would get a hole or two in those pastry masterpieces you like to invent, one of these days.


AP2008-09-26 15:41:06
ps - You also seem to have very high standards of decency and moral, dear Hank. So I guess we should applaud your type of head.


Sand2008-09-26 16:22:53
It takes a rare person, Finnish or otherwise, to feel threatened enough by a chocolate cake to respond with gunfire.


AP2008-09-26 16:24:04
You know what they say about Swiss cheese, Sand? Now it will be the Finnish cake. Yes... Karelian Pies go "hol(e)y", nevermind the double sense (I guess Hank would be more happy with caustic insensible laughter than with "whining"??).


AP2008-09-26 16:48:37
It takes a rare person to feel threatened enough by school kids with pimples, ipods and backpacks, so I would protect the cake(s) if I were you. Specially the dark chocolate ones, as they are not aryan enough. You have to comply with decency and moral standards, mr. pastry chef!


Hank W.2008-09-26 17:20:09
Yes well at least I am not blaming my own shortcomings on the society or culture. Unlike foreigners who do nothing else but bitch and moan and whine 24/7 its always somebody elses fault.


Sand2008-09-26 17:20:33
I have lived for sustained periods in New York City in areas that could quite easily be acclaimed as war zones and never, even there where there were strong racial overtones, have any of my chocolate cakes been either shot at or mugged. Paranoia is common enough in this desperate world but chocolate cakes, at this point, seem quite immune.


Hank W.2008-09-26 17:25:54
And then anything happens the foreigners can jump on the soapbox and start their anti-Finland rants. A bit like the Westboro Baptists - like an oil slick the tide brings to our shore.



Emanuel Paparella2008-09-26 17:34:33
Interesting food-fight passing for a disquisition on of Finnish culture. Food for thought, as they say.


Sand2008-09-26 17:38:37
Poor Mr.P. No matter how much food for thought enters his system it is shunted out through his lower digestive system bypassing his brains totally.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-26 21:11:22
True to form, we are back to the poetics of defecation. Oh well, certain addictions are for life.


Sand2008-09-26 21:20:34
I am merely clearly identifying your output. When you manage to produce intellectual products be assured I will acknowledge that as well, but it seems your talents lie in the nether regions.


AP2008-09-26 21:28:01
Hank W.:
"at least I am not blaming my own shortcomings on the society or culture"
Yes, and you're right about that: you shouldn't blame anyone but yourself on your own shortcomings!

"foreigners who do nothing else but bitch and moan and whine 24/7"
They do something else actually: your Saturday night vomit gets cleaned thanks to Nigerian PhD's, etc. Well, most of the times, at least... :P when passers-by don't slide on it. :P I say it's the immigrants fault because they don't even clean the street properly!

"And then anything happens the foreigners can jump on the soapbox and start their anti-Finland rants"
What kind of world is this, in which residents and non-residents can have an opinion, foreigners just like nationals, without being put in their due place (the dog's house) and sent home with a one-way plane ticket??! My god!! A bunch of ungrateful bastards, that's what they are!! Shut your mouths or go home, you reindeer-phobic brunettes!
Why should anyone who lives in Finland be anti-Finland? That doesn't even make sense. And then anything happens and Finns can start a self-victimization campaign (they are the victims of their immigrants now!), so that they don't have to discuss nor change anything.


AP2008-09-26 21:40:28
"A bit like the Westboro Baptists - like an oil slick the tide brings to our shore."
Yes, immigrants in Finland form a secret sect, they take their torches and soapboxes and get together in Suomenlinna's catacombs on wintery Thursday nights to worship the anti-Suomi devil, sacrifice a roasted lamb, eat chocolate cake with bullet holes and burn the picture of Tarja Halonen wearing the cross and star of the White Rose of Finland (while they idolize her fellow double Conan O'Brien's one), watch Star Trek, steal the Sampo from the Kalevala aided by Captain Kirk, and curse both Kullervo and Mannerheim (a bit more). Oh, they also have sharp teeth and suck your blood if you're not careful.


Sand2008-09-26 21:43:38
I don't know what you're on, AP, but be reassured my chocolate cake is not psychedelic.


AP2008-09-26 21:56:57
They don't seem to advertise that "God hates fags", although two members of the sect were seen at least once wearing t-shirts with the much more worrying slogan "God hates flags", an event which demanded immediate intervention from the police authorities, who interviewed separately and made a detailed report about the suspects. Oh, they were also wearing black cloaks.

"like an oil slick the tide brings to our shore"
I heard about the toxic seaweed "coming from Russia" before, but oil seems to be a different and even more serious matter over here! They can't be greasy like oil because it would damage the gadgets that they produce in Finland and the laptops they work with... it wouldn't be good for the national economy! Besides, the cleaning products must provide good help for them with that problem as well. Well, you know what they say: oil is wealthiness - so you should feel lucky that it comes to you!


AP2008-09-26 22:03:34
"my chocolate cake is not psychedelic"
Aaahhh so that's why no NYC bum nor criminal ever wanted to mug one!


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-26 23:29:21
Bscl to food-fights and poetics of defecation: it's hard to keep to tell which is which. Freud would brand it anal, no?


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-26 23:31:33
Errata: back, not bscl. Also eliminate "to keep."


AP2008-09-26 23:57:31
Food is oral, Mr. P.!! Any Freudian dentist will tell you the same!


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 02:10:13
Food for thought is also a metaphor Dr. Pereira, as evem dentists surely know. Food fithts with chocolate cakes with bullet holes and psychodelic susbstances, that's another story...


Sand2008-09-27 02:12:31
Food may be oral, even cake,
But Paparella's fixed
His mind in such a funny way
His thoughts, cockeyed and mixed.
He thinks that Freud
Can be destroyed
With references anal.
But the prof.
Is way way off.
His writing's merely banal.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 02:13:14
Errata: psychedelic


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 02:20:55
"his writing's merely banal" is gramatically incorrect. Poets who wish to burn Kant and Nietzsche's books ought to be more careful of language form or people may begin to suspect that it's all a big charade.


AP2008-09-27 02:30:06
"Food for thought is also a metaphor Dr. Pereira"
WOW! I really love when someone calls me a Dr., you surely know well the wonderful type of superiority feeling I'm talking about, don't you?
Though your consideration didn't yet reach the level of thinking I could know what a metaphor is.

"Food fithts with chocolate cakes with bullet holes and psychodelic susbstances, that's another story..."
Please, I'm curious, tell me more about it!


Sand2008-09-27 02:32:39
Paparella's stupidity strikes again! "Banal" is perfectly correct and extremely apt.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 06:49:09
Playing dumb again again? Is that what the voices suggested? It is not "banal" that is incorrect ist is "his writing's" which schuld be "his writing is"; it's ok to shorten with an apostrophy but not in this case.


Emanuel Paparella2008-09-27 06:55:10
Too many typos. Let's try again:

Playing dumb again? Is that what the voices suggested? It is not "banal" that is incorrect, it's "his writing's" which should be "his writing is"; it's ok to shorten with an apostrophy, but not in this case.


Sand2008-09-27 07:17:45
Poor Paparella,
A most silly fella,
Whose cosmos is chock full of gods.
They have horns, they have hooves,
(Whatever that proves)
And some may be huge arthropods.
But, whatever their antic
P. thinks they’re romantic,
He’s entranced by a world of illusions
From shadows by Plato
Or oratory from Cato
And spoofy most goofy delusions.
At Christmas his wait
By the fire, quite late,
Leaves him frantic when Santa is missed.
He whines and he moans
In the most plaintive tones
But deep down he’s thoroughly pissed.
No bunnies at Easter
Leaves him flat on his keester.
He yearns for those bright painted eggs.
His desires are deep dented,
His thoughts are demented
When the don’t come, even he begs.
And God, that odd fellow,
Makes him shudder and bellow
Because, as he most fears,
When she’s needed most
There’s not even a Ghost.
She never, not ever, appears.




Sand2008-09-27 07:29:06
I'm happy you approve of most of the poem, and it's never incorrect to shorten "is" to "'s" when the situation demands it, especially in poetry. This latest poem, of course misses a "y" in "When the don’t come, even he begs." but since editing for comments is not permitted I assume even with your limited capacities, you can figure out what's correct.


Hank W.2008-09-27 09:47:30
What kind of world is this, in which residents and non-residents can have an opinion, foreigners just like nationals,

Yeah - you can have an opinion - you also have an asshole. It doesn't mean your opinion has any value if you don't know the facts.

- A bunch of ungrateful bastards, that's what they are!!

Yes well if it is so much better somewhere else why do the people then insist on coming here? Just to whine?


- Why should anyone who lives in Finland be anti-Finland? That doesn't even make sense.

My question exactly. Its a free country with no exit restriction so if people hate it so much why don't they go to whichever place is so much better.

- And then anything happens and Finns can start a self-victimization campaign (they are the victims of their immigrants now!), so that they don't have to discuss nor change anything.

No, the Finns do not have to discuss nor change anything if some stupid foreigner who has no knowledge of anything opens their gob and has a stupid opinion. You can fart as well. We take care our own business and its not the place of some imperialist to come and civilize some natives. So you keep your racist overlord attitude and opinions to yourself. We'll change if we want to. Not because you tell us to.



Hank W.2008-09-27 11:05:52
Why Hasn't the Ovi published this yet?
http://www.godhatesfags.com/written/fliers/20080923_nine-dead-finland-shooting.pdf
After all you seem to publish all kinds of other religious kooks Finland-hate rants.


AP2008-09-27 14:52:32
Dear Hank W.:
Let me tell you, first of all: you're such a sweetheart!! :P I'm about to have a crush on you, just because your irresistible xenophobic tendencies are so overwhelmingly obvious and so superbly charming!! :P hummm... I'm sure that most Kenyan girls living (and whining - their favorite hobby) in Finland feel the same way about you: a real Casanova viking, for whom they would pull their manes off - twice!! :P


AP2008-09-27 15:35:56
"It doesn't mean your opinion has any value if you don't know the facts."
Sure, immigrants have opinions but no brains where they could ellaborate them. They can live here, but they don't know the facts - it's not their life too, just our private reality!! We own reality!! :P

"well if it is so much better somewhere else why do the people then insist on coming here? Just to whine?"
I agree: keep yourself out of the country my friends! Why insist on coming here and whining? What the fuck??!! Are you baby immigrants or what??! You must be, as you couldn't stand it in your native country... Somalia!!

"Its a free country with no exit restriction"
And some nice entrance restrictions too!! :P
"so if people hate it so much why don't they go to whichever place is so much better."
They do? Yes, brainless nationalists end up hating it, not immigrants! Why don't the nationalists go to whichever place is so much better? Hard to find one on earth!! Aahhh well, they could always found an aryan nation somewhere! I suggest Rwanda. Either that or Pohjola!!

"the Finns do not have to discuss nor change anything"
The perfect people!!

"if some stupid foreigner who has no knowledge of anything opens their gob and has a stupid opinion. You can fart as well. We take care our own business"
Yes you do, and very well! :P
We also got to know that immigrants have a big mouth and fart, something that Finns never do (those are defining characteristics too).

"its not the place of some imperialist to come and civilize some natives"
Your lucidity just can't stop impressing me, Hank W. Have you ever thought about being a Big Brother candidate??! You would do just fine!!

"So you keep your racist overlord attitude and opinions to yourself."
Ahahah man, you're so morbidly funny!!

"We'll change if we want to. Not because you tell us to."
But of course!!! :P








AP2008-09-27 15:40:00
Now seriously Hank W., CAN I GO ON A DATE WITH YOU?? Please, please, pleeeaaaassseee!!!


Hank W.2008-09-27 16:26:56
Matiti yako
kama matiti
ya ngombe


AP2008-09-27 20:19:53
Sexy boy.


AP2008-09-27 20:28:14
Just because you swear in Swahili doesn't mean that immigrants can't understand it. It's "ng'ombe", not ngombe. I don't know if I should feel flattered. That's the best argument you have? Must be.


AP2008-09-27 20:31:21
I mean, taking into account all the other samples of "thought" you've offered to us...


AP2008-09-28 01:23:00
I must confess that no one has ever, for as alight as the debates were, exposed in this comments space a more charming, witty and intelligent argument to contradict my opinions than yours:
"Your tits are like a cows tits"
written in swahili (at least I've made you search on google for insults in swahili, and that's already some kind of progress for a personality like yours, right?). So well done!!


AP2008-09-28 03:34:00
I'm sure that's the enchanting type of charm you use in order to attract immigrant girls living in Finland and welcome them warmly - they must melt in your hands like maltesers!!! :P :P Poor Hank... :P :P How do you usually say your pick up line in Romani language?? Let me guess...

"SHEBARI/BITCHENO PAWDEL" - Girl or young woman of marriageable age/To be deported

It's just FAXT!! (the way things are meant to be, fate and karma)!!

DOSTA!! :P Some think that they are not DILI but they are GADJIKANE DILI and there's no short nor long way around it! :P :P A DOSHMAN GRAST or a DIVANO DJOLANO are more ZUHNO and have more ZOR than TU in the arguments when exposing their TACHIBEN, TU can't but do XIN while exhibiting your BUSHALO CHEEB as if it were CHACHIMOS, KHAN MAMIORO, BOBA head, messing around with CHUCHIS, KHANTINO JOHAI. KON? MANCH: TU, LOVINA KAR. You're no MARTURO, just a MIZHAK MIDJLOLI. Go and treat your NASWALEMOS, and put your PUSHKAS down, SAP RAKLO.
SLOBUZENJA
DESROBIREJA for VADNI RATSA with no BINO of BERK
BATER!

:P :P

I believe Mr. Sand would just ask for the Freudian thoughts to be refrained. Ahahah :P


Hank W.2008-09-28 06:29:39
AP - You're the one wanting me to go on a date. I just use what I learned off the W sisters from Kenya who rented my flat out.


Hank W.2008-09-28 07:16:51
tee tuu mangi tsege hooro?


AP2008-09-28 13:03:14
"the W sisters from Kenya who rented my flat out"
I told you - they melt in your hands!! :P


AP2008-09-28 14:22:12
"tee tuu mangi tsege hooro?"
I suppose it's just a rethoric question!! :P


AP2008-09-28 14:24:11
or a rhetoric one!!?? :P :P :P


Hank W.2008-09-30 07:26:48
So now as we know you don't know any gypsies kindly stop being a condecending prick and please just continue being a stupid foreigner who doesn't know anything about Finland.


Hank W.2008-09-30 13:01:43
And then anything happens the foreigners can jump on the soapbox and start their anti-Finland rants. A bit like the Westboro Baptists - like an oil slick the tide brings to our shore.



AP2008-09-30 15:39:36
"So now as we know you don't know any gypsies"
No, I don't know any gypsies, Hank W. Every time I saw them in Finland I turned my face to the other side, and in the place where I'm from (...hummm... the world, actually?) we don't have any gypsies either, not to mention gypsies with their typical suits and their typical culture :D :D

"kindly stop being a condecending prick and please just continue being a stupid foreigner"
I'll do my best just to please YOU :D


AP2008-09-30 16:33:42
I never went to any gypsie marriage nor any other kind of gypsie celebration either, I don't know any gypsie music, singers, step dancers, fabulous dancers (this reminds me that a very famous non-blond gypsie dancer usually defines himself as "gypsie, spanish, man of the world", which is something you need to learn about, Hank W.) or even traders and business men at all. Imagine that where I'm from we even have blond gypsies, much blonder than most non-gypsies around there (the world turned upside down, Hank W.)! I don't know that they were always discriminated in the whole Europe either, and that 200-500 thousand european gypsies were exterminated during WWII.
If you weren't so absurdly ignorant both about gypsie culture and its ethnic sub-groups and Iberian culture, I would remind you that:
1 - in Finland there are 10 thousand gypsies, in Iberian Peninsula there are around 650 thousand, and they were also present at least since the 16th century too (and went from Iberia to South America already then, by the way, and were persecuted at the same time as Jews)
2 - Andalusian culture and music, flamenco specially and "new flamenco" (with jazz, pop, rumba, salsa or rock influences too) and Iberian guitar players and musicians owe NOTHING to the gypsie culture at all!! And gypsies never mixed there with Jews and Muslims and Christians to build new cultural products and create new forms of expression, that's just some fiction!!
3 - There were no programmes ever during the whole 20th century, in Iberia, to integrate gypsies in schools and provide housing for them, that's Finland's exclusive effort, others know nothing about, Hank W.
Just don't be absurd, man.


AP2008-09-30 16:44:18
Sadly though, I am not used to and I was not educated in a way which would show any kind of tolerance towards someone affirming that foreigners (gypsies or not) are "like an oil slick the tide brings to our shore".


AP2008-09-30 16:46:46
So you've got the asshole trophy. :D


AP2008-10-01 01:33:13
Do you prefer the Asshole Oscar, or do you feel the MTV-Finland Asshole Ward to be a greater honor?


AP2008-10-01 01:38:28
"MTV-Finland Asshole Award", sorry.


AP2008-10-01 02:09:58
:D ....?


AP2008-10-01 02:15:52
... don't tell me the W. is for that, man? :D


Words of truth2009-03-04 21:20:42
Words of truth you are speaking. This country horrifies me in a way I just cannot express, just everything about it and I would like the world to know about it. Why Finland is not in the list of most unwelcoming countries? Why people do not write articles in international papers about real life in Finland? It is one thing that finns try to cover up things but why foreigners do not spread the word once and for all? Loud and clear!


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