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To boldly go To boldly go
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-12-20 11:05:26
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Eight years ago we started a travel to boldly go where no man has gone before. At least that’s what we thought. Of course a lot of others have done the same but none of us before and it has been a mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations all the way for us. Nothing we experience during these last eight years has been the same or something we have lived before and I assure you we have encounter a variety of alien life during this travel.

Now you might think that this is a very strange intro for the eighth birthday editorial but these eight years have been unbelievable for Asa and me and every year it gets harder to explain how much Ovi magazine has been part of our lives. Huge part in the front and behind the curtains. During those eight years we saw the best of times and we saw the worst of times. In Ovi it comes somehow natural to quote first captain Kirk and then Charles Dickens. And it was always a mixture of lines were our personal lives met Ovi’s life.

I hope you can forgive the personal references at Ovi’s birthday but to give you an idea even though we were talking about the creation of an online magazine for months with Asa and John – mainly out of frustration with our work in media - it was five days after my daughter’s birth and her second day home when we finalized the name, the policy and the foundations of Ovi magazine. Every time I think of Ovi birthday I see John holding her – tiny little baby – and shouting, am I holding her right?

I know it is a cliché but the same time so real for us since Ovi grew up with my daughter. Learning the first words with her, standing up with her, walking with her and then going to school with her. I remember the first couple of months when Ovi had 12 visitors a day learning to walk with Asa and me discovering everyday something new we had to do and didn’t know about it. Oh don’t worry we are still learning, nothing has change there and somehow I wish nothing will ever do since learning constantly helps the magazine to evolutes as well.

When Ovi learned how to walk and started pre-school we had to deal with the real world. Threats, attacks, copycats, plagiarism; but there were also the award nominations, the constant increase of visitors, the references and quoting from media and researchers. When Ovi actually started school things toughen even ore. We found ourselves in court rooms, police calls and lawyer offices. The threats we ignored became serious and the harassment heavy. Copycat was not a joke anymore exchanging mails with a provider in the other side of the ocean we could deal with, it took a form of a communication’s giant who started bulling us even in our personal life.

I will never forget a meeting in a lawyer’s office when after a lot of pressure I tried to explain that Ovi is not for sale for the simple reason that contrary to something made from plastic, metal and silicon with chips Ovi has its own soul and voice and that’s not for sale. They thought I was crazy. Perhaps I am. But crazy or not Ovi magazine is still here breathing and kicking while the giant is in coma.

Through these eight years we have heard unbelievable accusations and threats from all around the world with all of them having one thing in common. They didn’t like our democratic attitude. They didn’t like that freedom of speech was not a theory, or a good catch line for this magazine but a practice. And we have spent hours deleting trolls’ comments or fixing hackers’ attacks.

You know all these things might sound negative but in a very twisted way they are awarding. The feeling that these eight years we are doing something right with this magazine. My close friends laugh every time I say it but my proudest personal moment  in the magazine was when I found out – accidentally – that I was wanted in Zimbabwe and actually sentenced to prison because of a series of articles I wrote for the Hitler’s caricature that rules and destroys the country. The threatening mails look like medals and the false accusations – we were actually accused twice for wrongly using the word Ovi with the “legal” argument that it is a Finnish word and we are …not Finns! – badges of honour.

Before I mentioned that Ovi has soul and voice and that’s because Ovi has become a family. I suppose sentimental editorials lean towards clichés. The other day on the radio show I said that David Sparenberg – who just published his new book with Ovi – is a personal friend and I meant it despite the fact that I have never met David. And is not only David, it is Abigail in South Africa, Emine in Istanbul, Dimitra in Athens, Murray in Thailand, Ricardo in Venezuela, Emanuel in Florida or Mustafa in Norway and so many others all around this globe. I have never met any of them but still we all part of the Ovi family. And this unity feeling reflects even to our readers. I will never forget the period I faced a serious health problem and I wrote about it, the number of supporting mails I got. Thank you all.

Perhaps I was right in the beginning saying that Ovi travels to boldly go where no man has gone before so let’s start the 9th year wishing HAPPY EIGHTH BIRTHDAY OVI MAGAZINE.


You can hear HERE David Sparenbergs happy 8th Ovi birthday recorded message all the way from Seattle USA that we played on the Ovi Wilf Ride Radio Show last Sunday 16.12.2012 when Asa joined Edna and me.

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Murray Hunter2012-12-20 11:45:46
Congratulations! Its not easy driving anything for 8 years and yes you are right OVI is a family, for good, bad, ugly and the beautiful.

Emanuel Paparella2012-12-20 12:05:22
Eight years old! How wonderful. Where have all those years gone? Those of us who are parents and grandparents, especially you Thanos who has a daughter by the same age, know that eight is a watershed point between childhood and incipient growth into maturity. Ovi is now a juvenile with all its zest and imagination but with plenty of room still left for greater success and perfectibility. Well done Thanos and Asa. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OVI. A sincere wish for increased success in your vision and mission of democracy of viewpoints, civil dialogue and scholarly inquiry, and, last but not least, blunt and honest free speech.

Thanos2012-12-20 12:59:19
When it comes to Ovi the congratulations goes to all of us!!! :)

Thanos2012-12-20 13:03:21
And BTW, there are far too many anecdotes I wanted to write about these eight years but I kept some for ...next year!!! :)

Abdullah AbdulElah Sallam2012-12-20 17:43:43
That means OVI has perfect leader and Harmonious team work ,Congratulations

Eva2012-12-20 18:04:56

Christos Mouzeviris2012-12-21 03:18:45
Happy Birthday OVI!! I am so proud to be a member of this team and I thank you for this great opportunity. It is a great platform for open unbiased debate, an alternative way of thinking and free speech. That I defend, that's why I am here for. Thank you and all the best for yet another year and for more...

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