Monthly Archives: November 2006

Massacring DR Congo’s future

There’s nothing that saddens me more than the news of a civil war, whether it begins or continues. There was a civil war in Greece that lasted nearly five years; memories and passions still last generations later. So why would it be any different in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when things are so fresh in peoples’ minds?

Reading the news I saw that dissident soldiers in the DR Congo have attacked army positions in the east of the country close to the Rwanda borders. But what is the legal army? Who is legal in the middle of a civil war? It doesn’t matter how much the international community is trying to stop it? Both sides think that they have the right to do what they are doing and gradually they lose control of what’s right and what’s wrong. Killing neighbor is not wrong any more, killing brother is not wrong, the face of the brother has become the face of the enemy.

This is what I was thinking reading the news. Fifty years after the civil war in Greece two brothers met and it took them a while before they started their old disagreements again. I live in Finland, and the civil war happened nearly a century ago here, still I have heard somebody saying, ‘They killed my grandfather, and I will never forgive them.’ What he will never forgive is not the crime of one human killing the other, but killing his grandfather. It is personal.

That’s what is left from a civil war, nobody wins. Some do, but this is temporary. How can you feel the winner when you have killed a brother to achieve this victory? How can you feel a winner when the loser is inside your very own house? And how can you tell all these thing to somebody who is in the middle of a civil war just like all these people in DR Congo?

The UN seems optimistic but sometimes I’m not sure if everybody realizes how long it will take for things to become calm in this country, even if the war stops…yesterday. In this war, like in any other war, kids are involved and not only as victims between the innocent, but as little warriors as well. In the case of Congo, children soldiers have been used from both sides openly. These boys and girls – yes girls, it seems that war is one of the very few places where men and women are equal – aged around 15, are going to build tomorrow’s Congo. But with what memories? Murder and rape have been their every day pictures.

Usually these civil wars last a few decades and are the result of the ego of some very few generals who rebelled. They have all the good excuses but ended up in a hunt to glorify this very same ego and they gradually become exactly the same as what they opposed for so long.

I might sound too radical, but the picture of these children fighting a war they cannot understand, often killing their own families without even knowing or remembering and then asking these very same children to build a better world is at least a crime against humanity and those responsible for these wars should be on trial for genocide.

I know it sounds too much but why not? These people didn’t only kill and massacre a whole nation but they did the same with future generations as well. They did the same with the future of a continent since all these rebels escape to neighbor countries asking for a new field. Sometimes the same people fight all around as mercenaries just because they don’t know any other life.

Let’s hope that the whole thing in DR Congo will finish soon, but let’s also hope that the responsible for this will be punished from both sides because both sides are responsible for massacring their future.

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Why the hell to create a blog?

“Why the hell to create a blog?” was the question we posted in the Ovi Forum back in April 2005 after a number of our regular readers had encouraged us to start one. Most of the comments were negative, such as Bighairyfinn’s “It gives you the 15 minutes of fame required to make the average egocentrist happy” and harryparry’s end statement, “If there is something you want to write about or if you have opinions that you want to express, then start a blog. Otherwise, why bother?”

Well, 19 months later we have learnt for ourselves ‘why the hell to create a blog’ and we have gone one, no two, maybe three…many steps further by creating more than one Ovi blog and have even chosen ‘Blogs’ as the theme for the 17th PDF magazine released today. We understand ‘why to bother’ and we feel that we have something to say. Okay, we have a great deal to say about everything, but that is why you read Finland’s opinionated daily magazine.

The Ovi team were reluctant to change our magazine into a blog because we believe that an online magazine has a different reputation to a blog. We don’t consider magazines better than blogs, or vice-versa. Instead, we believe that when a reader arrives at a magazine they expect something different from the content and style, which wouldn’t be found on the average blog.

We actually discovered the difference for ourselves in the form of a personal freedom. Maintaining our own personal blogs or the Ovi blogs allows us to write about events in an alternative style to the magazine articles. Why? We don’t really know, but Ovi does encompass over 80 different writers and they all have their own opinions, so the Ovi team owe it to one another to maintain a professional style and approach. However, the blogs free us from these constraints and we can exercise our…cheekiness far more.

Today, Thanos launches another three personal blogs in addition to his existing god-knows-how-many. We have a suspicion here that when he has created his 52nd blog he will create the Thanos Blog Playing Card Series – each card has the front page of one of his blogs. Anyway, one of the blogs launched today is written in twisted Athenian slang and another features tales, such as fairytales and other children’s stories, so check those out.

Blogger and WordPress may dominate the blogosphere, but Asa has been experimenting with MySpace and he gets a secret thrill with every ‘So-and-so wants to be your friend’ message, while many of our readers also maintain their own blogs. How do we know? Well, they actively support and promote Ovi magazine via their pages, add us to their Blogrolls and pester fellow bloggers to do the same. They have also gently guided us through the rocky blog landscape, pointing out the dangers and being supportive, which is the other reason for our decision to choose ‘Blogs’ as our PDF theme: We wanted to say, “Thank you!”

The new PDF has become a landmark issue for the Ovi team. The reason for such a long gap between our ‘Copycats’ PDF and issue #17 is due to the desire of implementing a number of fresh ideas into its pages. You will spot some of them immediately and the others will merely soak into your unconscious because Thanos has performed some minor miracles with the style and overall feel of the layout, but you should look for yourself because we are a little biased.

PDF Issue #17 is full of articles about blogs, bloggers and blogging, plus a couple about podcasts and other web-related content, plus cartoons, jokes and other Ovi nuances that you have come to love. The first-timers are the luckiest of all because you have no idea what to expect, which is something that we often envy.

In case you don’t know, the Ovi PDF is free to download and read. There are no catches to downloading the PDF; you don’t need to register, you don’t need to sacrifice your firstborn, you don’t even need to say, ‘Please!’ A computer, net connection and a PDF reader go without saying, but you can always ask a friend to do it for you.

In April 2005, we began a long journey of discovery and today we are confident that we could satisfactorily answer our own forum question: “Why the hell to create a blog?” Could you?

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