The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Five Years on

This blog has gone through many changes since it began in June 2005. Sometimes, I find it hard to believe that I have survived through all its ups and downs. I am, as always, so grateful to all the fantastic people who have supported me along the way. Without that kind of caring from people, I wouldn’t still be writing here. I really mean that.

I had never meant this blog to simply be a place to come and read articles that can be found elsewhere online. A sort of news gathering blog. I wanted (and still want) it to be a place for discussion, debate or just a place where people could “gather” and talk about the issues they care about. A kind of small online community. To a certain extent, I have succeeded in that goal but recently I have felt that I have let that slip somewhat. I cannot blame that simply on the fact that my blog has been broken for quite a while. Before I was hacked, I was just posting articles and not really engaging in discussions. There are many reasons for that which I won’t bore you with but one very important problem stands out. I had become quite bored with it.

It had got to the point where everything I wrote, whether a personal musing or simply posting an article or link, was the subject of bitter opposition from the same few people. Many people who used to be engaged in discussions here became bored with it too. There has been no drop in the number of visitors. In fact, my stats have steadily risen over the years and even this recent invasion by hackers has not changed that. The change has been that there has been less variety in the comments. It had become the same few over and over and over again.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that those few should not comment or that I do not appreciate their input (some more than others, of course). What I would like is to begin rebuilding that sense of community that I had here a while back. Where a variety of opinions were being expressed. I am not entirely sure how to go about that but I feel myself regaining that enthusiasm I had for blogging here. Feeling more optimistic about the future of THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY.

So, onwards to the next five years. Who knows what they will bring…

11 Comments

  1. Cinzano
    July 10, 2010    

    DD,
    I’m sorry that you feel “bored” with some people’s forthright opinions on your blog, but disagreement is fundamental in a debate and I make no apologies for being one of the people who have challenged your opinions and articles.

    Instead of labelling dissenting voices as “embittered”, you should be thanking people for taking the time out to contribute to your blog not patronising them by suggesting that their comments are repetitive or bitter.

    There will always be disagreements in a healthy community and if you really want a “community” you should be encouraging dissenting voices, not wanting everyone to agree with you.

    You’re coming across as a person who just wants to be told how wonderful your blog is by your adoring group of brown-nosing co-bloggers – in fact, if you really wanted to have a sense of community on your blog, you’d be encouraging people to disagree with the opinions in your blog and challenging your negative articles and your biased representation of southern Mediterranean culture. If you really had the spirit and sensitivity of a human rights activist you wouldn’t declare how “bored” you are with people expressing differing counter-opinions but you’d be happy that these “embiterred people” as you call them have taken time out to question sterotyping on your blog and have challenged the racism and one-sided attack on a group of people, their culture and their nation.

    Every healthy community has a democratic system in which all opnions and dissenting woices are encouraged to be heard. Your “Five Years On” post is not about you wanting a “community” because you clearly expressed how “bored” you are with your community. What you really want is a new community which agrees with you or you’d like the old one back i.e. the one which agrees with you and tells you what a wonderful job you’re doing and doesn’t challenge your often negative and stereotypical views of Southern European people.

  2. Cinzano
    July 10, 2010    

    You have taken offence at the fact that I write about human rights in Greece and take that as me putting down Southern Europeans. Nothing I say or do here will ever change your mind on that.

    That’s not true. As you are fully aware, I supported you in the beginning because i thought that this blog highlighted human rights issues in Greece but when i started reading that you allowed racist comments to go unpunished for years (and even joked with the racists) but you banned Greeks for similar offences, i knew that I was wrong to support a blog which had such a one-sided approach and supported negative and offensive stereotyping of Southern Europeans. I even donated money to you in the beginning because i thought you were like other human rights bloggers and organisations who i support but then i saw how you allowed awful racist comments to be made against Greeks for 3 years (“Greek culture makes them homophobic, Greeks are lazy, Greeks prefer to beg from EU than work, Greeks are pre-disposed to being corrupt”, etc etc i.e. offensive stereotypes about Southern Europeans). You allowed these comments from British racists but banned Greeks for making similar comments about Africans, this double standard is unnacceptable. I make no apologies for calling you out on it.

    I find it interesting that you are the first to comment here for a very long time.

    Why?

    I’d be very interested to hear what others have to say…

    In other words, you want your co-bloggers and cyber friends to chime-in with their messages of support for you in an effort to strengthen your opinion about people like me who do not approve of your constant negative stereotyping and biased representation of Greeks and southern Euopeans.

    Of course people will support you but that doesn’t negate the fact that i have an opinion too and i shouldn’t be brow-beaten or gangbashed by your cyber-friends just because i have an opposing viewpoint to yours. You should be encouraging people to air their views even if they run contrary to your viewpoints. Instead you, insult and patronise people and call them “bitter” and “boring” and call for support from your cyber friends to hound me off your blog.

  3. Cinzano
    July 10, 2010    

    I find it interesting that you are the first to comment here for a very long time.

    I am really intrigued by this sentence. DD, why would you find it “interesting” that i’m the first to comment on your blog for a very long time?

    What are you suggesting? Don’t be cryptic. Tell us what you mean.

  4. July 10, 2010    

    Please, please, please Cinzano, read what I wrote:

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that those few should not comment or that I do not appreciate their input

    Where a variety of opinions were being expressed.

    The past community I had here on this blog most certainly did not agree with me. There was plenty of debate and disagreement but many more people were taking part. There’s a difference. People have expressed to me privately that they were bored too. And to be honest Cinzano, your form of disagreement is not really debate is it? You have taken offence at the fact that I write about human rights in Greece and take that as me putting down Southern Europeans. Nothing I say or do here will ever change your mind on that. I find it interesting that you are the first to comment here for a very long time.

    I’d be very interested to hear what others have to say…

  5. July 10, 2010    

    I find it interesting that you are the first to comment here for a very long time.

    My blog has been broken for quite a while… it was hacked. And no-one has commented. Until today when I wrote this post. The first person to comment was you. To criticise this post. I find that interesting. Surely you know what interesting means? Why do I find it interesting? For exactly the reason I said above. No-one has commented here for a very long time. Almost a month. And you were the first. One of those I was referring to in the post. But you knew what I meant anyway.

    Hope that’s clear.

  6. Cinzano
    July 10, 2010    

    I still don’t know why you think it’s interesting that I should be the first to post something. I wasn’t the first person anyway – it was bfp. Why don’t you find it interesting that he posted first? What’s so interesting about me posting first?

    Go on. Tell us. For once, speak your mind.

    I’ll tell you what’s interesting. It’s interesting that you posted a picture of an woman holding up The Declaration of Human Rights above your “Five Years On” post in which you have described opposing viewpoints as “boring” and the people who express them “embittered”. How ironic that you make a mockery of freedom of expression in your post while posting a pic of the Declaration of Human Rights!

    Another things which is “interesting” is that your “Five years On” post is not about a review of the past five years as the title suggests, it’s filled with excuses of why you haven’t posted replies to people who have raised legitimate and reasonable questions to you over the years.

    You’ve continuously ignored the challenging questions and you simply avoid the issues which you have raised (such as the Macedonian issue). The reason why you don’t enter into any debates or discussions about these issues is not because your “bored of the same people and their embittered opinions” like you say, it’s because you’re frightened that your views will expose you as a sanctimonious hypocritical Brit who really is against the majority Greek people….You disagree with overwhleming Greek public opinion on the Macedonian issue, you avoid highlighting the hardships endured by the Greek people over the last few months (although you say this blog is “about Greece”), you hardly mentioned the riots which has been plastered all over the world media but you’ve seen fit to ignore it (on your blog ABOUT GREECE!), you’ve totally disregarded the social and polictical upheaval happening in Greece, you ignored the economic crisis which has caused deaths/riots and will be felt by every Greek for years to come. You deal with the employment rights of a relatively tiny amount of Philipino workers in Greece for example but you totally ignore the abuse of employment rights for millions of Greek people. And you’re surpised that people will question you about this?

    You get upset when people challenge you about this – you call us “embittered” and “boring” but do you know the real reason why you haven’t been posting? It’s because you’re afraid to be confronted about your double standards and to speak your mind about the various issues – that’s why you avoid posting (not because you’re “bored”). And now you want support from your cyber-friends because you want to soothe your ego instead of addressing the real issues of your one-sided blog…

    The truth is, you allowed British (and American) racists to spout their hate on your blog for years but you banned Greeks for similar offences – if this your definition of the community you want, then you’re welcome to it but don’t expect us “embittered people” to stay quiet about it.

  7. EllasDevil
    July 10, 2010    

    ?????? ????? DD!

    I found my way back to your blog via twitter. I stopped visiting due to the virus issue. Glad that seems to be sorted out.

    Anyway just wanted to say hey.

    N

  8. July 11, 2010    

    @Cinzano

    You are perfectly illustrating the point of my post. Thank you.

    @EllasDevil

    Welcome back!
    It was several weeks before I even knew there was a problem… being a mac user 😉

  9. Cinzano
    July 11, 2010    

    You are perfectly illustrating the point of my post.

    What is your point? You beat around the bush without saying much.

    Tell us at least where you stand on one issue:

    Do you believe that there is a Macedonian minority in Greece?

  10. Cinzano
    July 11, 2010    

    Five years on and still no answers….

  11. Cinzano
    July 13, 2010    

    DD,
    Why don’t you answer this simple question?:

    Do you believe that there is a “Macedonian minority” in Greece?

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