Thursday, October 11, 2007

Four simple rules for writing to the "Haters", or writing in a public forum about them....

This has been something that's been on my mind for a while now. I've noticed as of late that more and more people have started to take the potential menace and potential for mischief of the Albanophobes out there a bit more seriously as of late. That's good! And as a part of this, they've been taking it upon themselves to write at least some of them and let them know that we know they're out there, and that we know what they're saying. That's also good! But then, I start seeing those e-mails people are writing, stuff like this:

name = victim
comments = to whom it may concern julia here is a story for u during the war my family left kosova as we where walking the serb army stop a bunch of albanains lined them up and shot them in cold blood/? you serbs are no better then albanians show me one prove that the kla killed woman and children during the war ?you cant because kla never belived in killing woman and children but you keep denying that the serb army did nothing may god have mercy on ur lying soul! remmber god is one he will judge the nation your nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

or this:

I like the way you post about Albanians there, “Balkan beasts”, “continuing their parents work”. So what your saying is every Albanian is a terrorist back home and EVERY Albanian family teaches their kids hatred of Serbs and to act in violence towards them? We read the articles and watch the news too you stupid fuck. Our parents dont have to teach us anything.

All you Serbians do is put out bullshit articles about Albanians being this and that. Criminals, terrorists, animals, violent, brute. We’re fighting for something thats OURS back home. If that makes us all of those things then thats what we are but I think it makes us honorable, courageous and brave. Three words Serbians dont know about.

stuff that's often poorly researched, written in english that would put even Larry the Cable Guy to shame, has obscenities, racial/ethnic slurs, misconceptions and misinformation in other words, perfect ammo for the "Haters" to be able to say "See? This proves our point!". And that's not so good, folks.

Now that the people who wrote those pieces I cited (taken from La Julia's "GLOB" itself) were sincere I have no doubt at all. That they were writing to show La Julia that we're not going to take her lies, distortions, and slanders lying down, and to let her know exactly what we think of her, is both evident and laudible. But when those things are expressed in such a fashion as the two examples above express them, then what begins as a well-meaning defense becomes a blundering case of shooting one's self (and by extension the Albanian community) in the foot. I am saying all this because for whatever else you can say about them, the "Haters" aren't stupid, folks. Oh, we may like to call them that because they disagree with us, because they oppose us, because they are "THE ENEMY", but let's not let our hubris get ahead of our understanding of reality. These folks are not dumb, they are not stupid. They are for the most part very intellegent, very clever people. And that's in part what makes them potentially so dangerous. They will look for any sign of weakness, and they WILL exploit it-count on it! They know what the stakes are, and they ain't playin' by the Marquis de Queensbury Rules. Now of course, if they can't find anything legitimate to take and twist and pervert the meaning of, they'll manufacture something, but it's far far worse for us if they can take something somebody actually wrote to one of them, and twist it around to make it look like it proves their point. And they're damn good at it too. If someone like La Julia can take and pervert the words of intelligent folks like Nicki Fellenzer and Brad Staggs, how much easier is it for her to do it someone who's writing skills make them look like a slow third grader and/or like they have Tourrette's? We need to keep letting La Julia and the rest of the "Haters" know we're out there, and we're not taking their garbage lying down, of that there is no doubt! But we need to do it in manner that is calm (while still being passionate), rational, intelligent, intelligible, and free of obscenities, slurs, slanders, and threats.

That being said, here are a very few common sense "rules" to keep in mind when writing one of the "Haters", or writing about them in a public or semi-public forum:

First: Check your spelling and/or grammar. I know the English language is a bitch for non-native speakers to master sometimes. Hell, it's a bitch for us native-born speakers sometimes as well! And my hat's sincerely off to anyone out there who takes the time to try to not only learn it, but learn it correctly. But the "Haters" don't care about that. All they care is that if you look like a slow third grader or "stupid immigrant" because your English skills aren't the same as a reasonably well-educated native speaker's are, that they're going to use that against you, and against the whole Albanian community. I know it may be a little embarrassing , but for Pete's sake, if you've written something you want to send to one of hte "Haters", and you know you're English isn't the best, then get a friend who's English is of sufficient quality (preferably a native speaker, if available) to go over what you've written with you, and suggest corrections to it so that it is in proper English. Coming off as intelligent and thoughtful will go a long way to showing the "Haters" for being just what they really are.

Second: Leave the obscenities for the locker room. Calling somebody a this, that, or the other thing may express how you really feel about them; it may even feel good to call them those things. But rest assured, if one of the "Haters" decides to post your obscenity-laden missive to their website or blog, you will look like an inarticulate and quite probably violent boob. Even as common as "cussing" is nowadays, in most intelligent and cultured (or even psuedo-intelligent and cultured) circles, it is still seen as a mark of someone who is not sufficiently in control of themselves and their emotions to articulate their thoughts and feelings intelligently.

Third: Lose the hate; lose the ethnic and racial slurs-if not altogether, then at least when you're writing. Before anything else, let me say that I utterly despise both racism and anti-semetism with a passion. The only time my dad ever hit me where I to this day I actually agree I "had it coming to me" was the one occasion as a kid that I ever used the "N-word" in front of him. And if you're view of the world contains either, then IMO it is YOU who should be doing a "reality check" on yourself first, before critisising anyone! But I also know that what I say isn't necessarily going to change anyone's heart or mind when it comes to that subject-and that's something they have to do for themselves to begin with, anyway. So whether you're using them just to hurt your opponent (ala what Michael Richards claimed his little "outburst" last year at a comedy club to be), or because that's how you "really" feel, keep in mind that most people in this day and age (myself included, obviously), regardless of political persuasion, consider such insults to be unacceptable, if not outright barbaric, and if you use them, that's exactly what you'll look like-at best-a barbarian. And even if the person you're writing to is rather "selective" (i.e. hypocritical) themselves about such things, again, why give them m0re ammo by saying things you know they're going to use against you if given the chance? Keep it clean, keep it racism-free.

Fourth: Know your facts, and don't spread lies or slander about the "Haters". Albanian tradition, as I have both come to know it and experience it, is among other things, about taking "the high road". About staying honorable. About not stooping to your enemy's level. And that goes for dealing with the "Haters" as well. And a part of that "high road" is having your facts straight, and sticking to them, instead of what your emotions would want you to believe, regardless of whether it comes to something about Albanians, about Serbs or Greeks, or about the "Haters" themselves. One example of what I'm talking about here is the oft-repeated comment that Julia Gorin is nothing but a paid shill for the Serbs; that the only reason she says what she says or appears to believe what she believes is because she's being paid. As I've said before, much as I'd personally like to believe myself that she's nothing but another political Elmer Gantry, all the evidence, including that she's been writing independent op-ed pieces on Kosova, the Albanian people, and so forth ever since the spring of '99, tells me otherwise. And in fact, there's absoulutely no evidence whatsover that she's anything less than 100% sincere in what she claims to believe (which makes her a lot more dangerous than if sher were "just" a shill, IMO....). In any case, such an accusation (like she and her ilk are currently making against Maarti Athisarri), unless you have proof, is both unworthy of us, and only damages us in our cause. It may feel good, it even may make sense, but if you can't prove it, or at least give reasonable evidence for it, then don't say it. Leave the unsubstantiated BS to the "Haters".

And that's it, folks: Four simple rules to follow when writing the haters: Watch your spelling and grammar, cut out the cussing, lose the racial/ethnic slurs, and know your facts (both about your own people, and about the "Haters"), and stick to them. Do those things, and you'll find that what you write will be both more respected, and more effective.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

peshku, I know those comments reflect badly on albanians but to all who are reading: these people are kids who saw their loved ones killed, so their passion, anger, outrage to what Gorin is saying is understandable; I'm not saying they should write like that but being recent immigrants to anglophone countries it's only natural that their English is limited and believe me, even I have resorted to name-calling at times when writing to La Gorin simply because I couln't logically process the insanity she was writing as truth.