A look at some of the gems in the TCN inbox on January 15, 2017, and some thoughts on our target audience.
Among the daily hate mail and occasional death threat that is part and parcel of running a news portal about Croatia (am in discussions with a department of psychology with a European university about opening up the TCN inbox for an anthropological study), I received this wonderful seasonal greeting from some chap (or chappess) who identified him/herself simply as E.F.:
“HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WISHES TO HAVE MORE SERBS AND OTHER “FRIENDS” OF OUR HOMELAND REPORTING “CROATIAN NEWS” FOR CROATS. !?
I always like emails in bold letters – they seem more intimate somehow. I was a little surprised at E.F.’s stated desire to have more Serbs on the team, given that there are none at present, as well as his/her desire to have more Serbs and “friends” of our homeland reporting “Croatian news” for Croats. We will come to the news part shortly, but this surprised me too, for why would a Croat seeking information about his/her homeland do so through a foreign language, especially a true Croat who felt strongly enough to send such a friendly email full of seasonal cheer? Only a true passionate Croat would do such a thing, and while I almost never reply to comments or emails such as these (apart from anything else, where do people find the time?), it was only polite to return E.F.’s seasonal greeting, delivered in lower case lettering:
Thanks for your New Year wishes – same back to you.
Not sure I follow the rest of your email. Our main writers are all Croatian except one, with not a Serb in sight.
And as for reporting “Croatian News” for Croats, surely all true Croats read their news in their mother tongue, no? Why would a true Croat be using a portal in English?”
E.F. was quick to respond – and we were back to our upper case lettering:
“WHY WOULD A TRUE CROAT BE USING A PORTAL IN ENGLISH?” THIS SENTENCE ALONE IS DEPICTING YOUR AGITATING, NKVISH AND BIAS REGULAR REPORTING ON CROATIA.
ARE YOU SUGGESTING THAT ‘TRUE’ CROATS LIKE YOURSELVES ARE FOREIGN SCUM BECAUSE YOU WRITE IN ENGLISH?
I THINK SO.… SOME OF US ARE OLD ENOUGH TO SMELL YOU MILES AWAY WITH OR WITHOUT YOUR BADGES.”
It was only January 1 – looks like 2017 is going to be a long year, with lots of upper case aggression in the inbox. I tried to lower the casing;
“I am not suggesting anything – you seem to be. We run an English-language portal about Croatia, with the intended readership people who are interested in Croatia. You implied that we are a bunch of Serbs producing, as you put it, “Croatian news” for Croats.
If Croats are interested in news about Croatia, why would they bother with a foreign language portal when they have so many in their own language? I am far from a true Croat or otherwise, merely a Brit who lives in and happens to like living in Croatia. Nobody is forcing you to read the site if it offends you so much, especially with so many websites in your native language.”
And then the triumph of the entire exchange. E.F. magically discovered that if you hit the CAPS key, his/her argument – such as it was – can be presented in lower casing. It is the always the small victories in Croatia that one celebrates:
“Your reporting on Ultra-Right Croatian is fake and lying “fact’. We have no such organizations You and Your financiers know it. But propaganda cannot stop and will not because it is well oiled machine financed by scum of this word doing worst atrocities than those that we are brainwashed and forced to accept.
70 years of murders regime that Croatia will need another century do recover is omitted in your reporting, thousands of bones scattered like animals bones in African jungles but in Yugoslavian swamp is not interesting to your audience, That part never happened? 100 million killed by communist is not subject of your reporting were Croatia paid in large number, people that were slathered and hidden in the hills and under hundreds of fields. Only 2000 days of NDH is a core of Croatian history and psyche of Croats, Right?.
Fuck you and your breed
So Mr. Chameleon be careful how you walk through forests, streets and fields of Croatia and don’t step on Croat’s bones, it might be a bad karma for you. Look around you might see them sticking out and looking at you. It is you grandparents’ work. Be proud.”
And there we left it, or at least I did, until E.F. popped up again yesterday, perhaps feeling he/she had not made whatever point he/she was trying to make strongly enough:
“Great article English.
White about your future king loving pussy droppings every time he moves out of his closet…please that would be “truth””
I was going to suggest to E.F. that rather than spending so much time spamming other people’s inboxes, it might perhaps be advisable to spend the time instead learning his/her mother tongue so that he/she could read Croatian news in his/her native tongue, but then I saw from the last message that it would perhaps be better to start with English if that was the language in which he/she was attempting to communicate with the world.
I have to say that I do find the conspiracy theories here quite fascinating. So much creativity which if channelled into the Croatian economy, could probably get the country going again. I am apparently spying for at least six agencies, am funded by Soros and/or the Russians (I wish) and have an agenda to turn this Croatia into some place called Greater Serbia. Really quite outstanding aims for a simple blogger who enjoys writing with a pint in a pretty Dalmatian square…
E.F.’s cheery seasonal greetings did get me thinking though – who exactly is Total Croatia News aimed at? His/her assertion that it was a portal giving ‘Croatian news’ to Croats is a little absurd, in the same way that if I was living in Tashkent, I would be highly unlikely to get the latest from Westminster via an Uzbek news portal when I had resources such as the BBC and The Sun.
TCN is quite simply aimed at anyone who has an interest in Croatia – from the news and sport, to business, politics and tourism. Our stats show that we have a large following from diaspora countries from readers who perhaps do not speak Croatian, and as we publish between 15 and 20 stories a day, there is no other site online providing as much daily content about Croatia in English. It is a site for tourists interested in Croatia, for businessmen wanting to follow the latest, and for those wanting to follow the madness that is the Croatian political scene.
One of the accusations that amuses me the most is that we are a left-wing website with a hidden agenda, whereas in actual fact – as I have always said (and went into detail the last time we covered this topic) – this has been on our website from day one:
“Send us the Croatian news where you are.
What is happening in your town in Croatia, or your Croatian community around the world?
A key concept of Total Croatia News is an attempt at citizen journalism, where we encourage people with an interest in Croatia to promote the news wherever they are. If you would like to have your news featured on the site, please contact us at [email protected]
Our preference is to receive contributions in English – we can edit them – and any photos must be copyright-free and with the appropriate accreditation.
Join us on a project to project Croatian news to the world in English!”
We welcome all contributions about Croatia as long as they are coherent, well-written, newsworthy and not from the Donald Trump School of Insults. So if TCN is too left-wing for you, do something about it.
The last time I posted this, one of my favourite diaspora trolls contacted me to say that he would indeed do that, and that I would have an article and his profile within the week. A year later and I am still waiting – it is simpler and more fun to troll the Internet and complain at others it seems. It is encouraging to see that some TCN contributors have come forward with great articles which even our wildest conspiracy theorists would probably agree were not financed by our supposed Yugoslav paymasters, such as this one published this morning on the 25th anniversary of international recognition of Croatia.
As for E.F, I am glad you have discovered how to use the CAPS key. Small things. And I hope you, and your fellow trolls, can channel your considerable energy into positive things for Croatia – it will be healthier for all.
E.F. seemingly felt comfortable enough about his sexuality to come out after this article was published, and in an obvious casting bid to take over the role of Manual in Fawlty Towers with his ‘death treats’ (the mind boggles), kindly took the time out from a busy day of trolling to post this little nugget:
Thank you (?) for including me in the same mail with “death treats” you are apparently receiving. So sick and idiotic of you,
But; dishonesty is virtue of your tribe;
we all know it so it’s not suppressing to see you going there.
My sincere apologies for mailing you misspelled words and horrible grammar. I know how sensitive English are in keeping their language and country pure. Unfortunately English has stolen and killed so much and so many, so it is not the same anymore, isn’t it….and that is how, you ended up in my country and write shit that my Google alert spits out.
Again, fuck you and goodbye
(Not a treat just my sentiment)
Love photo of you from earlier days, real Anglo specimen in a paneled basement.