The next time Roger Boyes, The TimesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Berlin correspondent, goes to Finland, he will either be in disguise or an armoured car.
He was sent there to cover the massacre at Jokela, where a teenage gunman shot seven fellow school pupils and himself.
His story, headed Ã¢â‚¬Å“Similarities to other massacres Ã¢â‚¬’ but this was a very Finnish affairÃ¢â‚¬, has upset Finns who think Boyes was talking down their country by blaming its harsh winter days for the isolation that led Ã¢â‚¬’ along with the Ã¢â‚¬Å“third highest gun ownership in EuropeÃ¢â‚¬ Ã¢â‚¬’ Pekka Eric-Auvninen to murder and suicide.
Boyes linked the killerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s YouTube manifesto to ancient Norse gods. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is nothing very modern or YouTube-ish about that self-image. In ancient times the Finns used to worship Ukko, the mythic god of the sky and thunder,Ã¢â‚¬ he wrote.
Some 261 mostly angry people commented on the story. Daniel, from Tampere, Finland, writes: Ã¢â‚¬Å“This article is of exceedingly poor quality, containing mind-numbingly stupid, ignorant and subjective opinions and childishly simplistic and naive assertions which would bring disgrace upon even the most alarmist of tabloids.Ã¢â‚¬ Blimey.
In an interview with the Finnish national Helsingin Sanomat Boyes says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, soon I will be more famous in your country than Adolf Hitler.”
But never mind Rog, if you ever are in Finland again rest assured that Janne in Hollola has a Ã¢â‚¬Å“free bed for youÃ¢â‚¬. In a comment she writes: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Maybe we can go shooting wolves or something?Ã¢â‚¬