One-on-One: Stellus Yastreb

For those readers who are unacquainted with you, would you please give us some background as to how you came to participate in micronationalism and what it is you do in the community today?

A stupidly long time ago, there was a communistic micronation called the PRNSE (People’s Republic of the New Soviet Empire). It existed in a more volatile age when micronations were created as flimsy pretexts for attacking other micronations, and wiping out forums with Denial of Service attacks was considered good clean fun. The PRNSE, or more accurately certain individuals who happened to be closely associated with it, engaged in its fair share of various micronational dark arts under the leadership of, among others, an enigmatic individual known as Yuri – one of those high archons of micronationalism of the same blisteringly unassailable calibre as Ras Diga, Scott Alexander and Ardashir Khan to name but three. I didn’t cross paths with him until the after PRNSE’s demise, but the encounter remains important as he is the one most responsible for luring me into the eternal pixelated maelstrom that is the Micras Sector.

I arrived among the PRNSE folks in late 2002, sometime after its grand poohbah Siberian Fox span it off into a largely non-micronational Soviet-themed social debating type community (Soviet-Empire). However some of their regulars still kept a hand in the old micronations game full-time, and I guess it was inevitable that I was recruited for their latest project in that sphere, a largely forgotten place called Noviykrazniystan. Aside from the aforementioned Yuri, the intermicronational master criminal known as William Jesmer had a large hand in dragging me into this business. What neither of them told me at the time was that they were some of the most reviled people on Micras on account of their various misdeeds, and that by mere association with them I would be treated with vitriolic contempt by pretty much everybody for no discernible reason. It was a hard upbringing, to be sure.

Between then and now I was mostly involved in Baracão, Yuri’s USSR reboot and its better-known spinoff Novaya Zemlya, and of course Shireroth. I have kept an intermittent presence in the latter since the back end of 2003, and over time it has become my home. My current roles in Shireroth are limited as I’ve deliberately avoided high positions in anticipation of real-life time constraints this summer. My two last big roles were Imperial Steward (second-in-command) and Minister of the Exterior. I do however maintain the rule of Lunaris, a county in Goldshire which is quite convenient for expressing my floridly effeminate side without attracting too much ridicule. I love that place like the very stars themselves, and it makes a good retreat for when Shirerithian politics are getting too hot.

Congratulations on winning the RIMA Award for Excellence in Micronational History during the 2014 FNORD Awards for your work on documenting a historical timeline of Shireroth’s Duchy of Goldshire. Should we expect any new history-related projects from you this year in an attempt to make it two awards in a row?

Shireroth’s Kaiser has put out a renewed call for updates to the ShireWiki, particularly the legal records which are abominably outdated. I may work on that. I have also been tasked with more medium-term recordkeeping by my appointment as Imperial Malarborist. This is a formalisation of the fact that I have been unofficially updating the Malarbor news box for the reigns of several Kaisers now. I seem to step into these roles as an emergency measure and end up being stuck with them. I also made that mistake by being the last Minister of Trade to run the Imperial finances with some semblance of function, prompting incessant calls for my resumption of that role ever since …. I guess that makes me some kind of sucker.

Regarding the longer-term histories, although I am able to inject small nuggets of knowledge to suit the demands of the day (usually the heartily Shirerithian exercise of berating my peers for their historical ignorance), sitting down and actually writing a comprehensive weighty tome on anything requires far more time than I have available at this point. I may try to incorporate some history into another cultural work like a theatrical play at some point, killing two birds with one stone – but the fact is that my Goldshirian timeline, although badly needed, was a rather rushed affair. My FNORD for it was only awarded due to an embarrassing absence of alternatives. Certainly when I look at the other winners of the RIMA over the years, it doesn’t feel right to be counted among them.

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