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.

Nominations underway for 2014 FNORD Awards

HUB.MN (CS) | With the year coming to a close, nominations are being called for the Micras Sector’s 13th annual FNORD Awards, which will be awarded on January 8.

The FNORD Awards were started in 2002 by Scott Alexander and are one of micronationalism’s longest-running community award galas.

This year’s judging committee includes Jack de Montfort, Joe Foxon, and Carl Jackson, who will be responsible for selecting the award winners from nominations across fourteen separate categories. Those categories include awards given for annual achievements in various areas, such as economics, journalism, and best new idea. Also to be awarded is the community’s most prestigious award, the Odlum Award for Overall Achievement, which is given to a veteran micronationalist in recognition of long-term contributions to the community.

Nominations for the various award categories will be received until January 1 and can be posted in the appropriate thread at Hub.mn.

One-on-One: Ryker Everstone

SHIREKEEP (CS) | The Coprieta Standard sat down with the newest Kaiser of Shireroth, Ryker Everstone, to discuss his plans for the micronation and gain his insights on issues facing the community.

CS: For those who are unfamiliar, would you please provide our readers with a brief introduction of yourself and how you came to join micronationalism?

RE: I am Ryker J. Everstone, founder and Count of Suthergold, Duke of Goldshire and Kaiser of Shireroth. I came across this hobby by chance, really. I’ve always loved the idea of such experimentation as is allowed here and so I set out to find some outlet for my ideas. That was when I stumbled over [Scott Alexander’s] article about his 5000 days in micronationalism and, after some digging in the comments, I found [the Bastion Union].

CS: Please allow me to congratulate you on ascending to the throne of Shireroth, one of the oldest Internet micronations still in existence. What are your plans for the micronation during your term as Kaiser?

RE: As some already know, I’m very much opposed to war and premature casualties in general. I also strongly believe that national subdivisions should have more power than the central government. To this end I have started a process of reducing the Imperial Military to the point at which it may only fend off an initial invasion until State forces mobilize. That being said, I have done and will do everything in my power to avoid armed conflict in the first place. I’ve even recently declared Shirekeep (our Capital) an official demilitarized zone. No death or destruction, just growth and prosperity.

CS: Shireroth was recently rocked by the secession of the Duchy of Kildare, one of its most historical lands, which has rebranded itself as a military republic known as the Apollonian Republic of Shireroth’s East. How will your government deal with the Apollonian Republic on a go-forward basis?

RE: We certainly hope to hold friendly relations with the Apollonian Republic of Shireroth’s East (A.R.S.E.) and that no physical conflict between our two parties definitely allows for such a situation. There’s no ill will from our side and I’ve little reason to believe that they’ve any contempt towards us. Our two nations will, with any luck, be locked in a fruitful bond of fraternity for so long as good intentions are present.

CS: You recently commented during a Committee for Micronational Progress discussion that “micronationalism needs to get back into the old dating game,” to attract new participants. Would you care to share some of your ideas for drawing new interest to the community’s borders?

RE: Ask your friends… all of them! Some are bound to stick around and a few may just turn out like me. Firing in the dark will yield more results than keeping your gun on safety.

CS: As a relatively young participant in the Micras community, you’ve established a strong reputation as a result of your keen interest and motivation. If you were to mentor a newcomer to the community, what advice would you give to help him/her maintain their participation?

RE: Be competent and confident. Try new things, ask for advice, admit defeat, learn the histories, keep your mouth clean, find your niche and then see if you can find another. If you want to hold the highest office in a nation, you need people to want you to be their superior.

CS: In your opinion, what are some key characteristics that make a successful micronation, or alternatively if you wish, what things have you observed that have led to failure?

RE: A successful micronation has quite a few active members. Of these members, some must be critical, some must be neutral, a lot must be crafty, some must regulate the sanity of others, and a few must be rather messy.

CS: Any final thoughts?

RE: Never be afraid to ditch tradition every now and then; it makes room for so much more.

Annual FNORD Awards elicit numerous nominations

HUB.MN (CS) | An abundance of nominations have been made as the premier annual awards ceremony for the Micras Community prepares to enter its twelfth year, with the presentation of the much-envied honours scheduled once again for Emperor Norton Day on January 8.

Read more

Overwhelming support for Elwynn reunion talks

ELIRIA (CS) – Despite a short controversy last month resulting from an exposé of secret Shirerithian discussions aimed at influencing Elwynn in a reclamation bid, the majority of Elwynn’s senators have today voted to officially undertake such talks in hopes of a bittersweet reunion with its former parent-state.

The long-winded “Decision of the Senate on the Question of Reunification with Shireroth,” as it is officially known, was the subject of a nearly two-week debate in the Elwynnese Senate. That debate culminated in a vote that saw five out of six senators vote in favour of commencing official negotiations with Shireroth to conclude an annexation agreement.

The only hold-out against the measure was Lord Erion (Iain de Vembria) who ardently campaigned for Elwynn to remain independent. Said Erion in a passionate condemnation of his fellow senator – Luix Rakira – for supporting reunification, “You have significantly underestimated the extent of [Elwynn’s] success …. To achieve your aim, you will have no option but to destroy the very empire that you profess to admire, thus implementing the goals of the foreign opposition that we have hitherto endured, and leaving the tattered remnants of a once great land to return to a lingering death, stripped again of its sovereignty, and all for the grand cause of reunification.”

Rakira dismissed Erion’s harsh rebuke, noting that Elwynn was “dismembering itself” with the recent loss of its territories of Normark, Hurmu, and Kaikias, with its remaining territories “unproven … quiet … directionless.” Rakira voiced his opinion that a reunion with Shireroth would serve to rebuild and energize Elwynn.

This sentiment was echoed by most Senators. Scott Alexander, an Elwynnese senator who was accused of being a leading force behind the secret annexation discussions in Shireroth exposed last month, successfully sold the annexation to his fellow senators. Said Alexander, who has long desired a reunion, Elwynn would become an Imperial State in Shireroth, the highest designation providing Elwynn with “complete autonomy … total freedom in choosing leaders, setting internal borders, and making their own laws,” though any future attempt to regain independence would require supporters in Shireroth’s legislature to attain a three-quarters majority in favour.

Senator Octavius Me, in a tongue-in-cheek condemnation of the secret discussions held in Shireroth to reacquire Elwynn, nonetheless sided with the proposal, noting that a reunion “makes sense.” Continued Octavius, “Elwynn broke away over how Shireroth’s imperial government had been riding roughshod over its feudal constituents. [It] has since realized the errors of its ways …, that dispute is over. Shireroth is lesser without Elwynn and Elwynn is unsteady without Shireroth.”

With the adoption of the measure today by the Senate, the proposal moves to the next phase which involves an official discussion between the citizens of Elwynn and representatives of Shireroth, to be held in Elwynn.

With both micronations sharing much of their population, and strong Senate support in Elwynn, the reunion is seen as a foregone conclusion, with only the details to be hammered out through negotiation.

Shireroth mulls Bastion exit

SHIREKEEP (CS) – Following a controversial exposé of Shireroth’s planned influencing of Elwynnese politics in an attempt to regain political control of its former lands, and the resulting question of impropriety on the part of the Bastion Union administrators in respect of private forums of the Union’s micronations, a bill has been proposed in the Landsraad that would see Shireroth exit the Union.

The “Quit Bastion Act” proposed by Rei Milharna would allow for Shireroth’s official forum, and its associated archives, to be transferred back to its former pre- Union home of shireroth.org. The response to the proposal has been varied from outright rejection to hesitant or qualified support.

Scott Alexander, one of the administrators under controversy, voiced his hesitation in having Shireroth exit the Union, citing that the potential for sensitive exposures of private Shirerithian discussions, or that of other constituent micronations, was low as none of the micronations “do anything particularly covert or evil.” Alexander did however qualify his support for any exit, stating, “If we do choose to leave, I hope it will be as part of a broader strategy to find a new community to work with – either turning towards the MicroWiki nations or radically revamping Micras.”

Vilhelm Benkern voiced his frustrated support of a move toward the MicroWiki Community. Quipping, “in light of recent crap [the controversial exposé], [the MicroWiki Community] might even be better than the worst of us,” Benkern nonetheless cautioned that any such decision must not be made in haste or influenced by “certain reprehensible behaviour”.

Krasniy Yastreb, echoing the comments of his colleague Conglacio Swefhert, outright rejected the proposal. Said Yastreb, “All recent turmoil considered, we’d still be losing as much as we gained if we pulled out completely. It’s just a matter of recognizing and accepting that everything on Bastion is either public or liable to become so ….”

Debate on the measure continues in the Landsraad as of press time.

Shireroth reconsiders long-standing Babkha pact

SHIREKEEP (CS) – A decade-long alliance between the Imperial Republic of Shireroth and the Kingdom of Babkha is receiving a second-look in the Shirerithian legislature as tensions continue to increase between the two micronations.

According to the motion tabled by Kai Jackson in the Landsraad, Shireroth’s withdrawal from the Mango-Camel Pact, dating back to the summer of 2003 and one of the Simulationist community’s longest active treaties, is a necessary response to condemn Babkha’s anti-Shirerithian actions. Among those actions cited by Jackson are Babkha’s repeated claims to the Shireroth throne, its refusal to return the Sword of Vengeance (a Shirerithian historical artefact), and its disrespect of their Kaiser.

The proposal has attracted the personal interest of Shireroth’s Kaiseress, Mira Raynora Minor, who acknowledged that there has “blatant ill-will” between the two micronations since the Pact came into effect. Commenting that “these provocations did not begin yesterday … so why has it taken so long to consider a response … collectively the Babkhans are not dissimilar to playground bullies,” the Kaiseress nonetheless was hesitant to support Shireroth’s withdrawal from the dysfunctional alliance noting that “[the Pact] may be a bad joke, but breaking it will just give the Babkhans an excuse to be even more obnoxious.”

Another prominent Shirerithian, Scott Alexander, while urging a measured and less reactionary response to Babkha’s perceived belligerence nonetheless took the opportunity to question the contemporary utility of the Mango-Camel Pact. Said Alexander, the agreement “seems to single out Babkha as one of our favourite and most trusted nations. That doesn’t seem to fit reality.”

The matter has not yet been brought to a vote in the Landsraad.

The Mango-Camel Pact was originally hailed by the community as a stabilizing treaty, creating a proactive partnership between two of the leading micronations in the Simulationist community. Yet the treaty did not ultimately quell underlying rivalries and, for the majority of its existence, has been a mere formality than a pragmatic reality.