Cinema sweeps Micras

Efforts to simulate a film industry in Caputia have triggered a cultural phenomenon across the Micras community as other micronations adopt the idea.

The creation of detailed fictional stories in support of cultural development has long been a centrepiece of Micras nations; however, until now, the art of cinema had never drawn particular attention during the community’s nearly 20-year history.

That changed with the release of Caputia’s related MicrasWiki article on March 15th, in which the micronation established a wide-ranging simulation that included film festivals and nine films. The titles and plots of the simulated films in some cases invoke events and characters that exist within Micras’ geofictional history. Others are tongue-in-cheek references to real films, such as Goldspectre, a reference to James Bond. One Caputian film, La Fin Absolute du Monde, is even accompanied with a full Wikipedia-esque plot summary.

The effort was quickly replicated, to varying degrees, by other micronations in the following days, including the Florian Republic, Kasterburg, Nova England, and Shireroth.

All of the works provide an insight into the cultural values and focus of each micronation, as well as the degree of seriousness with which they take simulationism. The sole work of Nova England is a film about obnoxious foreigners beseiging the regulars of a local pub, while Shireroth’s extensive library comments on many aspects of that micronation’s two-decades.

There are no plans announced to attempt to script any of the films or transform them into animated films, let alone live-action. For now, they remain a cultural stub in their micronations.

Cinema sweeps Micras

Aärnesen plans Craitish referendum

CHERRY TREES – New Craitish Prime Minister Iņa Aärnesen has set down her party’s plan for her premiership, with the much-anticipated USSO membership referendum planned for parliamentary discussion before the end of the month.

Aärnesen was elected in September in an unprecedented Liberal-Centre Alliance (LCA) majority victory, becoming only the second Prime Minister from the agrarian-minded party. As the nation’s second ever female to hold the position, Aärnesen has gained a plethora of support from the public, sealing all but three of the available 33 county seats through a platform promising citizens a referendum on Craitland’s membership in the USSO.

Craitland became a founding member of the USSO in early 2017 under the administration of Social Democrat Hjaņ Berntsen. While the USSO is a primarily military alliance, Berntsen’s justification for Craitland’s membership was to allow for a means of effectively providing humanitarian aid to civilians during the Hammish Civil War. Since the apparent cessation of conflict in central Keltia, the USSO has focused on establishing trade amongst its members, though recent developments have led to an air of unease.

Antagonistic behaviour from Daocheng has subsequently culminated in Jingdao and Shireroth ending an unofficial armistice; a move which could once again drag a traditionally peaceable Craitland into warfare, while activities in the Florian Republic have seen its USSO membership terminated following considerably increased involvement from Shirekeep.

Mr Sacriches of the LCA, credited as the mastermind of its electoral success.

LCA head of communications, Alexandrian Marc-Antoine Sacriches – whose expertise has been credited with masterminding the party’s successful election campaign – gave an announcement which was seen to praise the Florians’ latest news as inspiration for the future of Craitland, “The Florian people have shown that USSO membership does not equal straight subjugation by the Jingdaoese. We are in control of our own future in this country, and that means all of us. Ms Aärnesen’s vision will give every Crait the right to decide our nation’s path, and together we will choose the best route forward and forget the mistakes other parties have made without our support.”

Popular opinion polling in Craitland suggests that a referendum asking a direct in-or-out question would receive a narrow majority in favour of leaving the organisation, though the format is yet to be confirmed and further influential campaigning is surely expected prior to the day Craits once again make their way to the ballot box.

Aärnesen plans Craitish referendum

Shireroth ends “open-door” immigration

An attempt to rejoin Shireroth by a past citizen has triggered its Kaiser, Hjalmar Redquill, to rescind the micronation’s long-standing “open-door” immigration policy.

The policy decision followed an application yesterday by Ludovic Alixion-Verion to rejoin the micronation after having resigned his citizenship approximately six weeks ago to protest Shireroth’s political leadership of the day under Kaiser Hjalmar Heirðrsson. With the Imperial Government and Kaiser Redquill still closely aligned with the former kaiser, Verion’s application received a tepid response and he quickly withdrew it, citing futility.

In the early hours of this morning, out of apparent concern that the laws of Shireroth were inadequate to prevent Verion from legally regaining his citizenship should he persist in the effort, Kaiser Redquill quickly proclaimed a new immigration policy. The prologue of the associated Imperial Decree took pain to focus on describing what personal qualities were inconsistent with Shirerithian citizenship, such as incivility, unpoliteness, immaturity and instability; qualities which were a poorly veiled reference to the opinion that Redquill and Heirðrsson’s allies hold of Verion.

The new immigration policy is one that is based on qualities that are highly subjective in nature, leaving it to the personal opinion of the Minister of the Interior as to whether the immigrant’s personality sufficiently meets the many requirements of the Kaiser, including elegance, gracefulness, and wisdom.

Shireroth must be “a place where the earth exults, the sky laughs, and everything is full of milk, of honey, and of nectar, and in which the Shirerithian citizenry shall feel good and safe,” said Requill in explaining his motivation for the new policy.

ANALYSIS

It is unclear whether the new policy will have any significant practical impact on immigration to Shireroth, except as a tool by which the Imperial Government can easily exclude Verion should he re-apply in the future.

As a community, the population of Shireroth, like that of the wider Bastion Union in which it operates, is essentially a closed-system, in which current participants usually reinvent themselves as new characters, as opposed to new participants joining from outside. The immigration policy is unlikely to be used often, as except for Verion, the Imperial Government knows, and appears to approve of the conduct of, everyone else in the group of individuals from which it would likely draw immigrants.

That said, the vagueness of the policy is open to being easily abused if a current Shirerithian has a falling out with the government and resigns his or her citizenship in protest, much as Verion did. In such a scenario, the Imperial Government can simply judge the person as impolite, due to the past disagreement, and that person can be excluded from rejoining Shireroth indefinitely.

The policy, if abusively managed by the same sensitive human emotions that led to its decree, will lead to Shireroth’s population being pruned into a narrow clique, which may ultimately spur the 16-year old micronation’s demise.

Shireroth ends “open-door” immigration

New Micras security bloc formed

Micras’ diplomatic community became arguably more polarized yesterday, as four micronations entered into an extensive collective security treaty, forming an alliance to be called the “Blackrock Pact”.

The Blackrock Pact will unite four Bastion Union micronations in particular – the Brettish Commonwealth, Calbion, Gerenia, and Jingdao – under an eleven-clause agreement that aims to protect the alliance members against military and other national security threats while promoting friendship and cooperation.

Under the terms of the treaty, each member will receive aid from the other alliance members to maintain the peace in its “sphere of influence,” which will be determined collectively such that all of Micras falls under the sphere of influence of at least one alliance member. The treaty will also provide for the creation of joint military bases and command structures to support interoperability.

As the largest and most politically influential member, the alliance is centered around Jingdao, which may indicate that the Blackrock Pact will seek to isolate Shireroth and buffer its influence in the Bastion Union and Micras as a whole. Most recently, at the failed Sper Conference, Jingdao withdrew in protest to Shireroth’s presence, accusing it of participating in the multilateral diplomatic conference for the purposes of “meddling” in Jingdao’s affairs.

Shireroth’s government had not issued any response to the formation of the alliance as of press time.

New Micras security bloc formed

Sper Conference implodes from start

The Sper Conference organized by Gerenia has been derailed, not only by a lack of participation from a key micronation, Senya, but by a Jingdaoese repulsion to Shireroth’s involvement.

Convened on February 12 by Gerenian President Gerald Ruze, the conference aimed to create a regional pact on the Micras continent of Apollonia that allowed for freedom of navigation, the delineation of areas of territorial interest, and the integration of transportation infrastructure. The conference invited Apollonian micronations that bordered the Northern Sea and Lake Lamantia to attend, specifically, Gerenia, Jingdao, Senya, and Shireroth.

As reported by the Coprieta Standard on February 21, the conference struggled from the start, as Senya had failed to send a delegation. Despite Ruze’s efforts to move the conference forward in Senya’s absence, simmering animosity on the part of Jingdao toward Shireroth ultimately made the Sper Conference a non-starter.

The unravelling of the conference began on February 24 when Jingdao’s emperor, Jezza Rasmus, decreed that he wished to “property the Jingdaoese people against [the] meddling of [Shireroth],” and subsequently ordered his micronation’s delegation to withdraw from the conference until such a time as Shireroth ceased its participation.

Rasmus’ decree was initially met with opposition from Theodosius Myksos, a high ranking Jingdaoese. “I protest against this degree,” said Myksos as he called for the implementation of a law to prevent the emperor from issuing decrees that fail to have the support of a majority of top-level officials. Yet, despite Myksos’ opposition to abandoning the conference, the Jingdaoese delegation formally withdrew on February 29.

With only Gerenia and Shireroth remaining at the table, Ruze cancelled the conference on March 1, with no indication of any future effort to be made to reconcile the parties.

Sper Conference implodes from start

Sper Conference in danger of derailment

The Sper Conference, named for the southern Gerenian town in which it is being hosted, appears to be struggling to find its footing as one of the key parties – Senya – has so far failed to accept its invitation to the key diplomatic initiative.

Organized by President Gerald Ruze of Gerenia, the conference was called on February 12 to kickstart regional cooperation between the micronations that border the Northern Sea and Lake Lamantia on the Micras continent of Apollonia. Those micronations specifically are Gerenia, Jingdao, Senya and Shireroth.

The conference aims to build on a previous land transfer between Jingdao and Gerenia last month, expanding the goodwill from that agreement into a regional pact that allows for freedom of navigation, for both civilian and military ships, through the River Camoleo that connects Lake Lamantia with the Northern Sea.

Lake Lamantia, the River Camoleo and the Northern Sea into which it drains, form the geographic basis to the Sper Conference.
Lake Lamantia, the River Camoleo and the Northern Sea into which it drains, form the geographic basis to the Sper Conference.

Among the other topics for discussion at the conference will be a non-aggression pact, the delineation of “areas of territorial interest” to avoid tensions over future land claim expansions in the region, and the integration of transportation infrastructure as a basis for a future Trans-Apollonian Railway.

In announcing the conference, Ruze stated his hope was that it would allow the micronations “ to coordinate policies and reach a higher level of understanding.” With Senya having so far failed to accept its invitation to the conference, Ruze’s hope may be dashed.

As the controller of Fort Kolgrad, a major trading centre and settlement on Lake Lamantia, Senya has a vested interest in any agreement, especially one that provides for freedom of navigation for its merchant ships. As such, any agreement reached at the conference in the absence of Senya may serve to cause economic disruption and flare regional tensions.

It is yet hoped by Ruze that Senya will accept its invitation, allowing one of the most important diplomatic initiatives on Micras in 2016 to reach a successful conclusion.

Sper Conference in danger of derailment

Shirerithians split over dissolution

SHIREKEEP – A controversial – and ultimately unconstitutional – bill seeking the dissolution of Shireroth has served to expose stark divisions in the opinions of the micronation’s population regarding its future.

The “Dissolution Act”, introduced by Jack Lewis in the Landsraad on October 1, sought to resign the prominent Micras micronation, which was founded in 2000, to the history books. In tabling the piece of legislation, which was ultimately ruled unconstitutional but allowed to remain open for discussion by the Speaker of the Landsraad, Lewis argued that the micronation had become “transformed into a desolate and godforsaken place of misery,” that had been deserted by the “larger part” of its citizenry. The legislation concluded that “there really is no need to keep this nation alive,” calling for its dissolution and dismantlement to be completed by month’s end.

The Bill was met with immediate, but half-hearted, objection from the micronation’s Kaiseress, Kizzy, who while acknowledging the difficulties that Shireroth was facing, as well as its apparent decline in relevance and vibrancy, nonetheless argued that committing “national suicide” was an unsuitable end. “Shireroth is like The Simpsons,” Kizzy argued, “it’s not the best anymore and it’s a shadow of its glory days, but it’s ok sometimes and some people still get some enjoyment out of it, and isn’t that good enough?”

One of the most senior and longstanding citizens of the micronation, Shyriath Bukolos, expressed his unsurprising support for dissolution. “It’s been a long, long time since I’ve felt that the affairs of the Imperial Government have mattered to me,” he said. “I haven’t seen many non-exhausting ways to integrate my ideas and projects into anyone else’s here, nor anyone else’s into mine.” It was for that reason that Bukolos led the founding of Minarboria as an alternative to Shireroth for many of its disaffected citizens. The existence of that “Shireroth 2.0”, which closely mirrors it culturally, had served to make Shireroth obsolete, Lewis argued in furthering his case for dissolution.

Not everyone felt that the question of dissolution needed to be black-and-white in nature, or that Shireroth must yield to Minarboria. Mira Raynora suggested that Shireroth could survive, but only if individuals were willing to consider alternatives to the status quo. She suggested that the constituent Imperial States of Elwynn, Goldshire, and Lichbrook be permitted full independence within a loose “Shirerithian Sphere” based on their shared culture. While this would effectively dismantle Shireroth outside of its capital region, it would accept the reality that the States are unlikely to ever integrate well-enough to permit a unified, harmonious, existence under the Shirerithian Crown. “I would liken the present situation to an old married couple who wake up one morning and realize that they have almost nothing in common [and remain together] largely out of a combination of nostalgia, lingering loyalty and a fear of the alternative,” Raynora opined.

Jonathan Ayreon-Kalirion echoed Raynora’s argument that forcing the Imperial States to remain together in political union was toxic to Shireroth. “Shireroth is not very much appreciated by either the State governments or its citizens,” he said as he expanded on the Shirithian Sphere idea, suggesting that Shireroth’s Kaiseress should act as a powerless figurehead over the sphere, much as Queen Elizabeth II acts over the Commonwealth of Nations macronationally.

On balance, the discussion showed that the entire population of Shireroth was essentially worn out and tired of the status quo, if not any thought of its continuance whatsoever, including those who sought alternatives to dissolution. The interest in finding a path forward for Shireroth was so muted that less than half of those voting on the non-binding resolution, which the Bill had become once ruled unconstitutional, cared to discuss ways to right the ailing ship of state.

“It’s time to get behind Shireroth or call it a day,” Raynora stated exasperatedly, “but neither is going to happen. Not really. As soon as this ‘vote’ fails, most people will lose interest again …. It would be different if all the people emerging from the woodwork to vote ‘nay’ were genuinely prepared to get together to try to make this a more enjoyable place to be.”

To that end, the Kaiseress suggested what perhaps the only alternative is for Shireroth going forward if the citizenry cannot come together to salvage it. “Give me absolute power. Make the Golden Mango Throne a force to be feared and reckoned with,” she proclaimed. Yet such a radical change in its system of government, in spite of its strong democratic tradition, would ultimately merely serve as an alternative path to Shireroth’s dissolution from the resulting alienation.

Shirerithians split over dissolution