Thursday, May 07, 2015

My country, tis of me…

What with the arrival of Will and Catherine’s bébé princess, my mind has quite naturally drifted to royalty. Unless the rumor that all the Irish are descended from kings turns out to be true – and it was recently proven that there are millions who can trace their DNA back to Niall of the Nine Hostages -  I missed out on the royal birth thing. Just something I learned to live with along the way. Like having long skinny feet and not being able to curl my tongue, there’s not much I can do about. Or so I thought…

Oh, if all you’re after is a title, there’s definitely a marketplace, as I blogged about a while back in The Market for Titles and Passports.  But if you want the whole megillah – your own modest version of the megillah that Will and Kate will end up with some day, unless there’s revolution and the tumbrels start rolling through the streets of London, sending Will, Kate and the kids off to live in exile at The Carlyle. Or just saying f it and joining the other family’s biz and working with the Middletons in their party supply business. (Although now that I think of it, if there are tumbrels rolling through London, there may not be that much demand for party favors. Although now that I re-think of it, there may be plenty of demand. Please note that I’m talking metaphorical tumbrels here…)

Anyway, if you want the whole megillah, you’re more or less out of luck.

Unless you go ahead and set up your very own micronation.

By definition, a micronation is any entity—physical or virtual—that purports to be or have the appearance of being a sovereign state, but, you know, actually isn’t. They do not enjoy governmental recognition, but that doesn't stop them from trying. (Source: Bloomberg)

Mostly, as one attendee says of the micronation movement, what the Microcon folks indulge in is "’a big fantasy role-playing game that involves a lot of self-aggrandizement.’"

I could certainly manage to work with the self-aggrandizement, but I don’t know about that fantasy role-playing.

If I’m going to pursue micronationhood, I may need to start elsewhere. Believe it or not, there is another micronation conference coming up, and it looks somewhat more serious, academic and professional than microcon.

The third PoliNation conference will take place for the first time within the borders of an actual micronation; the Free Republic of Alcatraz is a social and environmental sustainability project conceived by renowned Italian actor, film-maker and social commentator Jacopo Fo (son of Nobel laureate Dario Fo). It occupies a five hundred acre site near Gubbio, outside Perugia in the central Italian region of Umbria. (Source: PoliNation)

Well, I guess you can’t top Jacopo Fo, but whether you’re out for a Microcon-style, self-aggrandizing good time – hey, there’s nothing wrong with having fun – or want a more cerebral sustainability kind of brainiac event, if you’re a micronationer, when it comes to nation building, you will want to avoid some of the pitfalls. These pits get fallen into it rulers start to take things too seriously.

For the Republic of Rose Island, founded in 1968, it didn't turn out so well. Italian Giorgio Rosa issued stamps and declared himself president of a floating platform in the Adriatic, all in a bid to draw visitors. But almost as soon as it was built, the Italian navy took dynamite to his dreams for failure to pay taxes. (Back to Bloomberg)

That wouldn’t happen to me.

I’d be happy with a flag.

Overall, there are 98 micronations around world.

Yours could be one of them.

No, it won’t be the sceptred Rule Brittania isle that Kate, Will and their kiddos inhabit.

But, oh why not…

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