Arise Lord Wat / A Star Is Born
This is a three part blog post.
Part 1: “Arise Lord Wat”
Let me tell you a story. In the late 1960s, an adventuresome man named Paddy Roy Bates occupied an abandoned British sea fort named HM Fort Roughs, off the coast of Essex. He and a partner decided to broadcast pirate radio from that locale. After a disagreement that involved gunfire, Roy Bates found himself the lone inhabitant of the fort, which he promptly declared to be the independent micronation called the Principality of Sealand.
Bates declared himself to be the nation’s Prince, wrote a constitution, and eventually issues stamps, currency, and passports.
Of course, several legal challenges arose to “Prince Roy’s” claims of sovereignty. He essentially won a court battle in the UK. Then he successfully fought off an “armed” incursion from German businessmen. The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra eventually recorded the official Sealandic national anthem. In 2007, Canadian Michael Martelle represented Sealand at the world kung fu championships, and won silver medals, forcing official podium recognition of Sealand at a major international event. Indeed, the Versace murderer was found to be in possession of a Sealandic passport; the passport’s association with criminal elements eventually compelled “officials” to cease printing them.
Prince Roy died last year. His son took up the mantle of sovereign of Sealand. Prince Michael promptly began selling titles to the micronation’s aristocracy. And, of course, I bought one. So you may now address me as Lord Deonandan of the Principality of Sealand.
This means absolutely nothing, of course. But if you’re interested in reading the details of my “titles of nobility” you may access them here. And yes, I will be celebrating Sealandic independence day on September 2nd of this year.
This, by the way, has nothing to do with my new homeland:
Fake titles are all the rage right now, to the point where Richard, the 7th Earl of Bradford, has set up FakeTitles.com to warn away we nobility speculators. As the Earl points out, his title is genuine, with his estate even mentioned in the Domesday Book.
But you know what? I don’t give a shit. Titles of nobility all rise from a history of thievery. Richard may have got it from his father, who got it from his father, etc. But somewhere in that land, a bunch of serfs were swindled and abused. So, frankly, I’m much prouder of my fake title from a fake Prince in a fake country, which cost me $50 and harmed no one, than I would be of a “real” title, handed down from thieves and murderers.
The reason I chose to give $50 to Sealand, a fake nation, rather than buy a similarly fake title from a real country, like Scotland or Ireland, is that I support everything that Sealand stands for: essentially a giant “fuck you” to the arbitrary organization of nation states, in which modern laws and traditions essentially grant legitimacy to a history of conquest, murder and theft. Historically, legitimacy of sovereignty has flowed through the barrel of a gun. With Sealand, it flows from a pirate radio station and a bunch of tongue-in-cheek documents.
In that spirit, here’s a shout-out to the dude from the Pirate Bay who’s presently (unfairly) imprisoned:
Part 2: “A Star Is Born”
Continuing on this theme of pointless self-aggrandizement, this week I bought a star. Yes, apparently you can do that now. I bought mine to honour my parents. It is named “Deonandan” and is in the constellation Andromeda, though not in the Andromeda galaxy itself. Here’s a map of its location in the night sky, somewhere in the Northeast:
As with my fake Lordship, my star comes with documentation. First is my letter of confirmation. Then there’s the certificate of star naming. Then there’s the official chart and location of the new star Deonandan. And finally a photograph of its location in the night sky, which I have reproduced here:
My dream is that one day, hundreds of thousands of years from now, descendants of humanity will be living in colonies orbiting the star called Deonandan. Perhaps they will call themselves Deonandians. And probably they will have invented a new mythology of how they got that ridiculous name.
Part 3: Some random stuff
(a) I don’t buy this for a second. What is this, some weird new advertising ploy?
(b) This totally made my day:
(c) And this is a recent story from the Ottawa Citizen featuring my colleague, the venerable Dr Dean Fergusson. See the problem with the story and its image?
That’s all for now! Leave comments below, please, and not necessarily on Facebook!
UPDATE (July 5, 2013): The details of the registration of the star “Deonandan” have officially been launched into space! See documentation here!