...call for desperate measures!
According to a story you can read here, the Swedish "pirate" software-sharing site "The Pirate Bay" is planning to buy a self-contained "nation-state" in the North Sea on which to maintain its site in the face of many efforts by copyright-holders to shut it down.
Their goal is to buy "Sealand," a former U.K. defense platform which the story describes thusly: The "island" of Sealand, seven miles off the coast of southern England, was settled in 1967 by an English major, Paddy Roy Bates. Bates proclaimed Sealand a state, issuing passports and gold and silver Sealand dollars and declaring himself Prince Roy.
When the British Royal Navy tried to evict Prince Roy in 1968, a judge ruled that the platform was outside British territorial waters and therefore beyond government control.
The island is now being put up for sale by Prince Roy's son, Prince Michael, who styles himself head of state. A firm of Spanish estate agents has valued the island at £504 million (about 7 billion kronor), although Prince Michael told The Times of London that it is hard to gauge how much it will fetch in reality.
Please understand that I have no interest in getting into a bidding war with "The Pirate Bay," even though I have a few kronor left over from a trip to Sweden about 18 months ago....
But the audacity of the concept fires my imagination. Since life has grown intolerable for me Where The Ghetto Meets The Sea, why not establish sovereignty over some little rock sticking out of the South Pacific (or in the Caribbean) and set up my own nation?
King Scribbler I. Has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Far better than, say, "President For Life," no?
Besides, I intend to establish a benevolent dictatorship, not some oppress-the-people scene like so many dictators who have come before. In fact, with the exception of a few minor fees to ensure that I am able to live in the style to which I would dearly love to become accustomed -- and it's more modest than you think -- the general population in the Kingdom of Scribbler wouldn't even know I'm there.
PARENTHETICAL CAVEAT-TYPE THOUGHT: They'd sure as hell know on holidays, which would be mandated roughly 183 times yearly. I would demand that I be allowed to lead all parades so "my people" could throw flowers, hand over bottles of single-malt, and generally revere me.
I would offer asylum to some of the world's better malcontents. For example, if my brother can't get his "Drop Out Nation" up and running, he'll be welcome in the Kingdom of Scribbler. Others are already on the list for automatic citizenship as soon as I get my flag planted.
Though tempted, I won't adopt the old rule of "Jus Primae Noctis." I promise.
There will be only one law in this land, one I have cribbed from the medical profession: "first, do no harm." Anyone who violates it will be put on a boat for, say, North Korea.
I'm tempted to make nudity a subsidiary law of the land as well. We'll see. I'll make my final decision based on who applies for citizenship. In any case, it would be mandatory only for those specifically chosen for the honor by King Scribbler I.
The only issue I have yet to decide is whether Scribbler Island will declare war on the U.S.A. in order to attract the vast sums that nation lavishes on defeated lands.
If anyone wishes to apply for a passport, please let me know. For most of those who read this, it'll be a process of almost immediate approval. Only one person I know will have to go to extra lengths to prove herself worthy of admission....
7 hours ago