Category: Politics, Military
Well, this has become the most....interesting article to date. Here's the story of how a simple interview with two presidents(one a former now) turned into an eleven day journalist's nightmare....(please ignore the up-to-date part in my description on this one...(
It started out simple enough, I saw the war declaration being voted on by congress, so I pm'd both leaders like I was doing with everyone that morning, but the pm I got back from these two was different...they told me that it was merger, not an actual war and to keep quiet about it. I asked why, and the only response I got was that he'd give me an exclusive interview if I didn't say anything. So I kept my mouth shut, figuring there was a good reason for it, posted my article (War!) sans Belgium-UK. It's funny, because that war was pretty much overlooked for about two days by the international community.....I guess I'm the only one that checked every country that morning...
Anyways, a few days later(after telling the two of them that I don't have msn, yahoo, all that...I don't want to go into it, because that's now nothing compared to the bs I've gone through since then for this article...) I caught up with them in a chat room that websta had made for the eUS community. It has since been abandoned because we were being spied on by Canadians in there....but it was really useful for the interview. For anyone doing an interview in the future, I recommend that you chat with your interviewee however you can. It's far superior to pming questions.
We agreed to meet at 6pm GMT, which is 12pm central....right there was a problem, because I had class until 1. I told them this...and didn't get good responses. They told me that they'd try to be there, but that there was no promise........so at 12:50 central time I rushed out of my College Algebra class and sprinted towards the Computer Lab, praying that I could still catch them. I plopped down in front of my favorite computer and waited for the anxiously for the damn computer to load the desktop already. Finally, it popped up....one icon at a time(freaking slow servers) until finally there was no hourglass next to my curser. I pointed the curser at the Internet Explorer icon, double-clicked, and in a few seconds my school's webpage popped up. In no time at all I was on the compose page, frantically writing to Kaleb and Jordy....even though neither of them were on at the time. I knew that wouldn't work, so I decided to ask around the eUSA forum to see if anyone knew where the eUK forums were. I figured that somebody there would know how to reach Kaleb. So I tried to log in(I don't know all the off-site forums I belong to lol) and the weirdest thing happened......it said I had put in the wrong password...so I tried a few others that I would use...but no. Apparently I hadn't, so I tried to register, real fast. And then it told me that the name Emerick had already been taken.....I was like wtf. But I had no time to spend in mystery solving; I needed some diplomats in my chat room ASAP! So I made a topic there, but nobody knew where Kaleb was, so I tried my eUSA forum again. And again, Dish knew just what to do. He gave me Kaleb's email address, and I emailed him. A few minutes later I got an email back. He said he'd been looking for me on msn. I was like
A few minutes later, we all assembled in the chatroom that websta had so nicely prepared(not for us, but whatever), and the conversation began:
I came in first, made a few test comments, and entertained myself for a second before Kaleb and Jordy showed up. We quickly threw the pleasantries out the door and got to business(Jordy was on a time-limit). Kaleb started the conversation with this comment:
"Emerick, there is a lot of false ideas going around about the UK-Belgium war. I think some people think that the Belgium government is actually brits we sent over to take over."
So I asked the logical question: Can you prove otherwise? To which Jordy promptly began to speak in Dutch. Proving(to true Belgians, at least) that he spoke fluent Dutch at a native level. Well, I hope that convinces nay-sayers of Jordy's nationality. It was good enough for me.
From there I asked how the union came to be. The details on the background. When the thought first sprang into(whoever's) mind. Jordy answered, explaining to me the economic peril his country was in, and how he, a fledgling president in a small, poor country, took Kaleb on as his mentor. He would ask Kaleb questions about how to help his economy grow, and Kaleb suggested that he start a new business(to drive down prices) and open a national Bank of Belgium, as a way to publically transfer funds. It was then, they said, that the idea for a union came to their minds. "We kind of thought of the idea at the same time," said Jordy. So asked them when exactly the idea came to them. A day before the war module came out, they replied.
While we were trying to pin down the date of the proposal, I mentioned the Romanian-Moldovan union, which reminded Kaleb of something: "We don't need a contract like Romania-Moldova because we are forming a constitution in the UK this month which will cover things like independence clauses." I asked him who was writing his constitution(at the time, we were talking about Platonic writing our....how's that coming btw) and he told me that mayors and congressmen were working on it, which I thought was pretty cool. Have the people who have to uphold it write it, and have the people who have to live with it approve it. Well, actually he never mentioned that the citizens would be the ones to approve it, but that's what I assume for no logical reason.
Not long after that, Jordy had his leave. Leaving Kaleb and I alone to discuss the practicalities of the union: "We will be doing a monetary union. So all Belgians will be able to convert their BEF to GBP at an agreed rate." He told me that he would be using the RER formula(Recommended Exchange Rate, which he helped create) for the currency exchange on the monetary market. I asked him if the UK would be losing money in this exchange, to which he replied that it wouldn't be a problem, because it's simply money that the UK prints.
After that, he ran out on me....for no explained reason(I expect one in the comments....). But later, I asked Kaleb, "Why did you want me to keep the union war a secret?" And he responde
"when the war started we had a few people from Pakistan coming over to fight in something that was nothing to do with them.
I was concerned that if we advertised it more in advance other individuals may want to come and fight just to cause a nuisance"
After that, I decided to look up former Belgians that oppose the union. Where I met a really interesting(imo) guy: Thimoty(what's with the inside-out name?)
I saw an article he wrote, and he sounded vehemently opposed to the union, so I though, "Great. This'll be easier than I thought."
So I sent him a pm, Subject: So you oppose the union?
Message: "I'd like to interview you about it. Can we set up a time to meet in a chat room?"
And this is what I got: "Indeed I do, or at least, I detest and the deplore the way in which it was brought about!
OOC: I like it, cause it allows me to play the polemicist. It’s easier to send me a pm, I should think: my internet access is rather irregular..."
I was like wtf. OOC? I've never seen any one remove themselves from their character so tactfully and absolutely before. I knew then that this wouldn't be the last person I talk to about it...but I talked to him anyways.
First, I asked him if he was opposed to it simply because it was something to do...to be against the grain. He said, "In essence, yes," he thinks it's something interesting to do in The Game, and that he likes to polymese.
In character, he issued this statement:
"I'm glad a foreign journalist is asking this question. The world must not turn a blind eye while the weak suffer and cry out for help: the bell tolls for us all, and injustice done to one man is injustice done to all of humanity. The American people are well known for its love of freedom, and I do not doubt we can count on their sympathy and aid.
"How can we call this usurpation of Belgium by the United Kingdom a union, when the keys to our land were given away behind our backs? The president and congress of Belgium committed a most heinous crime - treason! - the people of Belgium had no say in this matter. I do not acknowledge the government of the United Kingdom as legitimate: the nation did not invite them to that position.
Does that mean I am after independence, and independence at all costs? No.
"It is apparent that we have a much better life under the UK government, this cannot be denied, and is merely further proof of the corruptness and incompetence of our ex-leaders. What I wish for is nothing but that most democratic principle: that the sovereign will of the nation be allowed to speak, that our people would determine their own fate. If it was to be determined, by plebiscite, that the majority of Belgians want the government of the UK to be their government, then I am satisfied. It is that which I strive for: not empty nationalism, but the recognition of our people as sovereign and free. If we choose to join the British as brothers, then let us do so, but no one may make that decision in our place."
...so that guy was interesting. A good speaker, but the OOC thing had me a little skeptical of his true intentions. So I figured I'd try to find somebody with more pure motives. Enter: Octavian86. He's the party president of the Independence Party of Belgium(which Thimoty is a member of), and I got a good response from him. In full:
"Yes, in fact I’m mildly opposed to the union. It’s clearly good for Belgium but not on the long term. On the long term Belgium will disappear and not receive new users. Also this Union should never have taken place if the past/ex-Belgian politicians would have run the Belgian state better. In other online games (managerzone, hattrick, etc) Belgium has always enough members, so why couldn’t they advertise the game more? Organize the economy better? My party (Independence Party of Belgium) stands the challenge and hopefully will lead Belgium soon. Read our program here:
Also we only want Independence when the Belgian territories will be ready. There is a lot to discuss & do but some people (Belgians) are very lazy and don’t care much about Belgium"
This guy seemed much more realistic to me, and was talking about how to solve it. So I stuck with him. Now, I got this pm on the 17th. Five days ago. So I figured that'd call it a day, and write the article on Friday, at home. I stood up from the computer, feeling satisfied that I'd found a quality counterpoint to the merger, stretched my legs, and went home.
Friday afternoon. I log onto my home computer, and get ready to write this article, thinking that it'd been more than enough time....
Then I slap my forehead. Oh my god! I had forgotten that the chat log of the interview with Kaleb and Jordy was on the school computer! And lord knows that I'm not gonna drive 25 miles just to get that....I'm not a wealthy man. I can't afford to waste gas on every little thing....so it had to wait....
While I was waiting, I checked a topic I'd made on the forum, asking for Belgians against the merger to pm me...I announced there that I'd found my man, and the search was over, and Kaleb posted asking if he could give a rebuttal. So I said sure, and pm'd it over to him. He responde
"Well, the issue of Belgium not appearing when you register is an admin issue, not something to do with the UK-Belgium merger. What he means is when you sign up to the game is doesn’t list Belgium as a country you can register yourself in.
"If Belgians ever want independence again all they have to do is vote for it
"And the issue about former governments is true, but that’s the reality of the situation. The UK can’t be held responsible for Belgium being badly run in the past.
This should actually increase activity in Belgium rather than decrease it."
And that was that. I think I've covered all the important stuf....I'm tired
And for all of you you've been anxiously waiting on the edge of you seat for this article, here's a video. Sit back and watch:[youtube]http://youtube.com/watch?v=2mlguCooUO8&my=1[/youtube]