by Max Barry

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by The Perpetual Pollster of Jabberwocky. . 36 reads.

The Mad Surfer, January 2020

The Official Newspaper of the 10000 Islands
December 2019

My theory was that a city without a newspaper is a city without a soul.
Luis A. Ferré

Weather: sunny skies
Water temp: skin temp
Waves: crunchy!

What makes this issue a blockbuster? What about it merits particular attention? Mostly, a gaudy headline, which would be even more impressive but for the limitations of PB's text editor. But more than that, our Chief Executive Markanite addressed the adoring throngs with a short celebration soliliquy, to wit:

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all still revelling in some festive merriment or are appropriately rested!

A new decade is approaching and this is the third that 10000 Islands will have seen (give or take a few years) and my thoughts turn to the future. We, as 10000 Islands, have created an amazing community here and have developed an interesting and engaging forum to help foster that community and ensure its growth. The question we face now is how do we want to develop 10000 Islands in 2020 and beyond? What should our priorities be and how can we achieve our goals?

That is the reason for this thread, I want to here from you all! What do you think we can do to help enhance 10000 Islands in the next decade?

Obviously there are no wrong answers, please be open and honest, lets talk and work together as a community to help further enhance 10000 Islands for all!


Senate Elections
The National Calendar indicates that there are Senate elections to be held this month, for New Republica South and Blue Canaria North, and as of press time, declarations had just been made. For New Republica South, Dorab immediately announced his candidacy for the newly formed Welcoming Islander Party; Human Sanity, the current Senator for Blue Canaria North, has made clear his desire to change quarters with a move to NRS. To the best of our knowledge, NRS incumbent Aschente has declined to run for another term.
However, THX1138, a prominent member of our TMS staff, has declared his intent to run as an independent for BCN; recent arrival to the Islands Dandhican has also thrown his hat into the ring.
It is still early, and we anticipate more candidates will run. But whichever choice is yours, be sure to declare it at the polls. VOTE!!

The Council of Nine
Chief Executive: Markanite
Delegate: Kuriko
Minister of Immigration: Sargon Reman
Minister of Education: The Tasmanian Islands
Minister of Labor: Paffnia
Senior Senator for Blue Canaria North: HumanSanity
Senator for Lyonnesse East: United Royal Islands
Senator for New Republica South: Aschente
Senator for Himes West: Gaming User (Marxist Germany)

--Deputy Minister of Immigration: THX1138
--Deputy Minister of Education: Na Kanaka Isles
--Deputy Senator for Himes West: Central Ruska
--Deputy Senator for Blue Canaria North: THX1138

Much to our mystification, mysterious money magnet Mortimer M. Mortimer maintained his mute stance and has yet to publish the December edition of his monthly report. TMS hopes to have business news ready next month.


This month it is a particular pleasure to interview a close friend of TMS, Senator of Lyonesse East The United Royal Islands of Euramathania. Without further ado:
TMS: What country are you from?
* Wyoming, United States

TMS: What’s the grossest food you ever had to eat to be polite?
* Escargot. On a exchange semester to France.

TMS: Who is [your] favorite musician?

* I like a lot of things in music, basically anything rock/pop/jazz/r&b/country/alt/etc. One of my favorite albums is by Garth Brooks, another is by O-Zone. I am currently listening to Sia- ‘Cheap Thrills’. Next is U2 - ‘City of Blinding Lights’. Panic at the Disco has been in more heavy rotation recently, but Enya is always good. Does that answer this question? Maybe it would just be easier to link you my Spotify playlist.

TMS: What afterschool activity did you quit as a kid, and why?
* Soccer. I had health problems around that time, and I was horribly uncoordinated.

TMS: If you could turn the ocean into a liquid other than water, which one would you pick?
* Not sure, wouldn’t anything other than water be harder to surf? I mean it seems like if it’s less viscous and dense then it will be hard to float on it, and if it’s more viscous then more tidal force would be required to make waves.
TMS: What is your favorite conspiracy theory? And do you believe in it?
* I am generally opposed to conspiracy theories.

TMS: Do you have a favorite author? If you could make them write fan fiction for any TV show which TV show would it be.
* Favorite author is like favorite music. But your question caused me to have a strange fanfic idea. I am currently reading two books by historian Eric Forner. “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery” and “The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution”. Your idea made me want a Forner style history novel/textbook of the Firefly/Serenity universe.

TMS: If you could ban 1 food from the face of the planet what would you ban?
* So I am not sure. I would want cake and other deserts that were not so unhealthy. Maybe I would ban most forms of sugar?

TMS: What is your favorite hobby?
* I love Reading and Writing. I also regular enjoy skype or discord debates with friends.

TMS: What vice could you never give up?
* Probably either book shopping or cocktails.

TMS: If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?
* My spirit animal is the otter I could float around (and read) all day if left alone.

TMS: What will be the title of your autobiography?
* Probably would never write one. I hope whomever does write a biography of me has enough notable work of mine to base one on.
URI, thanks for taking the time.


There are two things to talk about in the preamble this go-around, and the first relates to WA authorship. XKI is in the WA spotlight as of late, due to the region’s consistent production of excellent WA resolutions, and the support they have been getting among voters.

You will note our Delegate, Kuriko’s name attached to three of December’s consecutively passed Security Council resolutions. If this were a 1950’s bowling tournament, someone would be handing Kuriko a 14-pound turkey for such a feat of triplicity. Astonishing, considering there was another win at the tail end of the previous month, so that’s a record-breaking four consecutive wins. Kuriko also now holds the record for total resolutions passed by any nation in NationStates. Pretty cool, right?.

It’s safe to say that 10000 Islands is becoming something of a WA powerhouse, which brings us to the second point of discussion... If you frequent the forums, you have likely noticed that the WA section is now more prominent; its new home just below the 10000 Islands general threads on the Board. The discussion and voting areas have been moved into this section, so no more hunting and pecking when you wish to give your views (encouraged), then cast your vote to inform the Delegate which way you think the regional vote should go (yes, that’s a thing, the Delegate doesn’t make these decisions in a vacuum).

Also in this section, is a dedicated area where new resolution authors may submit their own resolution ideas, get help with drafts, and get feedback from some of the more experienced authors in the region. This, so that they too, may someday get a 14-pound turkey for great WA authorship, or perhaps receive one of the newly designed WA Engagement Award badges, which are super sexy, and on display in this section of the forum as well.

It’s probably okay to be a bit proud of the region’s development in this regard - chuffed pink, as the Brits say - but more than that, understand that now is the best possible time to get more engaged. If you’re an Assembly member in the region, and you’ve got an idea for a resolution, or questions about the rules for writing, or if you just need some help finding the right words, drop a post in the new section, and get the ball rolling toward those pins.

And now, on with the December recap (aka The Kuriko show):

SCR#291 Commend Duxburian Union: Kuriko’s first of three December strikes was a commendation that required some out-of-the-box wordplay to comply with the writing rules. The target of the repeal has a pretty rich and varied career, so it always had a great chance of passing, but getting the in-character accomplishments described was the challenge. 84% of voters liked what they saw, and agreed that the target was more than worthy.

SCR#292 Repeal: “Liberate Aurelia”: Kuriko’s second strike was a repeal of their own previously passed legislation. The idea of the one-two punch is to open up a pass-worded region that is occupied by nefarious forces, by ‘Liberating’ it, then, when defenders have ousted the baddies, repealing the liberation so it can be pass-worded again to keep the raiders out for good. 94% of voters agreed this was a good idea. The 6% who were opposed probably just needed a nap.

Repeal: “Promoting Natural Sciences in Schools” (GA, did not pass): Efforts to repeal what was a popular resolution were met with lukewarm support. The repeal attempt may have been a bit too pedantic for voters, and the stated scenario for nations to circumvent the rules were deemed unlikely. 62% against.

Repeal: “Ban on Secret Treaties” (GA, did not pass): This one was mentioned in the previous report, and oh, how close the vote was The repeal itself was the most straightforward of any of its predecessors, and used plain language to highlight the ridiculous tabby-cat-clause, that has no earthly business in the text of such legislation. Those that hate it, hate it, and those that love it, hate everyone who hates it, so they used their blocking power to push the needle ever so slightly against repealing the target. Will this be the final word on this controversial legislation? With a vote that close? Forget about it.

Repeal: “Civilian Aircraft Accord” (GA, did not pass): The author of this repeal was convinced that helping a distressed aircraft in the airspace of a hostile neighbor could lead to a conflict. Not sure why that would happen, since controllers would simply be offering verbal support and direction toward a safe landing, but the argument was made. Voters weren’t having any of it, and felt the repeal was a bit too far-fetched. 75% voted against repealing the target.

GAR#478 Ensuring Commercial Vessel Navigation: If anyone is interested in passing a GA resolution, this resolution should be your template: A clearly-written and simple solution to a realistic, shared problem, with common sense measures, easily met by all WA members. It’s a recipe for success, and this effort to harmonize standards for nautical charts, navigation rules, and vessel safety throughout the multiverse, received 85% support.

SCR#293 Commend Markanite: Kuriko’s third bell-ringer of the month saw high praise for our very own Chief Executive. It’s no small feat to rise through a region’s ranks and garner the top job, all while jumping out into the wider world to defend the vulnerable regions in NS. Congrats to Mark on a well-earned badge, and, to Kuriko for putting it right in the pocket.

Don’t Shoot Strangers Act GA, did not pass): This resolution didn’t fare well, and may have suffered from being a bit too lyrical in nature. There was a grain of something good in there, and it’s a shame the author couldn’t tease that out and expand on it in a more comprehensive way. As it was, 79% of voters shot it down.

GAR#479 Repeal: “Convention on Animal Testing”: The vote on MG’s original was awfully close, and as previously mentioned, this repeal was in draft at the time of last report. The repeal dropped, and made some compelling arguments around some of the definitions in the target. 91% of voters were in favour of the repeal, and the legislation has now been struck.
Time to split, until next time, keep it out of the gutter.

Senior Senator Human Sanity was pleased to announce the winner of the Rookie of the Quarter Award, which is given for a select new Islander who has distinguished himself in the last three months. This time the recipient of this prestigious award was given to Haivon. Before an appreciative crowd, HS presented the title with these words:
We are gathered here today to honor Haivon as the new Rookie of the Quarter. Haivon joined the 10000 Islands on September 2 2019 and the regional forum on October 24 2019. Since then, they have accomplished the following:

• They have been an active contributor on the Regional Message Board, helping spruce up an often overlooked corner of the region.
• They have become emissary to Portugal.
• They have joined the Ten thousand Islands Treaty Organization and earned their first battle star.
• They were named Featured Nation in September.
• They have moved the needle on 10000 Islands Role Playing by starting the XKI Space Program.
• They ran a campaign for Senate on a substantive platform.
• And, they are a founding member of the newly formed Welcoming Islanders Party.

It is my honor as Senior Senator to present Haivon with the Rookie of the Quarter award.

Sandy Shoals

In this issue, we are happy, nay, proud to introduce the debut of a writer new to our staff as well as these fair Islands we call home. Sandy insists she has been administering advice since she began to talk, and is thus qualified to dispense said advice to her fellow Islanders. Here is an example of her insight and wit:
Q:My younger brother seems to be a healthy, well adjusted guy but lately I'm worried about hiss crossdressing. --A Concerned Sister
SS: In these times of inclusiveness and tolerance, it is not considered aberrant behavior to cross dress, although it will raise fewer eyebrows if done in the privacy of one's own home. Boys just want to have fun, so support your brother's little eccentricities.
CS: No, no! Not Ted, he's normal, at least regarding his attire. Ted has been dressing his dog in girl's clothing. The catch is, Rover (not his real name) is Male. I'm concerned he'll be humiliated when he hangs out with other dogs, and that his self esteem will be negatively affected. What should I do?
SS: I doubt that Rover knows that the outfits have gender connotations in many cultures, although he might object to being constrained by clothing, as I know some dogs are. Please, sit down with the pooch and have a long heart to heart over drinks, maybe a nice Chardonnay or Riesling. A couple of glasses, and his tongue will loosen right up, and he'll tell you how he really feels.

Q: Over the holidays, I brought the girl I've been seeing to my Dad's place for dinner (my parents split a few years ago). I was really hoping they'd like each other, but now I'm worried they might like each other too much. My girl is a couple years older than me, and my Dad has always been a bit of a player. What started out as friendly conversation between them at dinner turned into pretty obvious flirting as the night went on. Thing is, my girl didn't seem to mind, and she was flirting right back. Am I crazy to be worried about this? I like this girl and I love my Dad but I don't know if I should be mad about this.
Signed, Jealous Junior
SS: Sounds to me like your girl might be a bit of a player too, but that doesn't mean she doesn't care about you. Some girls are just flirty by nature, and most of the time it's just harmless fun. Other times though, the sparks fly when you meet someone's Dad, and there's not much a girl can do but get caught up. I'm not her, so I don't know which it is, but she probably wanted to get along with your Dad as much as you wanted it, and she just got carried away. Give her a break this time, tell your Dad to quit hitting on your dates, and next time, take her to your Mom's place for dinner.
Are you troubled too? Are you one of the many who seek advice for personal or professional problems? Ask @sandyshoals!


Sargon Reman receives the news from Markanite that he will lead the Secretariat
- Sargon Reman has been named the inaugural WA Secretary.
- Mingulay Isle has been named Deputy WA Secretary after an intensive hiring process where a group of highly skilled applicants applied. Be sure to read the full interview with the new WA Secretary conducted by Molly Muse:

Senior Senator Human Sanity has published his latest Council Report.

Taco Island Charities is taking nominations for The Eighth Annual Paffnia Prize. Winners stand to gain a total of three million tacos in payouts. The critical details can be found here:

January is a veritable cornucopia of Taco giveaways, and another example is The Commendation Giveaway for Markanite's Commendation, also sponsored by TIC. Details can be found here:

Last but not least is the National History Competition, a writing contest that will garner some worthy scribe 30,000 tacos. Enter your submission here:

January 24 -Founder’s Day/Grub Day: Date of the founding of Grub , 2003, also known as Grub Day

As usual, the Ministry of Labour has a number of job opportunities for those willing to do a little actual work to earn your daily tacos.
This last opening is or particular importance. The Casino has been inoperative for more than six months, and legions of gamblers are experiencing symptoms of extreme withdrawal. Our Editor and Publisher are both in deep, and are lobbying vociferously to see this post filled and the bright lights of the Casino once more dazzle an overmatched populace.
The Mad Surfer is looking for highly qualified, motivated, dedicated writers. But maybe you would like to try your hand at it, too. Please notify Jabberwocky to apply.

You, too, can be one of the lucky few. Have TMS delivered right to your virtual door:
The Mad Surfer is:
Staff Writers: Jabberwocky, THX1138, Sandy Shoals
Editor in Chief/Circulation/Advertising: Jabberwocky
Assistant Editor: Marxist Germany