Happy Pride everyone! To celebrate our queer community, TWP is putting on our annual TWPride celebration! For those of you who don't know, Pride is a celebration of the queer (LGBTQ+) community that takes place during the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riot, which was a formative event for LGBTQ rights in the United States. This year, with the continued assault on transgender rights across the world, we focus on fighting for our trans siblings of all stripes! We encourage you to educate yourself on the issues and join us in celebration of queer lives!!
Week 1: June 1ĖJune 7
Friday, 3 June: The Great TWPride Bake-Off begins! (Discord)
Saturday, 4 June: TWPride Card Contest begins! (RMB)
Sunday, 5 June: Pride on the Pitch sports RP begins! (Forums/Discord)
Sunday, 5 June: The Queens' Rainbow Jubilee coloring fun begins! (Forum)
Tuesday, 7 June: Writing competition begins! (Forum)
Week 2: June 8ĖJune 14
Thursday, 9 June: Comic booth opens! (Discord)
Sunday, 12 June: TWTW Radio Show: Sunday Brunch (Discord)
Week 3: June 15ĖJune 21
Thursday, 16 JuneĖSunday, 19 June: West Osi High School Prom! (Discord)
Week 4: June 22ĖJune 28
Sunday, 26 June: TWTW Radio Show: Sunday Brunch (Discord)
Tuesday, 28 June: All contests end! (All locations)
End of the Month
Wednesday, 29 June: Memory Day (RMB)
Thursday, 30 June: Celebration Day (RMB)
Look for new topics and fun things on the RMB and keep your watch for further announcements throughout June! Gaming streams will take place throughout the month and will be announced in the #twpride_news channel on our Discord server.
Links to event announcements will be updated here as they are made.
By Giovanniland, Delegate of the West
The West Pacific is a region with a great history, and many members that have impacted the NationStates community at-large. For these contributions, some of our former Delegates or long-term residents have been officially recognized by the World Assembly Security Council in the form of a commendation or condemnation. The number of resolutions about TWPers has grown steadily recently, growing from 4 at the end of 2020 to 9 at the end of 2021, and now, the 10th resolution has been passed! 49th Delegate of the West Bran Astor has just been commended today, adding to the list of Punk Reloaded (#65), TAO the Watcher (#167), Westwind (#168), Darkesia (#279), Minineenee (#348), Halo (#364), Dalimbar (#372), Eli (#373) and Elegarth (#377).
Bran's commendation describes his contributions to the West Pacific and to The Sasquatch Republic (TSR), founded by him through the nation Illahee. TSR's cultural events created by Bran are explained throughout the proposal, such as the Country Fair, Curling Bonspiel, Regional Tartan and Regional Quilt; and the close-knit and vibrant community is also a result of the region-building mentioned in the proposal. In fact, the region is one of TWP's allies through the Cultural Agreement between The Sasquatch Republic and The West Pacific, signed by Dilber representing TWP and Bran of course representing TSR, with the goal of fostering cultural ties and participation of both regions in each other's events, many of them created by Bran as noted above.
Meanwhile, here in the West, Bran's cultural creations are a cornerstone of all regional aspects! New nations are greeted by daily Today in the West posts, a practice started by Bran, who also added Thank You Thursday and Haikuesday to the weekly calendar and expanded Punday Monday by creating the Big Book of Puns. Other notable contributions are the Map and Roleplay of the West that has been started and consistently overseen by Bran to this day; the various festivals and events, including but certainly not limited to the Festival of the Perfections, Casserole of Humanity, TWPride and Burning Marsupial; and the creation of the Cultural Trust, which includes this very newspaper revived by Bran in 2019 and later renamed to its current name. Last but not least, Bran's additions to government, such as the creation of the University, and the treaties with The Pacific and Karma that inaugurated a new treaty style, are also worthy of note.
Furthermore, while not all that has been done by Bran was able to be mentioned in the Security Council's standard 5,000 characters limit, you can also read more in the regional commendation of Bran, which was worked on during early 2021 and has a notable place in the Library of the Hall. There are two reasons I mention thisónot only because the drafting drew inspiration from the regional commendation just like Commend Elegarth, but also because of the Regional Commendation program's very creation by Branóintended to be a support for future Security Council resolutions among other things, something one can successfully see after many worthy residents regionally commended and/or recognized in the SC.
Therefore, the drafting for the commendation started in early 2022, led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and World Assembly Recruitment Varanius as the author. Three other nations also offered co-authoring help, namely Minister of FA and former Delegate of the West Dilber, The North Pacific's Minister of FA Hulldom, and The Pacific's Senator of Diplomatic Affairs Xoriet, all of these nations providing their skills to drafting the proposal. On the day of April 25th, the draft finally came to the public eye at the SC forums. Substantive suggestions were made by Bhang Bhang Duc, Wymondham, Zukchiva, Thousand Branches among many others, resulting in several drafts until the proposal was submitted on May 30th.
With a short but effective campaign by Vara, the proposal reached the required quorum of 6% of all delegates in a few hours, reaching the voting floor in the minor update of June 1st. The proposal was supported by most major regions besides ourselves, such as The North Pacific, The Pacific, The South Pacific, Lazarus, Osiris, Balder, The Rejected Realms, Europeia, Karma, The Leftist Assembly, The Communist Bloc, many member regions of the URA (United Regions Alliance), and countless other regions and individual nations whose support is of course appreciated. Notable votes against were from the East Pacific and 10000 Islands, but they were outmatched, and ultimately the proposal succeeded. At the end of the voting period, 13,504 (82.9%) nations supported and only 2,780 (17.1%) opposed it, becoming an official resolution with large support.
Therefore, after the resolution passed, celebrations then ensued on our Regional Message Board, the Discord Server, and the resolution's own Security Council thread, with many residents and foreign visitors alike giving congratulations to Bran for receiving the commendation, and to Vara, Dilber, Xoriet and Hulldom for jointly authoring it. That is where we stand currently, and I am glad to see initiative from various TWPers in authoring detailed SC resolutions about other great members of our regions, so I personally give congratulations to everyone involved in the project.
Furthermore, our region of course continues to have future plans in the Security Council, and I would also like to publicly announce the next project that will be worked onómoving on to a different former Delegate, we will be Commending Dilber, with drafting spearheaded by Guardian of the West Overthinkers! If any resident is interested in taking part or helping in World Assembly proposal drafting, I definitely recommend applying for Hall of Nations citizenship and joining the Minister of World Assembly Recruitment today.
On this closing note, this is all for this article! Stay tuned about more articles about commendations and/or condemnations in future editions of the Western Post.
By iOctagon (Santos-Dominius)
Hello there, dear reader! History in Focus is a column inaugurated in this issue of the Western Post. As a companion column to the Culture in Focus column featured in previous issues, this column will be focusing on the histories of various countries that our TWP residents hail from in real life. Without further ado, let's go to Asia, which is where the first locale featured in this column is situated!
Hong Kong is a global metropolis situated in southern China, at the eastern tip of the Pearl River Delta. It also happens to be where I - iOctagon (though you may know me by my nation name Santos-Dominius) - come from! The "Pearl of the Orient", as its citizens like to refer to it, is a modern concrete jungle and one of the most developed cities in the entire world. But what if I told you that the city with the most skyscrapers in the world - surpassing the likes of New York, London and Shanghai - was just a small fishing village 180 years ago? Would you believe me? Well, let's dive straight into Hong Kong's history and how it became the global city it is today!
To tell the truth, Hong Kong really was a small, nearly-uninhabited fishing village for centuries. Although human activity in the area dates back 30,000 years, it was not until the advent of the Chinese imperial dynasties in 221 BC that what we now know to be "Hong Kong" became properly populated. Because the rapid land reclamation of modernity hadn't yet happened back then, the area was a hilly and barren locale with little promise for agriculture. As a result, farmers and other villagers had to resort to other trades. Some have suggested that salt production was one of these trades, and that the trading of that commodity flourished in the area around 2,000 years ago, but no solid evidenced has been unearthed to back that theory up. Conversely, the trade of pearl hunting - recovering pearls from wild molluscs such as oysters and mussels - was an undeniably important part of ancient local trade back then, with Tolo Harbour in the northeast of Hong Kong being a notable site famed for its abundance of pearls back then. What a coincidence that the Pearl River is nearby!
Although it cannot be concretely proved that Hong Kong was already a salt production centre 2,000 years ago, historical research does prove that Lantau Island in the west had already become a major trading port for salt, a naval base for imperial Chinese ships, and hub for pearl hunting between the Jin and early Tang dynasties (265 to ~620 AD). Interestingly, due to the geography of Hong Kong, which provided valuable shelter from the waves and storms of the South China Sea, salt smugglers and pirates would often hide in the area and riot against government officials coming down south to administer the region. I'll mention more on that later.
One thing many foreigners may not know about Hong Kong's history is that a Chinese emperor actually visited the city (although it was under unfortunate circumstances)! At the end of the Song dynasty, during the Mongol invasion and conquest of China, the final Song emperor Zhao Bing was enthroned in Mui Wo in Hong Kong on May 1278; sadly he was defeated by the Mongol armies and died with his forces. Today, the Sung Wong Toi rock memorial commemorates this historical event - supposedly the rock itself is the real deal from 1279 AD!
And remember the pirates I mentioned? During the Qing dynasty, piracy in the seas around China intensified as harsh restrictions on maritime trade prevented many civilians from earning enough income. Hong Kong was no exception to this rule - as a small fishing village on the other end of China from the capital and the major cities up north, and as a harbour providing excellent shelter from the waves, it became an attractive hideout spot for pirates. Some of them congregated into the Red Flag Fleet, an infamous band of pirates led by the pirate Cheng I and his successor Cheung Po Tsai. They fought with imperial Qing fleets and Portuguese counterparts in several naval battles around Hong Kong, and although Cheung ultimately retired from piracy to become a Qing naval officer, his pirate life lives on in folklore and there is a narrow but popular cave where his treasures and loot are said to have been stored.
And before the British colonised Hong Kong, many indigenous peoples had already settled in the area. Some of them were Punti, Hokkien, Hakka and Tanka peoples from the nearby Guangdong and Fujian provinces, which had been affected by the Great Clearance order. This was an order by the Kangxi Emperor during the Qing dynasty to resettle civilians away from the Chinese coastline, to prevent them from being attacked by anti-Qing forces on Taiwan. They settled in the north of Hong Kong before and after the British colonised Hong Kong Island, and many of them are ancestors of today's Hongkongers. They're also contributors in making Hong Kong's interpretation of Chinese cuisine unique and with a local twist!
That brings us conveniently into the colonial period! Britain, one of Europe's most powerful colonial empires at the time, had found a valuable port and bad-weather shelter in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. It was narrow enough and surrounded by land and hills on both sides to protect anchored ships from storms and the raging seas, but it was also wide enough to let enough ships dock, stay and travel through. Thus, when China lost the 1st Opium War to the British, the latter included Hong Kong Island in its demands and would receive it in 1842, marking the beginning of British Hong Kong as a colonial territory.
Hong Kong Island was not the only part of Hong Kong that the British took either. After the 2nd Opium War, Britain was able to extract more concessions from China, which included ceding the Kowloon Peninsula and a 99-year lease of the New Territories. This allowed the British to assert control over the entirety of what is known as Hong Kong today. The British immediately set to work developing the small fishing village into a trading port, building societal amenities and infrastructure such as schools, residences, sewage systems, buildings and more. A Governor, Sir Henry Pottinger, was appointed to administer the colony and the Sanitary Board was set up to tackle poor hygiene around the territory.
Hong Kong managed to stay relatively intact during the decades that followed. Following the fall of the Qing dynasty (and the Chinese imperial monarchy by extension) in 1911, thousands flocked to Hong Kong as it developed into a prosperous trading port while China fell victim to warlord conflicts and internal divisions. The beginning of the protracted Chinese Civil War in 1927 only served to encourage even more Chinese civilians to flee to the British colony; among them were businessmen and intellectuals from major commercial centres like Shanghai who brought valuable know-how and knowledge, thus aiding Hong Kong's development. By this stage the village-turned-port was serving as an entrepŰt - a gateway city where imported foreign goods could be exported to the mainland Chinese market, and vice versa for imported Chinese goods exported to the global market. In this middleman position, Hong Kong would flourish for decades.
The outbreak of World War 2 changed all of that. Although its predecessor, World War 1, was a mostly European affair altogether, WW2 saw the Empire of Japan sweep across Asia in its hopes to build a resource-rich, expansive empire of its own. Major regions of China were occupied as it resisted the Japanese invasion determinedly, and Hong Kong was no exception. On 25th December 1941, a day now popularly known as "Black Christmas", British then-Governor Mark A. Young surrendered the colony to the Japanese after weeks of brutal fighting that the unprepared British-led defenders were unable to contain and stop. What followed was 3 years and 8 months of oppressive occupation as Hong Kong suffered brutal, inhuman atrocities at the hands of Japan and many migrated back to mainland China to escape the Japanese.
Although Britain resumed control of Hong Kong afterwards, the damage was done. Successive Governors did their best to rebuild the city, and Hong Kong was repurposed from an entrepŰt to a manufacturing hub. Cheap labour was abundant at the time and many resources were easily obtained to produce cheap, attractive products with. Though the city's population took a hit with the Shek Kip Mei fire of 1951 that destroyed squatter villages, the colonial government was able to observe the situation and begin building public housing to give shelter to those who couldn't afford it themselves. Important government programmes such as Governor Murray MacLehose's Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) lifted many out of impoverishment and appalling living conditions.
As other countries including mainland China itself (thanks to Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening-Up policy) became more advantageous sources of cheap labour, the manufacturing industry of Hong Kong declined significantly, not being helped by rises in property prices. Governor MacLehose's various improvements such as building hiking trails, leisure centres and other infrastructure had worked fantastically, but the Hong Kong economy needed to change, as its products were becoming less competitive. Thus, the city was redeveloped once more into an international financial hub, with a stock exchange and lots of banks and financial giants. When the New Territories' 99-year lease came close to expiring, Britain and China negotiated and agreed to a handover, thus completing Hong Kong's transformation into the Chinese global city that we all know today.
And that is an overview of Hong Kong's history! Throughout the many decades and centuries, this small fishing village has had to continuously adapt, redevelop and transform in order to become the bustling metropolis it is today. Thank you for going through this journey in history with me, and I hope to see you all in the next edition of History in Focus!
And don't go yet - if you like this column and would like to talk about your own real-life country/city's history in detail, the Western Post invites you to contact Fujai by telegram or Discord at Smithy876#6074 to volunteer! Any TWP resident is welcome to guest-write an article, which may get featured in future issues of the Western Post!
Happy Pride everyone! Let this column also be your reminder to honor your queer elders and ancestors who paved the way for you to be where you are today, regardless of where that is.
In this edition, Iíll be highlighting some of my personal favorite songs by queer artists (and bands with queer members)! Without further ado, letís get into it!
Bears in Trees
Four folks from South London, doing their absolute best and loving everyone with their whole hearts, truly whatís not to love here, 10/10 also they have a great tumblr. They released an album last fall titled ďand everybody else smiled backĒ and I havenít stopped listening to it since.
Uncontested king, absolute legend, I love everything he puts out. His vibes are immaculate and even though Iím not much of a lyrics person, his always get me got.
One of my all-time favorites, an indie band from the Twin Cities and all around awesome people making awesome music.
Another of my favorites, yet another indie band from the Twin Cities. Frankly thereís very little that can top them musically in my eyes and Iíd have it no other way. They just put out their third album, aptly named LP3, and I love every second of itóI could (and have) listen to the trio of Semi Pro, Boys, and Ride or Die for hours on end.
Iím still upset KEiiNO didnít win Eurovision 2019 (but they did win the hearts of the voters)óthis iconic SŠmi-Norwegian trio simply cannot stop putting out bops and I cannot stop listening.
Lil Nas X
A king, iconic, legendary, nothing I can say will every encapsulate his debut album so just go listen for yourself.
You know Ďem, you love Ďem, and so do Ióthe hottest humans on the planet also happen to make the hottest music on the planet and you should listen to it. They won Eurovision and became an international sensation for a reason.
I never listened much to their older stuff, but when I Can Feel You Forgetting Me came out in July 2020 it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right timeóthe whole album is so impeccably done, the skill and passion just radiates off of it. Definitely one of my top summer albums.
If you havenít listened to this gay Canadian country singer then I donít know what to tell you other than drop whatever youíre doing and listen now. I mean it, this man will change your life. His second album, Bronco, just came out in April and boy howdy Iíve listened to it a lotóI wish I had the words to explain just how good his music is, even and especially if youíre not much into country because heís just that good.
One of my longtime recs, youíve probably heard me rave about The Regrettes before because who wouldnít want Gen Z riot grrrl surf music?
Another of my longtime recs, Rostam is just super, super good at making music and will always be one of my favorite singersóif his music was all I could ever listen to Iíd still be a happy camper.
You want bops all day long? Studio Killers has them in spadesóIím still waiting for more music but in the meantime their catalog more than makes up for it.
Iím constantly surprised that Twin XL doesnít have more folks listening to them, because they make stunningly good music. Highly recommended for some insatiable earworms thatíll stick with you for ages.
Last but certainly not least, the legend herself with her certified iconic song, Dancing Lasha Tumbai. Sheís the one queen who can never go out of fashion.
Are you confused about certain creatures, things, or references from the comic? Well never fear! You can check Zoran's Compendium of the West, which includes a brief bit of information about aspects present in the comic. Every one of its entries will be compiled in a dispatch found here!
Explanation: The origin of this...troll on me comes from The Pacific where it started with a website called Aesthetic Generator that Ghost Queen shared on the New Pacific Order's (NPO) discord server. Everyone had some fun with it getting some word combinations that matched their personalities or were ironic and what I got was "Mermaid Dad"...twice. Now when I got this result and shared it withe the NPO, I said "Looks like I am going to end up staying in Florida even after it is consumed by the sea >_>". It didn't become a troll until Marinas Island started using it to troll me and I started running my sarcastic mouth off and made it even more of a troll. It is a troll that lingers here in there, threatening to peer its head out around any corner. While it has died off a bit now, I can never truly tell when the troll is dead and it haunts me in my dreams...turning them into nightmares about child support >_>.
Classification: Mermaid Apparitions
To Zoran: Unknown
Everyone else: Harmless/non-existant
Tied to the Mermaid Dad troll is the implied idea of a family that would cause me to be a Mermaid Dad. Now I do not have a family or a child myself, yet this troll creates the idea that I have one.
These two sometimes haunt my dreams on days when I am trolled the most. The dream is always the same, I wake up under the sea, notice that I have become a merman, and then see my alleged "daughter" and "wife" start worrying about me. Every time I run they follow and beg for me to calm down, saying I am delusional. But I am not insane! I know what reality is and I know that I don't have a family in reality! I will not have the dream world force me to pay child support!
The Western Post Staff - Delegate: Giovanniland - Editor-in-Chief: Fujai - Staff: Aluminum Oxynitride, Blue Bubble, Bran Astor, Fhaengshia, Gryphonian Alliance, Overthinkers, Pathoal, Podium, Santos-Dominius, So Long, Teralyon, United Adaikes, Wymondham, Zoran, and YOU
All your chocolate belongs to Darkesia
The Western Post is brought to you by The West Pacific Cultural Trust, The West Pacific News Group, and readers like you. Thank you.