The State of the Community – James Frisch

beacon city flag
James Frisch continues our series of interviews with Kit McCarthy.

KM: For those of who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?

JF: I’m James Frisch, Prince of Beacon City, a small and unfortunately not too active micronation I founded about four years ago. I’m also the First Minister of Nolland, where I’m involved with a lot of what goes on there, and a candidate in the upcoming Mercian general election.

KM: What is, in your opinion, the best thing about the community?

JF: I don’t usually look at things and say “this is the best thing”, so I couldn’t really say. Of course, with as with any community, the most important bit is the people, and while the micronational community is definitely a mixed bag, most of them are good people.

KM: What would you see as not so good?

JF: Well, going from my previous answer, the bad eggs definitely aren’t so good, but that’s to be expected. Apart from that, I would say the divide that exists between different groups of the community is sort of making this seem like less of a community. Many now recognise this and are beginning to work against this, for example the interaction between different groups in the Nollandish Confederacy, but it takes time.

KM: What do you think is causing this divide?

JF: The fact that they are literally separate. There’s the group that’s been around longer, is mostly simulationist, and as a rule is more familiar with how to run a micronation well based on experience. The other group are newer, wanting to secede, generally still need to figure out what they’re doing. They can go together, but often don’t because of their own differences. I’ve seen a few people talk about other members in, well, less than pleasant terms, and while this is usually for a reason (e.g. new person being too stubborn to accept any criticism of something that actually is bad, older person being unnecessarily loud and pressuring about their beliefs, etc.), it’s obviously causing a conflict. As I say, lately, people are trying to get involved with each other for precisely this reason, so hopefully this issue should be more temporary.

KM: With this in mind, what’s your view on the Joseph Kennedy Affair?

JF: I can’t say I support what Mr. Kennedy did, it was cruel and uncalled for. However, I’m of the feeling that the community overreacted. It was a malicious prank, but a prank nonetheless, and I hardly expect that this is how Mr. Kennedy expected it to go. It was presumably going to be revealed with a “ha-ha, we got you” moment, but things got out of hand and became larger and louder to the point where many in the community were concerned about the affair, being unfamiliar with Mr. Kennedy and, not knowing his style of humour (which those of us who know him are used to and can appreciate), had no choice but to believe it. Rather than this massive reaction, a few questions could have been asked around (e.g. asking Mr. Kennedy about it – I doubt he’d have had you assassinated for knowing his evil plan of taking over a small internet community) and the issue could have been solved before it blew up.

KM: What do we need to do next in the community?

JF: I don’t know, really. We seem to be improving, so more of the same, I suppose.

KM: Thank you.

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