BLDGBLOG has posted a fascinating interview with Simon Sellars, co-author of The Lonely Planet Guide to Micronations. Micronations are those "countries" founded by lovable crackpots who declare some chunk of dirt to be sovereign territory and create a flag, currency, royal line of succession, and all the pompous trappings of nationhood. The book is a traveller's guide to these kingdoms, with all the best things to do and see as you visit them.
BLDGBLOG: Have you ever declared your own micronation?
Sellars: Yes. I grew up in the suburb of Bentleigh, in Melbourne, Australia. It was an exceedingly boring place, like a retirement village – it seemed like I was the only teenager around at times. So I founded the Independent Republic of Bentleigh, declared myself President, and claimed the whole of Bentleigh as territory. Our national anthem was "We Can't Be Beaten," a song by the toughest band in the land, Rose Tattoo.
BLDGBLOG: What happened to it?
Sellars: We were beaten – the IRB was invaded by Poland. The Polish kid next door already hated me, but when he saw me poncing up and down the back yard draped in my IRB flag, he was enraged even more than usual. He jumped over the fence, punched me in the mouth and stole my lunch money – and that was all the IRB's assets gone, just like that. He also stepped on my toy tanks and melted my plastic soldiers with a cigarette lighter, which meant the IRB had no defence force, and that was the end of it, really. My mother banned me from starting up a micronation ever again, unless I could back it up with sufficient armoury and investment capital, which of course I never could, being a very lazy kid.