Harmless Tradition, or Dangerous Conspiracy?
By investigative reporter Recuecn
Arembee, Tee Double-youpi — For years, TWP has slowly been finding itself deeper and deeper in the stranglehold of a certain tradition; namely, Friday Karaoke. Friday Karaoke has been popular in our region for a long time now, but is it just a harmless pastime, or something more insidious? From an outsider's persepctive, the tradition looks like just a fun way to spend fridays, keeping people engaged before they log off of NS for the weekend. But what possible reason could such a long-standing tradition have for existing? NSers know there's always a dark secret behind everything that happens in the game; most 'regional activities' are just part of a plan to inevitably coup another feeder for the Rahls or the CCD, with nothing fendas can do to outplay their brilliant machinations. So clearly, the fact that Friday Karaoke has existed for literal years--an eternity in NS--without any sort of scandal or leak, proves that not only is it some sort of coup attempt, it's the best one this game has ever seen.
"A coup attempt?" a doubter might ask. "There's no way. TWP has been stable for so long, and it's not even really relevant to gameplay anymore. What's the point?" But all that is a smokescreen, part of the master plan. Whoever is behind this plot has arranged for TWP to lie low for a while now, all to divert attention from their scheme. The genius of this conspiracy is that until the moment of truth, not only is evidence of the plot practically impossible to find, but what evidence does exist points in the opposite direction, making TWP look like a happy, healthy region.
Think about it. Punday Monday. Haikuesday. Thank you Thursday. Karaoke Friday. That's more than half the week already. For now it looks harmless. It looks like TWP is a thriving, well-organized, active region, but soon we'll be living in a dystopia where every day is Karaoke Friday, those in resistance to our new oppressors communicate through coded song lyrics, snark is relabeled as crimethink, and "We've always been at war with anti-marsupialists".
Of course, it's not like using Friday Karaoke songs to send secret messages will be a new invention on our part. In fact, the inner ring of conspirators have been using the tradition to send weekly instructions to their operatives, all in plain sight. Take for example the first song posted last Friday, by Westwind (if anybody in TWP is part of some secret illuminati organization, it's WestWind. He's even got the word 'West' in his name. He's obviously been planning to take over TWP since he founded his nation. I mean, prove I'm wrong). Here's the first stanza of the song he posted last week, "Night Flight" by Led Zepplin:
I received a message from my brother across the water
He sat laughin' as he wrote the end's in sight
So I said goodbye to all my friends
And packed my hopes inside a matchbox
'Cause I know it's time to fly
Look at the first letter of each line. I, H, S, A, C. This is a direct (and poorly-hidden) message to members of the conspiracy in the region, as follows: "Instructions: Hold Steady All Conspirators." The message then continues through the rest of the lyrics. Not only is it a shame that WestWind is attempting a coup here, it's a shame he can't come up with a code that's harder to crack.
Lest you think this is an isolated example, take a look at the very next song that was posted. It's a post from Yy--or at least, that's what he'd have you call him. Little do most West Pacificans know, "Yy" is the code name for an infiltrator famous across Nationstates, usually known as "Too Wise Four You." "Yy4u" has at least done a better job covering up his secrets than WestWind has: "Yy4u" is nearly uncrackable, and it has taken our counter-intelligence operatives decades of hard work to figure out his true identity as "Too Wise For You."
Unfortunately for "Yy", he got sloppy last week as well. Here's what he posted for Karaoke Friday:
Learning to Fly (lyrics)
Zero 7 - Milton At Midnight
A clear tip-off that's something's off here is that "Yy" has added a (lyrics) tag to the first song, but hasn't actually posted any lyrics. What's that supposed to mean? It means the message is a secret symbol. Count the characters in each line: 24 in the first title, 42 in the link, 62 hyphens, 22 in the second title, and 43 in the second link. Add all the digits in the tens places and you get 18, and add all the digits in the ones places and you get 13. Multiply those two numbers and you get 234, so clearly we're on to something already. 2 + 3 + 4 = 9, and 9 = 2 + 7. 27 is three cubed, or 33. If that's not an illuminati number, I don't know what is.
Once again, it's a shame that the code the Friday Karaokeërs (or Frikkers, for short) tried to use here is so easily crackable, but as we've witnessed with recent coup attempts, there's no such thing as the perfect crime. After so many years of flying under the radar undetected, the Friday Karaoke Conspiracy (also known as FKC--any resemblance to any organizations or restaurants living or dead purely coincidental) was bound to fumble sooner or later.
If this insidious conniving has finally been discovered, then, how can we fight back? Well, first we need to figure out what the FKC is trying to achieve. TWP prides itself on having one of the "best" RMBs in nationstates. Residents have been brainwashed to think that "coherent conversation" and "not spamming" are desirable RMB traits. Having already outlawed things like fascist nations, regional recruiting, spam, and RMB roleplay, what's next? All non-karaoke posting being forbidden? This search for a clean RMB has gone too far. I foresee a future where a post with no song lyrics is suppressed by moderators and gets your nation DEATed instantly. Saying the word "roleplay" out loud will have you DOSed on sight.
To resist against this Machiavellian threat, then, what must we do? We must reclaim our RMB. These so-called "fun activities" that we see every day are out to get us. We've got to take them down. We need to start double-posting, triple-posting, getting multiple role-plays going on the RMB all at the same time so that hardly a second goes by without a post and it becomes impossible for the conspirators--or indeed anybody--to use the RMB to communicate. Only once our RMB is a flood of non-sensical posts and spam will we be safe from this Frikker menace.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the evidence is clear: Friday Karaoke is a long-planned sleeper coup attempt. A region with such a well-organized, civilized RMB can only be a symbol of something dark at work.
By Big Bad Badger, Minister of World Assembly Affairs & Recruitment
What an exciting month January was for the World Assembly Ministry! Thanks to our new friends that joined via the most recent Reddit rush we have achieved some terrific numbers. Our overall WA membership in TWP has increased from 643 to 758. Our Delegate endorsements have increased from 488 to 555! Our percentage of WA members endorsing Bran Astor has slightly decreased from 77.2% to 72.5%.
Our goals for next month are to grow and maintain our WA numbers; especially our endorsements on our Delegate. After stabilizing about our Delegate above 500 endorsements, Bran Astor raised the endorsement cap to 180. We are now working on our campaign of “600 by the Solstice!” Which will upon completion will see our endorsement cap rise again.
Anyone interested in writing an SC proposal please check out our proposal writing workshop in the TWP forum.
And remember that it is the position of The West Pacific that the GA infringes upon the sovereignty of the individual nations. So Vote NO for every GA proposal and Yes to every GA repeal!
Our WA State Patrons (WASP), nations that stay above 100 endorsements but under the endocap throughout the month, has increased from 34 to 55 members. I will send out telegrams of nations to endorse again this month to try to get the number near 100. I would like to recognize our WA State Patrons: Liberillia,Fuentana,Saint Philip and Laurence,Sensorland,Dilber,Bhang Bhang Duc,Recuecn,Giovanniland,Papercuts and Skittles,United States of Northern America,Mathematania,Varanius,Pandaland II,Aldesport,Westwind,Empire of Spartacus,Condonohia,Tropical Isles,Psikuta,The Anti-Social Socialists,The 9 Stars,The United Republic of Westend,Greg Tucker,BIteland,Ilmecith,Greynne,Sindria,Divina Patriae,Gryphonian Alliance,Montreal-Quebec,The Undivided,Varstov,Arnic,Oometz,Atheist States of Philippines,Denieria,DiscGolfLand,Cryland,The Unified Missourtama States,Kisovec,Probablynotverygoodistan,Hertfordshire and Jammbo,Shaqolandia,WaffenBrightonburg,Ferroia,Pandaland III,Akshireuya,Numpties,Kittenlicious,Doggerstan,Archonina,Bigstickistan,Mirchusko,Shaktirajya
Owls and embassies and dates, oh my!
By The Holy Principality of Saint Mark, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Foreign Affairs Department of The West Pacific is active throughout the NS-verse, seeking to develop and strengthen relationships with significant regions.
The Owl-20, a joint event with our allies in Osiris and Lazarus, was one such way we sought to engage. Held from January 16-19, this space-themed weekend featured a constellation-drawing contest, debates, lectures, games, and lively discussion. It was a great time and well attended!
Many nations connected the stars to design favorite or funny images in space. The three best were judged to be NovaBren’s “Sad Derp”, Tethys 13’s “Octopus/Gulper Eel/Ray/Sea Slug”, and McChimp’s “Obi wan and Qui-Gon-Jinn Fight a Horse”.
There were lectures on “The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation” by Wymondham, and “The Consequences of Human Space Exploration” by Fujai. Debates tended to center around discussing the best Star Trek characters/episodes/permutations, and games ranged from Battleship to Counting to Infinity to Memes in Space.
Many thanks to our friends in these two excellent regions!
An event had been scheduled with The South Pacific, but real life interfered with some of the planners, so this was postponed. The West Pacific would like to congratulate Aumeltopia on his election to TSP’s Delegacy! We look forward to strengthening our emerging relationship.
Finally, our Delegate, Bran, in a continued effort to make it clear that a connection to The West Pacific should never be taken lightly, ordered the pruning of some of the less-than-active embassies. At first glance, the uninitiated might think that we forgot a few … our list continues to include several regions that some might consider moribund. These are what we call The Prestige Regions. They are regions that either have played an important role in our history or the history of NS at large, or were founded by TWP VIPs. Several examples will be illustrative.
The Atlantic, in its original form one of the oldest regions of NS is a part of TWP history. At the creation of The West Pacific, in April 2003, forces from the Atlantic Central Command, the military wing of the Atlantic Alliance, entered the region. The Atlantic Alliance prevailed and held the TWP Delegacy with Delegates Commercial Affairs and Reubenlucy. They lost control to TWP Delegate Norion, on May 27, 2003.Under Delegate Norion, The West Pacific joined ADN, and was one of the three most powerful regions in the Alliance. Nasicournia was the home of Pope Hope and the ADN.
The Moon, Mordor, and One Big Island have benefited our region’s military undertakings. Doll Guldur has also served us militarily, as well as having been founded by a well-respected multi-term Delegate. Other regions owned by TWP VIPs are The Cuckoos Egg, The New Meritocracy, The Sasquatch Republic, and The Realms of Light. Many thanks to Westwind and Darkesia for supplying some of the history!
Looking forward, we will be making reservations and buying flowers for Fridate with Karma on Valentine’s Day, and will be hosting the Second Annual Festival of The Three Perfections on February 21st-March 1st. This is an in-theme celebration of the amazing artists in NationSates.
By Darkesia, Dark Lady of Chocolate
February 14th is celebrated by much of the NSverse as Valentine’s Day, a day of friendship, affection, romance and love. A big part of that celebration is the gifting and consumption of chocolate. Darkesian factories have been working overtime to ensure that there will be ample supply of quality chocolate for all.
Darkesians celebrate The Great Tasting on February 14th each year. This traditional festival culminates in a grand competition for the best tasting chocolate recipe in the nation. The most prestigious category, ganache, is steeped in historic tradition and carries a hefty Chocolate Coin prize.
In simpler, and less sanitary, times the prominent families of the nation gathered in Fortress Cacao with their family ganache recipes and their eligible heirs. The young men and women were coated in the family recipe and sent into the streets of the capital to offer tastes to the citizenry and perhaps meet a potential mate. It’s been a long time since the youth of Darkesia could be seen in such circumstance. But the versatility and simplicity of ganache remains an important part of Darkesian culture.
Chocolate ganache is a very simple blending of heavy cream and chocolate which can be used as a liquid coating or whipped into a thicker filling/truffle base. Below is a quick recipe and a few pointers for making your very own Valentine’s Day ganache.
First, it is very important to get a low, slow and even heat. If you have a gas stove, you risk getting a hot spot or getting too much heat. This is why you will often see the use of a double boiler in the heating process of the ganache. If you have an electric stove, you can forgo the double boiler in favor of a very low heat.
Once you have your heat source sorted, simply add your heavy cream to the pot and begin heating. If you have not previously done so, chop your chocolate finely to allow for even melting. I prefer to use 70% dark chocolate, but you can use a good milk chocolate as well depending on the taste you are hoping to achieve. The best ratio of cream to chocolate is 1:1 and it is important to make enough. If you intend to pour your ganache over a cake, you won’t get a second chance to make more, should you not have enough to cover your cake completely. And making more than one batch will make consistency in your filling difficult to achieve.
Once your cream is hot, but not boiling, add the chocolate and stir. Stir. Stir. Do not turn up the heat and do not panic when it appears to look curdled. Just keep heating and stirring until you get a smooth shiny liquid about the consistency of syrup.
At this point you are done!
If you have prepared a cake, pour some of the ganache into the center of the prepared cake and tip the cake to allow the ganache to cover the top of the cake. You need to work quickly so the mixture does not cool and thicken before you have a chance to coat the cake. Once the top is coated, pour the ganache at the edges of the cake to coat.
Allow the mixture to cool and whip it to your desired thickness for fillings and truffles.
Enjoy your celebrations!