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The Island of Defastena

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The Island of Defastena.

Defastena is an island in the Atlantic. Folklore tells us that it is all that remains of Atlantis. Defastena has a uniformly equable and pleasant climate.

Mixed sea-bathing takes place all the year around. Nudity is permissible on the beaches, but sexual behaviour in public is frowned upon, as indeed are all forms of spectator sports. Sexual affairs are under the control of the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice.

There are numerous participative sports, from the popular croquet at one end of the scale, to bungy jumping over the island's active volcano at the other. Obviously, there is a large amount of surfing and sail-boarding and things like that. Since the north side of the huge Mount Fastena is covered with snow all the year around, there is a lot of skiing and snow-boarding.

There is a very large and complicated body of law in Defastena. However, a lot of the laws were written just for fun and don't really apply, and the law-court often doubles as a theatre. The Constitution is based on the US Constitution, with the important addition that: "A corporation is emphatically not a person." The First Amendment to the Defastenist Constitution states that::"Nothing in this document gives anyone the right to behave like an asshole."

At first sight the police may appear a bit scary, since some of them wear SS uniforms. However, this is just for effect as they like dressing up and are really quite friendly.

Religion is widely practised on Defastena. The inhabitants meet on Thursday evenings in a large round room in the centre of the main town where they sprawl on huge round cushions and engage in guided meditation. The central ethical principle of the Defastenists is: "Be nice to all sentient beings so far as is humanly possible  and above all, don't be an asshole."

People often go away for long periods to the caves high up on the east of Mount Fastena to meditate. Sometimes they achieve enlightenment and become so spiritualised that they are no longer perceptible. This is a fairly frequent occurence on Defastena and excites little comment.

There is a large part-time army on Defastena and membershiip is compulsory for everyone above the age of fourteen. The army trains in martial arts and passive resistance. The purpose of the army is not to defend the island from aggressors but to subtly assimilate any invaders so that eventually they will become Defastenists probably without knowing it. The army is under the control of the Minister for Defence who reports to the overseeing body known as the Committee for Public Safety.

Education on Defastena is focussed on creativity and abstract thinking, as well as practical skills like making fire, metal-work and ceramics. The Defastenists believe there is no point in memorising a lot of stuff that you won't need as it's all on the Internet anyway.

There is of course a huge library in Defastena, with books from all over the world, many of them extremely rare. Books on airplanes and the history of the German Democratic Republic are particularly prominent.

The normal mode of transport to and from Defastena is the sailing ship. Consequently, there are always a lot of sailors in and around Defastena Harbour. There is also an airport with a fleet of Boeing 707s. One of them,. reserved for the use of the Defastenist Kunstfuehrer, is furnished throughout to a high degree of taste and even luxury. The others are used to transport the art works and craft objects made on the island, which are sold for high prices on the world market.

Defastena has a simple agrarian economy and a lot of food grows freely on trees. There is no paper currency and transactions take place in silver and gold. Usury is strictly forbidden. The coins are stamped with the image of the Defastenist Kunstfuehrer crowned with a laurel wreath. Any economic surplus that is not needed for ceremonial purposes is divided equally among the population in the  form of a citizen's income.

Defastena is not perfect. Crime sometimes happens. The Defastenists define crime as: "anything the someone does to someone else that the other person wouldn't want them to do, being reasonable about it; or anything that harms animals or the environment, or that is in seriously bad taste."

On matters of taste the decision of the Kunstfuehrer--guided by his Council of Advisors--is final. There is no appeal.

There is a guillotine in the main square of Defastena but it has not been used for as long as anyone can remember and is more for the sake of awesomeness than anything else. The most extreme form of punishment, which is greatly feared, is banishment from the island.

As an alternative to banishment, offenders may be offered character-building experiences such as crawling through the narrow underground caves that lie deep beneath the island, or abseiling down the terrifying cliffs on the west side of Mount Fastena.

Defastenist dwellings are curved, irregular, organic and sometimes hard to distinguish from the land and natural rock-formations from which they seem to grow. Some of them are completely underground. There are no cars on Defastena but, given the nature of the terrain, a lot of mountain bikes.

Defastena has many trees and tree-climbing is a popular pursuit, particularly among the young. Many people have tree-houses, even adults.

TV is available on Satellite, though all the garbage channels are rigorously filtered out by the Ministry for Cultural Excellence.

Everyone has a broadband Internet connection and a high-end Apple laptop computer.  Consequently they don't feel disconnected from the world. There are no computer viruses or spam due to the island's unparalleled firewall.

Football is strictly forbidden on Defastena, though cricket is allowed and of course the ubiquious croquet.

Defastenists are uniformly vegetarian and many of them are vegan. However, fish-eating is tolerated given the geographical location of the country. There are a lot of Indian restaurants on the island, many of them offering world-standard cuisine.

There is a large multiplex cinema in Devastena with huge screens, showing mainly science-fiction movies but also classic films going back to the birth of cinema.

Apart from the Kunstfuehrer whose position is immovable, the government of Defastena is chosen by lot. Every year a new government is chosen. It is regarded as a misfortune to be chosen to serve in the government but most people face up to the prospect with fortitude, or at least resignation. The main function of the government is to ensure that people have a reasonable amount of fun every day. Since the Defastenists have an extremely healthy life-style and mental attitude, people very rarely get sick or grow old. However, those that to are taken care of by their families or the community.

If someone unfortunatly dies they are placed in a coffin where a pre-recorded message guides them safely through the various stages of the afterlife until, hopefully, they gain liberation from this world of illusion. After forty days they are wrapped in a sheet and, after a brief ceremony, thrown into the active volcano. Apart from the human body,virtually everything else on Defastena is recycled.

The Defastenists believe that children know a lot more than adults. Consequently they listen carefully to what their children have to tell them about their previous lives and things like that, before they forget.

The Defastenists spend most of their time engaged in the arts, crafts and scientific exploration, particularly astronomy. They also gather for philosophical discussion in the market place, where they play chess while partaking of the excellent food and drink that the island produces, and listening to music performed on various kinds of traditional instruments. However, folk dancing is not allowed.













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