The Kingdom Of Talossa: Getting to know Milwaukee’s parallel universe neighbors
Why don’t you ask him who’s the latest on his throne?
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- Milwaukee writer Tea Krulos unmasks the “real-life superhero” movement with Heroes In The Night
Multiverse theory posits that everything that can exist in space, time, matter, and energy does in fact exist, in infinite parallel worlds of infinite possibility. Understanding multiverse theory often requires a firm grasp of quantum mechanics, string theory, and cosmology. Even the most brilliant minds have come to accept that we’re never likely to prove the multiverse exists.
But then again, they’ve probably never been to Hooligan’s.
According to a fanciful “micronation” known as The Kingdom Of Talossa, what we know as the East Side of Milwaukee sits atop a transdimensional portal, which was torn open in 1979 allowing two distinct worlds to exist in parallel, within plain sight of one another.
Indeed, citizens of the Kingdom Of Talossa walk among us.
Along the way we’ve stood in line at the same greasy spoons (Grecian Delight was a Talossan favorite), we’ve gamed alongside them (the closing of Napolean’s marks a Talossan national holiday), and we even share history (the epic Kilbourntown vs. Juneautown Bridge Battle). Among the many things we do NOT share are a language, sports, and currency. More than 120,000 words are now acceptable in Talossan Scrabble, Talossan football is a combination of every football ever, and the currency is, well, beer.
The A.V. Club was granted an audience with His Majesty, King John, and Deputy Prime Minister Lord Hooligan (yes, that Hooligan’s) to discuss Talossan citizenship, politics, and whether Milwaukeeans should fear a Talossan uprising.
The A.V. Club: While the website references Talossan football, literature, and even an opera company, it seems like you spend a great deal of time on the rules and processes of government. What do you guys do for fun?
King John: Besides politics? Okay, well, there are parties—beer is a big thing in Talossa. There are plenty of things to do, and nobody can do them all: online University classes, website design, the Navy, the Zouaves (look it up), and never-ending discussions of movies and beer and music and politics and whiskey and whatever.
AVC: How have you been able to inhabit American soil without the FBI kicking in your doors?
KJ: We have a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States. The state of Wisconsin and city of Milwaukee handle things like fire protection, running the school system, collecting taxes, etc., leaving us free to do Talossan stuff like drinking beer and arguing over linguistic reform. And our armed forces stand ready to help repel any invasion coming across Lake Michigan (la Mar Talossan), should it ever become necessary.
Lord Hooligan: The King, as commander in chief of the armed forces, likes to boast of his abilities. We don’t really want to burst his bubble by pointing out that the Navy consists of a number of remote control boats, a rowboat on the Ohio River in Kentucky, a sailboat on Puget Sound, and a powerboat sitting at a dock in London. Otherwise, though, we’re definitely standing ready.
AVC: We just went through some particularly nasty political races in Wisconsin. Do things get as negative and divisive in your kingdom?
KJ: High language occasionally flies around, but usually we’re pretty polite with each other. Various issues that have been discussed recently include the possible implementation of a secret ballot, the possible eventual abolition of the monarchy, whether to revise the scheme we use for assigning new citizens to provinces based on where they live, and so on. One of the biggest issues over the last few years—our relationship with the breakaway Talossan Republic—has been happily settled just recently by the voluntary dissolution of the republic and it being peaceably incorporated into the kingdom.
AVC: What happens if I become a citizen?
KJ: You don’t give up whatever other citizenship you have when you become Talossan, so long as your other citizenship is in a real country. (Talossa, of course, considers itself to be a real country; but we don’t allow members of what people call “micronations” to be Talossan citizens.) Talossa wouldn’t have a problem if you decided not to pay your U.S. taxes, but my guess is that the IRS might have some input on the issue. And no, you don’t have to change your name, although many of our citizens use a Talossan translation or adaptation of their names. It keeps your employer from Googling you and asking questions that might be hard to explain without sounding crazy.
AVC: What is the greatest benefit of Talossan citizenship?
KJ: I’d say the greatest benefit is being able to participate in a community of interesting, intelligent, congenial, creative people who together are building a nation and a culture. I think we have 162 citizens—which means that if you become Talossan, you have a chance to genuinely affect the nation. You can do things in Talossa that you’d probably never have a chance to do in your “other” nation: draft legislation, make speeches in Parliament, run for Senator, talk to the King, propose new national projects, and recruit fellow-citizens to help with them; in short, to have a real impact on the entire country.
AVC: Should Milwaukeeans fear a Talossan uprising?
KJ: Uprising? No way. We rule with a very light hand; so light, in fact, that most residents of Talossa (“cestours,” they’re called in Talossan) don’t even know they’re in Talossa. If they’re east of the Milwaukee River, and south of East Edgewood Avenue, they’re in the Kingdom Of Talossa!
LH: And as soon as they find out that the basis of our national currency is the thankfully worldwide-distributed reserve of beer—and that the value of our base unit of currency is determined by the price of a generous half-pint of the best-selling beer in the Greater Talossan Area (GTA) at the Talossan Consulate to the U.S. (Mr. Fritz’s Bar in Fredonia)—I’m sure they will flock to the Kingdom even quicker, embracing their hitherto-unknown nationality and Talossanity.