What IS a Zeitgeist?
Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian
people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported
I'ana Archipelago Quandary
UNV "Point South" Director Gordon Davidz doesn't want the I'ana islands, and is
considering gifting them to the Ptica Island sanctuary, a suggestion that boiled the blood of
a few Utanian diplomats.
The I'ana islands are the last territory on the UNVCOCN list of the former Guwimith
Dependency possessions, and Utania has been lobbying hard to have them returned to Utania.
Seemingly to no avail. Last week, Mr Davidz, Director of the UNVCOCN mission for "Point
South" (now Utania), which includes the archipelago, suggested that the islands might be
gifted to the Ptica Island sanctuary, much in the same way that Mestonia Park contains small
This had several patient diplomats seeing red. Utania has rightful claim to the
Islands, they said, its people occupy the only two inhabitable islands, I'ana and Yoma.
(Technically they are a mix of Utani and Ptican blood, the last survivors of the Ptican
people extinguished by the plague.) "The islands belong to Utania, not some wildlife park!"
But, perhaps what is most flammable about the suggestion is that Ptica Park is managed
by only one nation, now that Guwimith collapsed: Armatirion. Socialist, enormous (ten times
Utania's size) and silent, it is the worst nightmare for the more paranoid Utanians, such as
Intelligence Director for President Hope, Thomas Abels. Abels says that any suggestion that
the archipelago should go to Armatirion will yield the strongest protest from Utania.
To the likes of Abels and his Nationalist Party, or the Liberal Nationalists, I'ana
is a military base waiting to be occupied. It was used as a minor base by the tiny Guwimith
Navy, and could be significantly expanded. It is also a useful stepping stone for invading
Utania, claims Abels. Under a benign Utanian government, there can be no such possibility.
Davidz says he has taken this onboard, but is proving hard to convince. One can only
wonder how many more electoral hearts and minds the Nationalists need to win before Davidz
sees the error of this way.
The archipelago was formed as part of now-dormant volcanic activity sometime in the
past 1,000 to 3,000 years. The thirty islands are largely uninhabitable, sustaining little
more than scant grasses. Furthermore, they amount to a total of 400 sq km. Two islands are
the exceptions: I'ana and Yoma. These islands are the oldest, have substantial grassland and
even forests, leading geologists to determine that they are some twenty thousand years older.
Furthermore, I'ana has large phosphate deposits, from years of bird droppings, deposits that
sustain the eighteen-hundred member communities. Two small former military bases also exist
on the islands, once servicing the Guwimith Navy on supply runs to Ptica Island (for the
The people are a mix of Utani and Pticans, the now-extinct people of the Island. When
Utani explorers and traders established trading ports on Ptica island, I'ana and Yoma were
obvious stop-over points. The Ptican settlements then blended with the Utani that also
settled there, and the Islands are long believed to be the second route the plague used to
reach the mainland Old Continent. While the plague destroyed all remnant of the Ptican
people, some of their half-caste brothers in the I'ana Archipelago survived, giving scientists
the only genetic link back to the extinct people.
What concerns non-Utanians about the islands is their commercial value: fishing and
phosphate mining. "If commercial mining is brought to I'ana", says David Weist of the
environmentalist group Peacegreen, "the island people could be destroyed, as their island is
slowly mined from under them." As several international and Utanian companies have expressed
an interest in mining the islands, this fear is given credence.
Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?
©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)