Danny Wallace and the lovely country
There’s Lovely for you…
by Deborah Taylor
Danny Wallace is a nice man. I’ve met him, he’s a nice man. But very, very misguided.
For those of you who missed it all, he recently decided to start his own country, based around his London flat. He sent out a message on the internet: www.citizensrequired.com. This is quite a nice little dream and not one that I would ever try to prevent. Why would I?
The minute he told me of his plans, I signed up as a citizen. Not that I wanted to live in his flat, just that I wanted to encourage him. The thought of a new country with a smart and witty monarch seemed too good to pass up. Ok, so I hadn’t voted for him, but surely by choosing to join his country, I was almost voting for him. I had high hopes for this country, which is incidentally called Lovely.
I remember when Danny started his first cult. Or collective as he cleverly called it. It was a good idea, people sent him a passport photo and they joined him. It was the cult of ‘Join Me’. All he ever wanted was to get a thousand people to join him, yet he got many more than that. Then he had to think of something for them all to do, so he said they should all do random acts of kindness every Friday. And they did, and probably still do.
We just don’t know anymore. You see, now that he’s got it into his head that he wants to be King and all his little cultists are just left behind, or probably feel compelled to join his country. What happens when being King Danny of Lovely is no longer enough for him – will he want to become a God?
The big problem is that he never really did anything to set his country up. He put a lot of effort into making it look like he was doing some work, but he really did nothing. No real borders were set up, no economy, no legal recognition whatsoever. In the end, he declared that he had created a Cyber-country. Which is fair enough, but that’s different to his Cyber-cult how exactly? Apart from the fact that he got a TV series out of his country and only a book deal out of his cult.
It seems to me that Danny has some strong urge to get people to join him, to be seen as a leader, without actually doing any leading. Thankfully for him, there’s a lot of people out there who want to follow him down his roads to nowhere. Checking out the results of his census, most of his citizens are male students. So it’s probably a good thing that he’ll probably have forgotten about his country in a year or two’s time. Everyone else will have too.
I hope that Danny finds some nice friends one day, so that he doesn’t have to surround himself with emails to make himself feel better. I hope that people will realise that you don’t need a stranger’s permission to do something nice. You don’t need to keep finding people to follow so you can live a wholesome life.
In the meantime, come back for my next column, so I can tell you what else you should do.