A quartet of weathered buildings

on a frozen misty plain

The first keeled-o’er from the snow, white sun, and rain.

Second is a silo, powd’ry steel intact and near

Much a thing still left inside it- Tis not right to pry, you fear.

Next, a pleasing cabin ancient pioneers did craft

standing proud through waves of Now; and an anchor to the past.

Last a lonesome stable, made crimson by milk paint

Apprehension stirs inside you as you peer far past the gate

 But here is nothing new to see

but a barren floor in its entirety.

A deep need for Time now satisfied,

After walking away, you find

that the hard-earned favor of these presences has been gained

by keeping foolish pridefulness closely rein’d.

Musings on the history of Christianity

Christianity has been popping up a lot in my life lately, and not just normal things that I feel comfortable with, but all the different varieties of the religion. 

For background, I pretty much grew up Catholic in a Catholic area but have done nearly everything for at least a month on a whim…

I got to look at my friends’ AP history textbook today. It had a large section about the Protestant Reformation in Germany. Apparently, the Catholics were being very corrupt, usual for the time period, and selling time out of purgatory and all sorts of things that cannot actually be sold! (“indulgences”) Somewhat of a joke. And some of the popes and clergy back then were barely even religious, if I am to believe what I was told, and instead, obsessed with the power that came with their office. The general idea seems to be that the world was mostly a huge mess at that point in time. 

But Martin Luther came along and revolutionized everything, then John Calvin did as well, and some other German with a name that staring with “Z”, I think. They took things back to where they should be, in my opinion, which is more inside you and less about traditions and fancy, distracting decorations in church. 

Around then, in the 1500’s, the Anabaptists started up and thousands of them got killed for believing in their peaceful religion. Too bad. I like them a lot, even though I definitlely understand why few people are into them. Anabaptists eventually turned into the Amish, following Joseph Amman, and other divisions that were usually less conservative, like the Mennonites. Strange thing is that EVERYONE used a horse and buggy back then. They didn’t become Old School until the 1900’s!

After the Protestant Revolution of the 1500’s, people just weren’t ok with the “limited” options available, so they split off into more and more sects… Anglicans, Presbyterians, who knows what. Something for everyone. But not the sense of unity that possibly used to define Christianity beforehand.

All this is just general stuff. I have a pretty good sense of subtle things, though, and I could and probably will go on and on about the small differences I’ve noticed between all these groups. 

If you are looking for real fulfillment and contentment, though, all I can say is this:

-Make a lot of sacrifices in your life. Material possessions, harmful behaviors, anything that feels dirty or bad for you. 

-Meditate. Really feel things.  Enjoy the splendor of nature, the sunsets and sunrises. It’s so amazing, and I feel so privileged to be able to see them. 

-Pray a lot. Maybe some rote prayers, but mostly just regular conversations every time you remember. 

-Challenge yourself to grow stronger yet more humble and faithful.

Hope you have a beautiful day!


Pre-history of the S.R world

Since this website was launched several months after the South Republic was founded, it is important to give some pre-history of why only the South Republic and no other “directional” countries exist. Here’s that story:

The South Republic isn’t the only “normal” mini-country. In fact, there were originally Southern, Western, Eastern, and Northern countries! The Westerners were like cowboys. Naturally, they were greatly weakened by thieves and robbers. Seeing that the Westerners were weakened, the combative and evil Easterners started a war with the Westerners. The Easterners won at first, but their major downfall occured when they attacked the Southerners in their overconfidence.

Although the South is usually peaceful, they got very mad when the East raided them.  Now, the East had to deal with both the Westerners and the Southerners! The two of them formed an alliance and were very skilled together. They destroyed the East within a few weeks.

The West realized their best chance of survival (since they hardly had any citizens left because of fighting Easterners) was to join up with the South. Shortly after that, the newly-expanded South threatened the North with violence, to which the North said: “You guys seem like you’d be better allies then enemies. We don’t even have an army, so I guess we’ll peacefully integrate with you.” The North did get lucky, because they probably would have also been killed off if they’d decided to fight with the Southerners.

So that’s how the Southerners ended up being the only mini-country with a “directional” name. (and why the Easterners are dead!) Even though the North and West still exist, there are few Westerners and the Northerners are not much different than Southerners.

About SR news (read first!)

SR news is a fictional newspaper taking place in a sort-of-realistic but imaginary world around Edmonton, AB. In this world are humans, coexisting with a strange animals called rockmen. Rockmen greatly resemble human fists, can talk, and are quite smart. But not as smart as people. They tend to be rude and primitive, too. SR news includes a number of “mini-countries”  that fight for land. Some resemble countries like Canada or the USA, while others are extremely weird. (like Groinland and the Republic of Moist!)

One more thing, things change fast in these mini-countries! They are always at risk of destruction from anything like the Canadian police force, other mini-countries becoming more successful than them, or armies of rockmen killing them. It is definitely “survival of the fittest!”

Enjoy. These newspapers are published more or less weekly. I hope you find them funny!

-Azure James

Here’s a more detailed introduction:

A brief description of the mini-countries existing on January 15, 2012:   (in one of the first issues)

The Southern Republic (a.k.a: The South, The South Republic)

Size: Medium     Population: 192     Government Style: Like an American city with a Senate and Mayor

Army type: Well-trained, rather large

Allied with Groinland and the Republic of Moist. Most “normal” mini-country. Ruling political party resembles the Republican party in the USA. Located in a mix of farmland and industrial areas.


Size: Small     Population: 98     Government style: Semi-anarchy with a few policemen and a President

Army type: Every citizen can hold their own, no real army

Allied with the Southern Republic. Constantly talks about groins and vulgar topics. A gross, primitive country. Located on top of buildings in industrial areas.

The Republic of Moist

Size: Very small     Population: 28     Government style: Small peaceful community with a President     No army

Allied with the Southern republic. Obsessed with water and humidity, which there isn’t too much of. Located in a public park.

The Dictatorship of Goddanged (formerly of Disguster, before he died)

Size: Large     Population: 83     Government style: Military dictatorship     Every citizen is in the Army

Very aggressive. No morals. Evil.