The Star-Spangled Expanded Universe of "What Madness Is This?"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Napoleon53, Dec 13, 2018.

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  1. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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  2. Sunstone77 Well-Known Member

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    So here’s a suggestion for @Napoleon53 ....

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    Marlene Dietrich, leader of Illuminist Germany! Dietrich otl was a bisexual, German born anti-facist, singer, and actress. She’s perhaps best we’ll know for her role in Morocco and her love affair with Swedish actor Greta Garbo. After things have settled down in Germania, maybe she can become a prominent voice in the new government, working her way to the top. For added fun, maybe have her and Greta on opposite sides of the political spectrum
     
  3. traveller76 Member

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    Here is an idea. In Europa you have Sin Cities, basically Red Light districts in say Amsterdam and several other cities where the authorities look the other way as long as taxes are paid and things are kept quiet. They may range from a city block or two to massive ones where all kinds of alternative lifestyles may exist. The local authorities could clear them out but many of the residents have had military training and lots of surplus weapons. Plus the residents and club owners have connections to people in high places. They are self policing to a degree between the local cultures and organized crime families. The Police and Intelligence Services also use this as a way to monitor deviants and subversives.

    As for 'The Wild East' expect Berlin and Warsaw and other places to be more open/blatant. There is a spirit of freedom and damn the moralities. The countryside may still be conservative 'as is keep things private between consenting adults' but no such things in the cities. In fact the subcultures help rebuild the cities with money and supplies and people do not care since they are surrounded on all sides by hostile powers.

    In the RU and Union allies it may be a matter of private 'gentlemen clubs' and 'societies' where you have to be vetted by an existing member. Some just like to have fun while others have political or social agendas.
     
  4. Time Enough Nightmare angel of the Tea Rooms

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    YES! That would be fun. Otto Werner becomes the Supreme Leader of the Illuminati whilst Marlene is the head of the Illuminati Germania. Cue her having numerous lovers (maybe even a Mann is involved) whilst in office much to Wener's annoyance.
    That would make sense, hell Warsaw and Moscow are briefly "free" before the crackdowns start with potential subversives arrested. I could see the Illuminati being like the Soviet Union from about 1920-1927, totalitarian but also obsessed with Modernism and Progressive (for the time ideas).
    Some of those ideas are based upon an article that a friend of mine read from a Communist Newspaper which was like "We're okay with Trans people but Non-binary and Drag are bourgeois decadence" which was annoying but also funny.
    Yeah, essentially a place where as long as you have money your fine. I can see it being littered with gender reassignment surgeries ran by rather shady individuals.
    Patient: "Can you do the surgery"
    Doctor snorts cocaine and takes amphetamines
    Dr: "Yes...is a 2:30pm appoint okay?"
    Also I want to have Klaus and Erika Mann to be the biggest gangsters in town because why not.
    Yeah, I could see that occurring. If the RU does anything that would be considered sexual progressive I could see them allowing homosexuality being legal...if your a male/female "top" inspired by Ancient Rome and Greece. Of course this could be abused by horrible individuals for there own disturbing gains. I could see Homosexual relationships being frowned upon and considered immoral but it's fine you have homosexual sex every so often because "it's what the Romans did".
     
  5. DocBrown The Master of History

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    Why would he start a university in the South? It doesn't make sense for him to establish a university in a land where blacks are treated only one step above dirt?
     
  6. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    Winning hearts and minds
     
  7. Murica1776 Building an American Tomorrow

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    I thought about this, and I think I have a suitably madness answer that's also realistic: He wants to thumb his nose at all the racists in Carolina. His family was enslaved and he was discriminated against by people rather similar to the Carolinians, so it's highly likely he isn't a fan. Building a university smack dab in the middle of Cokie land, a fancy Yankee-fied university no less, is basically the biggest middle finger he could ever give to the Carolinians, and all the folks in the Southron states of the Union who cling to black inferiority.

    "You can screech about my alleged inferiority all you want, it doesn't change the fact that I'm rich and powerful enough to build a university named after myself that's practically on the front lawn of your capital building."
     
  8. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    I don't know. I feel like Carver would be more likely to build a campus inside the RU instead. Maybe even a Culinary Institute, raising the next generation of crazed Unilever-meets-Willie-Wonka monopolist goon-errrrr... expert chefs.
     
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  9. Murica1776 Building an American Tomorrow

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    That's fair. He never was as evil and vengeful as the other Yankee industrialists, so I think Carver is out. Maybe Ford? I can't even remember which Goodyear is running things right now
     
  10. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    The no-name cousin?
     
  11. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    That would be the portly Ichabod Goodyear.
     
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  12. Murica1776 Building an American Tomorrow

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    Here's a quick little update:

    Hark the Sound and Celebrate: Carolina's National Holidays

    January 1st: New Years' Day

    March 15th: Andrew Jackson Day

    Late March/Early April: Easter

    Third Monday of May: Heroes of the Confederation Day

    June 25th: Restoration Day*

    July 4th: Freedom Day**

    August 18th: Confederation Day***

    First Monday of September: Memorial Day

    Third Friday of October: National Harvest Day****

    November 2nd: James Polk Day

    December 24th: Christmas Eve

    December 25th: Christmas

    December 31st: New Years Eve

    *Restoration Day celebrates the return of West Carolina to the Confederation and "The End of Virginia's Occupation of Carolina." In reality, insurgency fighting continued for months after this date.

    **Freedom Day does celebrate Carolinian Independence from Britain, and their "Special Relationship" with the RU is often mentioned. Celebrations of this holiday are typically small and restrained, especially when compared to the orgiastic display of nationalism in the RU on the same day.

    ***Confederation Day celebrates the Confederation's Independence from the Old Republic, and is celebrated quite enthusiastically. Of note is that since Carolina never issued a formal declaration of independence from the Union, this date was picked arbitrarily so Carolina could make the claim of being "The first independent Southron nation," which does have some basis in reality.

    ****National Harvest Day is set aside to celebrate "The people of Carolina being able to reap the Lord's Bounty and prosper in this New Eden." It is often colloquially known as "Thanksgiving."


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    A National Harvest Day (aka Thanksgiving) greeting card circa 1909. Turkey is the official bird for the holiday because its status as a game bird in colonial days meant that it came to symbolize the prosperity and freedom afforded in the backcountry.

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    A portrait of Andrew Jackson typically displayed on Andrew Jackson Day, and throughout the year. It is required by law that all businesses and other buildings "frequented by the public" display a portrait of the autocrat on Andrew Jackson Day. Violation of this law is punishable with a fine up to $20,000 (in 1917 money) and up to 2 years in prison.
     
  13. Time Enough Nightmare angel of the Tea Rooms

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    Coming Soon:
    Berlin: "The New Babylon"-By Oliver Baldwin, 1927

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    Painting depicting the New Years Costume Party at the Eldorado Nightclub-1926

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    The Berber Siblings, Klaus and Erika head of the Berber Syndicate

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    Members of the Legion of Light at the Berlin Festival of Light, 1926
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    Dr Magnus Rothman and his partner Tao Li at the Institute of Sexual Matters and Research​
     
  14. Time Enough Nightmare angel of the Tea Rooms

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    The original article was written for the LGBT magazine The Unique Self which was printed in Berlin and distributed around the world through various channels, the magazine was printed in German and has been translated here for historical purposes;

    Berlin: “The New Babylon”

    By Oliver Baldwin, 1927

    Since the creation of the Berlin Free State in 1920 the city has quickly become popular with homophiles, bisexuals and transsexuals due to the fact that the laws of Germania which forbade same-sex activity and relationships are no longer enforced by the Council of Four who runs the city. Derided as the “New Babylon” by fundamentalists the place has become useful for individuals to express their true selves for better or worst. In this article I will be mentioning the various places that individuals can go to which allows them to express their true identity and where to avoid for their own safety;

    The Institute of Sexual Research and Matters:

    The Institute ran by Dr Magnus Rothman and his partner Tao Li came to fruition in 1921 as a way to study sex, sexuality and gender identity in the newly free Berlin. The Institute has already made a name for itself publishing numerous articles in the journal Yearbook of Intermediate Sexual Types about such subjects as same sex relationships and activities, transsexualism, bisexuality and the bondage community which has gotten itself in hot water with certain places. As well as publishing articles it owns a clinic which performs revolutionary sex change operations lead by Dr Herschel Friedman which is the safest place to have this kind of operation (numerous other clinics in Berlin have popped up but have a habit of being unsafe and are often raided by police or Fascists). Of course due to that fact it has a very long waiting list which mean patients can be waiting years to achieve results.

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    Dr Magnus Rothman and his partner Tao Li at the Institute of Sexual Matters and Research, 1926

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    The Institute itself, 1926


    The Berber Hostels

    This hostel is a place for individuals to go if they want to have an extended stay in Berlin or are low on money. Whilst most hotels and hostels in the city will allow same-sex activity to occur on their premises they have been known to kick out individuals who stay for extended periods of time with their partners and are often used by Gangsters and shady individuals as a way to gain blackmail material if the residents are of foreign extraction. The Berber Hostels owned by the Berber Siblings Klaus and Erika who are also in charge of the Berber Syndicate, the hostels accepts any individuals from the community regardless of funds and has been known to help individuals get back on their feet after horrible incidents. The hostels are also protected by members of the Berber Syndicate to stop attacks from Fascists or the police who have been known to raid places like the Berber Hostels for their own amusement. Of course people may take offence to potential funding gangsters in staying at the hostels but given how most of Berlin is owned by Gangsters, Syndicates or Corporations who engage in morally bankrupt activities this is something you would have to get used to.

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    Hostel Esplande, one of the many hostels the Berber's own, 1926

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    The Berber Siblings, Klaus and Erika head of the Berber Syndicate, 1926

    Eldorado Nightclub and Ballroom

    The Night Life of Berlin is what the city is most famous for and the Eldorado is the best club to experience the excitement of the cabaret, ballroom and the “beat” of Berlin. Owned by Berlin entrepreneur Albert Brand this club was once a hotel before the Germanian Civil War, in the aftermath the place was bought by Brand and turned into the Nightclub known by many. Famous for its New Years Eve Costume Party which usually push the clubs capacity to breaking point and often descends into drunken revelry that could match the orgies of Ancient Rome and for its vibrant drag acts including Hansi Strum whose used his fame as Miss Eldorado in 1924 & 1926 to become a major film star in the Berlin Film Scene the club is often filled with the rich and famous of Berlin. Of course due to that fact it’s also very expensive to get in and has a habit of being rather exclusionary to those of a poorer background.

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    The Eldorado Nighclub during the day

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    Albert Brand, 1925

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    Painting depicting the New Years Costume Party at the Eldorado Nightclub,1926

    The Mother Cat House

    A cafe, book shop, gallery and meeting place which is the hot spot for the intellectuals, writers and artists of the HBT community this place was built in 1923 with funding from Albert Brand and the Berber siblings. The place often hosts discussions on the rights of the community within and outside of Berlin, writer events and also helping members of the HBT community in getting work published. It’s also where the magazine this article is in is published and distributed. It’s also houses the HBT (Homophiles, Bisexuals and Transsexuals) League, an organisation which is attempting to use political action to help the HBT community and to defend them from Fascists and Fundamentalists often through political demonstrations and street fighting.

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    The Mother Cat House at Night, 1926
    The Oriental

    Another club located in Berlin’s Chinatown with an East Asian theme this time it’s also connected to a brothel and opium den next door that also has the same name. Owned by members of the Berlin Triad lead by Mr Hans Kwon it’s a rather calm place compared to the revelry of the Eldorado which one can go to have a drink and a chat with friends. It’s also where the Potsdam Jazz band performs which is considered by many to be the best Jazz band in Berlin and some of the members are part of the HBT community. That being said the brothel and opium den connected to is where most illicit crimes occur and there is the possibility depending on whether you’re a foreigner of a certain class that actions you do there being recorded and used as blackmail at a later date. Also at times the club is used as a way for Triad drug dealers to try and get new clients, offering free samples of a variety of hard drugs.

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    Potsdam Jazz Band, 1926

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    Berlin Chinatown, 1926

    The Festival of Light

    Hosted once a year in the region of Potsdam, the Festival of Light is a reactionary, fundamentalist Christian festival lead by pastor Johan Wels who has connections to the Germanian Republic in Hamburg as well as the American Fundamentalist Church the Festival is used as a way for Johan Wels and the Legion of Light to call for the eradication of the “New Babylon” that is the Free State of Berlin. It’s strongly advised to stay away from the Festival and to not try antagonising those there particularly the Legion of Light, paramilitaries connected to Johan Wels and the festival. The Legion has a habit of stabbing or lynching individuals from the HBT community during this time so it’s best to avoid Potsdam during this period.

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    Members of the Legion of Light at the Berlin Festival of Light, 1926

    The Alexanderplatz House


    What on first glance is a normal brothel houses much worse than could be thought. Stories have emerged of individuals who go there being drugged and sold into sex slavery, torture and murder happening and has become popular with individuals who favour disturbing sexual preferences go. It also has numerous connections to the Berlin Underworld and Police which allows it to operate without any real restrictions, people who try to escape from this place are often captured again and sent back to Alexanderplatz. It supposedly has a hit squad that drive around Berlin, killing individuals who tell people about what goes on in the house although evidence is shaky at best. It would best to stay clear of this area to avoid heading inside.

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    Alexanderplatz House
    Hopefully that has been useful, whilst there are other places in Berlin that cater or provide to the HBT community I thought it would be useful for people to know what they were getting into when they went to Berlin.

    Several weeks after this article, Oliver Baldwin and his partner Eric Blair left Berlin for reasons unknown although many suspect that Oliver was wanted by the Berlin Free State police for engaging with Beutelist cells in the city. They would pop up across the globe writing about numerous conflicts before disappearing in 1930.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
  15. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    Great job! Only error is referring to it as the "German Civil War," instead of "Germanian."

    The Legion of Light and the Berbers are super cool characters!
     
  16. Time Enough Nightmare angel of the Tea Rooms

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    Thanks, I corrected it now. I think my computer just kept on auto-correcting Germanian into German.

    I may develop the Legion of Light and the Berber siblings at some point since there essentially a nice distiallation of the two different sides of Berlin (on one side a pair of Queer Gangsters with fingers in all the pies, on the other side a bunch of ultra Christian reactionaries who proclaim Berlin to be a New Babylon).
     
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  17. Napoleon53 Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    I could see certain supercatholics getting a wee bit pissed with Berlin as well.
     
  18. AeroTheZealousOne Forever in debt to your priceless advice

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    I don't post a whole lot (or at all) on this Expanded Universe thread, but I felt the necessity to tell @Time Enough that your posts are awesome and I especially loved this most recent one in Free Berlin, as well as the one on the Irish Citizens Force. I really need to look here more, I'm missing a lot of great stuff.

    (I mean, my own headcanon on Ireland was if it were to fall completely to British fascists that there would be a monarchist equivalent of the IRA (Irish Royal Army, with the same abbreviation, no less) fighting for the freedom of Eire.)
     
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  19. Time Enough Nightmare angel of the Tea Rooms

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    Thanks for that, nice to know that people enjoy my work. I did enjoy doing the Irish Citizen Force that was a lot of fun to write and it certainly set the stage for Jame Conolly's appearance.

    The arc he's had so far has been a lot of fun to write. Up there with making the Boots Corporation a bunch of weird and dangerous progressive capitalists, Crazy Buddhist Socialists taking over Tibet, the constant backstabbing of the short lived Chinese Republic and this one of the about Free Berlin. Hopefully I can keep it up. Also the head canon about Ireland is good, maybe have them and another faction who are committed Socialists much like the various factions of the IRA in the OTL troubles.

    Up next something about the Illumanists and Modernist design or Attlee's reign as essetially the head of all of the Britannic police and party organs. Or something else entirely. Who knows. Also thanks again.
     
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  20. AeroTheZealousOne Forever in debt to your priceless advice

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    Don't mention it. ;) I felt the need to say something positive and true on my mind, and positive and true it was. Keep it up!
     
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