This article is about the city of Fictograd. For other uses, see Fictograd (disambiguation) and Fictograd (newsletter).
Fictograd (/fik-toe-graad/) is a city of undesignated location and population placed, loosely, somewhere on the North American continent, most likely within the confines of either the so-called ‘United States of America,’ the so-called ‘Estados Unidos Mexicanos,’ or the so-called ‘Dominion of Canada.’ It is one of several fictitious-litigious-vacuous-fatuous-cous-cous-unscrupulous-subconscious-subcutaneous-preposterous-contempuous cities in similar undesignated locations with undesignated populations. Founded in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 global pandemic, Fictograd was originally conceived as an experiment in ‘Fauxnarchism,’ or, the praxis of creating an anarchist society without directly calling it an anarchist society. While there were some initial successes, failures of commitment and ideas led to a ‘Truenarchist’ revolution, which is still the ruling regime. ‘Truenarchism’ is characterized as the praxis of creating an anarchist society without talking about it at all. If there is difference between these two systems, no Fictogrite has yet found it, but neither do any care either way.
A rare example of two language roots forming the portmanteau, ‘Fictograd’ combines the word ‘Ficto’ (fik-toe) and ‘Grad’ (graad). Ficto comes from the Latin fingere, meaning fingered, while the word ‘Grad’ comes from the proto-Slavic grad, meaning volley. Thus, the name ‘Fictograd’ might mean ‘finger volley.’ Most scholars believe there is no connection between this name and the common Fictogrite slang term for a sexual act involving a hand and the female sexual organ. However, there is also no firm evidence the city was named following any other convention, which has led most Fictogrites to accept the etymology unquestioningly. Indeed, a common phrase is, ‘A good Fictogrite isn’t afraid to finger volley.
The city first emerged during the late-kapitalism phase of the declining so-called ‘American Empire,’ a choice by several individuals to face the on-coming Klimate Krisis with action and certitude, in direct comparison to the majority of their peers and countrymen. Knowing that they would not be able to explain to themselves or any of their progeny why they stood as the world burned, the original Fictogrites formed a community geared towards creating sustainable alternate forms of mass populations living in close proximity. The community grew slowly, but already contained a vibrantly diverse population, which eventually grew to encompass the entire area the city inhabits today.
There have been many political actions within the city itself, but as of yet Fictograd has had no conflict with any foreign entity.
Nestled between three mountains and trisected by the river’s Fik and Toe, Fictograd trades geographic security for a relative inability to interact with the outside world.
The north sector, bounded by the Fik to the south-west, the Toe to the south-east, and the mountain called “Grand Grad” to the north, is known to most Fictogrites as ‘the North.’ The product of an agrarian push within the city, the sector is made up mostly of ‘free gardens,’ or, land cultivated by the citizens of Fictograd which any citizen may take from for their own sustenance. A few notable landmarks of this sector include the Tool Commons, Cherry Blossom Lake, and the oldest lemon orchard in the world.
The south-west sector, bounded by the Fik to the north and east and the mountain called “Middle Grad” to the south-west, is called ‘south-west’ by Fictogrites of all types and stripes. Chiefly a residential sector, the area is known for its large apartment complexes and magnificent array of various architectural styles. Notable landmarks include the Champs d’Elysses (no relation to the original), the Sears Tower (again, no relation), and the Roman Coliseum (yes, that Roman Coliseum, the Fictogrites stole it. No, seriously, look it up, it’s no longer in Rome anymore, it’s now in Fictograd, this is canon).
The south-east sector, bounded by the Toe to the north, the Fik to the west, and the mountain called “Lesser Grad” to the south-east, is called ‘the poison zone,’ by Fictogrites, though this is based more on myth than reality. An industrial zone, Fictograd’s limited manufacturing capabilities (mainly, books and a factory that’s supposed to build other factories) are all contained within this small area of the city. Notable landmarks include the Fictograd Bookmaker’s Union, the Axeweld Canal, and the Strüsselhaus.
Disinterested in the ‘melting pot’ fallacy and uninspired by the ‘salad bowl’ replacement-metaphor, the original Fictogrites strove to instead create a culture that could both honor and uphold the unique qualities, ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ of the contributing cultures while simultaneously generating a newer, unifying culture which all citizens of Fictograd could gain spiritual sustenance from.
Since that is a goal entirely unachievable in a span of human history comprehensible to the individual, no Fictogrite has yet figured out that this is an impossible pipe dream. Luckily, not a one would care if they did.
Instead, Fictogrites have formed a vibrant collection of museums, galleries, magazines, publishers, studios, kilns, gardens, laboratories, cinemas, and Fictographs (also known as fake newspapers). These various institutions often compete with one another, drawing ideas and inspiration from the work released for general consumption, borrowing when they can and otherwise stealing what they must. While a name for the resulting culture has yet to be declared, the recent explosion in content has not gone unnoticed.
One day, perhaps, the culture will be recognized the world over for its diversity, its uniquity, and its shared source from all the artists of Fictograd. For now, the city is considered a cultural backwater by most, if it is known about at all.
Tourism has been designated by the Fictograd Syndicate as an ‘unnecessary industry,’ meaning it is the only industry that may be discussed freely upon the internet. In this current moment, visits to Fictograd are at an all time low. This has not deterred the Fictograd Bureau of I-tourism, the industry’s governing body, a collection of mouth-breathing dunderheads (citations needed), from attempting to generate increased visits to the city. While there isn’t much to do in the city besides work, if you are interested in visiting Fictograd, consider becoming a Subscriber today.