Free Country, USA

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[[Image:Bubs Last Stand.PNG|thumb|150px|Bubs' Concession Stand]]
[[Image:Bubs Last Stand.PNG|thumb|150px|Bubs' Concession Stand]]
===Employment===
===Employment===
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{{main|Occupations}}
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:''Main article: [[Occupations]]''
Bubs works at his stand and as a general fix-it man. [[Homestar Runner|Homestar]], [[Strong Bad]] (though Homestar and Strong Bad apparently took their athletic careers more seriously at one time), and [[The Cheat]] (when not doing freelance Flash work) work in some kind of an [[The Office|office]], at least occasionally.  Homestar also hosts [[The Show]].  [[Strong Bad]], in addition, had a "part, part, part, part, very part time job" as a giant [[Tragic Clown Dog]] mascot at [[Bubs' Concession Stand]]. He quit that job, however, when he realized that he needed to rush back to Marzipan's house to finish his email before the [[Lappy 486|Lappy]] lost its battery charge. [[Coach Z]] is presumably some kind of a coach and a gym class teacher. [[The King of Town]] employs [[The Poopsmith]] for reasons he does not care to disclose, as well as a [[The Little Chef Guy|chef]], a [[The Blacksmith|blacksmith]], a [[The Hornblower|hornblower]], and a [[The Knight|knight]]. Marzipan, The Cheat, and Strong Mad are in a band named [[Cool Tapes]], which tours and sells 7"s for [[Pi|pi]] dollars. It has not been revealed whether the remaining characters have jobs.
Bubs works at his stand and as a general fix-it man. [[Homestar Runner|Homestar]], [[Strong Bad]] (though Homestar and Strong Bad apparently took their athletic careers more seriously at one time), and [[The Cheat]] (when not doing freelance Flash work) work in some kind of an [[The Office|office]], at least occasionally.  Homestar also hosts [[The Show]].  [[Strong Bad]], in addition, had a "part, part, part, part, very part time job" as a giant [[Tragic Clown Dog]] mascot at [[Bubs' Concession Stand]]. He quit that job, however, when he realized that he needed to rush back to Marzipan's house to finish his email before the [[Lappy 486|Lappy]] lost its battery charge. [[Coach Z]] is presumably some kind of a coach and a gym class teacher. [[The King of Town]] employs [[The Poopsmith]] for reasons he does not care to disclose, as well as a [[The Little Chef Guy|chef]], a [[The Blacksmith|blacksmith]], a [[The Hornblower|hornblower]], and a [[The Knight|knight]]. Marzipan, The Cheat, and Strong Mad are in a band named [[Cool Tapes]], which tours and sells 7"s for [[Pi|pi]] dollars. It has not been revealed whether the remaining characters have jobs.

Revision as of 16:05, 25 November 2006

Free Country, U.S.A
FCUSA from space, maybe.
FCUSA from space, maybe.
Language English
Nominal Monarch The King of Town
Population 19, at least
Currency U.S. Dollar (probably)
Pencil Shavings (sometimes).

Free Country, USA, is where the Homestar Runner Universe is centered. All of the main characters live, work, and play here.


Contents

Geographical Features and Locations

The thriving hub that is Free Country, USA

Free Country, USA, features a verdant field that typically serves as a central link between the various features of the landscape. At the center of the field itself is The Stick, which functions as a landmark and a meeting place for Strong Bad and whomever he chooses to meet there. The edge of the field is lined with what appear to be trees. They represent the edge of Free Country. Probably also somewhere in or near the field is a stream with a picturesque stone bridge. Rounding out the natural features are mountains (usually seen only from a distance), a pond and, apparently, a seashore with a wharf. The foothills of these mountains are likely located in the nearby woods, as they contain at least one cliff.

Specific locations in Free Country are treated with a certain ambiguity. Somewhere at the edge of The Field is the Athletic Field; logically, Coach Z's locker room is near the Athletic Field. Somewhere near the Athletic Field is Bubs' Concession Stand. Other locations include a "Town Hall" (discussed later) and the Marshmallow Stand, a once-popular haunt for Homestar that has not been seen in a while but is presumably still around somewhere.

The toon Summer Short Shorts features a sequence with Pom Pom that reveals that Bubs' Concession Stand, as well as a dense forest, is very near Strong Badia. The forest may or may not be the Spooky Woods that we only see at night in Halloween themed episodes.

Characters' Homes

As with Free Country's locations, the homes of different characters do not exist in rigidly established locations. With the exception of Coach Z's locker room and The Cheat's home (which is also the King of Town's grill and therefore always near the King of Town's castle), Marzipan's house, Homestar's house, and the house of the Brothers Strong, as well as the King's castle itself, are all found in locations that have no clear geographical relation to each other.

Some clues exist concerning this, however. In Marzipan's Answering Machine Version 9.2, Strong Bad (as Cableman Jorge) asks Marzipan to buy a "hundred-foot spool of coaxial cable" in an attempt to get free cable service; this would imply the two houses are rather close to each other. In The King of Town DVD Commentary, Strong Bad claims The King of Town does not live in the castle, but in a "run down and creepy" "two bedroom job... next door" to him. Also, the similar designs of the exteriors of Marzipan's and Homestar's houses may be a hint that they were built from the same blueprints, as houses within a development often are.

Flora and Fauna

The flora of the land is somewhat sparse. Though individual trees are seldom seen up close in Free Country, they are presented as being deciduous as opposed to evergreen (other than Decemberween trees), evidenced by the barren branches seen during Free Country's autumn. Shrubs and the occasional bush make appearances from time to time; some bushes have been known to have Senor Cardgage emerge from them in some instances, though these events are not considered dangerous so much as they are creepy.

Fauna is in even shorter supply. Save for the fish in the pond, a few crickets, bees, at least one bird (others have been heard), at least one fly, cockroach, and the characters themselves, no animal life has yet been seen in Free Country, USA.

The King of Town, at one point, had sheep. Whether he still owns them or ate them all is open to debate.

Politics

The King of Town's Castle

Free Country appears at first glance to be a monarchy, since it is nominally ruled by The King of Town. However, since Free Country is a municipality and not a kingdom, the King of Town would technically be a lord. As well, the self-conferred sovereign's reign is not recognized by the populace. Therefore, Free Country could be considered to be in a state of anarchy, where there is no accepted centralized government but the members of the community co-exist with loosely established rules that maintain order.

To this end, Free Country can muster a meager police force to ensure that anyone engaged in criminal behavior (to date, only Strong Bad and The Cheat) are placed firmly in jail (a large cardboard box). Since there is no need for an army (nor a government to stand one up), Free Country has no official military. But it is home to the Homestarmy, a meager militia that includes a popcorn machine and is led by Homestar Runner. The Homestarmy once attempted to conquer Strong Badia (see below), but appears to represent no cohesive political movement (other than expressing discontent stemming from "playing second fiddle to a two-bit wrestleman and his yellow dog").

Besides the King's castle (which would be the seat of government if the King's rule had any legitimacy), there seems to be a "Town Hall" of sorts, which has been used for various purposes, including a newsroom, police station, and a set for the Dangeresque films, though not for actual political administration.

The name and the currency used may imply that this town is in the United States of America, and in one email Strong Bad makes reference to living in "the States" when addressing a Canadian writer. Yet any further details, regarding what state or town "Free Country" is in is never mentioned. They may have to pay taxes, however, as evidenced by A Decemberween Pageant and Arcade Game.

More recently, the King of Town has expressed an intention to exercise actual power, going so far as to mobilize his own military force headed up by The Poopsmith (as seen in disconnected). This would suggest that the King of Town wishes to return Free Country to a more feudal style of governance.

Strong Badia

Strong Badia

Within Free Country's borders, the territory of Strong Badia exists as an autonomous enclave. Strong Badia has a flag, a national anthem, and has even had to defend its autonomy from outside aggression (as seen in army). Whether or not Strong Badia is a "real" country is open to debate, since the permanent population of Strong Badia is a tire and it's only the size of a backyard.

Other Territories

Mentioned from time to time (and seen only via the depicted map) are other territories outside Free Country. If the circuitous path of Homestar's journey to Potamia for The Yello Dello is to be believed, Free Country borders the territory of Far Off Lands. Very little, if anything, is known about these territories or their relation to Free Country, although Prance is known to make at least one Homestar Runner related product.

Economics

The economics of Free Country are as ambiguous as the locations and politics of the territory. The local currency is U.S. dollars, although this official currency is augmented by a strong barter system that allows trade of goods and services (further suggesting that the government has no central banking power); most local commerce occurs at Bubs' Concession Stand. Pencil shavings have been accepted by Bubs at least twice (in lackey and secret identity). In the e-mail "Flag Day" we see a coin that resembles a quarter. It is the same color and appears to be the same size. It has a face and words on both sides of the face, as well as words on the top and bottom of the coin. (The date on it would be on the wrong side though). The face on this coin is Strong Bad's. This implies that it is Stong Badian money, which implies Strong Badia is its own country. Strong Bad could be making this coin up because it has some of the words of the song he is currently singing printed on it. It seems that there is some crabbing industry, as there are crab traps at the wharf (which often claim baby seals), even though this supposed wharf has never been seen.

Bubs' Concession Stand

Employment

Main article: Occupations

Bubs works at his stand and as a general fix-it man. Homestar, Strong Bad (though Homestar and Strong Bad apparently took their athletic careers more seriously at one time), and The Cheat (when not doing freelance Flash work) work in some kind of an office, at least occasionally. Homestar also hosts The Show. Strong Bad, in addition, had a "part, part, part, part, very part time job" as a giant Tragic Clown Dog mascot at Bubs' Concession Stand. He quit that job, however, when he realized that he needed to rush back to Marzipan's house to finish his email before the Lappy lost its battery charge. Coach Z is presumably some kind of a coach and a gym class teacher. The King of Town employs The Poopsmith for reasons he does not care to disclose, as well as a chef, a blacksmith, a hornblower, and a knight. Marzipan, The Cheat, and Strong Mad are in a band named Cool Tapes, which tours and sells 7"s for pi dollars. It has not been revealed whether the remaining characters have jobs.

Free Country Through Time

In addition to its current, contemporary depiction, Free Country has been shown in the past and possibly in the future.

Old-Timey Free Country

Old-Timey Free Country

In the 1930s, Free Country was characterized by dirt roads, picket fences, carnival tents, antiquated Industrial Revolution-era factories, and even a graveyard, only the latter of which may have survived the passage of time. As with the rest of the USA during this time period, Free Country was economically depressed, with the population being forced to subsist on dry meal, water soup, and parsnips. Commerce, such as it was, was located at a dilapidated depot.

And, though there is some debate as to whether or not Free Country was still under Prohibition during this time period, some residents enjoyed the occasional nip of hooch regardless.

Home to a bunch of plucky parameciums

Free Petry Dish, USA

In the e-mail highschool, Strong Bad claims that the entirety of Free Country, USA was, in the past, merely on a petri dish, with all its inhabitants being single-cell organisms. However, considering his purported "unphotographic memory", it's unlikely that such a place ever truly existed.

20X6 Free Country

Futuristic Free Country?

In the futuristic year 20X6, Free Country may or may not be one and the same as Planet K, which looks much like the current Free Country. If so, Free Country will grow to feature significantly more architecture, to the extent of having a full city (a quality the territory currently lacks). Nothing is yet known about the economic or political state of this ultramodern version of Free Country, though there is a significantly higher frequency of fights and challenges faced by its residents, which include various robots. They appear to be located in the same region however, as Strong Bad buries a time capsule which is later discovered by Stinkoman.

Estimated Real-World Location

Viewers of Homestar Runner have variously speculated about the "real" location of Free Country, USA, though it is generally assumed The Brothers Chaps prefer to leave its location undetermined.

Each time we've seen the world from space, the shape of the United States is easily recognizable. The characters speak with American accents, type with American spelling, celebrate many American holidays, and make references to elements of American culture (like its presidents). Most obvious is the fact that "USA" is in the name. On a side note, America is widely known as a "free country." Therefore, it seems safe to conclude that Free Country, USA, is somewhere in America. The following collected observations may be used to further interpret the location of the territory:

  • The scene in the Theme Song Video where Homestar runs around the planet and a star appears on a United States map would lead one to believe that it's possible that Free Country is somewhere in northern Nebraska.
  • In the email radio, the CGNU radio station's call letters are given as WSBD. Real-world radio designations would place Free Country east of the Mississippi river.
  • Free Country is likely in a northern latitude or high altitude given the snowy weather around Decemberween.
  • In the email anything, Homestar refers to his two liter bottle of Mountain Dew as "soda" which is a term more used in the northeast and in the west. In parts of the Upper Midwest it is frequently called "pop".
  • The Brothers Chaps themselves live in Atlanta, Georgia, making it possible that Free Country is located in the Southeast.
  • In Homestar Presents: Presents, Marzipan references baby seals and crab traps at the wharf, suggesting that Free Country is near the ocean, or at least a salt-water body.
  • In Homestar vs. Other Little Girl, Homestar claims he does not live in Texas, meaning he must live somewhere else.

Trivia

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