==Musubi's Fried Rice Corner==
Well, there isn't much of a pre-story that I need to add, since most notes will only make sense after reading it. What I will say, is despite fanon/canon, I prefer the relationship between the United States and United Kingdom as familial. I like the idea of parental England and rowdy teenager/lower 20s United States. I apologize for upsetting the fandom, and therefore the balance of the universe.
I use my own canon.
1984: Power Corrupts
The war is over.
What a wonderful, palatable phrase that is. It flows nicely off the tongue and settles finely in the air. The war is over. The note resounds through the rubble of those destroyed overseas and through his still-standing buildings.
Absentmindedly, letting his feet do most of the work, he walks through the bustling city of his capitol, his lovely city on the Potomac. He's meeting someone today for lunch. Glancing at his watch, the blonde hopes he isn't too terribly late.
He dodges cars as he crosses the street to the grassy DuPont Circle. It's a clear, spring Sunday afternoon and the park is full of families and teenagers. The air is thick with barbeque and he ponders buying a hot dog after this meeting.
He sees the person whom he is to meet at a park table and waves. The reserved Briton gives a small smile and waves back. The blonde dodges his people and takes a seat across from the ebony haired man.
"Sorry I'm late, Mr. Blair," The blonde says. "I got caught up reading your book. See, I was gonna finish it last night, but I read till I fell asleep so when I woke up this morning, I had to re-read what I missed and I wanted to get to the end because it's so good and…" The smile does not falter as his voice does. "Yah, so I'm just really sorry."
The Briton doesn't say anything, just takes a short sip of tea. He returns the cup to the table and runs his fingers pensively over the rim. The blonde holds back laughter; his father drinks his tea the same exact way.
Well, he is Britain after all…the blonde thinks.
"What do you think of it, Mr. Jones?" the Briton asks with refined Queen's English. He appears to be younger than he seems, burdened with sickness or…something else. There's a paternal flicker in his eye and he wonders for a moment if his father has asked this man to see him.
"It's great!" the blonde says, barely able to subdue his excitement. "It's amazing!"
"Yeah! It touches on so many themes and it's actually kinda scary since this sounds just like communism and since it's so close to us and since the war is over and we're the only super powers—"
"That's not quite what the novel is about," the Briton cuts the youngster off. He takes another sip.
"It's not about the wrongs of communism?" The blonde cocks an eyebrow in confusion. "But that's what it must be about! The government in this book is completely controlling and not even heroic at all! They send soldiers to a war that can't be won. Resources are wasted for a goal that can't be attained. They keep switching sides—that was subtle; I almost missed that. The people are controlled by two way televisions—" He stops, thinking of the hulking giant that is his neighbor. He can't shake those violet eyes from his psyche. They're wide, childish even, and they seem to be everywhere at once.
"Come now, Mr. Jones. Think. What else could my novel be about?"
"Honestly, sir! I read it with the mindset that it was a warning about communism. I have no idea—the apocalypse?"
Mr. Blair gives a hearty chuckle. "Do you always jump to the worst case scenario?" The blonde laughs in return.
"You have no idea, Mr. Blair." Jones pauses. "But seriously. What's it about then?"
Mr. Blair takes a sip from his tea cup, glancing at the boy over its rim.
"Power? Oh come on!" He throws his arms up indignantly, like a child who's received socks instead of the BB gun he's asked for Christmas. "Then it's totally about Soviet!"
"Absolute power corrupts," Mr. Blair begins, dismissing the young man's exclamation.
"Absolutely," Jones finishes. He remembers the lessons from his father when he was a child. He remembers Locke, remembers Pitt*. He's not sure where the conversation is going though. "And that's it?"
"Well, not quite. Have you ever wondered why I have the novel set in England?"
"Because you're from there?" Jones tries. "It's always best to write based on what you know, right?"
"That's not necessarily true. I don't have to be a serial killer to write about the anger and revenge that drives so many to do so."
He's never thought of it that way before.
"So why England?"
"To prove English speaking countries are not impervious to corruption." Jones settles into the back of his chair, contemplating the words spoken. "That it is a phenomenon that can take place anytime, anywhere. That sometimes, even heroes fall."
Mr. Blair is looking straight into Jones' blue eyes. The blonde can't help but flinch. He hasn't felt this flustered since his colonial days. He laughs, trying to shrug the glare. Does Mr. Blair know who he's in the presence of? Does he know he's not talking to college student, but a Nation? His people can barely recognize him, usually only as a fleeting sense of familiarity, déjà vu. If his own people can't recognize him as he walks their streets, how can an Englishman?
"Do you know who I am?" Jones asks, eyebrows knotted.
"You're Alfred F. Jones. Appearing to be nineteen years of age, a good lad with a sturdy work ethic and embodiment of American optimism." Alfred breathes slowly. This guy's awfully close to the truth…
"You look just like your father, Englishman Mr. Kirkland, though you refuse to admit it, like most children do," he takes a sip of tea, "America."
And there's that twinkle in his eye again.
"How'd y'know it was me?" Alfred asked, impressed that a human has recognized him without a lengthy introduction.
"I've been in correspondence with Mr. Kirkland," Mr. Blair says simply. "And I could just tell. You try awfully hard to blend with your people." He smiles.
"It's not that hard," Alfred says with a shrugged shoulder. "So—why're you givin' me the evil eye with this whole power thing?"
"Because, my dear boy, you are a young and powerful nation. Never before in your history have you had the amount of clout you possess currently. It is your responsibility as the world's second superpower to remain humble and dutiful to your people."
"I will, I will," America waves his hand, dismissing even the notion that such a heroic country as himself could be corrupted.
"I mean this with the utmost sincerity, Alfred," Blair says. "Now is not the time to be haughty. Look carefully at the countries, the empires, that have been before you were." America pauses for once in this conversation, the grin snatched from his face.
He thinks of Germany and shudders. He's not much older than that Nation and…how differently their outcomes were. One man, one Party, absolute control. He remembers stories from those who escaped before the war: the constant watch of the military. The control of the children; babes turning against their parents as enemies of the state. The death and obliteration of enemies, usually innocents.
He remembers seeing Israel for the first time in the woods of Poland.
He thinks of France, his ally and perpetual damsel-in-distress. He remembers hearing about Napoleon and the terror the small man inflicted on Europe. The blood of royals spilt in Paris, drunk by rebels as if wine. His idea of liberty and justice perverted under one man's thirst for absolute control.
He remembers France's blazing azure eyes, hungry for land and power lay prominent in his mind.
Then there's Russ—the Soviet Union. The hulking country brought to his knees by a single idea: the government does not have the authority to rule absolutely. The Nation once thought to be backwards, but not dangerous, stood with him as dictators of the world's future. Power had split his personality. Power fed on his logic, fed on his soul, his people.
He remembers those wide pastel purple eyes sharp with madness.
America never wanted to be like that.
"Absolute power corrupts," America says quietly. His face is solid in pensive thought.
"Absolutely," Blair finishes.
There is a heavy silence among the two. America thinks, lets the novel sink in. It's about power. It's about what power can do to a country. It's about all the wrongs that can come from an idea that seemed so pure when it first blossomed. It's about mankind. It's about Nations. It's about finding control in a random universe.
"So what's Animal Farm about? That's about communism, right?"
Eric Blair laughs.
1) Eric Blair is a real person. You know him better as George Orwell, mastermind behind 1984 and Animal Farm and a bunch of other essays and short stories. But he's mostly known for those two.
2) 1984 is an amazing book. If you haven't read it yet, you should drop what you're doing, go to the nearest bookstore, buy it and read it.
The novel is a dystopian novel, meaning it's a novel about a grim future (where as a utopia is a perfect future). Dystopian novels point out the flaws of absolute government and the importance of keeping power with the people. There are so many other themes associated with 1984 to include the manipulation of language and the dangers of communism (that is a major, major theme, but I wanted to focus more on absolute power and corruption for this piece!)
3) Orwell was influenced by a variety of authors. Eugene Zemyatin's We and Audlous Huxley's Brave New World among the top contenders. I've read both and highly recommend Zemyatin's novel. Huxley's had such a weird ending, it was like—what? We has a stronger ending.
4) *" He remembers Locke, remembers Pitt." I snagged this beauty from .. The phrase "absolute power corrupts absolutely" stems from 1770; it was said by William Pitt the Elder in a House of Lords speech. A few decades earlier, a man named Locke stated that "Man... hath by nature a power…to preserve his property - that is, his life, liberty, and estate - against the injuries and attempts of other men." So, Pitt says beware the government. Locke says power is absolutely and indefinitely in the hands of man.