Ever since the winter Olympics when the two Koreas took flamethrowers to their chilled and strained relationship, a diplomatic firestorm has been raging in East Asia–and that is not necessarily a bad thing. With an inter-Korea summit and Trump-Kim summit on the rise, the region has been a flurry of wild political activity. But how did this all unfold and what does it mean to and for the countries involved? In this, I try to explain.
Where politics is cold, love is warm.
Can you guess who wrote which one?
(It’s painfully easy.)
Chill guy, super powerful, crazy rich, really hot, great sense of humor. Ordering pizza after sex is mandatory. Preference: anything that moves. If you curvy that’s all good; big is beautiful. I’ll be more attracted to you if you blindly agree with me and support everything I do even when I’m wrong.
You think you’re worthy to breathe the same air I breathe? You insignificant beast. Love me. Praise me. Don’t touch me. Don’t look at me. You’re less than dirt. Pathetic, pitiful, powerless. Tell me how much you want me, pig. You’re just the jackal howling at my door. My love is a gift you are not worthy to receive. I grant you mercy because I take pity on creatures of lesser intellect, beauty, and purity. Perish, worm.
“Whoever drinks this elixir shall be granted the gift of sight–to see into a person’s heart and know their true character.”
In that particular wing of the United Nations, the air was thick with secrecy.
“Did you bring it?” whispered America.
“Yeah,” Japan whispered back. From her shirt, she pulled a small glass vial that stored a vibrant bluish liquid. America stared at it in awe while Japan reached into her pocket, procured a slip of paper, and read from it. “‘Whoever drinks this elixir shall be granted the gift of sight–to see into a person’s heart and know their true character.’ You try it first,” she suggested, holding it out to him. He shrugged his shoulders.
“You broke me just so you could put me back together.”
“Do you really want to try putting yourself back together?”
Her fist tightened once again and she bit her tongue because she didn’t dare admit that she wasn’t sure.
Listen to this story’s companion playlist here.
In a coffee shop, they sat nearly shoulder to shoulder under warm orange lights as the chill of the night air watched them enviously from outside. The aroma of hot apple cider took their senses on a journey as Japan listened and America told stories.
“So, I’m standing in the doorway to his office.” Already Ameria was grinning. “Puttin’ the saucy on, you know, wiggling my ass, a little bit of eyebrow signaling–cause, you know, this war was huge for me. If I defeat the British Empire, I’ll look like such a badass.”
Surprise, surprise, I’m writing a book.
But not just any book. It’s a free, political e-guidebook of sorts that not only provides fun and entertaining little excerpts of stories from this blog (along with brand new original content, whoa), but also a quick and easy breakdown of who hates whom and why.
Diving into the foreign relations of the US, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea, Allies & A-Holes tries to make sense of some of the complicated affairs of East Asia and how everyone feels about one another.
International relations made easy. And fun.
Each chapter focuses on one of the six countries and includes a: autobiography, relationship cheat sheet, detailed look at how X feels about Y written from that country’s POV, excerpts from and links to relevant P&P stories, and a Further Reading section for quenching your thirst for knowledge.
To get you excited, I’ve got a free teaser (see above) that you can download and enjoy. It shows you about half of America’s chapter so you can get a feel for how the finished book will look.
And finally, you should absolutely share the news and spread the word. Positive responses and reader engagement would totally encourage me to do a part two with all new countries.
Look forward to the official release this holiday season.
In an aging, creaking house in the middle of somewhere spooky, like a cemetery or something, America and Canada sat together at a small table. The flame of a candle quivered in the dusty, musty air.
With their hands on the planchette, they circled the board twice and recited whatever it was you’re supposed to recite so the ghosts won’t kill you.
Sucking in a breath, Canada asked, “Sprits, are you here?” Seconds crept by. Then something jolted their hands.
America’s face lit up. “Yoooo!”
“Stop. You’re breathing too close to the candle. Look, we’ve got spirits here. Is there anyone you’re looking for? Any dead countries you want to speak to?”
America hummed in thought. “Oh! Yeah. I got one. The Confederacy. Where he at? I have some words for him.” America leaned over the board. “Hahaha what’s good, bitch?”
Canada called up Mexico one evening.
“Hey, you haven’t seen America, have you? He’s not picking up his phone and he’s ignoring all my messages.”
“You didn’t hear? Said he hacked into North Korea’s Google Calendar and found a secret meeting with Russia and China. Said he was mad. Said he was gonna have his own secret meeting with Japan and the nicer Korea.”
“How is it a secret if you know about it?”
“He likes irony, I guess.”
She shook her head. “Whatever. I hope they have fun with that. Probably will be up all night talking about nuclear weapons. Maybe something good will come of it.”
“You’re being too optimistic.”
America slid in from the foyer–literally, as his socks allowed him to glide across the tile. He poked his head into the living room where Japan and South Korea were sitting apart from each other and generally avoiding eye contact.
They didn’t notice him until he exclaimed, “Who’s ready for McDonald’s 24-hour breakfast?!”