Nineteen Eighty-Four fantasy stamps tip of cap to 2+2
In October 2020, I prepared for my own entertainment a fantasy stamp inspired by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. That stamp featured three slogans that the book described as prominent on the side of the Ministry of Truth: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.
Another well-known motif from Nineteen Eighty-Four is the idea that the totalitarian government in charge of Oceania, with its complete control over everything, could make a falsehood true simply by declaring it.
In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.
“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently.“How can I helped it?” he blubbered. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once.”
With those two passages in mind, I’ve designed a block of nine additional fantasy stamps, each of which features one of three formulas: 2+2=3, 2+2=4, or 2+2=5.
As with my earlier Oceania stamp, I have no intentions of trying to market or sell these stamps since Ninety Eighty-Four will still be under copyright protection in the United States for some time to come. Consider them to be fan art, a tip of my cap to the fact that there are absolutes, things that are true no matter what anyone else says.