America In 2015: ‘Just Like That…’
[Oleg] Kostoglotov didn’t think he would find anything interesting in the monkey-house [at the Zoo]. He moved quickly on and had begun to pass it when he noticed several people reading an announcement fixed to one of the more distant cages.
He went there. The cage was empty but it had the usual notice which read ‘Macaque-Rhesus’. Another hurriedly scrawled announcement nailed to the plywood said: ‘The little monkey that used to live here was blinded because of the senseless cruelty of one of the visitors. An evil man threw tobacco into the Macaque-Rhesus’s eyes.’
Oleg was struck dumb. Up to then he had been strolling along, smiling with knowing condescension, but now he felt like yelling and roaring across the whole zoo, as though the tobacco had been thrown into his own eyes, ‘Why?’ Thrown into its eyes, just like that! ‘Why? It’s senseless! Why?’
—Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
I see the monkey as representative of all Americans and the tobacco-thrower is ‘Barack Hussein Obama’.
It was good to lie down. Good.
The train shuddered and moved forward. It was only then that in his heart, or his soul, somewhere in his chest, in the deepest seat of his emotion, he was suddenly seized with anguish. He twisted his body and lay face down on his greatcoat, shut his eyes and thrust his face into the kitbag, spiky with loaves.
The train went on and Kostoglotov’s boots dangled toes down over the corridor like a dead man’s.
An evil man threw tobacco in the macaque-rhesus’s eyes.
Just like that…