By Oleksiy Fesenko, KYIV
The Tower: Abraham Lincoln Tower (aka Torre Abraham Lincoln) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Man - The inhabitant of the opposite to the Abraham Lincoln’s Tower (aka Torre Abraham Lincoln) - the collapsed construction that had embarked on in the 1960s.
(The illustration for this story was created by Irina Vale.)
It the spring of 2019, an inhabitant of a skyscraper in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was looking in the distance at the Tower’s twin. The shape of the building was rather icy-cold; no people had ever lived there. In the 1960-s, inspired by the promo:
Paraíso Existe: está aqui! (Paradise Exists: it’s here!);
Viva No Paraíso (Live In Paradise);
A Nova Forma de Viver (A New Way to Live),
the investors had funded a luxury homebuilder.
The man was familiar with the discussions of peers who lived in the inhabited skyscraper every day looking at the cold and lifeless forms of the abandoned Tower. Driving to and from home near the Tower, he tried to simulate their collective attitudes and behaviors in his mind. Rio de Janeiro is home to nice landscapes, parks, squares, and theaters. However, it's also filled with the indifference of those who are passing over the Tower. For several scores, the Tower had weirdly built into their personal lives as insignificant, acceptance of an ugly self-reflection: naked, without functional parts - half-body? It must be a form, prioritizing over function, and pleasure, over the pain he supposed.
To make sure that no squatters occupied the Tower the man went downstairs and approached the structure, he saw a strange visitor observing the surrounding. The visitor introduced himself as investor. His appearance was unusual, missing teeth and eye, without a part of his head. What about the brain the man thought in horror? The visitor’s smile was a request for assistance, an attempt to counterbalance the physical deterioration. The visitor was speaking with arousal, and the man could figure out that a deficiency of the pleasure propelled the behavior. The Investor looked at the man and said with a hedonistic smile and materialistic prediction: “You must be thankful to the City Council and to the construction company. I envy, that you are still alive. It’s such a pleasure to be looking you in the eye, such a miserable and obedient investor: the ghost will win the upcoming elections in Brazil.” Investor tried to focus on a ludic side of the scene as he didn’t see the truth in the investor’s words only an attempt for the dominance.
Is Rio de Janeiro’s City Council of Ghosts real, manipulating the Investors of the Tower by imposing a prohibition on the construction project? Why the Council is still obliging the investors paying property taxes for the apartments in which they have never lived? The strange visitor disappeared, and the man believed that he had witnessed the ugly reflection of the Tower.
He got a flashback about his PC, once affected by a Petya (malware), infected to damage and to receive a ransom: they had targeted poor Brazilians the most. Unlucky, his office had met the hacker’s terms by losing millions. Some investors of the Tower tangled up in similar negotiations but all for nothing.
A question from nowhere surprised the man; it was from a custodian of the Tower.
- Are you one of them - the ill reflection of the Tower? Where are your wings?
- We have already upgraded the investor answered, pretending as if he reflected the Ghost Tower. Now we have a cloud instead of the wings, just a dark cloud.
- This ugly Tower is the infinite source of pleasure, the custodian said.
“My friend, let me introduce myself,” the custodian said, “call me a Candy-Man, people are just nothing more than the candy wrappers for me, and I will show you a secret Candy Wrappers Cabin. Nobody can catch on and grapple with my good intentions because they don’t know me. You came just on time as the cabin had been ready for displaying pleasures. I called it the Notlincoln Sweet Wrappers Place.” The motto of this place is:
You may not teach some of the people all of the time; moreover, you can't teach all of the people some of the time, but you can teach some of the people some of the time.”
This phrase is the explanation, why President Abraham Lincoln was mistaken in his famous quote:
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” he said.
“Just listen to a draft of my Presidential Election Speech” he said: “You may not teach some of the people some of the time…” – means that only you may not teach some of the people, because their life will be reduced compared to the non-significant as a war.
The Candy-Man went on “you can't teach all of the people some of the time.” Because you can manipulate the law and human consciousness, continued the Candy-Man.
The next day, the man was in Rio, listening to the Presidential debates in the largest Arena Vivaldo Palma Lima, Candy-man was a ghost, the man thought, listening to his proclamation: “today we should eliminate the risks away from the future of Brazil. I say that today we have a human opponent - a sweet wrapper, expensive and sweet. And looking into this wrapper, everybody may see everything that one wishes.”
Teaching for the future in the country for the calories war by eating sweets, instead of eliminating the risks of heart diseases, instead of making an effort to handle the military conflict? Why proposing to make people as heavy weighted, and ugly as the Tower!
Background to the program
Sometimes funny stories can happen after random conversations . This is one of those cases. When Cristina Monzer, a friend of America House's director, mentioned that she really enjoyed creative writing .
Cristi Anne Hofland, our lovely director , did not let this casual work mention go to waste. Christie Anne introduced Christina to Marie Snider, America House's English Language Resident , and after a few coffees and fun chats, the Creative Writing Program was born. With an incredible group of new authors and a wonderful America House staff, we were all able to work together over five months to put together America Houses's first ever book of short stories. "Thirteen stories told at America House". We hope you all like it.
The illustration was based on the short story and created by Irina Vale. Irina Vale is an artist and illustrator from Kyiv. Irina likes funny handmade pictures, tigers and dinosaurs. To view her portfolio, please, follow the link.
Marie Snider, English Language Resident
Marie Snider is the English Language Resident at America House, Kyiv. Before coming to Ukraine, Marie was an English language Fellow for two years at Botho University in Botswana and for two years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Myanmar. Before she began working as an English Language Fellow, Marie taught English as a Second Language in the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, South Carolina and California, USA, in addition to conduction teacher training workshops in California and Haiti. This was Marie's first time facilitating a program that focused on creative writing, and she is sure that without the amazing people who participated in this program, that it would not have been a success.
Cristina Monzer, American Council, FLEX Program
Christina grew in Los Angeles, California where she moved with family from Ukraine and Lebanon. She graduated from UC Berkeley where she studied International Development and has since lived and worked in the Bay Area and abroad. She started working with American Council's FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange program) in 2014 in Ukraine and in 2016-17 recruited in Georgia, Ukraine and Poland. She began her position as a FLEX Program Officer in the Kyiv office in March 2017. She enjoys traveling and meeting prospective FLEX students and working closely with the alumni community in Ukraine. She loves trying different foods in different cities across the region, architecture, writing and taking photographs. This fall she will be starting a Master of Urban and Regional at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs.
The Call for Action: Ukraine!
Objects in focus are the not-completed construction projects in Kyiv, Ukraine, those damaging to the panorama of Kyiv. The petitions to the Kyiv Council have been to formulate the new strategy of Kyiv in line with the environmental requirements. These two petitions: to the President of Ukraine and to the Kyiv Council meet the requirement of the Article 50 of the Constitution of Ukraine.
Article 50 of the Constitution of Ukraine:
Everyone has the right for the safe life and the healthy environment, and for compensation of damages incurred as a result of a violation of this right.
Everyone shall have the guaranteed free access to the environmental information, to the proper quality of food and consumer goods, is free to diffuse this information. No one shall keep such information as a secret.
Petition to the President of Ukraine
Petition to the Kyiv City Council