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The VICE Guide to Right Now

The Terror on This Human-Looking Monkey's Face Is 2018 in a Nutshell

Your dread is all too familiar, sweet little capuchin.

Look upon basically every single thing in the world right now and despair, everybody. The year 2018 is off to a pretty dark start and the immediate future doesn't promise anything much brighter.

Let us take a quick survey for a second: The climate is shitting the bed with no sign of stopping, technology is either systematically eroding our ability at real connection or just blatantly gearing up to kill us all, and the news is just an unending stream of stories about how the leader of the free world got spanked with a magazine by a porn star or whatever. Our current reality feels like a spec script for Black Mirror, and not a particularly good one at that.


Last week, video footage of a small, tufted capuchin monkey in the Tianjin zoo started making the rounds on Chinese social media because of his bizarrely human face, Shanghaiist reports. And while, yeah, the monkey does sport some startlingly humanoid eyes, the thing that makes the clip feel truly familiar isn't the capuchin's features—it's the look of abject terror on his face.


Do you recognize that expression on the tiny monkey's mug? The downturned mouth, the anxious eyebrows, the vacant eyes staring horrified into the abyss? The particular blend of shock, fear, and utter hopelessness?

Of course you do. It is exactly what living in 2018 feels like.

We may not know what specific horrors inspired that feeling in this tiny monkey, but it is a feeling we know all too well. It's the one we feel when we think about retirement and flat earth conspiracies and the fact that people think rocks and fire extinguishers can quell mass shootings. It's the face we make when we read about that guy who taught his fucking pug how to do the Hitler salute.

Your dread is all too familiar, sweet capuchin. Sorry your tiny pea brain is still large enough to be ravaged by the existential weight of our modern world. Just know you are not alone. We are right there with you, for better or worse.

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