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It couldn't know that it was the last living thing on Earth as the rain lashed down on it. It couldn't know that no more of it's kind or any other populated the once fecund planet. It couldn't know.

It couldn't know about the catastrophic effect that mankind had had on the flora that had once made the Earth a jewel in the cosmos.

The rains that held more acid than water, the herbicides that collected in the air and the soil, the pesticides and plagues had all left it untouched.

Now, alone on a landscape barren of everything including decay, the last living thing on Earth stood stoic amid the epiphany lightning and symphony thunder - as it had for centuries, perhaps millenia. It couldn't know.

It couldn't know, this last living thing, that the stroke of static that severed it's trunk just above the base held no malice. It couldn't know as it began to teeter over, that it's rings, now revealed, could have told its age if there were any left to decode them.

It couldn't know as the last few inches of wood gave way and gravity held it like a rapacious lover eager for the embrace that it was about put the last unanswered question to bed.

As the last tree fell and landed silent on the ground philosophy finally got an answer it could hold. Of course there was no philosophy anymore. And of course it couldn't know.

But would I be a good Messiah with my low self-esteem? / If I don't believe in myself would that be blasphemy? - The Bloodhound Gang Hell Yeah

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The following comments are for "At Last, An Answer"
by Enforced Bliss

Leading Me Again
I wonder sometimes if the worst salesmen on Earth could sell an entire month's supply of Xtreem-Crapİ to me. I'm that gullible. Very tricky, making me think you had finally given in to cliches with the post-apocalyptic scenario. Irony at the end was also very good. Still, the melodrama seemed a bit too much. The planet destroyed by pest-killers, and saying "it couldn't know" over and over just seemed overdoing it. I dunno.

( Posted by: Washer [Member] On: August 31, 2003 )

I agree...
... that using "it couldn't know" in something this short is too repetitive. I would have expected more of an emotional impact from this subject, but didn't feel any.

( Posted by: Elphaba [Member] On: August 31, 2003 )

Washer: I hadn't meant to imply that it was merely the pesticides that had trashed the planet but upon re-reading I see that I didn't make that terribly clear although I did add "plagues" I can see where that wouldn't be enough.

The truth is that I had to figure out a way to end all life on earth without the sort of complete destruction that nukes or comets would entail and I had to do it in very little space. Perhaps a comet strike would work though.

As to repeating "It couldn't know" time and time again I can see where it might wear but I did it with the purpose of subtly attacking philosophy. However Elphaba agrees with you and I will have to think about it.

Elph: There was no emotional impact intended in this. It is a joke, not a polemic or environmental treatise.

R: Thanks :)

( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: August 31, 2003 )

Does anybody hear?
"2) gravity held it like rapacious - this sounds and looks bad" - I couldn't agree with you more. The line was supposed to be "like a rapacious lover" but slothful me rushed through the typing and errors were made. Even the line it was intended to be isn't all that strong.

"1) minkind - ?" Mankind - see above

"3) millennia" Not a typo, just poor spelling with no access to a spell check. My bad.

"4) 'amid the epiphany lightning and symphony thunder' - I believe it should be - epiphanic and symphonic ..." You are technically right of course but I thought and still think that this way sounds better. Plus you will find that sort of thing scattered throughout my prose and poetry - it is a stylistic affectation I picked up somewhere. Do you dislike it or are you just being picky for the sake of being you ;)?

Of course I can handle it pshaw.

Tangentially it has come to my attention that the gentleman does in fact spell his name JonathAn.
What is that old saw about "Pride goeth before..."?

( Posted by: enforced bliss [Member] On: August 31, 2003 )

Well, you know...
I would happily do the same at the appropriate venue if I knew where the appropriate venue is. Let me know and I will attend to it.

As to the aforementioned affectation it is not new to me, others much more revered than I am (yet ;) ) have skirted that same grammatical edge.

I does "sound" correct to me because it is my style and I have always been willing to make allowances for sparing and skillful (which I hope this is) deviations from the pure.

I remain respectfully yours;

( Posted by: enforced bliss [Member] On: August 31, 2003 )

If a tree fell in the forest
Dear Enforced Bliss:
Well, I was so eager to pick this apart, but I can't because I love it. Natives used to believe that coming back to life as a tree was a noble thing. Of course they don't feel that way anymore with all the destruction going on.

Nice read.


( Posted by: kimberly bird [Member] On: September 2, 2003 )

I don't get how philosophy ftsi into this. can someone explain it to me because I feel kind of dumb?

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 3, 2003 )

So Simple
The common koan: If a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, will it make a sound? He was doing a speculative / ironic thing.

( Posted by: Washer [Member] On: September 4, 2003 )

yeah I knew what he was alluding to, but i dont see why its ironic. why does philosophy die when the tree dies. what does it have to do with knowing and not knowing?

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 4, 2003 )

So since the tree cant think their wouldnt be philosophy anyway right? Im not sure

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: September 4, 2003 )

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