Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Burning

The Professor looks down. “I am a prophet.    Prophet.  A prophet.  I speak for the Ancestors.  They are angry.    Angry.    Now I know why.   Finally I figured it out.  I understand.   Seen the light light the light.   Finally.   Finally.  Finally.  They are angry.”

One of the spectators laughs derisively. “Ancestors?   What ancestors?  Whose ancestors?”

The Professor ignores him. “Years.   Millions of years.   All that residue of the most ancient forms of life.  The most ancient residue of living matter.  Where is it now?   Where?    Where is it?   Slumbering deep deep down in the dirt, the earth, earth, hidden away very deep in the bowels of the earth undisturbed for billions of years in the dirt.”

He pauses to let his words sink in. “And then.   One day.     One cold day.   Some human digs.  And digs.   And finds something.  Something to burn.   Burn.   Some sort of handy substance you can burn.   Limitless supplies, huge, huge, huge amounts of organic material buried deep, deep in the earth and under the sea, dead matter, residue, remnants.   In fact, the remnants of our oldest ancestors, from the earliest beginnings of life on Earth, remnants we’re now dredging up from their ancient burial places – in the form of coal, oil, natural gas, what we call  ‘fossil fuels.’   You think you can treat it with indifference, as though it were just nothing at all but something sitting there for you to use, for you to burn, burn, to burn.   It keeps you warm.  It powers your cars.    It drives your turbines, produces your electric power, fuels your factories, your armies, makes everything possible -- for those who can control it.”

Another pause.  “But reflect – REFLECT!  Every living thing on Earth is descended from these ‘fossil fuels.’  They are a part of you – and you of them.    Their primordial desires, desires desires, pri-mordial, are buried deep within you still, embedded in your very DNA.   And now.  They are burning.  Your ancestors are burning.   Burning.   You have violated the earth and the sea to dig dig dig them from their ancient resting place.  And you are burning them.  Burning.  Burning them up.   This burning of the ancestors, it is what has made our modern world possible.   And what is now choking it to death.” 



  1. Raymond Passworthy: Oh, God, is there ever to be any age of happiness? Is there never to be any rest?

    Oswald Cabal: Rest enough for the individual man - too much, and too soon - and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.

    Raymond Passworthy: But... we're such little creatures. Poor humanity's so fragile, so weak. Little... little animals.

    Oswald Cabal: Little animals. If we're no more than animals, we must snatch each little scrap of happiness and live and suffer and pass, mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done. Is it this? Or that? All the universe? Or nothingness? Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?


    I was interested in what form your work is supposed to be in cuz its in a quasi-screenplay format, but unformatted for such and unformatted also as a normal work of fiction. Is this a new writing style or your own creation or what?

    Did you ever read Robert Silverberg's "Son Of Man?" If so, would be interested to know your opinion(s).

    At this point for me on possible intelligent life elsewhere, I'm stuck between believing in UFO's and SETI. Since there seems an abundance of circumstantial proof for the former, and none whatsoever for the latter. Kinda weird. You wouldn't partake of "the herb" now and then, would you? ;-P

    And now back to your 24 hour All Casey Anthony All the Time channel...

  2. Your comments on the format of "Aliens Among Us" are perceptive. It started out as a play, but I decided to recast it as a novel. I could have added all sorts of descriptive passages, but I hate descriptive passages, they usually strike me as contrived. Which is why I rarely read fiction anymore. I hate to read them and I'm no good at writing them. And then I thought, "why bother, everything essential to the story is already there." If it can work as a play, then why not as a novel? And if someone wants to turn it into a movie, why it's already practically a screenplay as it stands.

    Anyhow, this whole thing is mainly an experiment. I wanted to get my feet wet with this Kindle thing, and I'm curious to see whether this "novel" can generate meaningful sales.

  3. As for your other questions, no I've never read Silverberg. I don't keep up with fiction, I read non-fiction almost exclusively.

    As far as intelligent life on other planets is concerned, once you understand how natural selection works and how evolution is so heavily based on sheer chance, then you begin to realize how unlikely it is that anything remotely like us could exist anywhere in the universe. We have mouths only because billions of years ago a mutation occurred in the DNA of a single life form, which might easily have never existed. And if that living thing had died in infancy, then the mouth would have died with it.

    Moreoever, the new mutation survived only because it happened to be so well adapted to the particular environment in which that life form happened to live, which was a very particular environment that existed at a very particular time and place in the long history of planet Earth. How much more unlikely that anything remotely resembling the human brain could possibly have evolved anywhere else.

    Think of it this way: would you expect to find kangaroos or platypuses or flying squirrels anywhere else in the universe?

  4. I am fully agree with your thinking.


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