Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Careless Talk

The three Tree Talkers stepped out into the road and immediately regretted doing so when a lorry the size of a bus ploughed into them, ripping apart their sawdust spines.

Sawdust spines because they’d spent far too long in the company of trees. Talking to them. And that.

Before they became Tree Talkers, these now-spineless individuals were busybody figurines within the short-lived EnviroMental movement. It was there that they developed the controversial Mudhutism theory that has since been embraced by an impressive array of prominent green thinkers - such as Davis Darkle from the Flat Earth Society, Betty Tinker from the UK Amish Federation and that George Monbiot from the Bottom of The Garden Group. Despite their success and influence, however, these future Tree Talkers were forced to leave EnviroMental after details of their increasingly eccentric private lives were splashed all over the tabloids. Like weed killer. Or toxic piss.

According to the stories in the press, these three had very quickly grown from tireless campaigners into self-satisfied, backward-looking, right-wing lunatics with an unhealthy interest in the same kind of dreamy, agrarian, mythological pastoral bullshit that was peddled by the Nazis. The Enlightenment? The Industrial Revolution? Better Lives For Poor People? Stick them up your arse, mate – is what they said. From there it was but a mere hop and step to Baby Politics and the attendant penchant for talking to trees.

And from talking to trees, from becoming bona fide Tree Talkers, it was an even shorter step into the road. Look out! shouted a council-sponsored sapling. But too late, too late.

9 Comments:

Blogger Molly Bloom said...

As a great dendrochronologist, I could tell you that trees can tell you stories through the rings within their bark. Trees can tell stories to each other and yet still be chopped to the forest floor.

I wonder if trees could, would they try to cover their rings to conceal their true identities as the men (women?)in this story do?

I like the idea of trees being dangerous too - how we change our beliefs at the drop of a hat. How we don't stand (up) for anything anymore. How we cannot trust.
You can carve your name in a tree - like killing someone.
We should branch out more and speak of unearthed roots.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

How come those Tree Talkers never recognise themselves for what they are? If only they would.

I love the minute details - the EnviroMental movement, the Mudhutism theory, the named individuals and their causes - that make this piece tense and taut with deep, abiding scorn.

But my favourite part? That little council-sponsored sapling. Brilliant.

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