As Sherlock Holmes was fond of saying, “Watson, the game is afoot.” And so it is, so it is. I am encouraging any and all of this blog’s readers to help me in my quest, not for the grail, but something equally hard to achieve: a guest spot on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This is how it’s going to go down.
I’ve included a short note and a recent review of my book Arn? Narn. in an e-mail form. If you could copy, paste, and then send to Jon Stewart, we’ll see if collectively we can get this to happen. There will be no casualties. There will be no prisoners. There’s no fiscal cliff. It’s risk free. But, if we can get this to happen, we will have confounded the status quo and proven the masses have a voice. Are you with me? Let’s do this! My thanks to you in advance.
Here’s the e-mail to copy, paste, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Have you seen this? It’s an incredible book called Arn? Narn. You’ve got to have the author, Bruce Meisterman on your show. Look at this review it just got.
Bruce Meisterman - Arn? Narn.
This is Bruce Meisterman’s first book and gee whiz, I sure as hell will be interested to see what he is capable of when he gets warmed up. I have seldom been so impressed with an author’s choice of subject or his presentation of it, and if a read of this astonishing book doesn’t leave unsettling questions haunting the corners of your mind, then you lack imagination.
‘Arn? Narn’ is said to be the shortest possible conversation in Newfoundland and is a fabled exchange between two cod skippers. One, going out, asks, caught anything? The other, returning, says not. Fifty years ago, that reply would have been inconceivable, but by the 1990s, Newfoundland cod stocks had collapsed to 1% of the 1960s level and they have never recovered. Even when it had become clear that stocks were in free fall, nobody did anything more than form committees, which produced long, worthy reports instead of action. The consequence is that in 2012, rural Newfoundland is falling to pieces, the population has fallen by roughly a quarter and ghost towns are a reality. Worse is yet to come.
Does this matter to us? Fish stocks are doing the same thing all over the world and by some estimates the majority of species will be at unsustainable levels by 2050, but our current generation of politicians is so weak and venal that nothing is going to be done about it, despite the clear danger it presents to us all. The depressing tale of Newfoundland is no more than a matinee for what is about to happen next and Arn? Narn manages to paint the awful reality of this scenario better than any scientific report I have ever read. Why? Because the story is told in striking monochrome photographs that let you see what is happening for yourself. The text is sparse, but what it lacks in extent it makes up for in punch and the end result is a book you might just possibly flick through in 10 minutes, but which you will remember for the remainder of your life.
© fishingbookreviews 2011 – design by Jon Ward-Allen, words and pictures by Andrew Herd