Monday, 8 June 2015

The Arctic Imperative

40 pages in, let me report the following:

Number of chapters in the book:  18

Number of chapters that end with the line "It is imperative":  8


  1. It's like reading a book with a chorus.

  2. About the same distance in, still as puzzled as I was in Ultimatum (The Arctic Imperative: The Novel) and Balls (The Arctic Imperative: The Novel: The Sequel). Non-fiction Rohmer has the same urgent (nay, IMPERATIVE) message as his fictional Presidents, PMs and oil company wunderkinds:

    America is going to need oil and natural gas!
    Canada has oil and natural gas!
    Much of the capital for oil and gas exploration is American!
    This is either wonderful, terrible, a fact of life or hanging by a thread!
    We need a policy!

    America is taking all our oil and natural gas!
    If we don't get a policy soon, America won't be able to get at our oil and natural gas!

    It's been a year and a half now, and I'm no closer to getting Rohmer's point, a point that he clearly thinks is so obvious there's no reason to spell it out. But I'm sure missing it.

    Is it because a policy would involve regulations and regulations equal government and government is bad? But business is good, and a policy would help business? Is this what Rohmer keeps not saying?

    Why can't I, a reasonably intelligent high school graduate, figure out what he wants after four books? It's IMPERATIVE!

  3. Chris is right - the longer and in greater detail he makes his argument, the more vague it seems to become. Are the Americans good or bad? Is the Canadian Government standing up to them or shirking their "moral" responsibility? Is it good or bad that conservationists seem to be fighting for limiting development in the North?

    I have no idea, but it's URGENT that a policy is created. Soon!

    If everything is imperative, then is anything?

    Okay - one more annoying thing: a couple of times government ministers are referred to by their last name only. Because, of course, ALL OF CANADA is so caught up in this story that it would just be insulting the reader's intelligence to bother telling you anyone's first name, since you know them so well. Forget that this will date the book once they are out of office and forgotten.

    Of course, it's entirely possible that no one, outside of us 3, have read this book in the last 20 years. Or the next 20.

  4. This goes back to the first pages of Ultimatum. The President and the Prime Minister seem to basically agree -- it would be nice if the Inuit stopped blowing up the pipeline. So America isn't invading because Canada isn't sending the oil; it's invading because Canada doesn't (in the President's eyes) have an effective policy to guarantee a safe, continuous supply of oil and natural gas, fast enough, or in the future or something.

    It's like if the main conflict in Jaws was the shark and Brody coming to an understanding about a steady and economical supply of swimmers. And the body of the book consisted of Brody and the Shark yelling at each other on the phone.

    It's IMPERATIVE that we some day figure out what Rohmer wants us to do.