The Lonely Goatherd Blog And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats - Matthew 25:32
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May 20, 2007
Leonardo DiCaprio - Environmentalist Demagogue Yeah, I know that slapping down idiot celebrity activist types is not sporting. It's shooting fish in a barrel. But Leo DiCaprio is SO asking for it. He's putting out an "environmental documentary" for which he co-wrote the script, called The 11th Hour.
Still, even an actor might know something, and he's undeniably got an impressive jaw line. That scruffy bit of beard tells you unmistakably that he's a Serious Thinker, not just another pretty face. So perhaps we might grant him some credibility - until you read this promotional interview, where he says
Trying to condense a world of issues into an hour-and-a-half format in this film was the biggest challenge. But it was about giving them a platform where they didn't have to argue about the science. Because, and I keep stressing this, this is the overwhelming majority of the scientific community that believes in this. Not to have to be challenged about the science, about if their opinions were correct or if their opinions were valid. It was about them being able to express ideas and being able to give us, the public. Listen to the scientists and give us, the public, solutions for the future.
This quote tells us at least a couple of things. For one thing, Leonardo DiCaprio is an environmental Stalinist demagogue. The other obvious thing this quote tells us is that Leo is an idiot. See, there's no need to "argue about the science" ie actually establish proof of what you're saying by answering critics. Dissident scientists don't count.
Making the point of demagoguery more clear, note this explanation of intent from the same interview
But ultimately the most important thing to us was whether you were emotionally moved at the end of the movie. And on a personal level, I believe that has been accomplished. Yes, a lot of the science is very hard to wrap your head around. But I was very clear in the movie. I want the public to be very scared by what they see. I want them to see a very bleak future. I want them to feel disillusioned halfway through and feel hopeless. And then when we get into the entire section in the second half when we talk about cultural transformation and a new way of looking at things and the alternatives or green technology and all these things, you realize there is great hope and there are options on the table. And hopefully the audience is moved and galvanized to do something about it
See, we don't need to inconvenience people with all that complicated opposing viewpoints and reasoned analysis. Just tell them what they're supposed to think, and push their buttons so that they are "emotionally moved" to do your bidding. That's classic demagoguery.
All this leads to the broader conclusion that Leonardo DiCaprio is not just an environmental demagogue, but an idiot as well. As a way of promoting his moviefilm, he openly and purposely explains exactly the demagogic process. He as much as says in so many words that he's not going to bore the audience with real scientific inquiry, but rather an appeal to low-level biological mammalian fear circuits. He says that in public and on purpose - like that's supposed to get people to support his project rather than ridicule him mercilessly. Science, schmience. Manbearpig is coming to get you! Better do what the handsome alpha male says if you want to live!!!
PS If there is for some reason lingering doubt in your mind regarding Leo DiCaprio's idiocy, note that he was happily funding Timothy Treadwell, the infamously idiotic "grizzly man."