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Leonardo DiCaprio – Proud Environmentalist Demagogue

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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.

Leonardo DiCaprio has a right purty mouthThis 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 those 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.

Al Gore IS ManbearpigAll 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!

P.S. 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."

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  • bliffle

    Conversely, one might argue that Leo is proceeding quite reasonably here. He clearly states that he wants to move beyond the expression phase into the execution phase. His assessment of the science expressed publicly is that (1) there are environmentally dangerous possibilities that humans ought to be aware of and act on, and (2) the science is settled, in his judgement, and the discussion he is leading should move forward to the next step.

    It’s not unreasonable that he should argue thus. Every intelligent manager/executive I’ve ever worked for has used exactly this model: know when to end the expression phase and move into the execution phase with the plan therefrom. Sure, you might have to make plan corrections, but even an inadequate plan is better than no plan at all. An inadequate plan at least gives you a measurement as the project proceeds.

    By terminating the expression phase you make sure you can move forward. You’re not permanently mired in the quibbling and arguing of viewpoints that may be advanced merely to be dilatory. Cf. the constant denials and presentation of purchased argument by tobacco companies to quibble smoke caused cancer, while any reasonable person would have made the judgement long ago that smoke causes cancer.

    Anything can be quibbled to death.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Bliffle- Conversely, one might argue that the recently departed Rev Jerry Falwell was proceeding quite reasonably in demanding that our laws be made more pleasing to our risen lord and savior Jesus Christ. I keep stressing this, this is the overwhelming majority of the community that believes in this resurrection. It has been proven, an inconvenient truth though it may be to heathens.

    By terminating the expression phase you make sure you can move forward. You’re not permanently mired in the quibbling and arguing of viewpoints that may be advanced merely to be dilatory. The time has LONG since come to quit quibbling about Christ.

    Onward Christian soldiers!

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    My Lord DiCaprio looks sooo much like my former neighbour.

    Just for LDC I’ll be taking extra long hot showers and pointing my blow dryer (even though I never use one) to the sky in an effort to increase global warming.

    Where would we be without actors to make us “aware?”

    Again, I ask: Where….would….we….be?

  • bliffle

    “Onward Christian soldiers!”

    Isn’t that exactly what they are doing?

  • Elli

    LOL. I had a REALLY good laugh on your post when I read it just a few minutes ago.
    You live in YOUR world, Leonardo lives in his one. Both worlds are valid – or not valid – that depends on the viewpoint…*g*. Why aren’t you able to see that Leo is just promoting what he truly believes in with all his heart? You do the same thing in this article! So don’t you ever think, YOUR writing is not manipulative! It’s just the same thing..only another opinion. So what?? You chose to manipulate people through writing – Leo does it with his movies.
    One thing, at least, is for sure: It is a good thing to remind people to take good care of our home planet – Earth.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    One salient question, Al: How did Leo get to Cannes? Let’s just assume he didn’t take a rowboat from LA.

  • Leila Kincaid

    Hi there,
    I think that anyone who tries to put together a movie about why it’s important and how to save the environment should be respected.
    No one is perfect. No one knows everything. And in the end, it’s a piece of art that is expressing a viewpoint that is both authentic and plausible.
    I think the OP is harsh and myopic.
    I look forward to seeing the environmentally themed fictional movies that Mr. DiCaprio becomes involved in, and I look forward to seeing The 11th Hour.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Elli sez: Both worlds are valid – or not valid – that depends on the viewpoint.

    No, it depends on the FACTS. My complaint isn’t that he has a different viewpoint than mine, but that he’s being proudly dishonest about how he promotes it. He proudly claims that he’s not concerned with facts, but going directly for how he can emotionally manipulate people into doing his bidding – for the good of the planet, of course.

    I try to make arguments based on facts and reasoned analysis, however unsuccessful such attempts are. Purposely bypassing that to poke people’s emotional hot buttons is NOT an equally valid method, and Leo DiCaprio sincerely believing in Manbearpig with all his big heart still doesn’t make it a valid form of public discourse.

    I suppose it’s a good thing to remind people to take care of planet Earth, but doing so by dishonest and emotionally manipulative means like this will ultimately only be counterproductive. When people figure out how they’re being tricked by the likes of Leo and Al Gore, they’re likely going to go the other way and disregard a lot of more real and worthwhile environmental issues.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    Leila, but it’s not just art. If it was no one would scrutinize it. Or at least respect it for what it was – a film. But he’s gone activist and this makes him fair game – especially considering that he’s probably asking that WE make sacrifices (conservation, taxes etc.). He’s using art and passing it off as scientific.

    It’s a bit like Michael Moore trying to pass his editing trompe d’oeil as legitimate political/historical facts. I don’t believe a single word that comes out of the mouths of Hollywoodians. I don’t look to them for any guidance – morally or scientifcally.

    Maybe I’m skeptical, I don’t know. Great actor though.

    Question: Al Gore was Manbearpig. Who will DiCaprio be?

  • bliffle

    “I try to make arguments based on facts and reasoned analysis, however unsuccessful such attempts are.”

    Keep trying, Al! Don’t give up! You’ll succeed some day. Don’t let your past failures discourage you!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Bliffle- Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

  • Andrea

    Well at least Leonardo is out there trying to do some good in the world, which is more than I can say for all the people out there criticizing him who don’t do any good in this world!
    And there is no need the call the man and idiot over and over again just because he is standing up for a good cause that he believes in. People need to lighten up. This is a fantastic and REAL cause that’s he’s working for.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    Andrea, personally I run – ON MY TIME AND NO PAY – an autism charity. Among other things. I do it with far less resources and fame. Presumptuousness is not becoming. Spare me the BS.

  • sean Paul Mahoney

    Alessandro, I totally agree with you and applaud your charity.
    Sure, it’s great that Leo is committed to this cause. And good for all the stars who adopt African babies.
    But we’re so used to celebs being self-absorbed a-holes, the minute they do something remotely charitable we’re ready to anoint them into sainthood.It’s so ridiculous.
    Millions of us do volunteer work, adopt kids, and recycle and we don’t end up on the cover of US Weekly.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro Nicolo

    Sean, thanks AND EXACTLY.

  • me

    wow, someones a bit full of themselves. I wonder if its really charity if you have to be a stuck up bitch about it? By the way, congratulations on letting everyone know about all the good you do for the world. You must be the only volunteer on the internet alezandro or whatever your name is. And, uhh, al gore isnt actually manbearpig, he was chasing manbearpig in a couple of south park episodes. By the way, is this site some sort of religous freakshow? Al seems to, among other things, support slavery, deny global warming and human caused degradation of the environment ( take a look at china my mensa man), have a problem with black christians, believe cigarettes causing cancer has as much scientific creedence as jesus existing (who cares) and so on and so on. Strange that you get high, I figured you would spend most of your time cleaning your guns, drinking moonshine, and fantasizing about sodomizing your sister.

  • me

    and oh yeah, Leo rocks. Just cause your one of those ugly people you dont have to get all butt hurt about a good looking guy being succesful. And to think, hes not even a member of mensa! Strange that you are and all you can accomplish is writing an internet blog read by fundamentalist freaks, and he can make millions in the film industry. Whos smarter?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    “Me” The point of Manbearpig is that it didn’t exist. It’s an imaginary character and in fact the only appearance of the manbearpig was Al Gore in a cheesy costume. Then in the Imaginationland trilogy, he was one of the evil imaginary characters – having been imagined by Al Gore.

    Thanks for taking the time to check out my writing. I’m glad you found some entertainment value. I halfway recognize where you twisted out some recognizable caricature of my writing, but where’d you get the stuff about cigarettes being harmless?

    And why would you think a cracker wouldn’t get high? We like to drink moonshine and smoke cigarettes and weed, while having carnal knowledge of our sisters while bitterly clinging to our guns. My MoreThings theme song explains a lot.

  • http://leonardodicaprio.com dorianhunter

    Very interesting article! I just read it today…when I got a Google Alert on Leo.
    You maybe right about the “demagogic” concept that leo described in the interview. To me, it’s just plain psychology. You have to distinguish between the causes which are being worked on by the same methods. Even if the same methods are used, it’s just not the same! Leonardo will NEVER be a demagogue, that I know because I know who Leonardo is by heart. He has only the best intentions for humankind in making and promoting his movie. Yes, it has flaws and this and that….lololol. You could question a lot of things about this movie. But NOT Leonardo’s personal input and passion and his honest will to help this planet and US ALL!
    Leo IS NOT an idiot because he dedicated to this cause – to help the planet and thus the people!
    And btw: I’m a bit surprised that many Americans see Leonardo’s activism so critical. Where have all those glorious critics been in 2003 when US president Bush told the wolrd – and especially his own country – fairy tales about Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in order to invade Iraq? I know,this doesn’t really fit in here, but it comes to my mind when I read all those bashing Leonardo when he really has all the good reasons and intentions…

  • http://leonardodicaprio.com dorianhunter

    Very interesting article! I just read it today…when I got a Google Alert on Leo.
    You maybe right about the “demagogic” concept that leo described in the interview. To me, it’s just plain psychology. You have to distinguish between the causes which are being worked on by the same methods. Even if the same methods are used, it’s just not the same! Leonardo will NEVER be a demagogue, that I know because I know who Leonardo is by heart. He has only the best intentions for humankind in making and promoting his movie. Yes, it has flaws and this and that….lololol. You could question a lot of things about this movie. But NOT Leonardo’s personal input and passion and his honest will to help this planet and US ALL!
    Leo IS NOT an idiot because he dedicated to this cause – to help the planet and thus the people!
    And btw: I’m a bit surprised that many Americans see Leonardo’s activism so critical. Where have all those glorious critics been in 2003 when US president Bush told the wolrd – and especially his own country – fairy tales about Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in order to invade Iraq? I know,this doesn’t really fit in here, but it comes to my mind when I read all those bashing Leonardo when he really has all the good reasons and intentions…

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Dorian- Thanks for reading my story and taking time to respond. You seem very nice, and I appreciate your earnest admiration for Leo – but it is nonetheless utterly misplaced.

    The fact that Leo believes his own dishonest cause doesn’t make him less demagogic. Read again his description about how he dispensed with scientific debate, and instead focused on how to emotionally manipulate the audience to get them on board for his political program. That is exactly what demagoguery is – blatant and conscious emotional manipulation to get political action without regard to proof. It’s not educational material about global warming, but trying to scare the rabble into action.

    Leo wants to think he has good intentions, but he’s dishonestly trying to bypass our reason and logic that he can’t win over to appeal consciously to the manipulation of low level animal emotions.

    Successful demagogues generally manage to talk themselves into at least halfway believing their own BS – but they still know what they’re doing. I’m sure that Joe McCarthy really did hate communists, but his tactics were demagoguery. Hitler really did convince himself that Jews were destroying the country.

    The ends of saving the motherland or saving Mother Earth justify the ends of manipulating people to action with conscious poking at low level mammalian emotional circuitry rather than appealing to honest reason.

    No, that is the beginning of fascism – no matter how good and noble you think your cause is.

    Plus, the global warming shtick is pretty much nonsense. I note that it is but 51 degrees in southern Indiana in the middle of May and pouring cold rain. I won’t claim as 100% scientific fact, but this sure FEELS like the coldest spring in my lifetime.

    One of these days, I’ma catch up with Al Gore and whip his lying politician ass. He promised us global warming, and I’m freezing my ass.

  • http://www.buyingone.com Christopher Rose

    Al, isn’t it a tad odd that in the above comment you object to emotionally based statements and then round it off by saying it FEELS like the coldest Spring? You could have easily checked your local historical weather patterns.

    Furthermore, the pattern of global warming is absolutely not nonsense, there is evidence of it all over the world, from the receding ice at the poles to the changes in the timing of plants flowering and animals breeding.

    This is part of a natural cycle as the planet emerges from a colder period but human activity is also contributing to and amplifying the trend. As I’m sure you actually understand, this is not happening on a human time scale but a longer planetary one.

    You may be fortunate enough not to live long enough to see the most dramatic of the changes this will bring to our world, but the kids of today may not be so lucky…

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Well no, it’s not odd that I perceive it to be a cold spring, cause it most certainly is, at least in our parts. In the context, I’m underscoring the “feels” part to emphasize that it’s an informal perception, not a scientific statement proving some or other big theory.

    Note that I did NOT present our anomalous cold spring as evidence of an impending ice age. This could be a minor temporary blip caused by El Nino activity or some such relative trifle.

    I do not accept as an established scientific fact that human activity is creating global warming. It’s always getting a little warmer or a little colder. Plus, at least historically it would appear that ice ages are the more common trend. Indeed, 30 years ago it would have been the more established science that we were going to have ourselves an oncoming ice age.

    In another 30 years and a new generation of scientists, the undisputable and undeniable scientific facts may be telling us something else. Meantime, the Earth keeps spinning and the seasons keep changing.

  • Jonathan

    I know the last comment here was months ago, but I just felt like I had to mention this, because it hasn’t been mentioned.

    One thing to keep in mind, the phrase “global warming” is misleading, which is why the scientific community has adopted the phrase “global climate change”.

    “Global warming” refers to the global average temperature (averaged per year, not per day or season) going up, not your local weather getting hotter.

    The predictions made by the scientist believing in man-made global climate change actually state that certain regions on the planet will get colder. The reason is lengthy but simple:

    Rising average temperature means that the global climate system is out of balance, causing regional climate systems to change, which will then cause your local weather to change.

    You must distinguish the difference in definition between “meteorology” (your local day-to-day weather forecast), as opposed to climatology (scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time).

    Predictions by the IPCC mention that India, a good chuck of south-western North America and most of Europe, will get colder temperatures due to that global average going up, simply because sea and wind current are strongly affected by variances in temperatures.

    Oh, and the final prediction to global climate change or global warming (call it what you want, just know what it is) IS a new Ice Age. Just actually read through the scientific reports (as opposed to listening to a commentary by some oil-company-backed guy on CNN or FauxNews) and make your own conclusions.

    ———-

    But, to get on topic with this article, I’ll use the first quote of DiCaprio used:

    “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.”

    This simply tells me that it is a film for those who already believe (or those that need that extra push) that man-made global warming is here, and what we can do about it. It’s not a film meant to convince the skeptics of global warming. I may be wrong, but that’s my opinion.

    This article also bashes the second quote, stating DiCaprio as dishonest. I don’t know for you, but in my world a dishonest person would NOT tell you that he wants to emotionally shake you. As dorianhunter did above, let’s use a Bush analogy: Bush flat out lied to get his way. Bush can be considered dishonest. If he had been honest, he wouldn’t have used false excuses (which, for some reason, changed over time).

    DiCaprio is honest by telling us what he wants to do with his film.

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