It’s hard to know what to make of a rich Hollywood mogul who announces that he “believe[s] in eco-terrorism” yet has a carbon footprint of his own that does to the environment what Godzilla did to Bambi. As Pam Meister has pointed out here at Big Hollywood, it looks as though Cameron lives like a modern day rajah at his multi-mansion compound in Malibu and presides over an array of sprawling production facilities. The greenest thing about this guy is the cash in his vault.
Now, it’s possible that his comment to Entertainment Weekly was just some off-the-cuff nonsense that just sort of slipped out. That’s understandable. Everyone says something mind-numbingly stupid once in a while. Just ask Senator Coakley (D-MA).
You want to give the benefit of the doubt to the guy who, despite the freakin’ stupid Avatar, made great movies like The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies, Titanic and, of course, the moving Piranha 2: The Spawning. The guy has what the hep kids today call “mad skillz.” We really want his unbelievably dumb statement to be just an unbelievably dumb statement.
But more likely its part and parcel of the Hollywood culture of disconnected privilege and provincialism that allows its members to stay utterly detached from the human consequences of their ideology. Just ask those union grips and teamsters hanging around the set who’ll be paying the Democrats’ 40% tax on their health-care insurance just for the privilege of having negotiated good benefits. The big guys like Cameron rake in so much dough that they won’t notice it; only their business managers care because the tax will leave that much less in the pot to embezzle.
It’s the same culture that allows A-list stars to jump onto the crummy commie dictator circuit, swooping into Havana, Bogota, Tehran or wherever for a quick bite with the resident thug-in-chief. Somehow they forget not only that they are eating a lot better than the locals, but that in many cases they have another advantage too – they get to leave. Of course, before they hop back into an enviro-friendly Gulfstream for their lift back to the Santa Monica airport, they have to pose with Fidel, or Hugo or whatever other dictator du-jour for some photos and some declarations about how their host’s deep thoughts rocked them to the depths of their eighth-grade educated minds. Lenin apocryphally called them useful idiots; well, he was half right.
Of course, radical chic morphs into self-preservation when things get dicey. If you were around for the L.A. riots back in 1992, you might recall how everything seemed to be on fire except for the areas like Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. That was not because the rioters particularly appreciated the noblesse oblige of the liberal Hollywoodiods living there. It’s because the liberal Hollywoodiods living there called out their cops and brought out their guns, both in large numbers. But, of course when the fires died down after the Army took control again, they went right back to trashing the police, privately owned firearms, and for that matter, soldiers.
The fact is that Cameron doesn’t believe in eco-terrorism – can you imagine his tantrum should some ELF twerp dynamite his high-tech Avatar soundstage for being located on the paved-over Playa Vista wetland or torch his Central California ranch? He believes in posing. And saying stupid things like “I believe in eco-terrorism” is just a pose.
Come to think of it, with his track record, what Cameron should be hoping is that eco-terrorism doesn’t believe in him. But if it does, he’s fortunate that someone he probably has nothing but contempt for will protect him.