The real life Dude, Jeff Dowd, inspiration for the character in "The Big Lebowski," expands on the idea that movies can show possibilities and solutions and explains why there have been only a few telethons for the oil catastrophe.
JD: The call of the moment is, hey, we're in total crisis in the world, we all know that. We're in economic crisis, we're in political crisis, we're in ecological crisis, food crisis, we all know it's gotta change or we're really gonna suffer and we're at that moment, but we have to know it's possible. Otherwise, you know, the people live in fear which, you know, many men do, warrior-types, chicken-hawks like Cheney and Bush and people like that. Those people live in fear, which is understandable, but they live in fear because they don't see the possibility, but they get in the way. You know, George Bush Sr. talked about a thousand points of light so these guys aren't all bad people, you know, it's like "Star Wars," we gotta bring out the good side of those people and not the dark side and that's where we're at historically now and that's what I'm hoping to do with the movies I'm going to be doing in the future, involved in.
And what "Treme" does, that also shows what's possible. It allows us, those of us not fortunate enough to be there, like you, all to be there in New Orleans. We can at least experience it in a way. That's a cool way to live, what they're doing there. I'm not talking about the buzz killer dejected side of it, but the cool side of it, you know? And so you see how humanity can survive with different forms of interaction than what's been fed to us. So, New Orleans, I think, is going to have to rise and Louisiana is once again going to have to rise from the ashes and, what's the nautical term for rise? Anyhow, New Orleans is going to have to rise again, but I'm hoping this could become an opportunity, and it so is, I mean this is what it finally took to expose the oil companies for what they are.
JD: I mean, this is so mythically epic and insane and everyday, the stuff you see that we, that the biggest crazed environmentalist wouldn't even imagine could be possible and these guys are doing it. And the irresponsible level of the short term, you know, this is the (???) version of the "casino economy." They don't even make…you know economies, you can make more off speculation, by far, than making something. What kind of ground rules are that for living, you know?
And the same thing with the oil business. Of course safety means nothing to these guys when they're all using the same safety carbon, you know, Xerox plan, that three different oil companies use the same, and even though Tony Hayward was seen as the knight after that guy Brown, Lord Brown or whatever his name was that was thrown out, Tony Hayward was like a progressive, and he was, compared to most people. You know, it doesn't matter, it's the chair not the man. And the guy's a total scumbag, I mean, I don't have to say it, but he was seen as that at one point by some. And he probably was in the oil community, but its systemically so corrupted with short term profits and that's what's so wrong with everything, it's all about short term in our economy, quarterly reports, you gotta make your quota and that trickles down to a bunch of guys sitting there three days before on the rig and two hours before and one hour before, it's like God came ten times and gave them a warning, you know? Hello!
It's like that old joke, you know? The floods are coming and Laura Cay's sitting there and the flood's coming and the cops come by and, "Hey, it's gonna flood, get out of here." And, "Nah, no no no, God's on my side, I'll be alright." And then the flood waters start to rise and you go up to the second story and the boat comes by and the boat, "Hey, come one, hop in." And "No, no, no, God will protect me. I'll be alright." So, the boat sees other people, boom, gone. Now, the flood rises and now you're on your roof and the chopper comes by and the chopper goes, "Hey, hey, you know, come on, we'll throw you down a rope." And you go, "No, no, God will save me" and they go on and save a little girl. And the floods come, sure as shit. Boom! You're swept away and you die. And here's Laura, she gets up, there she is at the pearly gates and she looks around and goes, "Holy shit, look at this, it's incredible! The clouds and the musicians and everybody's so happy and it's beautiful, it's fantastic, but how could this be possible?" And Saint Peter turns to her and says, "What do you mean?" And Laura's, "But, but…"
LC: I thought God would provide.
JD: So Peter gets out his book and goes to his computer and goes, "Laura Cay, huh? It shows we sent help three times."
LC: But given all this, why do you think celebrities are so silent on this? It's like AIDS.
JD: On BP?
LC: On the oil, on saving the Gulf.
JD: Oh, I don't think they've been that silent. It just hasn't been featured much because there hasn't been anything to call us around and it's also not a money relief thing because it's so staggeringly expensive. You know, let's have a little telethon and raise twenty BILLION here, you know what I mean?
LC: (laughing) Right.
Next week, The Dude explains how dolphin-free tuna should inspire us.