Yours is a beautiful posting, Unspoken Words... and I agree with all you've said. When a person meets Leonard, it is his prevailing qualities as a person that are so striking. I feel he's youthful, too. It seems to me that a problem is in meeting someone at a most inopportune moment... when they're already exhausted due to the undeniable factors of travel. It' so well known that flight is exhausting.
After a long, overseas flight, to go through the rigours of performance and massive media contact, and then endure the stress of airports and all that flying now entails, amidst the crowds of other travelers
... with such
short time in between. Few here have ever had to dovetail performing, media blitzes, and country hopping in such a short time span. Exhausting!
How I look or respond on ANY given day is directly related, first, to the amount of sleep I've had. Once illness is added in, you can forget it. I feel whipped and I look it. There have been too many accounts regarding Leonard's sprightliness to isolate out a time of illness, whilst traveling abroad, as being representative of his overall state of being.
He absolutely puts his all into his performances, no matter how brief or lengthy. If he's going to do it at all, he's going to do it right.
I missed entirely Simon's March 27 posting and its conjectures. I agree with what you've said, Unspoken Words, about how this is inspiring to Leonard, as well... good heavens... you can see it when he watches Anjani sing [the taped interview in Oslo] and silently lips the words along with her. It's who he is... and to have that be expressed and shared with people who love him... he may not 'need' it, but it certainly has to inspire him.
I love this synopsis:
This may cause stress but it could also be good for a creative artist where it is part of the air that he breathes and his life.
I felt the Oslo interview with Gore was splendid... in the beginning. His own humility is charming. He's old enough to realize that a red carpet is still just a rug. He looked down and laughed in obviously genuine humility, as various things were said. He realizes he's not a movie star; that he's put together a slide show that the brilliant people in the industry were able to enhance to the degree that it is so commentable and they succeeded in removing the "yawn" factor that the host made such a point of... I have yet to see the film. He admitted to not even having wanted it made into a film to begin with. He also did a great job of showing the sense of humour you hear about with him... regarding whether George Bush had ever seen it, the fact that George said he never would, and Al's comment that that's okay ~ that's why he wrote the book.
The interview appeared to be going well... and then something happened... at least from my perspective as a viewer. The host, though originally seeming to be supportive, went into the 'challenging' mode, as though wanting somehow to 'prove' Gore wrong, or discount what he was saying, or at least bring huge amounts of skepticism to it. What made it worse was that if the host has actually seen the film, you wouldn't know it by anything he said. He seemed more intent on demonstrating his own 'cleverness' with the "gotcha!" factor... bringing up how many question the information and when Gore spoke of the [unprecedented degree of] massive public support and the huge number of scientists who are top in their wide variety of fields... this being a comprehensive, holistic report of the state of our natural world... the host wanted to counteract it with their being scientists who disagree, as well. Well, of course, there are. There always will be. However, the ice caps are melting and the trickle down effect is evident in the number and intensity of hurricanes, the droughts, the etc.'s ad infinitum
. The host did his 'sparring' with a gleam in his eye and an almost smirk on his face. When I watched Gore's face, he seemed to be astonished by it himself... and had a look in his eyes that I would describe as baffled or even incredulous, at how he was being 'addressed' in this interview, and as though he'd just been blindsided, and had a questioning look in his eyes, as though feeling, "What are you doing...? And why...?"
Then! The host [who I feel I should add was someone who, when I watched the four Norwegians sing, was a pretty bright and engaging host]... however, then took the interview to an amazing low... asking for the specifics of how Gore felt when the word came that he had not 'won' the Presidency. Geez... what did he expect Gore to say... "I went to the bathroom and threw up. I barely made it"? "I bawled for hours... I was inconsolable"? "I wanted to hire a contract killer"? I mean what!?! I can't recall the exact nature of Al's response but it was to the effect of, "I felt about the way you'd expect I would feel" ~ for crying out loud, he had just won, but lost, the election for the Presidency... and in no simple fashion!! As a guest, I sure would have felt betrayed by such an attempt at sensationalism. He was there to talk about the environment and had to spend an inordinate amount of time defending the 'credentials' of his data... as though the host were another scientist about to enter a debate with him on it all... Gore barely got to talk about the environmental issues and impacts at all.
He also didn't receive the kind of respect that it seemed he would, going by the beginning of the interview, when HE did not attempt to be nor did he come across as arrogant or pompous ~ at all! ~ absolutely the contrary! He did get his due share of respect ~ for someone concerned for ALL of humanity, as we cannot make it in this world without a healthily functioning environment ~ until the 'formidable' female politician [former prime minister???] from Norway came on and brought a semblance of seriousness back into the interview process. She was wonderful... and so was Muhammed.
By the time the exchange between Gore and Leonard occurred, Gore had reason to feel that the seriousness of his own message had not been given its due platform... he does see the world at the brink, as he mentioned the irreversible tipping points are all around us... and he's doing his level best to get people to listen and act... and to get governments to apply their power in effective ways toward resolutions that will help correct the situations that are virtually everywhere, many of them dire.
So, he did dovetail Leonard's message about people not acting until crisis occurs in their life. He'd have done much better to have framed his comments in the sense that, as Leonard says people don't act until crisis has occurred... and the world is in that state of crisis right now... and he is hoping to make that message clear so that people will realize and understand it and, so as Leonard has made clear, they will
act!! However, a segue element there got left out... and his framing his comments within the context of Leonard's message appeared to be confrontational. I believe Gore does know exactly what Leonard means... and for the purposes of this discussion, it was more apples and oranges than anything. Personal and humanity's crisis [that of the internal landscapes of heart and soul and our mental/emotional survival] vs. humanity's and the world's extinction [that of the external landscapes of the environment and our physical survival]. Both are intensely committed to their subjects. It's too bad that it went as it did during those awkward moments, as it really was awkward. I felt that Gore had already been put on the defensive with the 'clever' hammering of the host... and he was trying desperately at that point to leave the viewing audience with the crucial seriousness of his message, that we are in crisis and there still is hope for change, if they will but recognize it. Both will require a profound and fundamental change of the heart.
Leonard had for himself already made it very clear that he was not going to attempt to discuss these environmental issues, much less debate them. He'd already referenced himself as being completely out of the league of these folks in these matters being discussed there today. That's a disclaimer that ought to have been taken for what it was... so, when Gore directed his closing remarks in terms of Leonard's earlier discussion and comments surrounding his own loss of money, etc. it was too great of a conceptual leap to 'work' or for Leonard to respond to... I feel he did well in the way he diverted the topic, as much as to say that he wasn't there to argue his own terminology and choice of words and phrases... and that he was willing to just let Gore have the last say on the environment and however he felt 'hope' plays a part. It worked to bring them all onto the 'same side' of something, rather than being 'opposed' in any sense... both Leonard and Gore lived in Tennessee... and it was clear that Gore understood what Leonard was doing and immediately fell into line with it, and extended it to include Muhammed, as well.
It seemed that all the guests came in... no one knew where the night was going... and the night went where it did... and Anjani closed it out sublimely... with Gore being seen as heartily appreciating both Leonard and his wisdom, and Anjani and her song. It was an intrigueing combination of people for an interview... Gore and Leonard both did very well, all things considered for Gore... and with the one awkward moment with Leonard, Leonard handled it with the grace that is his hallmark. He just had to segue it, absent a segue.
This morning on NPR, I hear that the reports that have just come in show that the damage caused by global warming is worse than they had thought; and that climate change is now
... already happened and happening, and its impacts are [because of the growing recognition of the current state of crisis
] being taken much more seriously and measures are being taken to address it, through legislation and other, more direct action. This five-person interview was the Oslo host's final program. It's unfortunate that he can't have Gore back and start with an introductory comment more along the lines of, "I'd like to talk with you more seriously about this... when you were here last time, we didn't explore it deeply enough." I would love to see Leonard and Anjani back, as well. Actually... having all of them would be superb. Muhammed has done so much for the women of Africa.