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A cab driver in London and James Cameron discuss housing ; part 1

BROADCAST: 1970 | DURATION: 00:50:42


On his way to meet James Cameron, the taxi cab driver tells Studs Terkel about the demolition site they're passing. The cab driver explains that 30,000 more hotel rooms are needed because of the jumbo jet trade. The cab driver said the rooms are needed to advance London's tourism. James Cameron discusses the demolition that's happening at Ashburn Gardens. Cameron explains how the homes that are being torn down house students, au pairs, and people of color. Cameron also talks about how he never went to school or received an education. He also talks about how he doesn't hold it against any person who can now get a subsidized education from the government.


Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.


Studs Terkel One of the first people I visited in London was James Cameron, the journalist, perhaps the most respected in Britain. He was in Chicago covering the convention back in August 1968. Author of a remarkable autobiography Point of Departure. Commentator to the BBC. While on the away on the taxi cab to his house in a district known as Kensington, an area known as Ashburn Gardens, an area being demolished I noticed a great big demolition going in London, I was talking to the taxi cab driver. Asking about the changes that were taking place in London. And he-- I was commenting to him and he replied in the following manner.

Male Taxi Driver [Traffic noise throughout this conversation] I said they're knocking down the [Cromwell?] road, all the old buildings ready to build new hotels for the jumbo jet trade. We're about about30 days estimated that we should need another 30,000 bedrooms in London every night and we haven't got the hotel accommodation for them so they're knocking down all this old property to rebuild new ha-- new hotels.

Studs Terkel Well, for the jumbo jet trade, you

Male Taxi Driver Yes. Yes, it's 340 passengers or something. Something in that region on each plane during the summer season anyway. We should need much more hotel accommodation. We haven't got it.

Studs Terkel Right, it's going to be, because the old buildings that have more room will be going, won't they? The old buildings that have more room, of course, to accommodate the crowds, I suppose.

Male Taxi Driver Well, it was all the old buildings was-- wasn't very high. Now they have a system where they can build tall buildings. They can put more-- much more people in the same amount of area.

Studs Terkel [You see, it's] just going to be just too many people.

Male Taxi Driver No, I don't think so. It's-- it's only a casual business. It's only holiday time that we'll need these hotels, of course. [Nowhere they can be accommodated all right.]

Studs Terkel How do you-- how do you, as a taxi cab driver, among them look upon this as as an advance or a step back?

Male Taxi Driver Oh, an advance, of course. Yes, we need this tourist trade badly. Very badly. Whether-- whether, of course, it does encourage people to come here but we certainly need tourist trade. I'm all for it.

Studs Terkel Isn't there a very big tourist trade right now? Group tourism?

Male Taxi Driver Yes, it it is but there's no doubt that it can be extended. There's no reason why it shouldn't be enlarged; to bring American-- or foreign money here is a-- I say, of course.

Studs Terkel You think there can be even more tourism than there are now?

Male Taxi Driver [Unintelligible]?

Studs Terkel There can be even more tourists in London than there

Male Taxi Driver Oh, yes. Yes, I think the jumbo jet will mean a cheaper fare and it will come within the compass of more people to come here.

Studs Terkel Will the city be able to accommodate all those people?

Male Taxi Driver When these hotels are ready, yes. As I say, they-- they're building them as fast as they can. We've opened at least, oh, within the last three years we must have put up at least 10-12 new hotels and we were very-- for a city of this size we was badly in need of them. Lots of hotels that we had before the war are very old fashioned and being used for government offices. Now the [purpose is?], I can recall several. There was a Victoria, the Metropol. Several others, very large hotels, the Berkley. They've all been demolished. And we need these hotels, as I say.

Studs Terkel How do you feel about the tearing down of some of the old landmarks?

Male Taxi Driver Well, I will say that I miss them very much. I don't think the-- the new buildings, as far as architecture comes up to anything like the old style buildings. The old building was something you could admire for its workmanship. You can't these glass and concrete buildings. They look like matchboxes stood on end.

Studs Terkel You say, you admire the workmanship of the old buildings?

Male Taxi Driver Yes. Yes. The brickwork and-- it's really artistic.

Studs Terkel Do you think something is happening to workmanship today?

Male Taxi Driver Definitely, yes. Oh yes, I don't think it's any-- I don't think the workmanship is anything like the old style. Of course, the materials are different and, I suppose, the old work and craftsmanship's not really necessary today.

Studs Terkel You don't think craftsmanship is really necessary?

Male Taxi Driver Not-in the old days, labor was cheap. Materials was cheap. They could spend a lot of time on the work

Studs Terkel I'm seated in the study of my friend, very distinguished journalist James Cameron, and the cab driver I was talking to-- the London cab driver was describing this area where Mr. Cameron lives as being one of the centers of demolition. Ashburn Gardens. Thoughts? You you you heard you heard the driver speak, you heard me talk about the hotels where I am in London [unintelligible] him speak about the changes. Your thoughts?

James Cameron Well, we live right in the middle of the absolute symbolism of what's happening to London now. The interesting part about about the demolition of this area is that it's quite impossible to feel aesthetically indignant or romantic about it because this is probably the, physically, the ugliest architecture in the whole town. Built in the worst time of the Edwardian taste but nonetheless it represented London much more to me. Than St. James's did or that Piccadilly did or any of the notable landmarks. This was where people actually lived and had their being. Once upon a time these were real houses belonging to big and prosperous merchants, they found themselves ultimately converted into flats, and now they're about to be converted into dust and rubble. That is the cycle of change that takes place in all organic cities and one can't complain about it but nonetheless there's a certain nostalgia about it because what's happened here is that this area for two or three square miles of land is the the heart of what we call [bed-sit-odom?]. This is the home of all the au pair girls, the students, the teenagers, the radicals, the experimentalists, the young people who live by themselves in little rooms and with a a an attitude to life that has completely completely in a sense rejuvenated the atmosphere. If you if, in a second, Studs if you look just round the out of the window there you'll see that some student or other climbed out somewhere or other to write no, the other side to write the word "Hello" on the side of the wall for no purpose at all just hello.

Studs Terkel Up above long live--

James Cameron That's 'long live LSD'.

Studs Terkel [Yeah, yeah there it is too?] But something there's a human sign.

James Cameron Yep, there's 'hello' it just says it's a sort of a greeting to the world. Now it argues a rather decent nature in whoever wrote that word whereupon once upon a time they wrote obscenities on walls. Now at the back of that building there's another painted sign which has been there for years now which just says 'I love the world'. That was all. Nothing. But, anyhow, it is now coming down to make room for, not just a hotel as the taxi driver seemed to think, and it's not just going to be the biggest hotel in London, nor is it going to be the biggest hotel in England, or the biggest hotel in Europe. It's going to be the second biggest hotel in the whole world, second only to the Conrad Hilton in Chicago.

Studs Terkel Which you remember very well from August 1968.

James Cameron We both remember it very well but, strangely enough, this hotel that's going to replace where I live now is going to be enormous. For for London standards, absolutely enormous and one part of me says 'Oh Christ, why should all the multitude of tiny little homes around here, which are homes, why should they be crushed and demolished by a property developer just to make money for somebody else.' Well, the other part of me says 'Why the hell not?' It is more useful. It is more- it will bring much more prosperity. It is destroying nothing of value. All over the rest of London they are destroying things of great value which I do deeply regret and have protested bitterly about. But I can't, in my heart, find any reason to say you must not demolish Ashburn Gardens because a more ugly neighborhood, it is impossible to find but nonetheless there's strange creepy feeling of having to get out of where you're going to live. Right outside, in the square now, that great big iron ball is crunching into these facades of masonry and down they come. Well, only two months ago, my friends were living in that flat. Any day now that bloody great ball is going to come flonking through here. I have nightmares about this thing coming right before they give me time to get out.

Studs Terkel Cameron versus the wrecking ball. Now I'm thinking here, where you're seated now, as you say you you're of two minds. There's an ambivalence here because of the ugliness of what was before the arc-- At the same time beings. You said 'a sign of being', the word hello will soon be replaced by goodbye. On the other side.

James Cameron Yes,

Studs Terkel So, it is that. Even though, now for the moment, Jim, even though this was ugly architecture you were saying beings, a sign of being.It grew up organically. I mean this flat, this apartment, in which we are living now, is a very cheap one. Very cheap apartment indeed, by London standards, because I've been here quite a long time but it's outrageously opulent and and and commodious for the standards of today. There where one small family lives in in this apartment now, this space will accommodate 20 people and, presumably, with the world getting so dense with people that is that is the necessary form that change is going to take. Just because I'm getting older, like you're getting older, one does start resenting change for change's own sake

Studs Terkel For changes sake.

James Cameron And that's a bad attitude, I think.

Studs Terkel When's any change for change's sake?

James Cameron Well, change for change's sake is of course always wrong. That's why I'm I'm a terrible social conservative and political socialist.

Studs Terkel [Unintelligbile]

James Cameron I I some of the most dedicated radicals and socialists I know are the most terrible conservative people when it comes to their own surroundings and their own life. But this this is this is a measure of I don't mind the buildings going. I don't mind those lovely plain trees we've got outside going. Although they took 190 years to grow to the height they have now, they'll been taken down and in half an hour. I resent them going. But most of all though I resent that something like three or four thousand [telephone ringing] sorry. [Sounds

Studs Terkel Just as we are resuming the conversation, the phone rang. That was the phone you heard ring a moment ago. And at that moment James Cameron [in his] rocking chair was about to answer the phone which, interesting too, was the phone of a tape recorder he answered. That too was indicative of something, isn't it? We'll return the matter of change but technology itself how it suddenly it confuses us all, does it not? The reality and the fantasy?

James Cameron Have you never been listening to a television program a drama where part of the drama is the telephone rings. I always get up and answer my own phone because I never know whether it's that or not. Of course, dominated by this abominable thing. At least people in-- our kind of people are dominated by it. But, there again, for for probably hundreds and hundreds of people around here, particularly old ladies living by themselves of which there are a great many here, this telephone isn't an interruption, it isn't a nuisance, it's an absolute lifeline, you know, to these people. And and it's it's-- there again I'm always catching myself out in resenting things that annoy me personally that are probably of immeasurable value to other people

Studs Terkel You know, there's so many thoughts come to my mind. Basically we're talking about ambivalence right now. Change for the sake of man and change for change's sake or for commerce's sake. We're also talking about technology, we're talking about illusion and reality. A moment ago you were saying you you resenting, it you know it's for a common good. I remember, you saying that, a visit to Shanghai years ago, and you remember the marvelous martinis that were there, and the beautiful dancing girls before the Chinese revolution, and children were starving in the streets and, later on, you found it drab and grey after the revolution. You found no beautiful dancing girls, all drab, and no good martinis but you found no children starving in the streets.

James Cameron No. You know, the old days of Shanghai were the most marvelous piece of social symbolism the world has ever seen. When it was prosperous, when it was gay, when it was comfortable, when it was international. 30,000 children a day were swept out-a year, I'm sorry. 30,000 children a year were swept out of the gutters because they'd been thrown there because they couldn't feed them. Now it's probl-as I as you were saying it's a miserable, drab, and, in a sense, depressing place if you allow yourself to be depressed by the absence of martinis. Now I do tend to be depressed by the absence of martinis but not to the extent of of overwriting the fact that people are eating who were previously starving and people who are alive who would otherwise be dead, that's all.

Studs Terkel And basically that's what we're talking about, aren't we? Changes for the good and changes for the bad. And what is the goal? What is the purpose of that which is changing? In a sense, is a toward man's whatever it is betterment or enlightenment or towards something and the and [after?] you're torn. Here's the ugly architecture and one person living in a room that could probably house more. And yet we're talking about crisis, in one way, I guess this this time we live in of of such overwhelming transition, isn't it, overwhelming but sometimes difficult for us to judge [unintelligible] it.

James Cameron I think everybody here should be asked the question; everybody who protests that change should be asked the question, listen, there are 15 to 17,000 homeless people in London right now, living in hostels, living in condemned properties, without any home at all. Families are being split. Nobody wants that. Now would you knock down Westminster Abbey if that were the only way of building a house for these people? Well, part of me says of course I would but the other part, the sensible part, the rational part of me says no, by Christ, I would not because at this very moment in London there is a building in the corner of Tottenham Court Road 15 stories tall which was put up by a property developer three years ago and has not had one single tenant in it for three solid years because it is commercially more practical for this man to pay the rates on an empty property which are infinitely less. Already that thing is worth nearly one and three quarter million pounds sterling a year to that man in order to keep people out of it. So I wouldn't knock down Westminster Abbey while there are anomalies of that kind.

Studs Terkel Yes. See now we're talking about perhaps one of the keys. Who benefits from what toward what end? It isn't a question, it's almost a loaded question: Westminster Abbey or homes for the homeless? When you have rubble and you have an entrepreneur making it. This is the case in Chicago and that was called urban renewal or some called it poor people's removal. I call it urbane removal but, not quite that urbane anymore. It's quite obvious now and quite unsubtle.

James Cameron Yes. No, I agree that the the analogy of knocking down Westminster Abbey is tremendously over-simplifying a very complicated thing but the analogy of this particular building I'm talking about, which is now the scandal of London and has been exposed as a scandal in in the various journals and everybody realizes the scandal but it is within the law, as the law stands at this moment, and I, sometimes, really seriously wonder why that place isn't occupied by stormtroopers of the of the dispossessed in this country as they occupied 180 Piccadilly last year.

Studs Terkel Did they now?

James Cameron They did indeed and for five or six days. But, of course, there again, it was a pure gesture and the the thing was-- became overloaded with political undertones and so on. I just I just think that the whole system that does permit of-- permit of the the the wanton defiance of human needs. You see, this thing, this Highpoint business in Tottenham Court Road, is the most prominent landmark in all London and it stands as a as a permanent visible condemnation of the system in which we live. The demolition of the of our houses here is of very little importance at all, in in this context, but it it does enormously symbolize what what is going on. The interesting thing about this strange neighborhood of London, now another aspect of the change of London, is you can go to the corner of the street here by Gloucester Road Underground Railway and you can stand there for half an hour, you won't hear one single word of English spoken. You will hear them talking Serbo-Croat and Japanese and French. Every language in the world because this is the neighborhood where all the students accrete, the foreigner au pair girls accrete. And, at this time of year, it is absolutely dense with with the kind of very young tourists that they call hippies: longhaired, bearded people who are here by their hundreds and hundreds having hitchhiked most of the way. Well, your taxi driver wouldn't approve of them, you

Studs Terkel see, No.

James Cameron Because they bring in absolutely nothing. Their contributions to the economy is absolutely nothing. I maintain, that their contribution to some form of international understanding is very important, however. They will go away at least knowing a little bit more about us than they did before and when everybody complains about the kids that go over hitchhike to Nepal and s because they get cheap pot and such. Well, undoubtedly you get some terrible examples of youthful futility in that too but, the more I see people of other people's countries in other people's countries the happier I am having spent almost all my life in other people's countries. I'm a permanent stranger wherever I am almost always except here. Although I've lived, strangely enough, very little here. I do feel that I have a root here somewhere.

Studs Terkel A roots. By the way, you say you feel a permanent stranger everywhere except here, of course, I think of the opening of one of the most beautiful autobiographies I've read in years, Bertrand Russell's, and James Cameron's Point of Departure. Not with I recall that passage where you felt strange almost everywhere because you were in so many places but I want to come back. We'll go on to, Jim, if you don't mind there's so many things. Talking about the young hippies and the taxi cab driver would resent them because they don't bring in trade whereas group tourism to some extent or even more posh tourism might, I must think of this man as you do too, who's worked hard all his life, you know, and as a result, I know in England many people have left school at 13 and 14 and gone to work at the age of 14. You know the other night I wanted to call Chicago and the porter, it was night, you know and he difficulty Chicago isn't quite certain about the city and the spelling and it got all mixed up and you realize that it was difficult, you know, he had left school at 13 or four--. He started working at 14; I'm thinking about this cab driver. And so we have, don't we, something else that is universal. The young full of life and imagination and a certain will for freedom and again, someone whose whole life has been spent almost in a slave-y fashion. Naturally, he'd resent it. The horizons, you know, is the sort of Edward Markham's The Man with the Hoe. There's something happening out there about which he is not quite aware.

James Cameron Oh, I mean this terrible old, cliched jargon phrase, 'the generation gap'. There is absolutely no doubt it it's the most concrete part of life at the moment. It's very, very, very difficult indeed for a man who left school at 14 or 15 to come to terms with the fact that now students are subsidized. Now students get the higher education paid for them and things of that nature. And, in a way, they're bound to resent it. They're they're I I don't although strangely enough, you see, I also left school at 15 and I have nothing to unlearn in that respect. Only when I was young, there wasn't this sort of mass international of youth that enabled you to, as it were, join your generation. One's generation was always governed by that of the older generation so if you hadn't a younger generation to join it was just millions of individuals.

Studs Terkel You know, I wasn't aware that you had left school now, it comes back, at 15 but, in your case, there was a continuity with a thread of it. I think, of course, of your tribute to your father. Oh,

James Cameron Oh, yes that was the continuity but, nonetheless, see life does take some very funny turns, Studs. You see, I've had virtually no really serious formal education at all. I I never failed an exam in all my life for the simple reason I never set one in all my life and I never went to university and never got a degree until last month. I suddenly got one.

Studs Terkel An honorary degree?

James Cameron I got an honorary doctorate of all the barmy things in the world to happen to me [laughter] and I had to go up to a university, well.

Studs Terkel Where was this?

James Cameron University of Lancaster and they suddenly trotted out Princess Alexandra and all sorts of the things and they suddenly turned me into a Doctor. Which was the most extraordinary paradox and strangely enough, Studs, I well I was very complimented by it, of course, I but I had it in my mind's in a way sort of to resent it when my own children had such terrible difficulty getting to university at all but, so I should suddenly get this degree. Then I discovered when I got there how it had come about. That is, in this university the student body is represented on the Senate and has the right to nominate one person a year for an honorary doctorate which is nothing to do with the with the university faculty, the academic body at all, and I was a student nomination and, suddenly, it suddenly seemed alright then. I I thought OK I'm not being patronized from above I'm being complimented from below and that was a very much different thing. Very Different.

Studs Terkel You know, that I don't know how to explain to the audience but when I talk to James Cameron I feel absolutely free and and I don't have to think of any preconceived subject to talk about just now you are complimented from below by the students and the students, of course, read your works and see you on BBC and it wasn't a question being patronized from above. We're talking now about a new kind not a new, perhaps an old kind of wisdom. This is a question, isn't it, the academician is against the book is against the street. Both are necessary aren't they? The book and the street it is both, you know? We know that campus unrest is going on a great deal and so these senior professors who are these upstarts.

James Cameron Well, if you are formally uneducated there are only two attitudes you can take to to to the book and the academic world, either you resent it bitterly or you have, as I have got, an almost irrational respect for it. I if it hadn't been for the quote book I don't know where I would have been because I had to start learning when I was already half grown up. And I I developed such a a respect for people who knew their way around and who knew things and who knew languages and had, in fact, read things that for several years of my life I was the most terrible, awful kind of immature academic snob because I began to resent everybody who didn't. Now they don't feel anything like that today. And they don't have to either. They simply don't. But, I've I've I've never felt the slightest resentment for people who had educational and academic privilege. I've had the bitterest resentment, my whole life has been informed by resentment for people who had economic or social privilege. That is why this has always been a very difficult country to live in because it is still, to this day of course, riddled with forms of social privilege that I don't think will ever be eradicated but they are getting modified terribly, mellowed, and I think one day Britain will come to terms with that situation as it's come to terms with so many other ones in the past.

Studs Terkel I want to come to to Britain itself and where it stands at this moment in in the world and your own observation about other societies. The, what makes James Cameron, to me, so overwhelming a being is, of course, his respect for knowledge, for the intellect, for the book but, also that distinguishes him from the dusty academician is his knowledge. I think of Dundee, you know, your young apprenticeship as a journalist in Dundee, the industrial slum, and the knowledge and being there and what it did to humans, you see. And so it's both, you see, you are, if I could put it, on the street as well as with the book.

James Cameron Of course, one has a very singular advantage, Studs, if you got into the trade I got into which was the trade of journalism enables you in a sense to bestride both things if you want to. It's the one trade that does allow you to keep a foot in every camp if you want to and if you have the ability to do so. I knew perfectly when I started working filling paste pots in a provincial newspaper office I was surrounded, at that time, by a a a city that had had a depression for 10 or 20 years and it was in a condition of industrial distress that can only be described by saying that something like 51 percent of the population didn't have any work at all and I just-

Studs Terkel [This was] in the 30s or the 20s?

James Cameron This was in the late 20s, early 30s, the basic industry had fallen out and there was nothing else to live on. Well, I didn't know. I was, politically, a bit naive because I hadn't read the the the economic works that I should have done and I was very ill-versed in economics and politics. All I knew was that there must be something terribly wrong with a society where one person out of every two was living on 15 shillings a week and, two miles away down in in the suburb, the people who owned these mills were living in mansions. Now, it seems so naive and simplistic to to to say that that should have come as a surprise to me but it did come as a surprise to me and it it it bent my mind in a certain way of thinking that's never been change ever ever since. I mean, I was I was lucky to have a job and I never went out of a job. The only time I ever became unemployed was now and even so I manage just to scratch a living. But at that time I I just thought this is something so wrong that I can't understand it and so I tried to find out what was wrong about it and so I began read the masters of economics and sociopolitical works and so and I formalized what had been just an inchoate feeling into a sort of rationale and I I I lent then, naturally, towards the Socialists not because they'd got the answer, because they palpably hadn't got the answer, but because they did argue that there was an answer somewhere. The other people argued that this is a fact of life and a fact of nature and can't be interfered with.

Studs Terkel You know, as you're talking, James, I'm thinking a fact of nature and a fact of life can't be interfered with. In my work on the American depression and in here, while at this moment talking to you, doing some series for Thames TV talking to British survivors of the British depression; the parallel of both the great many accepting it, you know. Poverty is not, as one man said, an ennobling experience. Accepting it and the few questioning and challenging it, you know, and you, in a sense, were saying this need not be, you know, as a matter of course, as a matter of course the great many people knew in Dundee you saw accepted their lot, you know?

James Cameron Oh, completely. That is why I have such a respect for the book because it was only the chaps who knew their stuff and could marshal their facts and quote their history above all things who were ever able to make any dent in this situation. The great lumpenproletariat, poor devils, they couldn't because they hadn't got the resources to argue with.

Studs Terkel I can never forget these the other day I was in this old people's home in in London, the outskirts near Westham, it's called, and these two old ladies were marvelous, full of life I think I'll be playing their tapes on this program, the series and, one old guy, Jim Fields, 79 years old resented it. He said something else had to be done. They said that's the way it is, nothing you can do about, can you, you see. And, the fact you say why you liked the book. Frederick Douglass the great, born a slave, freed man, leading abolitionist, black people, described in his autobiography what happened to him. And he said his mistress taught him to read the Bible and then her husband, his master, shut it but it was too late, he learned and that was it now and in South Africa was a Chief Albert John Luthuli he speaks of missionaries who try to impose a culture, a Christian culture, upon on an indigenous African culture. He resented it but they made one mistake. They taught him to read. So this is what we're talking about, aren't we? The open window, that slight opening of the window.

James Cameron The moment you teach a man to read, you give him the hammer, well, where to beat off his chains.

Studs Terkel And there's something else outside that window, isn't there? He knows that. So a poverty stricken village in India, well, perhaps you could talk about that since you were a friend of Pandit Nehru, a close friend of his and of Krishna Menon. I suppose, we think of India and, you know, India and China always come to mind don't they?

James Cameron Yes.

Studs Terkel I think of India-

James Cameron The archetypal example of totally uncontrolled and totally uncontrolled economy for so so very long. I really don't know what is going to happen to India yet very very sad and depressed about it because I love that country very very very much indeed but, [knocking] they are going to solve their frustrations by exploding, which is what I fear. I don't think it will be possible to keep Bengal away from communism in the strictest, most formal sense of the word simply because it is the only thing that offers anything to them. It won't fulfill its offer because it never does. This I have to admit having also lived a good deal in in Russia. It doesn't fulfill its offer but, while it's there it embodies people's aspirations and if you have nothing whatever to lose then why not go over to to to Marxism. If it's, it cannot be really much worse than it is now. It can be that you don't think it can be.

Studs Terkel How can one talk, whatever the phrase be, red, white and blue, or the tricolors, or whatever it is, or whatever the British flag may be I forget now, how can you talk that to empty bellies?

James Cameron Of course you can't. Of course you can't. The Hindus, of course, have got one great advantage over us that we don't have is that they know perfectly well that their life, miserable as it is, is just one instance in a endless cycle of reincarnations and rebirths and that whatever I'm born as next time it might conceivably be better because it cannot be worse.

Studs Terkel Yeah, of course.

James Cameron That of course militates very seriously against revolutionary stances, you see. That's a terribly bad philosophy on which an agitator will have to work.

Studs Terkel He'd have a tough time, wouldn't,

James Cameron he? [Karma?]!

Studs Terkel The agitator the agitator bucking the idea of reincarnation that perhaps there's another life after this one. Now, how can you challenge that? That's a rough one, isn't

James Cameron Well, that's about the roughest thing they've got. They have a thing called karma and maya, all life is illusion, and karma, all things are written, well, it's very difficult for a good, vigorous, young Maoist that pop up and say well by the what what about today, though? After if you've had 8000 years of [resizing?] that today is unimportant and the only thing that matters is 2000 years further on. I wouldn't like to be I wouldn't like to be a revolutionary leader in India.

Studs Terkel Jim, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna this tape is coming near an end and I'm sitting with you and drinking Bell's Scotch and it's a marvelous moment for me in my life sitting here with you at this moment. And we'll just keep talking, you know. [pause in recording] I know what it was I was about to ask you before we changed tapes. When you went to answer that telephone earlier you know that was an actual telephone ringing and when I replayed back the tape for you. You know, before to resume where we'd left off you arose from your rocking chair to answer the phone again. But it was on the tape, do you see? So we come to technology, illusion, and reality. A very celebrated case was the killing of a girl in New York by some guy, Kitty Genovese. And she cried and screamed and nobody came to her rescue. And many many explanations were given. People don't want to be involved. People are terrified but another might be that it was a sound and the sound that might have come off a television set, do you see?

James Cameron Yeah. It's the overlap of illusion and reality. But there was another overlap in that particular telephone call because, when that telephone rang, I [didn't?] know who the hell it was. It turned out to be a West Indian immigrant whom I met by the sheerest of chance last week in London. I just met him and he he was a black immigrant, not not a militant, just a man who was looking for a job and I'm trying to find him a job and he rings me up roughly every day to say have I found him a job, well, I haven't got the slightest hope in hell of finding him a job but I must keep him going along because it's his only contact with the kind of world that might give him a job and, so, this was a very basic need was coming out of this simple piece of technology there. It wasn't just somebody ringing up saying will you come to a party or something. It was a guy who really is up against it at the moment and the ghastly thing for me is I can't do very much about it except have him around and give him a drink from time to time which is a futile

Studs Terkel Well, two things are involved here: James Cameron himself, of course. A certain kind of journalist. I know the next theme. You've just given me another theme. The question of the journalist who was objective. If there is any such animal, which I doubt. And I'll ask Cameron on the advocate journalist, the man with a point of view and so, at the same time, the telephone came very much in handy there, didn't it? It gave him, the man who called you, a certain kind of boost of morale, at least for that moment,

James Cameron Oh yes. Oh yes and we'll meet him on Monday and we'll see what we can do. I won't be able to get him a job, I'm afraid, but I will be able to buy him a meal.

Studs Terkel Just a comment about that conversation with Cameron, the first half, that is, today's. You may recall, about, oh, 45 minutes ago or so, the phone rang. He went to answer the phone. Perhaps this wasn't explained well enough on the program we just heard. He went to answer the phone and he spoke with someone the young man who was looking for a job. Then he came back to the, sit with me and I rewound the tape to go back to the spot where we had left off. Well, on the tape the sound of a telephone was ringing, you see, at that very moment again Cameron rose and went to the phone because that was the phone ringing again. It wasn't, it was the phone on the tape that recorded his original caller's ring, you see? That's what we were talking about the illusion and the reality; the nature of the technology and what it does to us, to our minds. It boggles it bo- boggles our minds, indeed. Ian Campbell Trio is a group that works in Birmingham. I didn't have a chance to see them, Birmingham being further north, being in the Midlands, the industrial city. But, I was able to obtain this record not yet not yet released in America. Ian Campbell group singing on occasion, Ray and Norm, on The Midnight Special, have played this particular one, "The Sun is Burning", with a sister Lorna singing and the Campbell Group and, the particular song, has me all sorts of intimations.

Studs Terkel [music playing] "The Sun is Burning." That is the name of the album too, it's unmarked since this has not yet been released I just happened to get my hands on this. I happened to find this particular band. I knew that was a song that have been played on the station but, I thought we'd try it reminds me very much, of course, of an Yves Montand song, "C'est à l'aube", dawn. Same principle as the sun shines, it shines on all of the various things that happen in the world. The sun shines and sets and disappears and so too Yves Montand's song about dawn. What dawn means to different people in different circumstances; the dawn. A child may be crying, a man may be getting up just to work, one those very early risers, a man may be going to sleep at dawn. At dawn of man is shot at dawn and, so too, the sun is rising and we're gonna try an experiment now Marty and I, since the album was unmarked and you'll be hearing it for the first time, as Marty and I will too. I don't know anyone,this is since it's the new. Ian Campbell trio album. Let's see what we hear. You choose, Marty. [music playing] Marty Robinson picked a winner, I think. We hadn't heard this. I didn't know what it was. We don't know what the name is so Marty said let's call it "Security", I said let's call it "The Gold Watch" or, perhaps, "The morning and the evening". Remember the Albert Sillitoe novel with Albert Finney; so much like it. The man, his work, the drabness, his life the prison and more and more of course this becomes a subject today: man and his work. The nature of his work and what it does to him. So we'll find out the name one day soon but obviously the album sounds like a very fascinating one indeed. That's the Ian Campbell Trio. That's Alan Sillitoe rather than Albert Sillitoe. We'll continue with James Cameron speaking on a variety of subjects for a full hour on the next program. Until then take it easy but take it.