Just when we thought Arnold had run the gambit on things to achieve in his lifetime, he continued his shock and awe campaign last month with the announcement of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy. Serving primarily as a political think tank, the Schwarzenegger Institute hopes to blend the creativity and originality of Hollywood with the politics and bureaucracy of Washington. A strange combination, you think? Not really. Consider the fact that, in years past, Hollywood has brought to life onscreen some of the most far-out, insane ideas with no expectation of them ever becoming a reality only to see those same ideas come to fruition in real life later on down the road. Doesn't anyone else think the handheld space tablets used in Star Trek look eerily similar to iPads?
This is what the Schwarzenegger Institute is about: fresh ideas and new solutions to the problems facing the world today. And the big kickoff for this ballsy foundation took place today, September 24. Using some of the star firepower Arnold keeps in his arsenal, including Terminator creator and close friend James Cameron, the Institute held its inaugural symposium at the new center beginning in the morning and continued throughout the day. It was quite the day for USC! It must be pretty exciting to be a student who might have Professor Schwarzenegger as a lecturer (which will happen)!
The USC president C.L. Max Nikias introduced Arnold as a "larger than life hero," to which Arnold responded, "Thank you for that fantastic introduction, President Nikias, that's exactly how I wrote it." He then sat on two panels, one discussing partisan politics that included John McCain, Tom Daschle and others, and the second which included more Hollywood types like Brian Grazer and Ron Meyer. James Cameron was scheduled to be there, but couldn't get away from work on Avatar 2. Arnold made clear his love for movies and what kind of impact they can have, even admitting that he would've never become governor if he hadn't been a big movie star.
"The power of films and TV is enormous. I think its much more powerful than politicians can ever be in terms of promoting ideas."
To think that Arnold keeps achieving and achieving is unbelievable given the number of feathers already in his cap. And aside from the Institute kickoff, avid Arnold fans know that we only have to wait one more week to get our hands on Total Recall, Schwarzenegger's new book. It's a good day to be an Arnold fan.
Find out more about the Schwarzenegger Institute on USC's site.