Bridges Draws on Bucky’s “Trim Tab” Philosophy in Golden Globes Speech
Actor Jeff Bridges received the Cecil B. deMille Award at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday January 6th 2019. During his acceptance speech for the award, Bridges referenced our very own Buckminster Fuller as the person outside of the movie industry who has provided him with inspiration. Bridges specifically sited Bucky’s metaphor of the “trim tab” to explain the big change that can result from a single individual. The trim tab is a small hinged flap placed on a ship’s rudder that is used to turn the rudder which in turn changes the course of the entire vessel. Bucky used the idea of the small trim tab’s ability to effect big change as an inspiration for the impact that a single person can have on the world. Bridges evoked Bucky’s “trim tab” metaphor to challenge the 2019 Golden Globes audience to see what they could do as individuals to move us collectively toward “love and creating a healthier planet.” This concept was important enough to Bucky’s world view that he had the phrase '“Call Me Trim Tab” etched into his tomb stone.
“I like to think of myself as a trim tab,” Bridges said. “All of us are trim tabs. We seem like we’re not up to the task, but we are, man. We’re alive! We can make a difference. We can turn the ship in the direction we want to go, man! Toward love and creating a healthier planet.”
The Golden Globes wasn’t the first time Bridges evoked Bucky’s trim tab concept. He also shared the concept with Bill Maher in 2018 during a discussion on our individual responsibility to act on climate change.