Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston - In Memorium

I don't know which line I liked better, the one from a work of fiction: "Take your stinking paws off of me you damn dirty ape"; or the one from real life: "...from my cold dead hands".

The sad thing is that his hands are now indeed cold. Charlton Heston has passed away leaving behind an outstanding film career, and one hell of a controversial bit of political activism. Heston became political activist in the Kennedy era. He was a strong proponent of civil rights, and of the Omnibus Gun Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. The controversy arose when he later realized the folly of the left, and his own folly for having believed that a leftward lean had been the way to go. He never changed his stance about racism being wrong, nor his stance on civil rights, but he realized that those on the left were stereotypical hypocrites and racists hiding behind an aura of self proclaimed do-gooderness. For example, he was outraged that the Actors' Equity Association refused to allow a Caucasian to play the role of a Eurasian pimp in the play Miss Saigon, but instead insisted that an Asian be selected for the role. This despite the fact that the very same Actors' Equity Association refused to cast an Asian in the leading Asian roles in the same play! Heston quit the association over that. He was in his deeds a man who stood by his principals, and who realized that racism is not a one way street, although he at the same time apparently realized that liberalism indeed saw it as a one way street. Yes in deed and words he expressed himself as an opponent of racism, racism caused by whites, and racism practiced against whites. He both marched with Martin Luther King and was a proponent of the Civil Rights Movement long before it was fashionable for politicians or the Hollywood crowd, and he readily professed his belief that racism worked both ways, and that it was caused by the Cultural Warfare being waged by the liberal left:

"The Constitution was handed down to guide us by a bunch of wise old dead white guys who invented our country! Now some flinch when I say that. Why! Its true-they were white guys! So were most of the guys that died in Lincoln’s name opposing slavery in the 1860’s. So why should I be ashamed of white guys? Why is “Hispanic Pride” or “Black Pride” a good thing, while “White Pride” conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I’ll tell you why, Cultural warfare!" (Reference:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Fighting_the_Culture_War_in_America)

He had a knack for seeing things as they really were, whether or not his view was a popular one among his peers. Heston was intelligent enough to have seen the error of his earlier ways regarding gun control. Again my bet is that he saw the hypocrisy of the left on this issue. He changed his stance on it and became a strong proponent for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. In fact in 1998 until 2003 he was the president of the National Rifle Association. It was during an NRA event that Heston held a rifle high over his head and aid those words "from my cold dead hands" referring to his willingness to defend our rights under the 2nd Amendment. He also changed his politics from those of an apparently confused Democrat to those of a sure Republican because he realized that it was truly the Republican Party that had stood for those things in which he believed such as the Civil Rights issue.

Sadly, in 2002, Heston made a public appearance telling us all he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Shortly after that, in 2003, he resigned his position as president of the NRA. No not because of lack of personal conviction, simply because he was unable to carry on. Of course there were some who took apparent glee in the fact that Heston had come down with Alzheimer's. One of them was about as leftist as you can get - George Clooney. He reportedly joked about Heston's condition saying: "
Charlton Heston announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer's." (reference: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=30590) When taken to task over this crass remark, Clooney reportedly said this: "I don't care. Charlton Heston is the head of the National Rifle Association. He deserves whatever anyone says about him." Maybe that is truthfully why I can not name one of the roles in which this scumbag Clooney has starred. I also cannot tell you about how Clooney served his country, but I can tell you that i 1944 Charlton Heston enlisted and served in the US Army Air Forces during WWII.

As for his films, I can name many of the films in which Heston starred, and a great many of them are classics. You can get names of a lot more of them at the
IMDB Some of them are:

The Savage (1952)
The Greatest Show On Earth (1952)
Pony Express (1953)
The Naked Jungle (1954)
The Far Horizons (1955)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
A Touch of Evil (1958)
The Buccaneer (1958)
Ben Hur (1959)
El Cid (1961)
55 Days at Peking (1963)
Major Dundee (1965)
The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)
Khartoum (1966)
Planet of The Apes (1968, the first movie where I remember seeing a line that was blocks and blocks long of people waiting to get in to see it)
Wil Penny (1968)
The Omega Man (1971, I hear tell that I Am legend was basically a rehashed remake of this film depending on artistic license to make it appear as a new idea)
Anthony and Cleopatra (1972)
Soylent Green (1973, in which he costarred with Edward G. Robinson in Robinson's last film)
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Earthquake (1974)
Midway (1976)
The Mountain Men (1978)

And he kept going, acting until 2003, when his life was basically cut short, but not yet ended, by Alzheimer's Disease. Did he truly deserve contracting Alzheimer's Disease for his membership in the NRA, for his support of the 2nd Amendment - of course not; but Mr. Clooney is classless enough to have claimed such. Mr. Heston was a champion in his films, and a champion of our Constitutional Rights in real life. Clooney will never be a champion of anything, other than maybe of being a jerk, as far as I am concerned. Yes Charlton Heston was a champion indeed and a man of conviction. He was a Hollywood actor who stood against the political correctness of the belief in whites' only racism, who was against against abortion, who was staunchly pro-civil rights long before it was a popular stance politically or in Hollywood, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr., who was against a society that was dividing itself leading to its own destruction, who was staunchly anti-communist but yet was anti McCarthyism, who was against against multi-culturism and the culture war (believing instead in a unified United States of America), who opposed the war in Vietnam and then voted for Nixon - the man who ended that war, who had the class to stand up - excuse himself - and walk out of an interview conducted by Michael Moore when Moore tried to blind side him, who was ultimately against gun control despite his earlier stance in favor of it, who vehemently stood up against Time Warner at a stockholders meeting (his own bread and butter so to speak) for their release of the ICE-T song Cop Killer, who stood up for protecting the environment, who stood up for his beliefs in the face of fierce criticism from others in Hollywood (like Clooney who could not even fill one of his shoes acting wise, and who could come nowhere near him conviction wise), who fought the battle for civil rights, who fought the battle to preserve our Constitutional Rights such as the rights of free speech and the right to keep and bear arms. Not only did he tell it like he believed it, he actually lived it like he believed it.

In great part, due to his convictions, and his efforts to protect the rights of others, Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 2003. That medal is the highest civilian award in the USA. It was not long after that that his disease progressed so rapidly as to shock those who knew him well. He died yesterday, April 5, 2008, with Lydia, his wife of 64 years, at his side. Imagine that -being married to the same person for 64 years (I guess he held a conviction that marriage was a good thing)! I suppose that is one of the other reasons I liked him so much. One other reason for me to have liked him was that he was born in the same year as my mom, and only a day from my birthday (not year-wise, but month and day wise) though I only found that out today (and of course even this is controversial as some say he was born in 1924 anbd others say 1923). Regardless, he was one of my favorite actors, one of my favorite political activists, and obviously a man who stood by his words with his deeds. He was indeed a great American. He will be missed.

With sadness in my heart,
Glenn B

2 comments:

Jungle Mom said...

He was a true American. One thing I greatly admired of him was his 64 year long marriage...in Hollywood! Thats admirable.

Subvet said...

It's a sad thing when true men such as Heston are routinely mocked by nincompoops like Clooney.

God rest his soul.