06 April 2008

Requiescat in Pace, Charlton Heston

October 4, 1923 - April 5, 2008

I am a recent newcomer to 2A issues. I got my first handgun in 1999, along with my concealed carry permit from the State of Florida. Because of the potential legal issues involved with concealed carry, I have since then made effort to find out about issues concerning gun rights.

In doing so, you can't help but come across the NRA and Charlton Heston. Oh, the way the left vilifies both! Even at his death, your more encephalitic lib (i.e. your typical Democratic Underground poster) can't help but spit on his grave.

Here are some jewels as quoted by The Jawa Report:

"1 less right wingnut to worry about"

"Quick, someone pry out his gun!"

"Is he soylent green yet??"

"If Heston lived another 20 years would the world be a better place? no. I think not. Its just that simple. So break out the good wine. Drink to vanquished enemies."

"Their brain-eroding diseases coincided with their rightwing turns." (referencing Heston and Reagan)

"I'll see you at Nancy Reagan's funeral. I will be the guy with the air horn and a big ol' grin."

"Rest in Hell is where I am coming from."

"I had no empathy for the aging Nazis, either."

"he was scum"

"He was a mediocre actor who believed he was Moses."

"If "liberal" means...feeling any sense of loss that some sorry piece of shithumanity such as C Heston has checked out?...Then sign me out."

In my experience, though, vitriol often follows a man of character. Heston most definitely had that. I recall a published speech given by him that put his character on open display, and I found it over here. It had to do with the Culture War that was very much noticeable in the late 1990s. Excerpt:

As I've stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are -- are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain accepted thoughts and speech are mandated.

For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 -- and long before Hollywood found it acceptable, I may say. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist.

I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life -- throughout my whole career. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe.

I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out the innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.

Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution I'm talking about, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.

From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind like that. You are using language not authorized for public consumption."

But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys -- subjects bound to the British crown.

This is the part of the speech that I remembered, talking about the price of standing up for what you believe:

In that same spirit, I' m asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives, and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful. It hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies. You must be willing to be humiliated, to endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water Cannons at Selma. You must be willing to experience discomfort. Now, I'm not complaining, but my own decades of social activism have left their mark on me. Let me tell you a story.

A few years ago, I heard about a -- a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called "Cop Killer," celebrating the ambushing and of murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment conglomerate in the country -- in the world. Police across the country were outraged. And rightfully so. At least one of them had been murdered. But Time/Warner was stonewalling because the -- the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around because the rapper was black. I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills, and I owned some shares of Time/Warner at the time, so I decided to attend the meeting.

What I did was against the advice of my family and my colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer" -- every vicious, vulgar, instructional word:

I got my 12-Gauge sawed-off. I got my headlights turned off. I'm about to bust some shots off. I'm about to dust some cops off.

It got worse, a lot worse. Now, I won't read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that. Then I delivered another volley of sick lyrics brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing the two 12-year-old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore:

She pushed her butt against my --

No. No, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left the room in stunned silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps outside, one of them said, "We can't print that, you know." "I know," I said, "but Time/Warner is still selling it."

Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another film by Warner Brothers, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you have to be willing to act, not just talk.

That is character, friends. That is proper use of 1A to address serious problems. But the left-leaning radical ideologues, for all the value they put on 1A, will only sing its praises for as long as it is used to distribute their views and agendas. All others are seen as a good reason for censorship.

Especially if the views come from a former member of their number. Another great conservative was the same way: Ronald Reagan.

This is the sort of opposition you and I have to be ready to face, and some of us do. We have a very good example in Charlton Heston.

As far as his acting is concerned, I'm no theatrical critic. I can't say if Charlton were among the best actors America ever produced. But I will say that The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur were both a regular part of my viewing diet at certain times of the year, even before I took my relationship with Christ seriously.

There was also The Planet of the Apes, which I do remember with fondness from my childhood. But the last bit of acting I ever saw him take a leading role was his son's production of A Man For All Seasons. Partially because of his acting, and his choice for a well-written drama with a worthwhile message, it became my favorite drama in English.

We'll see you on the other side, Charles.

1 comment:

BobG said...

Excellent post showing his character and beliefs.