Monday, April 7, 2008

Charlton Heston’s farewell

Charlton’s Heston’s death last Saturday sparked a lot of predictable commentary in the media, including this crud from Peter Dawson in the Globe and Mail:
Now that Charlton Heston is dead ... perhaps it's time to pry the gun from
his cold, dead hands.

From an obituary by Jay Stone in today’s ‘Post’:

Charlton Heston was square of jaw, square of politics and square of acting style....

...remembered both for his Biblical movie epics and for his later role as spokesman for the National Rifle Association and other right-wing causes.

... Eventually, his personal and political life came to define him. A former head of the Screen Actor’s Guild and chairman of the American Film Institute — as well as a Democrat who supported such liberal causes as civil rights — he became more conservative as he aged, eventually becoming associated most closely with gun ownership.

Last night, CTV News anchor Lisa Laflame led a story with video of his NRA "cold, dead hands" speech followed by clips showing him with JFK and Martin Luther King:
"...Heston was a more complex man than we might have imagined: he supported JFK, marched for civil rights with MLK and was president of the [dastardly] National Rifle Association." (Quoting from memory)

Dawson's remark aside, they seemed to imply that Heston’s work with NRA somehow contradicted his earlier support of ‘liberal’ causes: as a Democrat (like most of Hollywood) he supported civil rights BUT later became an evil gun-nut campaigning for the rights of knuckle-dragging, right-wing gun owners.

To my mind, Heston was being consistent throughout. As a Democrat he campaigned for civil rights guaranteed by the constitution. His later prominence in the fight for the constitutional right to gun ownership was consistent with this philosophy. If he no longer fit with the Democratic Party it was because the Democrats shifted significantly to the left not because Heston moved to the right.

R.I.P. Charlton Heston.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The media didn't play up the story the way it should have. Heston was a legend and one of the biggest living stars in Hollywood and most bio's I read didn't describe him as such. So shamefull. (real conservative)