06 April, 2008

One Cold Dead Hand? Check.

Sorry. Is that horribly disrespectful? Probably. Sorry about that. But you know, someone had to say it, and I am sure I'm not the first, nor will I be the last.

Heston at a Civil Rights Rally, 1963

But yes, it's true. Charlton Heston is dead at 84. I mean, it's a sad thing of course, when people die and I am sorry for his family and loved ones. I am not so heartless, after all. (I mean, how could I be both heartless and bleeding-heart?) But with someone like Heston, who seems to have gone through a drastic political shift, one is almost forced to examine the situation with a certain degree of, um, distance. I think that there must have been some sort of major event in his life that caused him to make these drastic changes. But I'm not sure what it is. Let's look at the "facts" shall we?*

Before this mystery event, Heston:

Heston with Brando and Belafonte, Civil Rights Rally, 1963

* Campaigned for Stevenson in 1956 and JFK in 1960.
* Fought against segregation.
* Marched with Dr. King in 1963.
* Called for support for the Johnson Gun Control Act of 1968.
* Opposed the Vietnam War.

But then, something happened, and after this mystery event, he:

white men, white house, brown suits: the 80s

* Voted for Richard Nixon in 1972.
* Opposed affirmative action in the 1980s.
* Began to support "gun rights" ( "From My Cold Dead Hand")
* Spoke out against free speech in the Ice-T "Cop Killer" incident.
* Shifted from Democratic to Republican.
* Opposed reproductive rights.
* Campaigned for Reagan and both Bushes. (good job there, chief)

So, i mean. What is up with this?! I know that people change--I am thinking actually of the major change in composer George Rochberg's music after the death of his son--but this seems like a complete replacement of principles!

Thoughts here? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

*(All of these "facts" were pulled from Wikipedia, so, you know, feel free to write with corrections and such, or check there for citations).

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