Forgive me for not grieving too much. I know, he was a civil rights advocate in the sixties, but was that so hard to do, to be on the side of righteousness against a profoundly evil mindset? And I know that he was in some classic movies, but as a friend once said about Jon Voight, aren’t Heston’s movies good despite him? Don’t we delight in seeing Heston on the screen not because he’s convincing in his roles, but because he’s always been an American dinosaur, representing what we love to hate about ourselves and our country: the hypocrisy, the braggadocio, the beefy fist full of antiquated morality pounding against the forehead of progress? I don’t want to kick a man while he’s literally down, but jeezuz, this is the man who complained about Body Count’s “Cop Killer” while simultaneously supporting the NRA and its call for easy access to armor-piercing bullets that could literally kill cops. He’s incredibly lucky to die old, beloved, and rich, all for wearing a lot of tunics in the sixties and sweating through his stubble in some post-apocalyptic seventies flicks.
When I think of Charlton Heston, the second thought in my mind after “get your stinkin’ paws off me, you damned dirty ape!” is always this: