If anyone out there is interested in taking Charlton Heston’s gun away from him… now’s the time. 84 years old, 60 years in movies, a legacy of right-wing loonery.
He may have been Moses to some, Judah Ben-Hur to others, but to me he will always be Robert Neville in Omega Man, the least faithful adaptation of “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson. At least, until I Am Legend came out.
We’ll all remember him as the spokesperson for school shootings, but less well-known is his activism on behalf of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his participation in the March on Washington in 1963. That surprised me – it’s a side of Mr. Heston’s personality that we were not reminded of often, if at all. My generation knew him almost exclusively as the leathery crackpot he had morphed into by the 1990s.
As I thought about it, however, it seems a logical path from racial freedom to personal freedom, at least as it applies to one’s ability to pack whatever brand of heat one deems appropriate. If, in fact, Mr. Heston was as avid a crusader for human rights as he obviously felt he was, I regret never having the opportunity to ask whether the freedom to live of all the men, women and children deprived of life by guns was somehow trumped by the freedom to compensate for a small penis by carrying a cannon in your pocket. Whether or not you’re actually glad to see somebody.
Anyway, another opportunity lost. Liked the films, didn’t care much for the man. I guess we’re stuck with William Shatner as the newly-anointed king of self parody. The only difference being that Shatner knows he’s doing it.