Thursday, March 28, 2013

Charlton Heston versus Jim Carrey

Heston versus Carrey? In what, an acting contest? Fame? Appearances in Oscar winning movies? Nope, none of those. We're talking gun control here. Everyone knows the position of the former NRA President--and now deceased--Charlton Heston. Some might know the position of Canadian-born funny man Jim Carrey. For those who don't, here it is:
Any1 who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newtown massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting.
That's a tweet from Carrey earlier this year and in case it's still not clear, Carrey is very much on the opposite side of the fence from Heston when it comes to guns. And to that end, Carrey has put together a new sketch and song on Funny or Die, wherein he plays--and mocks--Charlton Heston and sings a delightful little ditty called "Cold Dead Hand." Check it out:


Seriously, it's not a bad song, music-wise. I think it's catchy. But the lyrics, those are another story. Here they are in full:
Some folks ride like the wind
With the whispering pines to guide them
And the burning light inside them
Keeps them warm in the snow

Others fear the sounds they hear
Make bandito's out of mole-hills
Fill their hearts with porcupine quills
They’re dead and buried long before they go

Charlton Heston movies are no longer in demand
His immortal soul my lay forever in the sand
The angels wouldn’t take him up to heaven like he planned
‘Cause they couldn’t pry that gun from his cold dead hand

It takes a cold dead hand to decide to pull the trigger
It takes a cold dead heart and as near as I can figure
With your cold dead aim you’re trying to prove your dick is bigger
But we know your chariot may not be swinging low

Cold dead hand - cold dead hand
Cold dead hand - cold dead hand
You’re a big big man with an little bitty gland
So you need something bigger just to fill
Your cold dead hand

Imagine if the lord were here
And he knew what you’ve been thinkin’
Would his sacred heart be sinkin’
Into the canyon of dismay

And on the ones who sell the guns
He’d sick the vultures and coyotes
Only the devil’s true devotees
Could profiteer from pain and fear

Charlton Heston movies are no longer in demand
His immortal soul my lay forever in the sand
The angels wouldn’t take him up to heaven like he planned
‘Cause they couldn’t pry that gun from his cold dead hand

It takes a cold dead hand to decide to pull the trigger
It takes a cold dead heart and as near as I can figure
With your cold dead aim you’re trying to prove your junk is bigger
But we know your chariot may not be swinging low

Cold dead hand - cold dead hand
Cold dead hand - cold dead hand
Cold dead hand - cold dead hand
You’re a big big man with an little bitty gland
So you need something bigger with a hair-pin trigger
You don’t want to get caught with your trousers down
When the psycho killer comes around
So you make your home like a thunderdome
And you’re always packin’ everywhere you roam
But the psycho’s win no matter what you do
‘Cause they’re gonna buy way more guns than you

And while you’re stumbling out of bed
They put five rounds in the back of your head
Or you get depressed ‘cause the money runs out
Then you put your own shotgun in your mouth
And your kids walk in and they find you there
Like a headless stump in your underwear
And they move the gun and it kills them too
And your wife just doesn’t know what to do
But she takes a hand grenade from her shoe

And she pulls the pin...

And it’s all on you
And your cold dead hand
That's some low-rent, nasty stuff. All the references to guns being phallic symbols alone is bad enough (and stupid, given the number of women who oppose the kind of gun control Carrey is in favor of), but equating gun manufacturers with the devil and supposing guns lead to suicide, that's just in bad taste.

With respect to Heston, Carrey says his "movies are no longer in demand" and that he's not going to Heaven because he was such an outspoken defender of the Second Amendment, it would seem. I know this is just hyperbole in a song, but I think these two points are worth considering.

The second one--Heston being locked out from Heaven--suggests character deficiencies due to Heston's views on gun ownership. But what about the rest of his character, his life, his actions, his beliefs? If he's not going to Heaven, is Mr. Carrey? Larry Elder at RCP does a good job comparing the evidenced character of these two iconic actors:
Speaking of character, Heston, a cinema rock star, remained married to his college sweetheart, Lydia, for 64 years. Carrey, on the other hand, followed the well-worn Hollywood path: Get famous; get rich; dump the first wife/mother of your kid(s), who stood by you during the tough times; and act out your social life in the tabs to the embarrassment of your kid(s).
I think that's pretty much spot-on, there's a lot of truth in this small passage, a lot of evidence with regard to who is most likely going to end up on the inside of the Pearly Gates. And if one doesn't believe in the existence of such Gates, that's fine. It's still clear who is the better man here, isn't it? Carrey is a funny and talented guy, but as an actual human being he's pretty much a self-absorbed piece of shit, pardon my French. If one were to add his character to that of, say, Alec Baldwin, I'm thinking that still wouldn't be anywhere close to enough to find a seat at the same table with people like Heston (and Paul Newman, for that matter, even though his views were more akin to Carrey's than Heston's on this issue).

As to the first point, the one about Heston's movies being out of favor in some way, well that's just stupid. Some of Heston's movies--like Ben Hur (my personal favorite), The Ten Commandments, and the original Planet of the Apes--are almost always included in various all-time bests lists and remain popular. Others--like Touch of Evil, El Cid, and The Agony and the Ecstasy--are perhaps no longer so popular but remain favorites of the industry and of film critics. Then there are more recent films with Heston playing bit parts, like Wayne's World, True Lies, and Disney's Hercules (Heston narrates), all of which were big money makers and still widely viewed.

And that's just the tip of Heston's movie iceberg. One has to wonder if Carrey--already a failure as a human being in comparison to Heston--really wants to line up his own filmography for comparison. As I said, Carrey is very talented and I think some of his movies are just great, will fare well into the future, movies like The Truman Show, Man in the Moon, and of course Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But then there's The Mask, Bruce Almighty, and--gack--The Number 23. Check those 99 cents bins at your local Wal-Mart if you're looking for a copy. His other stuff is middle-of-the-road, more or less.

I'd wager a fair amount that in seventy-five or more years from now, most people will still know who Charlton Heston is, will know the movies that made him famous. Jim Carrey? That's what Google is for.

Beyond all of that, I also have to say that Carrey's impersonation of Heston was pretty bad. I thought he was doing Sean Connery for a while there.

Cheers, all.

3 comments:

  1. Gee, and before this I always thought Carrey was just acting stupid in his movies. Now I realize his stupidity goes all the way to the bone.

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  2. I thought all the phallic jokes were over the top that detracted from his message. I thought most of the rest was dead on. You can disagree with the messenger (I disagree with Carrey about vaccines), but his message, especially the line about the how only the devils true devotees could profit from death, fear, and destruction is right on. And I don't even like Jim Carrey - Charleton Heston will be remembered for far longer, and I have no problem saying that Heston was a better person. But on this message, I have to side with Carrey.

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    1. After hearing this crap from Jim Carrey gun sells have gone up. I can't believe anyone could agree with this idiot.

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