Apr 09 2008

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I have always admired the movie career of Charlton Heston. I’m old enough to have seen most of his finest work. Almost everyone has seen the epic movies of Moses and Ben Hur, but one of his best films I believe was Soylent Green. This great movie was made in 1973 . Heston co starred with Edward G. Robinson and Chuck Connors (The Rifle Man). Most sci fi fans know this great apocalyptic vision of the future. Those who have seen the movie know the story. It frightened me when I first saw it in 1973 and I am often reminded of it , when I see how close we are to destroying our planet.

Charlton Heston may have been an arch conservative and close friend to Ronald Reagan, but his personal life and political convictions should have little to do when considering his prolific acting career. I can not forget his character in Soylent Green. A cynical police detective of the future, who had never known the splender and beauty of the planet in the 20th century ;until his closest friend played by Edward G. Robinson chose to die from institutionalized suicide. In that most incredible scene, Edward G. Robinson played the role of an aged university professor, who had known the world prior to its environmental collapse. He felt he could no longer live in the nightmare world his generation had created. The most heart wrenching scene of the movie was when Heston’s character realized his friend had decided to end his life . Heston ran to the building where the institutionalized suicides were done. As he arrived in the building he demanded to know where his friend was and flashed his detective badge to the guards. Only those who worked there were allowed in and no one but those who were to die, where allowed in the suicide rooms. In these rooms , those who chose to die were given a slow acting poison that put them to sleep. But first they were cleaned and undressed and layed in a bed. Then a surround sound cinematic presentation was played for them , of whatever they chose as their last request. Edward G. Robinsion’s character asked to see the world as it was before it’s environmental collapse. Beautiful natural visions that today we take for granted, of pristine skys and forests, brilliant flowers and water falls and clean oceans. As Heston broke into the suicide room to try and save his friend, the scenes of the earth prior to when Heston was born, were played out in front of him. He could not believe what he was seeing , and began to cry , repeating and apologizing to his dying friend “I didn’t know !” I didn’t know !” This was one of Heston’s finest acting moments of his career.

Any actor that can create a scene that someone can remember vividly over 30 years later, is a great actor and a great artist. I will always remember so many of those great moments in his movies. As I will remember the statement he made in front of the National Rifle Association; when he held a musket in his hand , and raised it over head , the way he held his staff in the movie Moses and parted the Red Sea. As he held the musket in his right hand and raised it he said ” From my cold dead hand.” I have always believed in the sanctity of the Second Amendment “the right to bear arms” . It is the only reason Americans have not been conquered or destroyed by an invading army or our own government. The right to defend one’s self is a precious and inalienable right of American citizens. I agreed with Charlton Heston .

As Americans enter another revolutionary period in our country, and our rights are being continually eroded by our current tyrannical administration and our complicit Congress, our only chance of resisting enslavement by malevolent tyrants inside and outside of our country is to defend ourselves. We must never lay down our weapons in a fight or give away our right to bear arms , nor can we allow our government to demand that we can not defend ourselves as individuals. Our strength as a nation never depends solely on the strength of our military, it depends on the strength of each American to resist all forms of tyranny and to demand our rights provided to us in our Constitution.

Our country and our planet are near the edge of destruction. World Peace is the way to prevent our destuction, however history has proven to us time and again; that Peace can only be had in this world by the underlying threat of violence. If our enemies know they will meet with armed resistence by millions of Americans if our country is invaded ; they will decide to end their aggression diplomatically, rather than militarily attempt to invade a nation of armed patriots, willing and able to defend their lives and the lives of their families.

I thank Charlton Heston for his life’s work; that has entertained and inspired millions of people around the world for many generations. Regardless of his political or his personal beliefs, he was a great American and a great artist , and should be remembered that way.


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