Friday, April 11, 2008

Heston Peace, Charlton

As a youngster, one of my first personifications of God was Charlton Heston’s Moses in The Ten Commandments. Sure, I little grasped biblical hierarchy, but Moses’ austere white beard, commanding voice, flowing robe, and superpowered walking staff epitomized a Supreme Being to my young eyes. Not long after, Dad took me to see Earthquake, and the ultimate eye-opener proved not to be the oh-so-lame Sensurround, but witnessing the man I previously identified as God struggling to lower a screaming yenta down the side of a wrecked skyscraper with a chair and firehose. That’ll take the luster off a deity right quick.

Still, as both actor and activist, Charlton Heston played a leading role on the American scene for more than half a century, fooling thousands into believing he was Jewish through such iconic roles as Moses, Judah Ben-Hur, and the narrator in Armageddon, while lending star-power to every Rambo-wannabe nutjob itching to get his trigger finger on an automatic weapon. With the passing last Sunday of one of the earliest influencers on my conscious, I can’t help but pause to reflect on the man who, for a time, filled my young mind with otherworldly wonder.

Nor can I help but wonder if his final resting place will be marked by a Ten Commandments–like double-headstone. Or possibly a half-buried mini–Statue of Liberty. Will any apes attend his funeral? Will he be buried with a rifle, or will the funeral director indeed pry it from his cold, dead hands? Will he even be buried, or will his corpse be used to make soylent green? Tough questions to ask about the man who once embodied my concept of God.

Yet they needed to be asked. Needed to be asked because I’m bored out of my freakin’ mind by my job and all I have for jollies during daylight hours is this goddamn Web site that nobody reads and it now costs almost $3 for a friggin’ slice of plain pizza and I can’t get my hands on a DVD of the original Ultraman series, which I haven’t seen since 1975, and no one uses a goddamn turn signal anymore and the world is teeming with idiots, all of whom find their way into my life, and the country is doomed and I’m hungry and I have no money for the vending machine and I just wanna lie down.

Yes, these questions needed to be asked.

Heston peace, Charlton.