Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Charlton Heston as -Progressive?

Soylent Green

The Omega Man

Planet Of The Apes

So the last Dojo Rat post was probably a little too much for some folks, let's all ease back into martial arts slowly-- by having a little movie time together!
For us old guys that grew up in the '60's, these movies were as big as "Woodstock".
Everyone pictures Charlton Heston, who played "Moses" and represents the National Rifle Assiciation, as a true "conservative". But as we peel back the first layer of Heston and look deeper, we see he has co-operated on many very progressive movies.
-- "Soylent Green"; --Al Gore's global warning has come true. Remember, this movie was made in 1968. The Earth is dying, and the secret is that the main source of protein is from dead people. Just like "Mad Cow Disease" (Cows eating cows). the Earth is doomed. Not exactly a "conservative" perspective.
--"The Omega Man"-- Here, Heston is a lone scientist pitted against anti-science (Bush administration type) zombies that are pissed-off because other scientists created biological warfare. They hunt each other down, as Heston has what may be the first-ever hot inter-racial love affair on screen--(remember, 1968). Lots of action, this may be my favorite.
--"Planet Of The Apes"-- Well, this one almost doesn't need explaining. This is a complete role reversal. The Apes are in control, and the Gorillas are War-like, not the same as the Orangatans. Humans are the beasts. Once again, in the end we are reminded that long ago, the earth was destroyed by humans. Now the Apes are in control.
I believe that Charlton Heston represents, through these films, that there is common ground regarding saving the Earth, balencing racial harmony and the value of self-defense and weapon use. These films made people aware of environmental degradation, resolving racial disparity, and the potential end of civilization.
If you are too young to have seen any of these, check them out. I would recomend starting with "Soylent Green", which may be the most powerful of all three.


JoseFreitas said...

"Soylent Green is people!!"

That movie was awesome, one of the key sci-fi cult movies of all times. Here in Europe people rarely equate Charlton Heston with conservatism, mostly because no one knows what the heck the NRA is. I guess this particular gun-infatuation is pretty much an American disease. For us, Heston is the voice of Moses!

Hand2Hand said...

I guess Heston is pretty much a fiscal conservative as opposed to a social one, or an anti-environmentalist.

When it comes down to it, most Americans' political views are a little from column A, some from column B and some from Column C.

Heston gets Kudos from me because he hosted documentaries on the Bible and evolution roughly simultaneously. I consider myself a Christian and I have a problem with people who question my faith because I don't have any problems with evolution.

Personally, my more conservative friends think I'm to the left of Trotsky because I support universal health care and take a pro-labor, pro-environment view of things.

On the other hand, my fellow liberals think I'm to the right of Attilla the Hun because I'm staunchly a supporter of the 2nd Amendment and I think more needs to be done to curb illegal immigration.

When it gets down to it, very few of us fit into nice, neat categories.

One other point - I recently watched "Soylent Green" with several very conservative types. They loved it because of their opposition to abortion and stem-cell research. To them, the use of human beings for food is a natural extension of what they see as a disdain for human life of which abortion is a part.

That said, I love "Soylent Green" and "Planet of the Apes" is one of my all-time favorite movies.

JoseFreitas said...

Hey, H2H,

Seems like you'd fit right in in Europe! You sound like pretty much a moderate, somewhat left of center type, as opposed to the dangerous, crazy subversive radical commie that your conservative friends think you are! Like me, in fact.

I've always held that people "aren't" anything. They're not communists or conservatives or whatever. They have ideas that may be conservative or communist, but it's best not to reify people by thinking of them as static objects that "are" something.

Us, more non-conformist types, pretty frequently hold ideas that are seen to be lefty, at the same time we hold ideas that are seen as righty. And that's as it should be, since I'd like more people think through issues rather than follow (literally) party line.

Here in Portugal, most priests and church people accept that the Bible is to be interpreted somewhat liberally and as symbolic, rather than literally, and thus few have problems with evolution, for instance. In addition, separation of church and state, and total secularization of all political structures is the norm, stemming from old republicanism influenced by french thought, so no one would even think of interfering, for instance, with school curricula and so on.

Didn't see the documentaries Heston hosted on evolution, though.

Hand2Hand said...

Hey Jose,

Thanks. I take that as a helluva complement.

There's a lot America could learn from Europe. Except for the weapons laws, there's a lot to like.

Who knows - the way things are going in this country, a lot of Americans could be fleeing to Canada, Mexico and Europe for political asylum.

You make a great point about people being people. I spent two months in Ukraine last year. Every once in a while I'd see some reminder of the old Soviet rule there. But I came to love the country and many of its people. It makes me sad to think of how close we came to killing each other for about 40 years or so.

The people there were just like in America. Some were good people, some were corrupt as hell - just like here.

Dojo Rat said...

I have friends with Russian wives and now kids. They travel to Russia and say the same-- The people are really great, and they really know how to party!