Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Charlton Heston, Rest in Peace

I'm saddened by the news of Charlton Heston's death.

This is from a very nice 2002 tribute to Heston by Richard Dreyfuss:

Is so and so a great actor? A good actor? A bad actor? Speaking as an expert it's a stupid question. The actor either gets you to where you have to go, or not. Heston did; priceless. He could portray greatness, which is no longer an artistic goal; he could portray a grandeur that was so satisfying. What he was able to personify so perfectly for us was a vision of ourselves called heroic. Is this out of favor? Out of step? Antique? Yes, antique as in gorgeous, incredibly valuable, and not produced anymore but this is a critique of the world, not him (hopefully we will one day come back to all that).

As someone who has seen Ben Hur two million times I am totally grateful.

Self-consciousness is the anticipation of being silly and often is the spoiler for many actors. Charlton Heston had no such problem. He would dive into the story with what I can only call measured abandon and make me believe. And it was fun watching him.

It has become fashionable to characterize his politics; almost as if his politics were a separate thing, like Diana's popularity. People are either defensive or patronizing (if not contemptuous). I can only say I wish all the liberals and all the conservatives I knew had the class and forbearance he has. Would I be as patient or serene when so many had showed me such contempt, or tried to make me feel stupid or small? I doubt it, truly I do. This is dignity, simply and completely. A much more important quality than political passion at the end of the day, and far more lacking, don't you think?

Read the whole thing.


Blogger stewdog said...

I liked the reminiscence of him standing up at the shareholders' meeting and reading the lyrics of the gangsta rapper's "Cop Killer" so that the shareholders might appreciate how they are earning their dividends. Not quite parting the Red Sea, mind you!

April 08, 2008 7:05 AM  

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