Welcome to day three of Reason's annual webathon, in which we invite you, cherished readers and viewers and listeners, to help make our journalism and commentary possible through your tax-deductible donation of monetary instruments. Nick Gillespie and Katherine Mangu-Ward have explained giving levels and broad reasons for the Reason-season; I am here to remind you in a more, I dunno, commandmenty way to:
DONATE TO REASON RIGHT THE HELL NOW! Pretty please?
So, the first time Charlton Heston graced our pages during this past glorious half-century was in the July 1973 issue, in which reviewer Charles F. Barr said of Soylent Green (of course it was Soylent Green!), "The movie's entire premise is tailor-made to appeal to the already-considerable paranoia of the environmentalist movement." Then in quick succession come five more reviews of movies that can alternately be read as a shorthand description of how my childhood went wrong—The Three Musketeers, Airport 1975, Earthquake, Midway, Two-Minute Warning.
After a decent interval, Moses was back, treated to a feature-length magazine interview by none other than localist iconoclast Bill Kauffman, then still in his 20s. It is a weird and wonderful document, veering from libertarian catechism ("There's no question that one of the most pernicious effects of modern society is the seeming impossibility of reversing the tendency of government to get bigger") to Malthusian dystopia ("In what I think is the most serious problem the world faces, which is the population explosion, we will come I think to a time when measures that are not even dreamt of now will become necessary") to just plain #facts ("The physical mechanics of sex are pretty funny unless you are engaged in them. Then they are, of course, marvelous"). BUT DON'T GO DOWN THAT RABBIT HOLE JUST YET. (There will be time for that, after the jump.)
Instead, I present you, from the different planet that was the early 1990s, Charlton freaking Heston telling you, the 2018 Reason consumer, why you should donate to our webathon right the hell now:
There are so many questions…about music choice, about trains, about precocious Virginia Postrel. But NO TIME. Because I'm here not just to celebrate this beautiful found Reason art from a quarter-century ago, but to also celebrate how far we've come with the audio-visual form since then. As demonstrated through the lens of Reason TV's award-winning TV/movie parody videos.
From the same team, here's a spoof, not of a specific piece of art, but of a meme, in the form of "Libertarian Dad Jokes":
I know what you're thinking: Did they ever bring the Heston? Child, do you even know Nick Gillespie?
Let's start with some out-of-context quotes:
[Martin Luther King] was not a saint. He was a man, even like Moses was a man.
I don't think rock music has any positive function, but—the First Amendment does not really say that you can say and print anything you want.
Actors, after all, began as itinerant vagabonds wandering from village to village, when most people never moved more than five or ten miles from the place they were born. And actors wandered around sleeping in stables, gulling the locals with the old three-walnut-shells-and-a-pea gag and doing somersaults and walking on their hands and then sleeping in the stable—if possible, with one of the local girls.
Winston Churchill was an extraordinary actor. So is Castro. So was De Gaulle. Roosevelt. Jack Kennedy. Even to the extent of readily identifiable props and wardrobe. Castro hasn't been in the Sierra Maestra for 25 years, but he still goes around in combat fatigues—and so he should.
And let's close on a classic WTF exchange:
Reason: The question of whether or not the state should proscribe certain forms of nonaggressive behavior—say, alternative lifestyles or smoking marijuana.
Heston: I think narcotics and, for that matter, alcohol, and even tobacco are enormously costly ingredients in our society.
Reason: But should the government…
Heston: That's what I'm stepping up to. The government not only has the right but the responsibility to take whatever draconian measures are necessary. Abraham Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus in the Civil War. Roosevelt spotted German submarines for the British Navy when we were at peace with Germany, and gave 'em 50 destroyers. In what I think is the most serious problem the world faces, which is the population explosion, we will come I think to a time when measures that are not even dreamt of now will become necessary.
Reason: Mandatory abortion?
Heston: Well, I find that difficult too, because I'm opposed to abortion. Even worse than that, we may have to close our borders, literally close them by martial law, and undertake God knows what horrendous—I made a movie about it once called Soylent Green. That is my principal political statement in filmmaking. But we may come to that with drugs or the AIDS epidemic.
Whoa! Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Now, DONATE TO REASON RIGHT THE HELL NOW!