In Bureaucracy, History, Politics, Social commentary on April 2, 2013 at 12:00 am

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its Right-wing allies are furious at comedian Jim Carrey.

The reason: His recent music parody video: “Cold Dead Hand,” which mocks gun fanatics and the late Charlton Heston, former president of the NRA.

Click here: Jim Carrey’s Pro-Gun Control Stance Angers Conservatives

Among its lyrics:

Charlton Heston movies are no longer in demand
And his immortal soul may lay forever in the sand.
The angels wouldn’t take him up to heaven like he’d planned.
’Cause they couldn’t pry that gun from his cold, dead hand.

The phrase, “cold dead hand,” originated with Heston himself.

Charlton Heston in his prime

On May 20, 2000, the actor and then-president of the NRA addressed the organization at its 129th convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He warned that then-Vice President and Democratic Presidential candidade Al Gore “is going to smear you as the enemy,” and concluded:

“So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!'”

Carrey’s stance on gun control couldn’t be more opposite.

In in February, he outraged Right-wingers by tweeting: “Any1 who would run out to buy an assault rifle after the Newton massacre has very little left in their body or soul worth protecting.”

 Jim Carrey

Fox Nation referred to the tweet as “nasty.”  Red Alert Politics writer Erin Brown dismissed it as “a careless remark … rooted in the shallow, parroted talking points so commonly espoused by liberal elites.”

But that was nothing compared to the rage that has greeted “Cold Dead Hand.”  Reason TV’s Remy offered a parody rebuttal to Carrey’s song.  Its lyrics included:

It takes a talking ass
to oppose a vaccination
when your PhD is in
making funny faces.

None of which bothered Carrey.  In fact, he exulted in Right-wing outrage, tweeting: “Cold Dead Hand’ is abt u heartless motherf%ckers unwilling 2 bend 4 the safety of our kids.Sorry if you’re offended…”

Among its lyrics:

It takes a cold, dead hand to decide to pull the trigger.
Takes a cold, dead heart and as near as I can figger.
With your cold, dead aim you’re tryin’ to prove your dick is bigger …..

Many psychologists have long theorized that a fascination with firearms can compensate for inadequate sexual performance.

But it’s one thing for an unknown psychologist to write this in an obscure medical journal and another for a famous comedian to splash it across the Internet.

Carrey is especially ruthless in attacking those who–like the NRA–make a lucrative living off gun sales:

Imagine if the Lord were here…
And on the ones
Who sell the guns
He’d sic the vultures and coyotes
Only the devil’s true devotees
Could profiteer
From pain and fear.

Many Rightists attacked Carrey for parodying a man–Heston–who died in 2008 and could not defend himself. But Heston had appeared several times on “Saturday Night Live” to spoof his granite-hard image.

In his video, Carrey dares to attack not simply the masculinity of the Rightist NRA crowd, but even its courage:

You don’t want to get caught
With your trousers down
When the psycho killer
Comes around
So you make your home
Like a Thunderdome
And you’re always packin’
Everywhere you roam.

Perhaps that’s what most outrages the Right–the accusation that its members live in fear and do their best to generate needless fear in others.  Fear that can supposedly be abated by turning America into a society where everyone packs a weapon and every moment holds a potential High Noon.

An accusation, in short, based on fact.

Carrey has not been shy in responding to his Rightist critics.  On March 29, he issued this statement:

“Since I released my “Cold Dead Hand” video on Funny or Die this week, I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me because of my stand against large magazines and assault rifles.

“I would take them to task legally if I felt they were worth my time or that anyone with a brain in their head could actually fall for such irresponsible buffoonery. That would gain them far too much attention which is all they really care about.

“I’ll just say this: in my opinion Fux News is a last resort for kinda-sorta-almost-journalists whose options have been severely limited by their extreme and intolerant views; a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue.”

Bullies are conspicuously vulnerable to ridicule.  Their only “defense” is to smash anyone who dares to mock their folly, brutality or pretense to omnipotence.

The NRA has spent decades bribing and intimidating its way through Congress.  Those members who subscribe to its “guns for everyone” agenda get legalized bribes (i.e., “campaign contributions”).

Those who refuse to do so face the threat–if not the reality–of being ousted.

At the end of the Carrey video, “Heston” accidentally shoots his own foot off.

In their over-the-top response to what is essentially an inoffensive parody, the NRA and its Rightist allies may well do the same.

  1. Thanks for looking at the stuff between the dick jokes. I am so surprised that so few have spent even a minute looking at how really well done it actually is. Not knowing who Jim Carrey is, I didn’t come with any preconceived notions one way or the other and was able to just enjoy the whole experience. Again thanks,

    • I read several Internet articles outlining the Right’s spasm of outrage against what I believe is a fairly inoffensive video. But none of these went further than that, and I felt a commentary on this subject was entirely warranted.

      I loved Charlton Heston as an actor and own several of his movies. But he made himself a highly public figure with his stand on gun rights, and people have a right to react to it. The Right believes there should be only ONE reaction to the causes it supports–and that is knee-jerk acclaim. Luckily, we still live in a democracy, and people have a right to think non-Rightist thoughts, no matter how galling that is to our would-be Fuehrers.

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