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A Farewell to Arse: Charlton Heston’s Buttocks 1924-2008

charlton heston

tocks sequence

Those of you who missed the theatrical release may not know this, but the original Planet of the Apes starred Charlton Heston’s ass. Oh, there were other characters in it — the rest of Mr Heston, for example — but the 44-year-old Heston bottom stole the show. It left round, bi-lobal smoochies all over that movie.

I was eight years old in 1968 when Planet of the Apes was released. I had never seen male ass before, not counting the brief flash of white as my father dove behind the dresser the morning I walked into the parents’ room unannounced. I imprinted on the Heston brand instantly.

“Yes,” I thought, “that is correct. That is what one of those looks like.”

Women are, as a rule, not moved by visuals the way men are. Men will react to a mere silhouette, which is why so many of them drive right off the road chasing the Mudflap Girl, Silent Killer of America’s Highways.

Women are turned on by the backstory. Will he wrestle a bear? Does he like kittens? Is he the unacknowledged illigitimate son of the Earl of Wessex? There’s a bit of hairy chest and heaving bosom in there, sure, but it’s mostly about personal history. Women can get the vapors from A&E’s Biography.

It’s a true but seldom-acknowledged fact that Harlequin romance novels are hard-core porn for women.

So I’m not being cute when I tell you you my fascination with the Heston ‘tocks is not an especially sexual thing. It’s more like…recognizing an archetype. Like finding the Golden Mean of bottoms. Oh, sure, there are plenty more muscular asses out there, but I hate gym bodies. Heston had a splendid ordinary guy physique. I went to art school a decade later and paid large money to stare intently for hours at various specimens of naked humanity: no ass ever truly measured up. Not one.

Charlton Heston died on Saturday at the age of 84. Of Alzheimer’s, which is a shit disease because it kills you years before it kills you.

He was by all accounts that matter a good and genuine man: a real outdoorsman, a great father, happily married to the same woman for sixty something years.

Lefties snark that the causes he supported in his lifetime show a philosophical change for the worse, if not plain old intellectual confusion: from his strong pro-civil rights and anti-McCarthy stands in the 1960s to his later prominent support for Reagan and the NRA. But it’s all of a piece: it’s about people minding their own damn business, getting out of the way and leaving each other the hell alone.

Good man. Great movies. But, oh dear, what an exceptionally fine ass.

sock it to me

April 7, 2008 — 5:43 am
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