Jim Carrey hasn't been shy about sharing his thoughts on guns in America lately and his new Funny or Die clip "Cold Dead Hand" is the eyebrow-raising culmination of all those very strong feelings.
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The actor/comedian — who has been teasing the video on Twitter over the past few days along with his own commentary on gun control ("The important question is 'Do we possess guns in America or do guns possess us?'" was among one of his tweets) — said in a press release, "I find the gun problem frustrating and ‘Cold Dead Hand’ is my fun little way of expressing that frustration.” On Twitter, however, he put it a little more bluntly: "Cold Dead Hand' is abt u heartless motherf%ckers unwilling 2 bend 4 the safety of our kids.Sorry if you're offended…" [sic.]
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If Carrey wasn't clear enough on Twitter about his gun control message, the scathing and oft very funny social commentary in "Cold Dead Hand" makes it crystal. The 51-year-old star does what he does best here with some spot-on impressions — including (clearly) Sam Elliott and the late actor/outspoken gun advocate Charlton Heston, who infamously made that "Cold dead hands" NRA speech in 2000, of which this song parodies — on a send-up of the '70s variety show Hee-Haw. (Among one of the lyrics is one line about Heston himself that goes, "The angels wouldn’t take him up to heaven like he planned, cause they couldn’t pry that gun from his cold dead hand.”)
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Carrey also plays the front man for a fictitious band called Lonesome Earl and the Clutterbusters, which is backed by beacons of anti-violence and peace Gandhi, Lincoln, and Lennon (played by 90s band The Eels). Now, whether or not "Cold Dead Hand" makes you tap your toes, laugh along with the biting social satire, raise your fist in solidarity, or if it just pushes your buttons that someone starring in the upcoming Kick-Ass 2 is taking aim at others on the topic of violence... well, that's your right to express that feeling.
Watch Carrey's video below and sing along to the scathing song ("On the ones, who sell the guns ... Only the devil’s true devotees could profiteer from pain and fear") on iTunes:
Cold Dead Hand with Jim Carrey from Jim Carrey
[Photo credit: Funny or Die]
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If Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush had their druthers, then Hollywood would transform from tawdry to tame and maybe go from lascivious to lame. Both presidential candidates say that Hollywood's morality, or lack thereof, needs a big-time change.
But what's odd in this presidential election is that "cleaning up Hollywood" is a moral, family values-type issue in which you'd expect the GOP to focus. However, the Democrats have been much louder than their Republican counterparts on this one.
What's even odder is that while Democrats -- in particular Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. -- have been loud on the Hollywood issue, they've reportedly received $14.7 million in campaign contributions from the television, music and movie industries while Republicans have raised just $9.1 million from those industries for the November election.
So how Gore and Lieberman remain outspoken about Hollywood and its morality while Bush and Dick Cheney lay low on Hollywood is an interesting quirk in what some consider an uninteresting election.
Here's a quick look at the candidates' positions on Hollywood and some recent statements about the entertainment industry by the major candidates.
GORE: SHAPE UP, HOLLYWOOD, BUT DO IT ON YOUR OWN
Gore recently said that he would give the entertainment industry six months to "clean up its act." What he meant was that it's acceptable for Hollywood to set its own moral guidelines, as long as the guidelines are morally reasonable and Hollywood abides by those rules.
"If the industry violates its own rules and actively misleads parents with advertising, then the industry should be held accountable,'' Gore said. "If the industry promises parents that it will not market violent material to children and then proceeds to do so, then the industry's practices could constitute false and deceptive advertising."
LIEBERMAN: SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT, HOLLYWOOD
Some call Lieberman the "conscience of the Senate,'' while others call him a moralizer. In 1998, he and former Secretary of Education William Bennett handed out "Silver Sewer Awards'' to draw attention to the producers of sexually explicit and violent films, music, television programs and video games. Perhaps hypocritically, Lieberman had stock in a few of the organizations that he criticized with these awards.
Lieberman is by far the most outspoken of the four major candidates on Hollywood. On this issue, though, he often speaks in generalizations. But his message remains that Hollywood needs a major change. Lieberman has said that the entertainment industry fosters "a culture of carnage." He said that parents are "locked in a losing competition with the culture to raise our children."
BUSH: PARENTS, SHAPE UP YOUR KIDS AND FORGET ABOUT HOLLYWOOD
Bush is not particularly vocal on Hollywood. In fact, his campaign has issued just three press releases regarding Hollywood, and all have been attacks on Gore. For example, one press release pointed out that the album "Daises of the Galaxy'' by the Eels was passed out at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. And, gasp, this album had a morally corrupt song called "It's a Motherf*****.''
Bush's sentiment toward Hollywood is similar to Lieberman's. The difference with Bush is that he normally stays clear of offering regulations for the entertainment industry. Instead, he pushes for cultural changes and parental guidance as the best ways to regulate Hollywood.
When asked about the entertainment industry, Bush maneuvered the question back to the home and said, "The fundamental question is going to be: 'Can America rededicate itself to parenting as the No. 1 priority for all of us?'"
Cheney: SHAPE UP, HOLLYWOOD. MY WIFE SAYS SO
Tackling Hollywood hasn't been part of Cheney's modus operandi -- so far. As a former secretary of defense, Cheney usually focuses on other issues, especially foreign policy. He leaves the Hollywood critiques to his wife, Lynne Cheney, who is a former chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and his beliefs are in line with hers even though he doesn't often talk about them. Lynn Cheney recently testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation about marketing violence to children.
"The time has long passed when we can shrug off violence in the entertainment industry by saying it has no effect. It debases and denigrates the culture our children are growing up in, and the leaders of the entertainment industry have to face up to that and understand their responsibilities,'' she said.