If all publicity is good publicity, score one for Jim Carrey.
The 51-year-old Canadian actor has set off an intense volley on the Twitter battlefield after posting a musical parody that mocks the late Charlton Heston and the powerful American gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.
In a six-minute video uploaded to the website FunnyorDie.com, Carrey satirizes Heston, a frequent spokesperson for the NRA, and plays the lead singer in a band that sings Cold Dead Hand. The title alludes to Heston's declaration to a 2000 NRA convention, "I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."
The band includes characters playing the late Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and John Lennon, all victims of gun-wielding assassins.
"You're a big, big man with a little bitty gland," read some of Nick Corirossi's lyrics, "so you need something bigger with a hairpin trigger."
Carrey himself, star of Bruce Almighty, The Mask and the Ace Ventura movies, fired the first Twitter fusillade Sunday, tweeting, "Cold Dead Hand' is abt u heartless motherf%**ers unwilling 2 bend 4 the safety of our kids. Sorry if you're offended by the word safety!"
That promptly brought ad hominen return fire, accusing Carrey of being a largely outdated star.
"I don't expect anything other then [sic] typical lefty Hollywood garbage, after all, he is Hollywood and has to do what he has to do to keep getting work," tweeted one critic.
Others labelled Carrey a "washed up piece of Canadian crap and recommended he "relinquish the citizenship that he has here since he no longer feels he has an obligation to uphold the Constitution."
Carrey was non-plussed, tweeting "Thx 4 your input 2day. I don't think i've ever felt so despised and so free at the same time. It's been delightful."
Other Twitterites supported Carrey, saluting him for "standing up for what you believe," and the parody as "edgy, creative and poignant."