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  • 15

    A Quantum of Relevance
    Reviews; Posted on: 2008-11-18 10:51:04 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    We want to believe that within the Gordon Brown regime, there are still a few ruthless operatives who could snap a man’s neck with their bare hands

    by Richard Spencer

    The classic interpretation of Ian Fleming’s James Bond character is that he stands as a kind of fantasy of Britishness the British people, and especially the elite, could indulge in during the rather grim 1950s—when the Sceptred Isle lost its empire, was usurped as a Great Power and banker to the world by Uncle Sam, and suffered a social democracy in which goods were being rationed long after the country Britain supposedly defeated in the last world war had gotten back on its feet. With James Bond’s global hobnobbing, his bedding of exotic women, and uncanny ability to battle the Commies with a debonair smirk on his face, Britons could imagine the revival of that world institution on which, they thought, the sun would never set.

    The Bond of yore, of course, doesn’t much “fit in” in the modern world, with all British school children taught to loathe their history, with discreet affairs d’amour replaced by vulgar Internet “hookups,” and bereft as we are of intriguing archvillains who ride around in wheelchairs while stroking white cats and threatening to launch nuclear warheads from out volcanoes. And let’s face it, no one really wants to watch Jimbo seduce one of Osama bin Laden’s burka-clad wives—“Anything for England, right James?”

    I’m not sure exactly what James Bond in his contemporary Hollywood guise represents for us in the movie-going West. But I’d reckon that he stands as a fantasy—or perhaps a desperate hope—that our governments aren’t as hapless, massively bloated, and downright silly as we suspect they are. We want to believe that within the Gordon Brown regime, there are still a few ruthless and duty-bound operatives who could snap a man’s neck with their bare hands, and less of those finicky feminists instituting Diversity Training at the public zoo and incompetent treasury managers, fresh off sending their once-established firms into bankruptcy and now promising to rescue the world economy.

    Daniel Craig fits this role well, as his Bond is most definitely tough and lacking in scruples—or at least, he shoots more people in cold blood than any previous 007. And, in this line, it’s worth noting that Fleming’s original Bond was darker and more taciturn—having a scar on his right cheek and being a bit déclassé as a Scotsman—than the ultra suave and sarcastic depictions of the character by Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. Still, Craig’s Bond is also part thug—a barely guided missile who uncouthly breaks into M.’s apartment in his fist appearance two years ago. Bond seems less of a connoisseur and more like a guy with a drinking problem, certainly not one who could, as did Sean Connery’s Bond in From Russia with Love, pinpoint a Russian agent masquerading as a Brit by the fact that he ordered a cabernet to accompany a meal of fish.

    News Source: takimag


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