Born out of political necessity, for half a century they have been the way in which the West has demonstrated to the world that it always has a plucky hero on hand to leap to its defence.
In the sleepy visage of a dawn that doesn’t want to break, a dawn that gives you no more light than the candles of a Holy Week procession during first light in a side street of some Andalusian mountain village; fears appear, like an army, thirsty for the twitching of the Saracen crusaders full of crosses and hate. Fear which frightened Freud, made Freudian smile and made Lacanians hate themselves.
And one morning in the pretty spring that you no longer even pine for, appear the drums of the Mijas band carried along by the smell of jasmine and pretty, talented young girls that follow the image which parades forth like some promise of rendition. Drums close by, goodbye Cary Cooper, yours were too far away, and mark the butchery that Galileo lived off when a whole people of tatted up imbeciles chased him down to the final horror, the cross that opened up hope for a better world.
Understand then, Oh Roman duplicator! foolish Pharisee wandering the cinema halls proclaiming the coming of a new soul of the universe, if then after they have walked you around the hospital for an hour or two, tied up to a bed with a probe coming out of your penis, amongst a frightened imbecilic multitude that avoids you like one of the barrows that passed by piled with the plague-dead, down the nauseating filthy streets of Lyon, on their way to the cemetery.
If after that little ride, pushed by nurses in white coats who discuss at a scream the latest exploits of Real Madrid. If after all of that you still consider yourself human then you are either a happy man or a lunatic. You can take out your Smith and Wesson .357, load it with silver bullets with the split tips, take aim and fire at the heart of the last James Bond who crosses you in the corridor, even though he’s walking with a drip like yours and looks more desperate than you do yourself.
James Bonds are immortal, like nightmares. They have been impoverishing our lives since the seventies, and no one can get rid of them. Born out of the Cold War, when the US and the Soviets loved each other as much as they do today, only that then there were two superpowers and now there remains only one, the world’s gendarme, Washington D.C.
Since 1962 (“Dr. No”) with the inward smile of Sean Connery, passing by “From Russia With Love” (1963) and ending, for now, with “Skyfall” from the extrovert and happy-go-lucky Daniel Craig, many have been the actors who have signed up for this incarnation of evil in the skin of an agent of her Great British Majesty, James Bond, 007, licensed to kill the public with their utter catechism of goodness made in London: George Lazenby, Roger Moore, the least sinister, Pierce Brosnan, with his supermarket good looks, and Timothy Dalton. God forgive me if I have forgotten any of the deserving performers.
Born out of political more than commercial necessity, for half a century they have been our way of showing ourselves, and showing to the rest of the world, that the West always has a brave hero to defend it, a character that was invented by the governments who really run the world.
Marinated in a chauvinist sauce of the the most incongruous kind, where women are not only beautiful, but bimbos too, almost always slaves under orders from the baddies, these James Bonds have been a nightmare for me. For me and for countless other spectators fed up of having the Empire continue to wash their brains, although now under the pretext of entertainment and “humour”.
In my weekly reading of Le Nouvel Observateur I have found considerable support to establish an anti James Bond league. Matrin Mcdonagh, author of “In Bruges”, a story told his way about two contract killers. They say – they write – that when he was 27-years-old, Martin Mcdonagh went to London to receive a drama prize.
His happiness evaporated not long after the festivities began. “The guests raised their glasses for a toast – I’m Irish and I don’t like the Queen. My brother and I refused to stand up and instead started to heckle. All of a sudden Sean Connery’s hands were grabbing hold of me from behind and I heard him say ‘Shut up, kid’. I told him ‘Fuck you’.”
The young producer, who has quality experience in theatre and cinema, says that he wouldn’t mind shooting a James Bond film (in spite of Connery’s heavy handedness) but only on the condition that he would be allowed to turn him into an alcoholic. He explains “I can’t imagine any blessed individual serving Her Majesty, who killed so many Irish. I would find myself obliged to reject the offer”.
Yes, dear Martin, to take James Bond down the path of uncontrolled alcoholism and get him off those tacky Martinis that are so out of fashion would be an excellent solution, although rather long term.
For my part I propose that when cirrhosis finally takes him to the distant neighbourhood of death that we stick a wooden stake in him, as they do with vampires and on a slightly smaller scale sardines, in the south of Spain.
And if the stake is broken, although for roasting the sardines at least, they use a steel one these days, I don’t know, I don’t know, we could always give the last James Bond a humble parade round on a hospital bed; drag him through various busy halls, without forgetting of course the deep probe sticking out of his soul.
And who knows? Perhaps that shower of humility, when this parade shows you that you’re nothing more than nothing much, would be enough to make James Bond renounce his license to kill and have him voluntarily shut himself away with some religious order – maybe the Fossores brothers, for example, who dedicate their lives to burying those who at one time believed themselves alive.
(Thomas Andrew Wright – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)