IN DEFENSE OF JAMES BOND
Guest blog by Kevin Kunundrum
I'm tired of dreadlocked Millennial Manginas making videos to meet Social Justice Warrior women under the guise of declaring how terrible men are. And I love when they speak for all men and apologize on our behalf. Do they think by condemning men en masse, they’ll appear all sensitive and sanctified to Feminists?
I see through you, Manginas! Babbling whiningly at length about men's oppression, blah-blah-blah, and chanting the new catch-phrase: 'Toxic Masculinity'
I try to ignore them, but now they're Bond bashing!
Behold the usual Bond-bashing boilerplate. "James Bond is a misogynist Neanderthal alcoholic murderer who flees from his own feelings and uses women as disposable playthings for his own amusement, etcetera..." Sure, James Bond's an easy target, from a superficial point of view. So let us for a moment, examine James Bond in depth, the real Double-O-Seven...
James Bond was conceived in a World War, with bombs raining down on Britain. According to Ian Fleming, he had a traumatic childhood. Orphaned at eleven, he went to live with his aunt in the small English village of Pett Bottom. If you don't find that hilarious, you'll be among the first to go in the coming Apocalypse. Learn to laugh, dear friends...
So Bond is an only-child-orphan-introvert, which means he can become one of three things: a serial killer, a poet, or a secret agent. And he chooses secret agent. And what does this mean? He decides to live his life for the greater good, the greater good being England. And this used to be part and parcel of coming of age, the notion that you go into the service to give something back. That's why they call it the service!
This is how Britain withstood the Nazis when the firebombs set London ablaze. When the blackest of evils was right across the Channel, the people gave their all, out of sacrifice and selfless obligation. But James Bond takes it a step further. He doesn't just sign up for a stint, two years and out. He's in it for the long haul. And it's not as some desk-bound bureaucrat, home by 5 for G&Ts... No, Mr. Bond does the heavy lifting. He ventures where no one wants to go, where the shit is always headed for the fan.
And he doesn't just save a few people or even England, but more times than not, the world!
When 400,000 men are stranded at Dunkirk, you don't whine. You get in your boat, whatever it is, and you sail out. And you fight the freaking Nazis for six long years and you see things and do things that scar you forever. But it's for England, the world, and the children unborn. Talk about sacrifice! And you silently endure because those that don't know will never know, and those that do, know it all too well. We can't tailor-make our life to be rid of rough edges. The rough edges are there precisely so that we can become our best or our worst. It's not easy to heed the call. It's when we find what we're made of. And some of us, sadly, come up short.
And what does James Bond do? His courage and mettle are constantly tested. His loyalty, his steadfastness, his ingenuity, his humanity. He's given the worst tasks where he must do things most never imagine. And because of this, his life is measured not in decades or years but in days. Sometimes, hours and minutes. Imagine if you knew that you could be dead tomorrow. You might enjoy that drink tonight. You might savor that woman. But you know there's no future in it because you have no future. That's a given. You've accepted it.
And what do these women see when James Bond appears? A man with the confidence that stems from confronting humanity's darkness. Someone who faces death and defeat and who somehow surmounts it. And as things crash around them with death racing forward, James Bond calmly, collectedly figures it out and saves the day. Who wouldn't find this attractive?
He's someone who will always have your back. Who will never give up. But unlike Mr. Mangina who uses exalted rhetoric as a ploy to get laid, James Bond says very little. And when he has a brief respite he enjoys it fully because he knows more than most the measure of life. As Bond says to 'M' in Casino Royale, 'So you want me to be half-monk, half-hitman'... But he's more than just a blunt instrument. He's a 'sin-eater' who takes in the darkness for the benefit of all.
Courage, fortitude, loyalty, authenticity. These are Bond's currency. And he is nothing if not authentic. He's always himself, never anyone else, and you can depend on this. It's one of the rarest things in a world in which you can depend on practically nothing.