Male Bonding

We should live and let die the idea that Ian Fleming's superspy should be recast as a woman.

There are many philosophical schools of thought that are little more than a bunch of hooey, but none are more dangerous--not to mention deadly dull--than deconstructionism. It basically amounts to tearing down the foundations of polite society, destroying the traditions and heritage that bind people together and reducing them to a bunch of tribal, squabbling nitwits who can't agree on anything, save their mutual distaste for one another. From these party poopers of Western Civilization, nothing is so beloved as to be safe--in fact, the more revered a cultural icon is, the bigger the target painted on its back.

That's why it comes as no great shock when Theresa May, the British prime minister, spouts of this kind of stuff and nonsense about her country's greatest cultural export since Cadbury chocolates and the Magna Carta:

“I do like watching Doctor Who at Christmas,” she told reporters on board her RAF Voyager plane en route to give a festive address to troops at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. “I think it’s a great move forward for girl power that there is going to be a female Doctor Who. And one day there should be a female James Bond.”

Recall that this is the same Theresa May who called a snap election last June believing that she could expand her Conservative majority in Parliament, only to lose a whole bunch of seats to Labour--so she doesn't exactly have a good track record when it comes to reading her audience. Ditto her take on James Bond. Making he a she would be an even bigger disaster than her ballot box drubbing at the hands of that commie bore Jeremy Corbyn.

Why? Because the single most distinguishing characteristic of James Bond is that he's a man. Not only is he a man, he's a man's man--an alpha male in every sense of the word. Consider Ian Fleming's description of Bond in the novel Moonraker:

[He was] certainly good-looking ... Rather like Hoagy Carmichael in a way. That black hair falling down over the right eyebrow. Much the same bones. But there was something a bit cruel in the mouth, and the eyes were cold.

That's because Bond, as written, was a stone killer--a predator even, who showed no mercy to his enemies and dispatched them with hardly a second thought. The films dispensed with this somewhat by adding a dash of roguish humor to the character, but even at that you can still see moments of that icy demeanor come through in the performances of Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig. This isn't to say that a woman couldn't pull that off--but the audience reaction to such a woman would be markedly different. In a villainess, cold, calculating and deadly would create an character that they would love to hate; in a heroine, however, those attributes would likely leave the audience cold.

Beyond that, Bond is well-known as womanizer and a sexist (one splendid example of which can be found in Goldfinger when Felix Leiter catches our hero poolside with a honey giving him a massage, whom Bond dismisses by slapping her on the rear and telling her, ""Say goodbye to Felix. Man talk."). Perhaps it's another one of those Unfair Rules of Life, but I shudder to even contemplate how this would play on the screen if the sex roles were reversed. The kind of people who enjoy James Bond movies would undoubtedly hate it, and so would the studio when they saw the returns.

Of course, these obstacles could be overcome with a radical overhaul of the character--but then you wouldn't have a James Bond movie. In case Ms. May hasn't noticed, the Bond films follow a very specific formula: the gun barrel opening, the action-packed teaser, the lush credit sequence and all-important theme song, the megalomaniacal villain and his terrifying henchman--and throughout it all, Bond seducing his way through a bevy of beautiful dolly birds and thwarting the bad guys with a cool selection of gadgets supplied by Q Branch. All of this is why women want to be with Bond and men want to be Bond, and largely why the films work even when they go way over the top. If you're going to turn all of that on its head by fundamentally altering the protagonist, why bother making it a Bond film at all?

Seems to me that if there's a clamoring for a female secret agent flick, why not just create an original one? Hell, you could even set it in the same universe as James Bond, and have the two agents cross paths from time to time. If the character is compelling enough, and the scripts are good enough, there's no reason to think she couldn't carry her own franchise. Better yet, she would get the James Bond imprimatur without utterly ruining the character.

Unless this isn't about Bond at all, and is more about sending a message to the boys that their time is over. Social justice warrioring, however, almost always makes for terrible moviemaking and even worse box office. Just ask the people who did the Ghostbusters remake, and Disney with its slowly but surely diminishing returns on Star Wars.

My advice? Let Bond be Bond. He ain't broke, so there's no reason to fix him.

Anyone recall Emma Peel from the 'Avengers'?

mmmm.... Diana Rigg......

Sorry, I am weary of 'GI Janes.' If women were wired to be such bad-a$$ butt-kickers we'd not have to worry about sexual harassment. These movies are preaching the current cultural feminist gospel.

If May is considered a conservative, what does that tell us about our Biblical brother Ephraim(Gen. 49)?

It's the usual P.C. nonsense, along the same lines as an all female Ghostbusters, a female Iron Man, a female Thor or a gay Green Lantern. If you want strong heroic female characters or gay characters or minority characters, then create them in their own universe, or give them their own unique space within the storyline. It isn't about that, however. It's about the P.C. cause of the day.