Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bond got trumped

I went from obsessively reading about the US election to, when Trump won, stopping abruptly. I couldn't handle it.

So on reflex I decided to read a Bond novel. I started about four novels in, read three or four, then went back to the start and read forward.

It was then I realised that James Bond and Donald Trump had the same persona; aggressively, pathetically white, heterosexual and male and aggressively dismissive of anyone not white, heterosexual and male. Reading the books through the prism of now Bond comes across as an entitled, misogynistic bigot. Actually, so does the author—because the bigotry is often in narrative as opposed to just Bond’s own thoughts. It’s the author we’re seeing, not Bond, when it comes to how Bond thinks and presents himself.

As I read the books I realised Bond is on his last legs in this world; that he was the ultimate avatar of white ladies-only maledom, but that avatar is being crowded by everyone else who climbed the social ladder since Bond books came out. Climbed it by sheer dint of some white males recognising they needed to share and that being white, heterosexual and male wasn’t and shouldn’t ever be something to aspire to—or defer to—because you can only get that status at birth.

Trump is like Bond without the killing, athleticism or looks—or redeeming values because despite Bond’s acute bigotry he serves a bigger cause—that of the state—and puts the state ahead of his life.

The only thing Trump has ever put ahead of himself is nothing—and we see that in the chaos as his transition team drowns in a shallow pool of their own making and as he tries to give his children the reins of fucking government.

Trump could have made a great Bond villain; similar men with one single difference. Except I suspect an editor would have given a note at the pitch to say that Trump was far too unrealistic a character and Fleming should tone him down

Life; stranger than fiction. 

UPDATE: It should be noted that Fleming is clearly a boob man. Every attractive woman has her breasts described, often at length. They are "proud", they "glow with health" and are sometimes "jutting out". It seems a habit of journalists turned authors, such as Ian Fleming and Frederick Forsyth, that they give the sex interest properties of women they want to have. In The Odessa File the protagonist is a journalist, like then-Forsyth, but in this case his fictional girlfriend is a short blonde stripper with big tits.

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