|James Bond, likely from Dr. No, public domain, full cite below|
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the British spy novelist Ian Fleming. I read the story in The New York Times and (you guessed it) this blog post was born.
Fleming was a former British naval intelligence officer who created James Bond. Fleming only wrote a few stories but through some forward thinking of his estate, 007 lived on through other writings.
|Ian Fleming, photo from Wikipedia, fair use claimed, full cite below.|
Then came the movies. Although I have not seen a Bond movie in a theater since I was in college, I will stop channel surfing if just about any Bond movie is being shown.
As an aside, I came of age in the Roger Moore era. Now Moore is a find Bond. However, with those accolades paid to him (and the other Bonds out there) the king of Bonds is Sean Connery.
Well, just watch for yourself at the 1:08 mark, courtesy of YouTube and the copyright holder who allows sharing of this clip:
Yup, "Bond, James Bond," are probably the most famous three words in movie history. We know it's coming, but it never gets old.
The same goes for the movie formula. Take an opening scene with great effects and Bond barely escaping with his life, add a villain or two, the obligatory "Bond girl," Q's gadgets, Bond saving the world, getting the girl and of course, a martini...shaken, not stirred. There you go, the James Bond formula. Since the 60s, the franchise is going strong. It is the Rolling Stones of spy movies.
Yet here's the thing about Bond. He's cool, no doubt, but he's not real. He is a creation of fiction. He's so cool that he cannot be real.
When I was looking for a public domain photo of Bond in Dr. No I came up with the photo that opens up this post. At first, I was disappointed with it. Yet the more I think about it, I think it is exactly the photo that should depict Bond. Oh sure, he looks great in his tux. Yet the photo is not terribly clear, a bit grainy even.
It's as if the glitz of Hollywood and the magnificent story-telling of Fleming is held up for what it is, a work of fiction.
And as the NYT pointed out, Bond would be 93 now, if (as they correctly surmise) "...he had managed to survive the cigarettes, alcohol and evildoers of Spectre." Would we really want an old James Bond? Of course not.
We can't be James Bond and that's fine. After all, saying, "Bond" twice doesn't make him real. But we are and we can write our own adventures. You do not have to be a secret agent to have a fantastic life. As Tony Robbins said years ago, "You can find adventure in a smile." That adventure is yours. Now that is cool...and the photo of it in your mind and memory is a whole lot clearer than the photo of James Bond.
Be well my friends,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ian_Fleming,_headshot.jpg (Fair use explanation explained at this site.