I Owe it All to James Bond

Aashish950 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a hero.  Since I was twelve, I have wanted that hero to be James Bond.

James Bond made a reader out of me. The stories held my attention and led me to discover other authors. Watching Dr. No at 13 was the first time I remember saying “that’s not how it happened in the book.”

James Bond has taught me so many wonderful things:

James Bond made me better at research:

At the point I discovered Ian Fleming’s master spy, the material was almost 40 years old.  In order to understand some of the references, I was forced to do some research.  Some old school pre- Internet research! In books!!  The work required an understanding of not just WW2, but the events surrounding it and leading to the Cold War.  Also, I needed an understanding of life in the ’50s and ’60s (in England no less).

James Bond helped me to embrace technology:

The books are hardly as gadget driven as the films, but the gadgets still play a role.  What is the same in both is the protagonist’s complete dislike and distrust of tech.  From the Walther PPK (Bond preferred the Beretta) to the famous jet pack in the film version of Thunderball, Bond always felt the Quartermaster put too much faith in the tools and not enough in the builder.  Still, it is often using the two in conjunction that allows Bond to live to fight another day (or Die Another Day as it were).

James Bond helped me to develop a personal sense of style:

always found his Bond a bit stiff
{By Jeremy from Leuven, Belgium (Ireland – London Trip) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons}

The tux, the cars, the cigarette case and gold lighter, monogrammed shirts, cuff links, etc. made me wonder  if it is the clothes that make the man. I am not sure.  What I can say is James Bond is an individual.  The novels dedicate pages to descriptions of the spy’s clothing and clothiers.  In the films, this gets a little lost in trend sometimes but never for too long.  Bond always returns to what works for him, and that is what he has taught me.  I am hardly the best dressed man in every room, but I always have a shine on my shoes (which are only brown if I am wearing brown… mostly).  I am the best dressed man in most rooms.

James Bond taught me to seek the simplest solutions:

Really, it was James Bond villains that I have to thank for this pearl.  If you intend to solve a problem, be direct. Be direct like a bullet to the head. Not indirect, like a laser-cutting-device attached to a trap door leading to shark tank on top of a volcano filled with swords.  Run straight at the problem guns blazing.

I am not sure I would tell my son to seek his answers in the fiction of a bygone era. I want him to be himself.  But, there are plenty of habits I am glad I did not pick up from Fleming’s work.

Then again, think about the beautiful women, fast cars, and….on second thought, be James Bond, son. Always be James Bond.

 

 

 

 

 

{Featured Image: Caroline Bonarde Ucci [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons}

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2 thoughts on “I Owe it All to James Bond

  1. […] Everyone needs an inspiration. J. Fortune’s was none other than the manliest man of mystery, James Bond. […]

  2. […] of Skyfall. I have written about it and James Bond movies in general a few times Here, Here, and Here. As a lifelong James Bond fan, I am always excited by the release of a new film in this hallowed […]

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