James Bond and today’s world

Sean Connery in Dr. No
The first (and to my mind the best) James Bond movie, Dr. No, premiered 50 years ago this month, October 1962. Frank Schell at The American Spectator wonders how Bond would fare in today’s world:

In our current times, however, Bond could be adjudged an unmitigated disaster. His directness of purpose is at odds with a pluralistic and highly matrixed society, where indiscipline, fissiparousness, and nuance can define national character. Today Bond would be Gulliverized by intrusive federal and local regulations that impede both covert and overt operations. There would be few convenient places to smoke a Morland blend of Balkan and Turkish tobacco; Bond might need to excuse himself for a cigarette break a stipulated distance from the ominous MI6 headquarters on the banks of the Thames River. Further, protective lobbies could make it hard to find foie gras, and environmentalists and the need for governments to economize would force Bond to drive a Prius hybrid. Bond’s signature irreverence would provoke inquisitive Human Resources staff members, and he would find himself on the next RIF or reduction in force list, a process used by major corporations to eliminate staff.

The Bond of today would have much less latitude. He would be expected to multitask while festooned with electronic devices, update his Facebook page, tweet stakeholders, and receive robust 360 degree feedback from superiors, colleagues, and subordinates. He would be required to accept criticism and attend off-sites to assess vision and mission statements and to formulate institutional strategy. He would be asked to submit his annual training objectives for self-improvement. He would also be expected to have tofu and herbal tea for lunch, while conversing in a collegial fashion. In an era of global grunge, fastidious sartorial kit from Savile Row could be a career stopper for the modern Bond.

In a sensitive society, where listening skills, PowerPoint charts, and cuddly matrixes are valued more than excellence in implementation, Bond would be deemed a pathological misfit.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 19, 2012 01:11 PM | Send

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