Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"...Diamonds, And Some Dudes, Are Forever..."

I love, admire and respect women.

Some of my best female friends are women.

I am thirty million, kabillion times in favor of equal pay, equal rights, well, hell, just good old Webster's Dictionary defined equality for all women in every way that men and women can be equal.

And as far as this latest news buzz about the iconic cinematic role of James Bond being played, next time around, by a woman?

(Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke and X-Files actress Gillian Anderson are reportedly up for a go).

Permit me to utilize my literary license to kill that idea.

And I don't need 007 reasons to justify my turning into Dr. No at that notion.

I can extend a defiant Goldfinger in the direction of that silliness with a mere's Moneypenny's worth of opinion.

James Bond is a man.

At least, the James Bond that has been with us since the late 1950's.

For those youngsters amongst us, who have never known life without microwave ovens, MP3 players, Smartphones and/or Real Housewives of any of the various and sundry places that not so real housewives gather to bitch and backstab, here's some news that might come as a surprise to you.

Before, long before, actually, there were digital High Def movies in IMAX3D with Dolby Surround Sound, there were remarkable, charming, even essential collections of words known as books.

These books came in many forms.

Let's take a minute for an overview.

And I'll go slowly and break it down for the Kardashian devotees in the audience.

Some books were informational, for example, the encyclopedia.

Others were instructional, for example, text books.

Some were informational, instructional and, sometimes, even inspirational.

No, I'm not talking doorknob Sarah, here, kids.

I'm talking divine Scripture.

And some books were simply stories wonderfully told of love and romance, mystery and suspense, science and fiction, ye olde kings and queens and the games they played to hold on to their thrones.

Again, we're talking Ivanhoe and A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court and A Tale of Two Cities.

Not tits and Tyrion.

These magical printed portals into action and adventure were, when first conceived and offered, unique and new, a novelty to connoisseurs of the printed page.

A novelty that came to be known as...the novel.

And somewhere around 1953, from the intriguing imagination of a once upon a time naval intelligence officer, a character sprang to life who would take us along as he traveled the globe, living dangerously on exotic locations, erotic women and ever engaging espionage.

That once upon a time naval intelligence officer?

Ian Fleming.

The exotic, erotic and ever engaging character he created?


James Bond.

And, since 1953, through fourteen novels and, at this writing, twenty four feature length films,three generations now have thrilled, chilled and been shaken, if not stirred, by the exploits of MI6's marvelous mixture of secret missions, mayhem and manliness.


James Bond.

Key word back there, by the way, kids?


Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing at all against the idea of women being portrayed as strong, silent and steely, secure in their powers of both passion and persuasion and neither afraid, nor hesitant, to use them.

But here's why the spectre of a female being cast to shoot, seduce and serve on Her Majesty's secret service is an idea I'd just as soon see live and let die.

Two words.

Scarlet O'Hara.

Well, three words if you're one of those folks who count the "O" in O'Hara as a separate word although I think most grammarians would take umbrage at that.

I mention the distinction only by way of capitalizing on my own snarky, but supremely self satisfying, opportunities to frustrate the ignorant and uninformed by using words like "grammarians" and "umbrage".

Yes, Kardashian devotees, I'm talkin' to you.

Meanwhile, back to Tara.

Imagine that some Hollywood hack, with more money than medulla, bereft of talent in the first place and bored out of their gourd in the second place, decides that it's time to put a new spin on yet another classic for the purpose of filling overpriced theater seats with movie goers who are happy to spend the utility bill money on yet another classic that has been spun newly.

Now imagine the think tank thought process involved here.

How about Rocky Balboa as an extreme cage fighter secretly in love with a impish, eccentric 80 year old British dowager?

Hmm...thinkin' Judi Dench. She just might be up for it. Hasn't really been trendy since they killed her off in Skyfall.

Let's put a pin in that one.

Wait. Here you go.

Hannibal Lecter comes out of retirement to find out who really killed Agent Keen.

What? She's not?

Okay. Well that's T.V anyway. And not even premium cable.

So,work with me here, Kristen Stewart and Amy Schumer as a pair of therapists hilariously working with, and against, each other trying to help Hannibal Lecter kick his addiction to fava beans and Chianti.


Of course, Stewart and Schumer are lesbians.


Hey, maybe we could get Tina Fey and Amy Pohler for a five way in Hannibal's rehab room Jacuzzi.


Hold on.

Got it.

Gone With The Wind.

Scarlet O'Hara.

Yeah, I know. Dusty, oldy, moldy, yawn, snooze, tale of the old South, Civil War, never ending love, yada, yada.

Check this out.

Red O'Hara.

Huh? Yeah?

Pampered, spoiled, seductive, scheming, selfish vixen heartbreaking, ball breaking bitch.

And all man.

Oh, yeahhh.

Call the Oscar committee and tell them to start engraving the name "Johnny Depp" right now.

What? And what woman to play Rhett?

What do you mean, what woman?

Wait. Hold on.

Ashley Wilkes.

Ashley. Huh? Could go either way, right? Am I right?

At this point, as one of our favorite legendary screen spies offered in his own Academy Award winning role, "here endeth the lesson."

My problem with there being a "Jane Bond" has nothing to do with misogyny, sexism or any "ism" for that matter.

It has to do , and go ahead, turn me into a duck and call me daffy,  with what I like to think is still possible in this age of mutilation and mutation of our more sacred art forms.

Literary integrity.

Yes, I know it's an election year and, yes, I know a lot of folks are going to have to pause for a moment to Google for a refresher on what "integrity" is.


There are plenty of possible stories, plots, tales and/or adventures that could be created featuring a strong, silent, steely, seductive secret service agent played strongly, silently, steel-ly and seductively by a woman.

Without burdening her, by comparison with the original, or insulting us by way of assuming that we don't see the switch as anything other than a gimmicky she spy where a he spy should be.

And, here's the real double oh downside, if we buy a babe as Bond, where does it stop?

Larry Poppins?

Citizen Kate?

Georgia Bailey?

Samantha Spade?

Don-na Corelone?

I've just met a boy named Maria?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with women playing characters who are strong and self sufficient.And there's absolutely nothing wrong with men playing characters who are tender and nurturing.

But James Bond, MI6 agent 007, license to kill was created as, is now and ever should be a man.

And Scarlet O'Hara was created as, is now and ever should be a woman

We can all learn, grow and benefit by seeing things from the "other side" of whatever our God given gender is.

But when it comes to iconic characters of literature, stage and screen.

Women should be women.

Men should be men.

Wait. Hold on.

I got it.


....meets Octopussy.