11.11.2005

James Bond - Worst. Spy. Ever.

It's November and it's usually around this time that a new James Bond film comes out every other year. There isn't one this year so you can safely say that I don't give into hype that much. Or you could just say "Why are you talking about it now?" I really don't know, it was just on my mind.

Some would consider James Bond to be the greatest spy character of all time, but this is clearly and undeniably wrong. The mere fact that we know his name excludes him from this category. Generally, a spy is someone who assumes an alias, infiltrates the enemy “sector,” gathers intelligence and then leave without a trace to report his findings to his (or her) superiors in cold, drab executively gray offices. James Bond accomplishes none of this. First, he doesn’t assume an alias. In fact, he makes it a point that you fully understand his identity. “My name is Bond, James Bond. That is my name is James Bond. First name James, last name Bond B-O-N-D. I will be your spy this evening.”

Secondly, his infiltrating is mostly done on women rather than the enemy headquarters. Sure, he could say that he needs her to get close to the enemy, but … James, really – every mission? When Jimmy finally gets around to the enemy compound, he is usually captured, bound and led to the head boss-evil-guy. Now, this could be his intention, but routine is always risky – especially in his line of work. One would think word would get around on Henchmen websites or Diabolical Leader Forums to inform others that if a guy introduces himself as “Bond, James Bond” just pull out your gun and get it over with and not to play verbal chess with a dude who has a laser in his watch. Nevertheless, Jimbo bites and claws his way out only to realize that there are roughly 23,000 fiercely loyal security guards after him. He should not be surprised by this. Nor is he. In fact, he shows no concern for his mission or his surroundings. The number one goal now is for him to stay alive – no matter the cost. During his routine “escapes” he tends to rack up 14 to 28 million bucks in damages – not to mentions the billions of “missed” bullets from both parties hitting innocents off screen as they chase each other on impossibly durable snowmobiles in downtwon Paris in mid-June. Think of the savings he could have had if he had employed the most basic of spy techniques that my wife uses daily.

1. Be cute – This is in and of itself an alias. Who could not trust those sweet pretty eyes, button nose and sunshiny smile?
2. Listen to your surroundings. My wife can hear me chew from the other room. Granted, it’s not that hard to hear me eat, but it’s important to pay attention to who’s around you.
3. Don’t get caught. Do you see my wife being chased by enemy agents? No, James, you don’t. Maybe if you held your cards a little closer to your chest, your insurance deductible wouldn’t be so high.

My confusion with all this is that the English government keeps using James Bond for the most sensitive assignments. How they try to justify his wanton abandonment of stealth and secrecy is beyond me. My only consolation is that when he is helicoptering his skis off a cliff in a bright yellow snowsuit, he is more of a target than my wife who would have already found the “Scoripo Missile Codes” on a Google internet search.

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