New York Daily News
A celebration of the true male ideal
Portland, Maine: The return of James Bond is just days away. With “No Time to Die,” the franchise’s 25th official installment, set for release on Friday, Oct. 8, hundreds of millions of fans are ready to watch their beloved Brit in action one more time. On some level, the appeal is superficial. As the old adage goes, “Men want to be him and women want to be with him.” The Bond character is capable. He dresses exquisitely and orders adult beverages equally so. He skis, he snowboards and he dominates the poker table. He can charm femme fatales and super-villains alike with clever turns of phrase. And Bond is capable because he strives. He tries. He is present. Such subtleties elude the leftist critiques of Bond, who is portrayed as an all-powerful misogynist embodying homophobia, imperialism and xenophobia. Dig into the source material and you find a human, deeply flawed character who has been betrayed, tortured and nearly killed time and time again.
While Bond is certainly not perfect, he approaches new experiences and confronts new challenges head-on. Whether he invents a cocktail recipe or vanquishes a deadly foe, capability follows curiosity. In a world where passive consumerism has largely replaced active participation in society, role models like James Bond are needed to save it. There is a place for social media and other forms of technology, but not to supplant the fulfillment associated with personal hobbies.
Young Americans, myself included, need to resist the impulses of the day and keep striving. We may never be Bond types, but the quest for self-improvement is the point. To strive is to live. As millions of people flock to the cinemas, James Bond will provide a glimpse of the male ideal. Hopefully, our idealism results in practical, positive change.