New York Daily News

A celebratio­n of the true male ideal

- Luka Ladan

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.

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