�F**k Me, James�

10.18.2006

By Mark Simpson

Watching again the very first Bond film, Dr. No'released 44 years ago and played a zillion times on TV and cable but nevertheless something of a revelation'I'm struck by a number of things about the original Mr. Bond, supposedly the gold standard of authentic masculinity and virility in an increasingly sissified world:

(1) His fake tan
(2) His full, glossy, pink lips, much more
luscious than Ursula Andress's (or even Tom's in the Missy Impossible franchise)
(3) His worked-out body (Connery rep-
resented Scotland in the Mr. Universe contest in 1953.)
(4) His fine tailoring, careful grooming,
and manicured hands
(5) His fetish for gadgets and gizmos
(6) His taste for fussy cocktails
(shaken, not stirred)
(7) His wigs (Connery went bald in his
early 20s.)
(8) His overacting in the famous big-hairy-
spider-in-bed scene

Add to this damning list of charges his fondness for exotic locations, the company of high-fashion models, and all those gorgeous, exquisite interiors'not to mention his incurable bachelorhood'and Bond is practically a blackmail target (male homosexuality remained illegal in England until 1967).

Perhaps this is why the evil-genius villains always had to be so camp and fussy, with their cats, cigarette holders, leather gloves, comically butch factotums, and makeover plans for the world. And perhaps also why Bond has to be so nasty to the ladies'though his sadism merely makes him all the more perverse and kinky. Even his ferociously, frequently fatal (for the ladies) hetero promiscuity is deviant by the buttoned-up standards of the era: As the trailers put it at the time, 'He's licensed to kill'when he likes, whom he likes, where he likes.'

Most working-class U.K. males in 1962 (Connery was one of them) were licensed to marry young, impregnate their wives three or four times, and then take up pigeon racing. Wartime-rationing of food and luxury items didn't end until 1954, two years before Elvis's first hit and less than a decade before Dr. No was made'although sex-rationing continued for decades afterwards.

Connery's Bond, by contrast, is a vain single young man jetting around the world and literally taking his pleasures where he pleases, living a glossy magazine lifestyle, albeit as an undercover agent. This lifestyle was not to come out of the secret-service closet until over 30 years later with the emergence of the metrosexual'a man whose mission was also to save the West, but by shopping instead of shooting.

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