James Bond is a Product of his Environment AKA In Defense of “Skyfall”

This has been stewing in my brain juices for nearly a week now. I marathoned the Blonde Bond films and then thought hard about what it all meant. Especially Skyfall. I had read deconstructions of the tropes long before I saw the film.

Oh and they are there.

The opening scenes have Bond and another agent (later revealed to be Eve Moneypenny) shooting Bond instead of the enemy and getting shelved from field work. Apparently killing the legendary 007 is a career ender. And then she flirts with him in some absolutely baffling shaving scene.

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I have no excuse for THAT. Honestly. And Moneypenny was taken out of the field because it was M. who ordered the shot be taken even though she said it was too risky, and no way was M. going down for that shit, let’s face it. Power structures in play, Moneypenny took the fall.

But in a later scene at a casino Moneypenny backs up Bond, and he trusts her to. He heard M. tell her to “just take the shot” and he rightfully blames M., Moneypenny subsequently saves him from getting his head blown off or falling back into a pit with komodo dragons. I do wish she had played a larger role, but let’s face it; This is a JAMES BOND film, and James Bond is all about wish fulfillment nonsense, so if a female is going to save his punk ass she’ll have to do it with an evening gown on and probably have to nonsensically flirt and stroke his ego. Because that shit’s his bread and butter.

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Speaking of “flirting”; let’s get to former MI-6 agent turned villain Raoul Silva. Now we’ve seen Bond tortured in all sorts of ways over the years. Usually it was the brute-force or dead-girl-covered-in-substance-associated-with-the-villain route. This time we saw Bond threatened with sexual assault at the hands of a presumably gay man. Yes I said ‘presumably’.And YES I think it was intentionally playing up fears of homophobes who see Bond as the alpha-male, writer John Logan said he chose sexual intimidation because it would make the audience uncomfortable (citation) …And why would it make the -general- audience uncomfortable? ..because we never see that shit happen to men on film… we see it happen to women. All the damn time. Hell, in the same film a woman who was sold into the sex trade- and Silva shot her right in the head after Bond raped her in the shower (yes, I said raped, she couldn’t see him before he came up behind her, she didn’t know he was on the boat, she did not consent). We aren’t made to feel bad for her, it’s not played that way. So it’s thought provoking when Bond is touched this way against his will. And it doesn’t actually matter that/if Silva is gay. Because rape and sexual assault isn’t about attraction, it’s about power and control. There’s no two ways around that one. If it was attraction that caused rape it would be the victim’s fault for being so damn sexy. The aggressor is out to prove that they have the upper hand, this happens in staggering numbers during combat, among prisoners and even internally in the military among males. So when Bond says, “What makes you think it’s my first time?” it would likely be true.

What’s really of particular relevance to me is that Silva taunts him equally with the fact that James is completely not suitable for duty. He was told he passed the firearms test, he got 40%. He failed all the physical tests, fuck- he failed all the psychological tests. He’s dependent on booze and pills. It’s the truth. The glaring ugly truth that he is only even there because of the uneven power structures that lead to Silva leaving MI-6 and Moneypenny being shelved.

“So what does that matter?” I can hear you thinking it. “Bond is benefitting from all this privilege. He’s the action hero who always gets the girl. He’s the hero in this story!” Right?

Well… no.

At the beginning of the film, after he’s shot by Moneypenny he tries to enjoy his “death.” On a beach with a girl, having a drinking contest with people cheering. Spring Break! But when he sees the attack on MI-6 he *has to go back* because he’s been told the whole time that he’s the frigging best and has this whole savior complex about M. and England in general. And, just like in the last pages of PrinceLESS #1 where a young boy content to play in the mud is scooped up and taken to a special school to be a Prince Charming -subsequently being charred by a dragon while trying to prove himself to the ideal of chivalry which he’s been taught… society’s institutionalized gender roles are bullshit for everyone. Bond can’t kick back and retire because he’s been told he was optimal his whole life -told that he was meant to be there, that he has no life other than MI-6.

And YES I just went there with “oh the poor straight cis white males.” And yes I understand how much of a struggle it is to be told that you don’t belong there, to have to fight tooth and nail to make 88 cents on the dollar -or worse. And it’s a different issue, but not a separate one. Women face challenges in the corporate world, men face discrimination if they to a majority of the parenting and stats are showing that men face more issues returning to work than women do because it’s not expected so it is not accepted. Men are taught that their professional accomplishments are a major portion of their identity.

So who is Bond if he’s not MI-6?

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A pathetic womanizing drunk who used to be somebody.

Alternate opinions:

James Bond is a Creep Who Makes Me Sad About Our Culture

Skyfall is HOMOPHOBIC

Oh, Bonus Content:

John Travolta wants to be the next Bond villain

And a photo of first trans Bond-girl

who appeared in 1981's 'For Your Eyes Only' starring Roger Moore.

who appeared in 1981’s ‘For Your Eyes Only’ starring Roger Moore.

4 Months!

Lots and lots of comic books, all the time. My favorite right now: The Movement In fact, #5 is out this week. Hooray! DC sent us nerds on a rollercoaster of emotions, including the Villains month and Marvel held it down with the more worthwhile X-Men crossover Battle of the Atom

Under the Dome ended, Sleepy Hollow and Agents of SHIELD debuted. 

The book of the month was Darwin Elevator

As for movies, Insidious 2, World War Z and Dredd ranked high.

YOU SHOULD WATCH: BAMF girls club #11 

My Blog is 3 Months Old!

The best book I read this month: Parasite by Mira Grant, out for consumption on October 29th, get ready for this sci-fi tale to eat your brain! In the not so distant future, human bodies are regulated with “intestinal bodyguards.” Sally Mitchell is the first to have her tapeworm save her life after a near deadly accident leaving her an amnesiac lab rat for SymboGen. It’s not all bad for Sal, she gets along better with her sister, has a gig at an animal shelter and a doctor boyfriend. But when people start getting a “sleepwalking sickness” she finds herself in the heart of a SymboGen cover-up. Who’s good, who’s bad? Twist turns and gray areas ensue.

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I was going to squick you out with some tapeworm photos, but opted for this gem: an ad for a tapeworm diet!

Top Posts this month:

Rachel Deering’s Anathema Vol. 1

Movie Review for Elysium

Discussion: The Slut Shaming of Buffy Summers

That’s it for August! What will September bring?

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My blog is 2 Months old!

Oh snap! So, let’s take a look back at the month. Time Wants A Skeleton reviewed Under The Dome, more comic books, a couple movies and TEN books (and one of those books was Game of Thrones, that should count as 3.5 books). I started hosting a radio show and discovered netgalley! Wowzers!

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The not-so-good and the awesome of this month

Who fell in insta-love? 

Glory in Deviants, Sha in Breaking the Nexus, Saia in Warrior Unleashed, and Sansa in Game of Thrones. 

What would I recommend?

Born by Tara Brown- It’s YA kinda dystopia thing with infected zombies and evil government plots to breed people like farm animals (which you shouldn’t even do to them!), there’s a love triangle but the main character is actually pretty cool. And has friends who are girls. I’ve got to check out book 2 this month! I’m going to be totally honest, there’s poor editing and it’s not great writing, but it is a great story.

Game of Thrones by George RR Martin- I feel like I’m recommending this because I really want to brag that I read it. It was intimidating and overwhelming. It’s great writing. It’s a great world. Reading about treacherous plots, murders, seeking power, protecting family through the eyes of so many different characters was amazing, the men, women and children of Westeros all have their own unique perspectives and motivations. It’s just really fucking good.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs- I liked Mercy Thompson’s debut and her weird werewolf world.BUT: I wish all the other women weren’t cuckoo for cocoa puffs, though. It’s unnecessary to have your female main character hate all other females.

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 Also, in the comic book world:  Army of Darkness vs. Hack/Slash, and Lazarus had really awesome debuts. Brian Wood’s X-Men is still going strong. Get it!

Boston Comic-Con is this weekend so I will have many awesome things to share with you, my loyal fans! I’m participating in a vampire/zombie read-a-thon and I’m planning a fairytale week for the last week of August. <3<3<3

My Blog Turns 1 Month Old!

In the first month of this blog; I reviewed 12 books, 1 movie, 1 TV episode, and 2 comic books!
In return, I got 284 views from 6 different countries! Cool!

I decided to have a monthy update so I can explain what I loved most and why and give a rundown of who-what-why I thought these books were worth reading.
This months contenders: Kiss the Dead, the Hunger Games trilogy, Zombies of East Jesus, Zeek’s Loving Thorn, Feed, Deadline, Turned and Generation V

Who brought the Girl Power?

Most definitely, without a doubt: Mira Grant, Feed’s main protagonist and narrator was the super smart and ambitious Georgia Mason. In fact, even “flaky girl,” Buffy, was a tech genius. Let alone my HERO Rebecca Atherton from Deadline. All her girls were well rounded, all were down for girl time, even Georgia who was pretty much married to her work. The tough as nails zombie killer action-chick never sat around talking about how much “like a man” she is. In fact, she crushed hard and cried over someone who embarrassed her and broke her heart. Multi-dimensional! Heck yeah!

ML Brennan’s Generation V featured a male protagonist and a female sidekick, Suzume. However, she was so well written, as a complete character with her own motivations, the story would have been just as awesome if told through her eyes.

I liked both Generation V and Feed so much that I HAD TO START A BLOG AND TELL YOU HOW GOOD THEY WERE.

Does Urban Fantasy Really Hate Parents?

(some background reading of relevance: http://kissmywonderwoman.blogspot.com/2013/02/what-do-you-have-against-parents-urban.html

http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2012/05/absent-mothers-in-urban-fantasy.html )

Oh my god, did anyone in any of the books I read have a nurturing home life?

Generation V by ML Brennan- Fort’s Bio-parents are clinically insane from going through the processes of creating a vampire baby (ML Brennan has cuckoo-crazy vampire rules, but they were well-written and awesome), his vampire mother is controlling and… well.. a murdering vampire, his adoptive human parents were murdered by his psychopath killing machine sister. Any of those would be bad enough.

Feed/Deadline by Mira Grant: Georgia and Shaun’s birth parents (different birth parents) died, adoptive parents adopted them after their son turned into a zombie. The Masons adopted them to show how they had “moved on” and used them for ratings. Becks’s parents hate that she kills zombies on camera and basically disown her.

Turned by Morgan Rice: Caitlin’s dad is MIA, her mom hates her… and dies. And it turns out she’s adopted. (yikes)

Zombies of East Jesus: Parents are redneck stereotypes, end up dead.

Kiss the Dead by Laurell K Hamilton: Anita doesn’t talk about her parents in this one much, but there is one reference to how her mother died in a car crash (there usually is).

Zeek’s Loving Thorn by Dicey Grenor: Thorn and Willow’s parents were Evangelical nutbags who tortured Willow because they took her narcolepsy as a sign that she was possessed by demons.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Katniss; dead dad, views mom as useless, filling parental role. Gale; dead dad, filling parental role. Peeta; parents die.

….That’s everybody. Let me repeat: That’s all main characters from every book I read in June.
(And I already started 2 books for July and it’s not looking good for them either).