Speaking of hilarious sexism…

I’m reading the James Bond novels. I’ve read 6 or 7 in a row – I’ll probably read all of them. I always assumed the Fleming books would be exactly like the early films – misogynist, homophobic, idiotic. Well, they are all those things, but in a really cool way. You may not understand, so I shall explain:

Bond is essentially an attempt to make being an unthinking tool of the conservative establishment sexy and cool and bad. And damn, he is all those things. Pretty much all the key villains from the early novels, when they’re not just gloriously, batshit insane, are either socialists, environmentalists, or liberated females. In the novel Goldfinger for example, Pussy Galore is a hardcore lesbian who (I kid you not) runs a school for hardcore lesbians (who incidentally also fly airplanes). Obviously, in the Fifties a gang of nefarious lesbian bank robbers in airplanes was the logical extension of feminist politics in the mind of every British male. This is all until the B-man literally slaps the lesbian out of her. 

So they’re pretty awful, but also fascinating in their awfulness, and very entertaining. Bond (in the books) is the ultimate unreformed male. My favourites would probably be Casino Royale and Dr No (in the latter, Bond has his penis endangered both by a poisonous centipede and a giant squid at different points i the story – that’s not why it’s my favourite, but it seemed important to mention, as long as we’re discussing Freud).

The appeal of Fleming novels is a lot like the appeal of mediocre causal sex. A mechanical, formulaic build up to an inevitable climax that leaves you feeling unfulfilled and vaguely cheapened, yet somehow wanting more.

I get the feeling maybe I’m not selling this very well. Raymond Chandler liked them.

– Matt

We realise these guys are technically only philosophers in the broadest possible sense but we’ve featured Freud before, and Einstein, and nobody complained, so we assume you aren’t too anal about these things (he says, cleverly utilising Freudian terminology in his discussion of your attitudes towards Freud).

Apparently Darwin was quite the womaniser, according to Kirk Cameron in the forward he recently tacked onto his own run of  “On The Origin Of Species”. Apparently this is just one of the character flaws that disqualifies him and his theories from being taken seriously. I saw this onThe View. Don’t judge me.

– Nick

 

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