Art & Culture

Why October 5 is Global James Bond Day

Damayanti Datta
Damayanti DattaOct 05, 2016 | 15:35

Why October 5 is Global James Bond Day

It's October 5. And you're supposed to celebrate someone special.

It's a man, a poker-faced man, who wears perfectly-tailored suits, thrives on fancy cars and gadgets, speaks in sexual double-entendre and smart-alecky humour, drinks to the point of hangovers, indulges excessively in casual sex, never gets into lasting relationships, uses and loses women like tissue paper, engages with some of the worst specimens of humanity and is perfectly at ease with mind-numbing violence, to save his country.

That's the man you are supposed to celebrate today. For, October 5 is Global James Bond Day.

And why?

It was on October 5, 1962, that the world's most famous (fictional) spy stepped onto the silver screen in Dr No.

Fifty-four years and 25 movies later, he is a brand, worth as much as $19.9 billion - box office to books, toys to merchandise, VCD/ DVD/ rentals to gaming.

Although the Star Wars franchise is worth Bond and Harry Potter combined at $42 billion, still Bond gets a day and not the others. Because, brand consultants say, the Bond brand delivers a promise like none.

What's that?

What exactly is the promise?

1) Bond delivers an unbeatable package: of drama, humour, style, suspense, romance and intrigue.

2) Bond gives two hoots to social convention, yet doesn't flinch when called upon to risk his life for his country (and the Queen).

3) He delivers what you, perhaps, lack in your life: a full life of interesting stories, filled with nubile young women, hi-tech gadgets, violence and picturesque settings.

An impotent drunk

Bond has been a pop culture icon since 1953, when Ian Fleming first published Casino Royale. Of late, however, a host of serious research has started pointing a finger at our dashing British spymaster.

Sean Connery in a still from Dr No. (Photo credit: Google)

British doctors dug into the 14 Bond novels and charted every drink he ever drank. Published in the British Medical Journal 2013, their report shows that Bond polishes off 92 units of alcohol a week, or five vodka martinis a day, which is four times the recommended maximum intake for men in the UK.

That sort of intake is inconsistent with the physical, mental, and sexual functioning Bond displays. Their diagnosis? Bond is likely to be an "impotent drunk," likely to have hand tremor and is at risk of multiple alcohol-related diseases and early death

He's a psycho

British psychologist and writer, Kevin Dutton, who is also a researcher at the department of experimental psychology, University of Oxford, has recently dubbed Bond as a "functional psychopath," in his book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.

"Functional psychopaths' display superficial charm, absence of anxiety, promiscuous sexual behaviour, a constant sense of boredom, lack of guilt or empathy and being at ease with violence. Just a reminder: Bond shows each of these traits and has killed nearly 400 people so far in his 25 movies.

Our take

Had Bond been a real person, he would have died probably of heart attack from excessive drinking by now. As a spy he may have been spared the noose for killing that many people, but he would surely have got into serious criminal cases slapped on him by women: from rape to molestation to sexual harassment.

Think twice, those who want to celebrate James Bond today.

Last updated: October 05, 2016 | 15:35
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