by Jonathan Bond Perry
Last night I totally ignored the Academy Awards and all the Oscar weirdness, instead watching Sean Connery in the James Bond film From Russia with Love. Within the first 40 minutes at least 8 stunning women (I lost count) were featured in places like London, Russia, and Istanbul (not Constantinople), and a fancy spy briefcase complete with a handful of gadget-y weapons was shown to 007 for his approval. There’s also some stimulating repartee with Miss Moneypenny. In another scene while spying on a woman in a secret meeting, a colleague asked Bond “How does she look to you?”, to which he responds “From this angle things are shaping up nicely. I’d like to see her in the flesh.”. Oh, and after a belly-dancing scene, there’s a catfight between 2 hot gypsy women who don’t seem to be overdressed. (There were also goats, but that’s a side thing.)
James Bond is awesome. His job, nay his duty, as debonair spy for MI6 (British Intelligence), has him traveling the world, wearing sharp suits, driving magnificent autos, and entangling with exotic and dangerous beauties who seem to have left most of their clothing in the other bag. Bond has engineers constantly creating cool new spy toys to help him dispatch the enemy, which he always does with panache. Why am I using French words like panache and debonair when Bond is clearly English? Maybe I want to be beaten up by the bullies in my head. I don’t know. But I do know this: James Bond is perhaps the prime vanguard of all bachelors. He epitomizes the Domesticated Bachelor. He’s suave, stylish, sophisticated, and completely fictional. Truly a standard bearer.
James Bond was created in 1952 by British journalist Ian Fleming while on holiday at his Jamaican estate, Goldeneye. Yeah, Goldeneye. Fleming wrote twelve novels and two short story collections about 007, who, it’s said, was actually modeled on Fleming, himself something of an overly-confident manwhore. Beginning with the 1962 release of Dr. No, there have been 22 Bond films in the EON Production series, making it the longest running, most financially successful English-language film franchise in history (at least through the most recent film, Quantum of Solace). After Fleming’s death in 1964, several other writers authored James Bond novels and screenplays and perhaps named their Sedona estates Moonraker and Thunderball, but maybe not. James Bond has also been spoofed, most famously in the Austin Powers series by Mike Myers.
Bond’s date of birth often changed from story to story, frequently leaving him in his 40s, which apparently is an ideal age for spy-adventure coolness and gives me a small degree of comfort as I near that middling decade of life. Over the years, 007 has been portrayed on the big screen by several actors, most notably by Sean Connery and Roger Moore. These are usually considered the classic Bonds. In fact, there was a situation in 1983 where 2 different Bond movies played in theaters simultaneously. Roger Moore was in the EON production of Octopussy, when Sean Connery, the previous EON Bond, was brought back as Bond in the non-EON Never Say Never Again. Eventually MGM purchased the name “James Bond”, so this problem could never be repeated. 007 has also been portrayed by Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, David Niven (in an early spoof), Pierce Brosnan, and most recently Daniel Craig.
Bond music is easily recognizable the world over. The Bond theme is a super instrumental used in every movie, then a different song usually opens each film and this song is sung by one of the current hot singers. Some of the best include Paul McCartney and Wings doing “Live and Let Die“, Duran Duran in “A View to a Kill“, and “Nobody Does it Better” sung by Carly Simon for The Spy Who Loved Me. Shirley Bassey sang three Bond themes.
James Bond has had many relationships with women, often quite meaningless relationships. Of course he’s on the go a lot, sometimes the women are spies, and sometimes they die or turn gold and then die. At one point, though, Bond marries, but on their wedding day his bride is killed by his archenemy (seems like the writer’s convenient way of keeping Bond single).
Yes, women love 007, at least the ones in his movies (some of my married friends aren’t so keen). Between the exciting job, the snazzy clothes, the good looks, the sweet rides, and the strong self-esteem, he has little trouble with the fictional ladies. He’s the sort of guy other guys hope to emulate, minus the murder. And the excessive manwhoring.
The secret word is Moneypenny.
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by Jonathan Bippity Perry
I’ve been compiling a list of famous historical bachelors for a while for no reason. Maybe for future blog posts or so I can worm them annoyingly into awkward conversations. Maybe I’ll write a cleverly titled book, BACHELOR Profiles In Courage (And Shame), and sneak copies into the Kennedy sections of bookstores and libraries. I’ve already written about some of the dudes in previous blog posts, if only to help single guys realize how successful they can be with fewer distractions. Death or some sort of finality is needed to gauge one’s determination at bachelorhood, so I haven’t really included too many modern celebs. I might throw in living guys like Billy Idol just to mix things up (I’m pretty sure he’s still alive. And single.). If you find some other good examples, let me know by leaving insane rambling comments.
Guys I’ve Already Written About (linked for your pleasure)
Vincent Van Gogh
King Ludwig II (Mad King Ludwig)
President James Buchanan (The Bachelor President)
Sherlock Holmes (yeah, he’s fictional)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Philosophers & Theorists & Writers
Henry David Thoreau
Other Random Single Dudes
Edward Heath (former British PM)
As I study up on some of these goats and discover a few were actually married (or perhaps really women), thus shortening the list, I may be required to add modern bachelors in hopes that they stay lonely (I mean single) for the rest of their lives. In that event, here are some guys still living (except for a dead one).
Drew Carey (apparently engaged)
Anthony Michael Hall
Andre the Giant (yeah, he’s dead)
The secret fake word is spaz.
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by Jonathan B. Perry
Yeah, I know Sherlock Holmes is a character of fiction. OR IS HE? No, he is. But Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote so many Sherlock Holmes mysteries that I sometimes feel I personally know Holmes or at least that he was a real historical figure. He’s one of my favorite characters and is easily recognizable not only by his clever private detective work and astute observations, but also by his funny deerstalker hat, cape, and pipe. I’ve even named my dormant rock band, The Musgrave Ritual, after one of his cases. The Scottish Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels about this London-based consulting detective, and bachelor, set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Most of the stories were narrated by Holmes sidekick Dr. Watson, who lived with Holmes for many years before Watson married, then again after Mrs. Watson died. See, Watson was married, so don’t get any ideas.
A life-long bachelor (except in fan fiction), Sherlock Holmes does take an interest in Irene Adler, who he mentions in several cases, but only appears in “A Scandal In Bohemia“. In that story she outwits Holmes and escapes (it was complicated). For one of his other cases, Holmes is briefly engaged to be married, but only in order to uncover clues for his case, which is the excuse I’d use. At one point Holmes says, “I am not a whole-souled admirer of womankind“. Also, he found “the motives of women… so inscrutable… How can you build on such quicksand? Their most trivial actions may mean volumes… their most extraordinary conduct may depend upon a hairpin.” Such wisdom.
Though he earned a good deal of money from his cases, especially from doing work for Europe‘s royal families, and could have retired young, he lived modestly in his London bachelor pad on Baker Street. Watson described Holmes as being quite disorganized, leaving notes and experiments from old cases lying around the room, but able to find what he needed quickly from his organized chaos. I seem to have inadvertently modeled myself after him in this organizational respect.
Sherlock Holmes does have a major vice: drugs. Frequently using cocaine, and sometimes morphine, especially when his cases were understimulating, he still looked down on the use of opium. The use of such drugs was legal at that time in England, what with so much understimulation. Dr. Watson sometimes suspected that drug use was involved when Holmes stayed up all night. Later Watson believed he weaned Holmes off the junk.
Despite the drug use, Sherlock Holmes stands as a paragon of the modern detective as well as an interesting bachelor specimen. I wish I could go out on a case with him, maybe do some experiments. Go skeet shooting. But he’s dead. I mean, if he’d been real, he’d be dead. Rest in peace, fictional dude.
By the way, there are two new Sherlock Holmes movies in the works. One will star Robert Downey Jr as Holmes with Guy Ritchie directing and the other has Borat’s Sacha Baron Cohen as Holmes and Will Ferrell as Dr. Watson in a comedy by Judd Apatow. Pretty excellent! Can’t wait.
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