CommanderBond.net
  1. The 007th Chapter: Live and Let Die – Mister Big

    A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart

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    Sense of adventure. (My emphasis).

    I’m fibbing – can’t take the credit. Not my emphasis at all. The very first sentence of the Bond “thing” directly appeals to sense or, more precisely, the scents. Wiser minds than mine write of a Fleming Sweep; I prefer a Feel, and that’s not an invitation. Oh, put it away.

     

    Even just over one book in, one can unimaginatively deduce that Ian Fleming is a sensual writer, and not so much in the commonly adopted sexualised understanding of “sensual”, despite this 007th chapter of Live and Let Die concluding with a 20-stone Negro, having leatherstrapped a man to a chair (an act described at excitable length), proceeding to whip a witch with an ivory riding-crop whilst a voodoo scarecrow leers on. Might have been yer average Tuesday round Goldeneye way but is an unusual domestic encounter for most, I’d wager, and would doubtless justify police intervention. I mean – ivory. Tsk!

     

    A swift hand of bridge it is not. That’s in the next one.

     

    Usually at its strongest when he’s neglecting the tedium of “plot”, look at where the detail frequently – if not, admittedly, universally – lies, in engaging the base senses. How often Fleming lets his descriptions fly towards (say) food and drink – the enjoyment of both the descriptions of the menus and the experiences of the tastes – and elsewhere, be it places or people or flowers, birds and weapons: the smell, the touch, the sound. The sickly zoo smell of Oddjob. Recognising countless perfumes and soaps. The sight of Honeychile Ryder emerging naked from the sea. Cars are not a means of getting to destinations but a sensual destination in themselves, an immersion in a highly tactile experience; there are very few passages of Bond driving when he’s not totally engaged in the sweat, the smoke, the blast of wind in the face, the supercharged sound of it. The “touch” of a carpet beater.  Guns and engines don’t fire; they roar. That the sex never goes – never needs to go – beyond the first erotic touches. All five senses engaged in a midnight wander through Blofeld’s Garden of Death. As atmosphere, it’s thermosphere, so heightened is the delivery.

     

    Sensational.

     

    Literally.

     

    Then, the trick emerges, and the trap is set for those unwise enough to follow. The easy perception is that Fleming does “detail”; ooh, lots of “detail” in Fleming, there is. The failing is not acknowledging that he knew when to let it go, only wanting to describe those things that interested him. Once he has you by the senses, once you are immersed by his drowning you in the sights and the scent and smoke and sweat of wherever he’s placed you – Northern France, Japan, Istanbul, Jamaica, matters not – he can step back and leave you to wallow, enblissed floating. There’s a key example of this in the 007th chapter of Live and Let Die. He’s led us, whirling, through a turbo-fictionalised Harlem for a couple of chapters, soaking in its juices, and here, so drenched are we, we’ll just imbibe without question that Mr Big has a pistol masked by a drawer keyhole. We have been prepared for the ludicrous.

     

    “Again, there was nothing absurd about this gun. Rather painstaking, perhaps, but, he had to admit, technically sound.”

     

    Come off it, no it’s NOT. And yet, we gulp it down. It’s only later do we question what we’ve been spiked with. That is trust. Perhaps a trust abused, but you take it at the time, giggling slightly. There is no explanation of how this gun works. There doesn’t need to be. Your Clancys, your Lee Childs, closer to home your Gardners and Bensons, would tell us that the protagonist takes only an atosecond to work out – if not an atosecond to describe, unfortunately – how it was a Sillitoe-Bumpluck point 660 with a Horace flange and dingadong buttress and forty leveret hosiery and some such boring, boring unnecessariness. The skill is that one needs to know when not to describe, when to stop fact getting in the way of a good story. So convinced are these others that you would doubt what they say, they clobber you over the head with neanderthal factual detail to nail misguided veracity onto a patently farcical enterprise, thereby ironically undermining its allure, its success, rather than promoting it. Desensitising is counterproductive as a seduction technique: ask any lorry driver. It’s possible that Fleming was too idle to describe it “properly”; equally so that he rightly considered anyone actually interested in guns as a wee bit mental. Still, the evidence suggests that Bond is not about relentless description of every frickin’ thing. It’s about knowing when the trigger doesn’t need to be pulled. Probably because it patently wouldn’t work.

     

    Damn damn damn damn.

     

    Once you’ve been seduced, once he’s touched you, you can only give in and just snort it all up. Otherwise you’d realise that this is a tale in which one man threatens to shoot another with his desk.

     

     

    The 007th Chapter – Live and Let Die: Mister Big

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2014-03-15
  2. The 007th Chapter: Casino Royale – Rouge et Noir

    A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart
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    Jacques Stewart was born in 1973 and educated at Eton. After a brief period at Top Man at Guildford he went abroad to waste his education. In 1994, having failed to be crowned Emperor of the Cress, he joined a Fiat Punto to a tree and amputated his left foot. During both Gulf Wars, he watched them on the telly. His wartime experiences provided him with first-hand knowledge of his expanding waistline.After the wars he continued as a self-employed menace with a private income. He bought his house, House, in Oxfordshire and there at the age of forty he wrote The 007th Minute, a meretricious e-book slagging of the films featuring Commander James Bond. By the time of his death in 2744, seven people had downloaded it and one had even finished it, disappointed. Dr No, the first film featuring James Bond and starring Sean Connery, was released in 1962 and is one he actually quite likes and the Bond films continue to be huge international successes despite what he or any other anonymous human dust on the internet types about them. He is also the author of the magical children’s book You Were A Mistake.The opinions of Jacques Stewart were immediately recognised as total pus by his contemporaries 007izkewl, iluvpiersbrosmam and downloadtransformersfourherehotbabes. With the invention of James Bond, Ian Fleming created the greatest British fictional icon of the late twentieth century.
    That, you already knew.This is not a serious experiment.

    It resolves nothing, and proves less. In seeking to establish what the 007th chapters of the Bond books tell us of the core ingredients of such enterprises, do not come expecting truth or revelation. The only fact that can be asserted of these brainbursts is that they are my opinions, but I might be lying about that, to tell the truth (or not). Nor are these pieces intended as a guide for aspiring writers of Bond – be they “official” or fan fiction. The latter category may glean nothing from this exercise; the Bond novels tend to have right good spelling and grammar. Plots. Characters. Big words. As far as those charged with filling remainder shops with licensed literary Bond go, they might just get depressed.

    However, if you’re familiar with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 (it’s a page-turner: the car chase is fab), you’ll be aware that copyright in literary works persists until 31 December of the seventieth year after the author’s death. Accordingly, in principle anyway, on 1 January 2035, it’s open season on Ian Fleming’s works. In principle. It may be quite tricky – you’re welcome to try, if you’re still around and fancy litigation as a retirement plan. There’s the small matter of the continuation novels and short stories, evidently created to better the cultural life of the planet and not just preserve rights (God forbid you’d think that: tchoh!) and the equally splendid situation that the books now come with the deathly warning that James Bond and 007 are registered trademarks of Danjaq LLC, used under licence by IFP (kind of them). Trademark protection only lasts ten years, but critically it’s renewable (whereas, in so many ways, Ian Fleming is not, however many grave-based revolutions folks assert he performs on hearing (despite being heavily death) of a blond Bond or an invisible car). Given the happy-go-lucky good-natured attitude to their intellectual property that Danjaq have often demonstrated to this website, one suspects they’re unlikely to forget to send the form in on time.

    I suppose that doesn’t technically stop someone from using the text of (say) Thunderball and changing the name and number – seemed to be the heart of the McClory argument, that – but one would doubt both the sanity and the point. I’m in no position to judge either, though, as will rapidly emerge.

    Insfoar as there’s any structure to the venture, let’s play Goldfinger:

    Volume 1: Happenstance will concentrate on the Flemings;

    Volume 2: Coincidence on the Gardners and Bensons; and

    Volume 3: Enemy Action, Although It’s Actually Extremely Damaging Friendly Fire, What the Bloody Hell Are IFP Thinking? on the likes of Higson, Faulks, Deaver and Boyd.

    Knowing full well that I have been amiss on Amis and ungood on Wood and [something para-rhyming with Pearson (nothing para- rhymes with Pearson)] on Pearson, my views on their efforts will have to wait until this emerges as an e-book although if you’re that desperate to know, you can make a pretty accurate guess.As a clue, the overall structure may follow the classic dramatic arc of a first bit where everything’s sunshiney and delicious; middle part, all dark and horrible and nasty and stuff goes very wrong; third act, heroically back to form. Not too confident about that last one, frankly, but let’s get going.

    For the 007th chapter, I’m concentrating on the actual chapter itself as a snapshot of the written Bond. Whilst, as with the films, I could digress into laboured reviews of the remainder of the (de)merits of the product, that would necessitate having to read them all, and I have neither the time nor the patience nor (when it comes to more than a handful of the non-Fleming output) the absence of dignity.

    All “quotes” from texts are, unless otherwise stated, copyright Ian Fleming Publications Limited.

     

    The 007th Chapter – Casino Royale: Rouge et Noir

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2014-02-24
  3. Worth another shot… in March

    Image 'Icegun vs. Woodbazooka' by 'Aurelian Breeden' (c)

    Image ‘Icegun vs. Woodbazooka’ by ‘Aurelian Breeden’ (c)

    Hush!

    Do you hear that? No?

    Be quiet. Very quiet.

    Quieter! Stop breathing, for a while…

    Do you hear it now?

    Very faintly, far in the distance?

    Somewhere out there there is an almost inaudible sound, a tiny ticking, like a very expensive lady’s wristwatch.

    That is the sound of Ian Fleming Publications preparing for their 2013 Grand Slam, the brand-new James Bond novel by William Boyd.

    Surprisingly it sounds very much like – nothing. In fact some of our well-known eavesdroppers insist that – according to their readings – there is no such noise to be heard at all. They claim I must be suffering from ‘auditory hallucinations’ as they put it.

    What do the Ferrets know. I know better. I can hear the works of IFP ticking away thin slices of time until September. The lady may have just changed her timepiece to a digital, that won’t help her.

    I can still hear it ticking. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

    Do you listen, IFP? I can still hear you! Night and day, night and day! Night and …

     

    March over already? Phew, that was the worst March since…well, since February. Which was bad enough for a February, let alone a March. What have we missed? Tons of things, evidently. But only few of a cursory Bond connection.

    Still, some things went – almost – unnoticed.

    Such as the activities of the University of Illinois’ Rare Book and Manuscript Library to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the publication of ‘Casino Royale’.  An exhibition of the University’s Fleming treasures (“The Birth of Bond: Ian Fleming’s ‘Casino Royale’ at 60” , April 12th – July 1st), a lecture (“Casino Royale and Beyond: 60 years of Ian Fleming’s literary Bond” Opening Event) by Michael VanBlaricum, President of the Ian Fleming Foundation, on the exhibition’s opening day (April 12th, free admission ) and a second exhibition concerning itself with “Unconventional Bond: The Strange Life of Casino Royale on Film” (April 16th – June 16th, Spurlock Museum) aim to entertain and inform both seasoned fans and newcomers to the literary 007 alike.

    From the University’s own pages:

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning.” That’s the opening line of “Casino Royale,” the novel that introduced secret agent James Bond to the world, launching a franchise of books and blockbuster movies that continues to this day. April 13 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of “Casino Royale,” and the University of Illinois will recognize the event with a collaborative celebration hosted by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Spurlock Museum, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.

     

    Titled “The Birth of Bond: Ian Fleming’s ‘Casino Royale’ at 60,” the event will feature a collection of first editions, manuscripts and Fleming ephemera at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library; a film festival and display of Bond movie costumes and props at the Spurlock Museum; a collection of audio recordings, photographs and sheet music (including the original 2006 “Casino Royale” score) at the Sousa Archives; and a performance of music from the Bond movies and books by the U. of I. Concert Jazz Band. A full schedule of events is online.

     

    Much of the material featured in “The Birth of Bond” comes from the collection of Michael L. VanBlaricum, the president of the Ian Fleming Foundation and a U. of I. alumnus who is loaning pieces of his personal collection of Fleming first editions, manuscripts, letters, recordings, sheet music and movie props to the three campus sites.

     

    VanBlaricum will give a one-hour talk on Fleming and Bond at 3 p.m. on April 12 (Friday), in the library auditorium (Room 66), followed by a reception in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Room 346). The jazz concert, on April 13 (Saturday), will begin at 7 p.m. in the Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum, and will include a piano medley of Bond themes performed by Raymond Benson, one of the continuation authors hired by the Fleming family to carry on the James Bond novels after Ian Fleming’s death, as well as themes from the Bond movies and music mentioned in Fleming’s books.

    Grateful thanks to CBner ‘Major Tallon’ and Ms Dusty Rhodes, Arts and Humanities News Editor at the University of Illinois, for pointing us to this and providing assistance.

     

    What else?

    Well, of course the new Bond book was published. In February even. Nobody seemed to notice, strange. Oh, I’m not talking about that William Boyd thingy, that one is ticking away somewhere behind IFP’s iron curtains backstage, rather loudly I might add (‘Sir? Would you mind? Ticking a little bit less prominently? There’s people trying to write a column here, you know. Ta muchly!’).

    No, what was published in February by the University of Alberta Press was Kimmy Beach’s ‘The Last Temptation of Bond’. The first – as far as I am aware – epic Bond poem ever. Or ‘evah’, whichever you prefer. Kimmy Beach is the author of – amongst others – ‘Nice Day for Murder – Poems for James Cagney’ and ‘Alarum Within: Theatre Poems’ so I guess it’s safe to assume she is a seasoned poet. According to her blog she also is a dedicated Bond fan. Both passions had to collide somewhere along the road and the fruit of this is now available at Amazon and supposedly other places, too.

    I cannot claim even the faintest kind of authority in the realm of poetry, so I better skip any pretensions of erudite appraisal. Beach herself calls the book her take on Nikos Kazantzakis’ ‘Last Temptation of Christ’ with a Bond theme, the ageing 007 coming to terms with his own mortality and accordingly having to deal with the many women in his life. It sounds like a fun idea and I will check it out one of these days.

    My thanks go to Double 0 Section for digging it out, and to The Book Bond for bringing it to our attention.

     

    Losses: We’ve sadly lost Richard Griffiths. R.I.P.

     

    And that already was this month’s shot.

    Worth another shot will return once this ear-shattering ticking noise stops…

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-04-10
  4. Worth another shot… in February

    Oscar one and a half, image by James Salmond Furniture, used with kind permission

     

    As everybody can plainly see with a glance at the image that comes with this shot, February was clearly dedicated to the Academy Awards, the James Bond tribute at said sad event, and of course the spectacular congregation of all six Bond actors on stage! That even more spectacularly – after repeatedly being debunked by various parties – really didn’t happen then. Scandalous!

     

    Which is why we won’t waste further words on this event.

     

    CBners’ new fan shirt creation, supposedly comes with Bond’s private number

    What we will mention in this shot is the brand-new, all British-Racing-Green CBn fan t-shirt, designed by CBners themselves and up for grabs for the next six days. Provided the goal of 25 orders is met by then. Shouldn’t really be a problem, the rumour mill suggests this t-shirt comes with the number of Bond’s direct line at SIS HQ and the number of his secure home line. In code of course (something to do with the number of threads used, divided by the square root of the moon phases). The shirt asks for a mere $ 15.00, hardly too much for Bond’s phone number, even if you shouldn’t be able to decipher it.

     

    In other news: CBn started a side-career in the building industry! Our first project is Build BOND 24, a multiple choice poll game in – currently – five brand new threads in the CBn Forum Games section. Starting with the basics (Bond, girl, villain),   going to locations, the must-haves (conventions, bling and signature lore),  a story and a ride, and finally some kind of noise to go with the whole experience, you can choose amongst a wealth of carefully worded suggestions as well as add your very own personal scintillations. Be sure to leave a contact address and don’t move too far from your phone, just in case you get a call by a certain production company.

     

    And now for something completely different…

    Matt Helm – somewhat of a ‘colleague’ of Bond from the other side of the Atlantic – is finally coming back! Starting this February Titan Books reprints the popular tough-as-nails secret agent series by Donald Hamilton. The first two – DEATH OF A CITIZEN and THE WRECKING CREW – are already out; April, August and October will see further reprints. That’s not news, you say? So you already knew about the prequel MATT HELM: THE WAR YEARS, too? Well, for those that don’t, it’s a brand new Matt Helm story by Keith Wease, a long-time Matt Helm fan whose work, according to Donald Hamilton’s son, captures the voice of his father quite successfully. Currently MATT HELM: THE WAR YEARS is available on Kindle.

     

    Worth another shot will return, once we’ve upgraded our deciphering hardware. Until then keep calm and…

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-03-11
  5. Worth another shot… in January

    ‘Chinese cleaver’ by ‘panduh’ (c)

    January has been a surprisingly quiet month for us fans. Quiet not in absolute terms – just take a look at the wildly exciting speculation about all six Bond actors possibly showing up at the Oscar ceremony, the guessing game around this event’s Bond tribute and the five nominations for the Academy Awards – but quiet in a post-coital sort of way; a deeply satisfied, warm, lush and drowsy dampness after a major climax in the eventful history of Her Majesty’s favourite parachute escort. It borders on melancholy and one would like to turn back time and live through it all again.

    Not that everybody was downright ecstatic about ‘Skyfall’. Yet it’s hardly overstated to claim the film has met with an overall very favourable reception by audience and critics alike.

    As often is the case with this kind of ‘event’ productions numerous public figures seized the opportunity to delve into the – for most of them – foreign realm of film criticism and give their own opinion, often with entertaining results. One of the more illustrious figures to weigh in was none other than Sebastian Faulks himself, a favourite with British literary critics and ennobled by a fate which chose him to pen 2008’s ‘Devil May Care’, a Bond continuation novel tasked with commemorating the centenary of Ian Fleming’s birth, written “as” Ian Fleming and, in so doing, giving us Bond playing tennis, a Bond girl masquerading as a sex-slave heroin addict, death by administration of paddlesteamer and M doing yoga.

    Mr Faulks delivered his opinion on ‘Skyfall’ together with his up-to-then-missing verdict upon ‘Quantum of Solace’, and for good measure provided readers with his professional insights into Ian Fleming’s literary character; all in a day’s work. A buy-one/get-three sort of deal; we are sure you can acquire ‘Devil May Care’ in such an arrangement, should the fancy take you. The resulting critique embraced such a revealing nature that it went a long way towards explaining – perhaps unwittingly – some fundamental misconceptions about both film and book Bond; though on whose side, one comments not.

    However, Mr Faulks succeeded in making it into the headlines of The Telegraph and – never miss a good rehash; I know what I’m talking about – the Daily Mail. Further January headlines concerned themselves with the case of brutal butchering ‘Skyfall’ underwent at the hands of Chinese censors in order to gain access to Chinese theatres. The chopped version omits a few tiny details that weren’t deemed worthy of amusing the audiences under protection of the PRC. We were so very not-amused about this revelation.

    Though on closer inspection the mutual outcry indeed seems a bit hard to understand. ‘Skyfall’ shares its fate with the likes of ‘MIB3’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and countless other productions I can’t be bothered to list here. It would have been much more of a sensation had the film made it to China’s cinemas without any cuts and changes.

    A different sort of ‘Skyfall’ review was provided by cartoon artist, writer and illustrator Josh Edelglass, creator of the film parody web comic MotionPicturesComics.com. In January he finished a six-week run covering ‘Skyfall’. Premise of his web-comic series are a boy and his robot jumping into various films and commenting on the spectacle in tongue-in-cheek manner reminiscent of movie parodies in MAD magazine tradition . His take on ‘Skyfall’ can be found here.

    Finally Jason Whiton’s fanblog Spyvibe rediscovered a piece of surviving Fleming trivia on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs website. The programme featured prominent figures in interviews with host Roy Plomley, discussing the show’s premise of  which records to have with you on a desert island. Fleming was Plomley’s guest for an August 1963 broadcast, of which just short of 10 minutes can be heard. Intriguing stuff indeed.

    Worth another shot will return… in March.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-02-06
  6. Worth another shot… in December

    ‘Confetti Street’ by ‘Antoaneta’ (c)

    So, the old year has been kicked out in style while the new one met with the traditional optimism – sometimes against better knowledge and rightful scepticism. And look, this brand new 2013 already shows the first traces of those comfortable wrinkles and creases we tossed the old one out for. Must keep an eye on that.

    Now that the empty bottles and the torn gift wrap has been swept into the usual dark corners, what remains of 2012, that Big James Bond Anniversary ™? I mean, what remains that hasn’t been  said – rather written – here already?

    Well, there have been some things I can think of. 2012 provided fans with more than just Eon’s official – and incredibly extensive – historiography in The James Bond Archives. We also have to thank for a number of publications that shed light on Bond’s history from within, yet from a different and unofficial perspective. We already talked about Charles Helfenstein’s ‘The Making of The Living Daylights‘ here – though, can one really talk too much about this tome? Currently it’s in stock at Barnes & Noble (where our link leads you) but will soon be in stock again at Amazon. It seems B&N just have the better connections to the publisher.

    From a completely unexpected direction came another most interesting book. Unexpected because it’s the Bond memoirs of the one actress who’s been involved with the series more than any other except Lois Maxwell. Yet most people – even seasoned Bond fans – didn’t know about her connection with 007: Nikki van der Zyl. She is the voice we hear when Ursula Andress first appeared on the beach of Crab Key in ‘Dr No’. Since then Mrs van der Zyl has re-voiced numerous other female parts in the series until ‘Moonraker’. In addition to that she also coached German actor Gerd Froebe for his dialogue in ‘Goldfinger’. ‘For Your Ears Only‘ recounts the moving story of her life and her career at the heart of the British film industry, from the sidelines of many famous productions her contributions were crucial for, yet seldom adequately acknowledged. A fascinating read.

    Another pleasant surprise gift for Bond fans came from an old and trusted friend of Bond’s exploits, Len Deighton. After long years of silence from this legend of the modern thriller we finally get ‘James Bond: My Long and Eventful Search for His Father‘, and not a day too early. It’s sadly “just” a short article, partly retelling the background of his meeting with Ian Fleming as noted in the – long since out of print – compilation ‘For Bond Lovers Only’, partly extending his foreword to Robert Sellers’s ‘The Battle For Bond’. But it’s a nifty piece of excellent writing, full of anecdotes and adventures Deighton experienced with Harry Saltzman and Kevin McClory, at a time when his input shaped part of Bond’s early steps on the big screen, and later when he became a contributor to the early stages of McClory’s ‘Warhead’ project. For friends of Deighton’s prose and those interested in a glimpse into the early years not to be missed. Currently it’s only available as Kindle-download.

    Further news were provided by the always eager eye of John Cox and his very own The Book Bond. He was the first to report that both Ian Fleming’s ‘The Diamond Smugglers‘ and ‘Thrilling Cities‘ are going to get brand new print runs with the distinctive Amazon Vintage cover art. But that’s not all, he spotted a tiny sentence in the Radio Times, suggesting William Boyd already delivered his manuscript for his untitled Bond novel due for October 2013. And he already traced down the first Amazon listing for the book, which incidentally announces an impressive page count, too. Something to look forward to in 2013!

    For Bond fans like me 2012 has been a marvellous year in every respect, absolutely fantastic. In time for the anniversary CommanderBond.net too did revive many fine traditions – both on the main page and the forums – that have been missed in recent years. Naturally the past year saw our focus to some extent on the cinematic part of James Bond. In 2013 now Bond will actually see his sixtieth anniversary as Ian Fleming’s character and arguably literature’s most celebrated spy. CBn is going to celebrate this event throughout the year with a number of activities centred on the literary heritage of 007. Without losing sight of the film phenomenon that introduced most current fans to the world of James Bond.

    2013 is going to be a busy year.

    Worth another shot will return in February.

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2013-01-08
  7. Worth another bloody shot… in November

     

     

    ‘Well, it’s Christmas time again,

    decorations are all hung by the fire.

    Everybody’s singin’

    all the bells are ringing out,

    and it’s Christmas all over again…’

     

     

     

     

     

    Rule of thumb: when you are struggling to find a halfway-decent hook for your tiny piece of monthly column, and it’s already the 3rd and you can’t decide on the hook, the layout or the images to go with it… then there is nothing better than inspiration provided by The Admiral himself. Kudos to Dave Winter for helping me out here.

    What’s it all about? In the words of The Admiral:

    Keep calm and… TAKE THE BLOODY SHOT!

    Order a t-shirt for $20 within 7 days in order for the campaign to be a success (we need 50 orders for the shirts to be printed): http://teespring.com/takethebloodyshot 

    Enjoy Skyfall? Now wear the T-shirt with the fantastic quote from M in the pre-titles sequence.

    Given the fact it’s that time of the year (yet) again, this item might be just the right thing to buy your significant other for the stocking. Add one for yourself, too. This shirt is decidedly shirt-ish, the colour sufficiently bright to lighten up the dark winter days (and nights), and the slogan is downright unbeatable in terms of cultural impact – Bond can attest to that. A modern classic for generations to come. Elegant, stylish, timeless – just what the tasteful Bond fan is looking for.

     

     

    And now – TAKE THE BLOODY SHOT!

     

     

     

     

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2012-12-03
  8. Worth another shot… in October

    Image by ‘Defence Images’/MOD/SAC Tracey Dobson (c)

    No sooner was the September shot finished when virtually all hell broke loose. Not because of my flimsy prattle, it just happened to coincide with Adele’s main title song turning from ‘official rumour’ to official fact.

     

    From that day onward October was riddled with the mortar impacts of the ‘Skyfall’ PR campaign. Adele’s song ‘Skyfall’ was officially supposed to set out into the big wide world on October 5th, but somehow a snippet of it ‘leaked’ a few days earlier – and met with an enormous demand, making the final release then a lesson in skyrocketing the iTunes Charts. It immediately went to No 1 in most of Western Europe and managed practically everywhere else in Europe to climb the top ten. When was the last time we’ve seen such happening to a Bond song? Actually – when was the first time???

     

    As could be expected the song still isn’t everybody’s favourite, for various reasons I’m not qualified to write about even speculatively. My personal impression (and nothing else will you get here) was it’s perhaps a bit short on substance. And yet I haven’t been able to get the thing out of my system for weeks now, so it probably achieved what it was supposed to. Well done, Ms Adkins. Very well done!

     

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2012-11-05
  9. Worth another shot… in September

    Image by id-iom (c)

     

     

     

     

     

    ‘… wake me up when September ends.’

     

    I actually wanted to use this line right after putting the last full stop under the August version of our new thingy (and I see only now I didn’t put a full stop there either; well, can’t be helped). And now I was close to missing the beginning of October for real. Happens…

     

    Follows opinion. Mine, and mine only. If you want one of your own – fine, go and form one.

     

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2012-10-01
  10. Worth another shot… in August

    Image by Jeremy Mates

     

    And another new thing from CommanderBond.net (May flowers? August corn!). ‘Worth another shot’ from now on is going to wrap up the past month, with everything that didn’t make it on the main page but should have. Or did make it and merits another shot. What it says, actually. We do as yet not know where exactly this is going to take us. For the time being it will be a couple of links, revisits, thoughts and notes, nothing too pretentious. Could be in some months it’s going to centre upon a particular theme or event. But I promise it won’t stoop to publishing anybody’s shopping list. Well, Bond’s perhaps, but that’s another story.

     

    Oh, and of course it’s entirely a subjective opinion piece. Meaning whoever is doing it is speaking entirely for himself. You may have your own shot.

     

    So what was it this August that kept our minds busy, what was – nearly – forgotten, and what should perhaps better have been?

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2012-08-31
Follow @cbn007