1. Praying for 007

    By Luke Freeman on 2003-02-28

    Ladies and Gentlemen, it saddens me greatly to say this, but it has to be said. In terms of innovation and creativity, in terms of supporting your beloved franchise and keeping it healthy and strong, James Bond fans are fast falling behind the fanatics of the other franchises. Heck, even the Star Wars followers are way ahead of us. We have 20 films, they have 5 films, and even then it’s more like 3 films and 2 toy catalogues, and they are ahead of us, miles ahead. While we’ve been twiddling our thumbs worrying about petty things like Madonna’s title song, and how realistic Sean Connery’s toupee is, the Star Wars fans are off waving their light sabers and starting their own religion. Yup, that’s right their own religion. There are 70,000 officially registered Jedi Knights, Star Wars has a religion, and excuse me, but why the heck didn’t we think of this first !!??!?! The Bond Religion, I can picture it now. Something with a bit of class, a bit of pizzazz, something better than sacrificing a goat in Yoda’s honor at any rate. With 20 films and 30 odd books to get ideas from, I’m sure we could knock up a quick religion in no time. Now come on, is it really to much to ask that we all abandon our faiths and follow the tuxedoed one? I should think not, just looks at what you’d be giving it up for…

    The Hymn Book – The Bond religion would have the best hymn book of all. Instead preachy melodies and Christmas Carols, we’d have hit songs like Diamonds Are Forever, For Your Eyes Only and Nobody Does it Better. Although the new song list would cause a problem when half the choir pass out doing the high note of Goldfinger, I think overall we’d be much better off than we were with songs from our old followings.

    Place of Worship – Regardless of the fact that it cleanses your soul and gets you in the good books with him upstairs, going to Church has always been a bit of a drag for most normal people. Not anymore folks, because now we worship outside the Albert R Broccoli 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios. Mass is each and every Sunday morning at the front gate, and be sure to bring a candle and a bottle of scotch. For those of you who live outside of the UK, prepare to make use of those Frequent Flyer points.

    Traditional Rituals – Who needs the breaking of the bread and the sipping of the wine when you can have the smoking of the cigarette (the Body of Bond) and the guzzling of the vodka martini (the Blood of Bond)? Yeah, I know some of you will miss your traditional animal slaughterings, your human sacrifices, and your voodoo dolls, but please put the swine, the virgin and the pins away. I promise you it’s worth it. Think of the bigger picture here folks.

    The Good Book – The biggest advantage to being in the Bond Religion, is that instead of one Bible there are fourteen. Well twelve full Bibles and two collections of short story Bibles anyway, but still, that’s quite an impressive achievement. On the downside, quoting references from the Bibles is now harder than ever, Live and Let Die 3:12:7-15 and so forth. Many branches of the Bond Religion consider the works of John Gardner and Raymond Benson to be sacred text, but others aren’t convinced.

    Symbolic Symbols – The cross, the six cornered star, that funny looking moon, the ying-yang sign, and all the other weird little shapes have all had their day as religious symbols, but they are things of the past. They pale in comparison to the slick, stylish symbol of the Bond religion, The 007 gun logo [(C) 1962-2003 DanJaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation]. Yeah, the symbol of worship may have a copyright notice attached, but it’s still pretty cool.

    Miraculous Miracles – The Bond religion has been witness to a few events than can only be described as miracles. The resurrection of James Bond from the dead between the novels From Russia, With Love and Dr No springs to mind immediately. The re-growth of Blofelds hair in the film Diamonds Are Forever and Bond catching up with the plane in GoldenEye have also been acknowledged by the church as official miracles. Better than a potato chip vaguely resembling Jesus any day.

    The James Bond religion has many perks, and being part of it would be a wonderful, enriching experience. But one needs to be aware of imitations. Because as in every religion, there are imitators, false prophets, who have tried desperately to cash in on the James Bond religion. Kevin McClory is the most notorious offender, If you’re walking around down town one day, you may spot him on a street corner handing out pamphlets claiming that Eon is the devil and that the rights to James Bond are truly his. Jim Hatfield’s book “The Killing Zone” is another imitator one needs to be wary of. There are other, and If you do happen to come across one, run for your lives.

    Until next time,