This blog is called “The Daily Cure” because several years ago when I started it, I realized that just being in Europe sort of made me feel better in a lot of ways. And I began to catalog the small and large bits of evidence. I wander off the path every now and then, but that was the original idea. So, what does all that have to do with James Bond? Not a whole heck of a lot, except that in my pre-Europe years, I loved James Bond. I forgave him his womanizing (we all do, don’t we?), because his whole absurdly worldly, globe-trotting, sohpisticated, martini-drinking self was so immensely entertaining and capable of pulling me out of the deepest, darkest, baddest mood. James Bond made me feel happy.
Now the world of advertising and promotion—the very field in which I’ve made my own career (alas!)—has wreaked havoc on his sacrosanct image by having him drink Heineken in his next adventure, Starfall. I will not be watching the movie. Nor will I ever again drink a Heineken. Word has it, the beer-maker paid 40 million dollars for the right to screw with Ian Fleming’s hero and our iconic, European, feel-good Man. When anything can be bought, I say, “No.” Excuse me. Like him or not, James Bond is a classic, literary figure not to be rewritten because someone wants to sell more beer. It’s like doing a remake of La Dolce Vita with Jack Black in the role played by Mastroianni. Bad casting. Bad taste. Bad move.
I hope I’m not alone in this. It seems silly, in a way. There’s so much out there that’s really worth standing up for. Health care. Corporate decency. The end to child labor. The preservation of our natural heritage. Etc. And here I sit yammering on and on about the elegance of a martini glass vs. a green bottle with a red star on it. But in the end, it all comes down to the same thing. Some company with too much money in its pockets is using that money to ruin/undermine/erase something that matters to me—something that was writ in our common pop-cultural heritage—to enrich its own coffers. And that’s not OK.