- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Bond enigma

“There was only one [James] Bond for me, and it was Sean Connery. That made the role daunting. …

“Bond is an enigma. He’s smooth and bigger than life, but he’s vague as a personality. It’s a little like doing a period piece. Look, I’m thankful — the role made me an international star. I’ve been in the backwaters of Papua New Guinea and heard, ‘Hey, Bond.’ …

“Being an actor in Hollywood involves lots of things beyond acting. Charm really helps. And it’s a good idea to incorporate a little Bond into all your dealings.”

Pierce Brosnan, interviewed by Lynn Hirschberg in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine

Sexualized culture

“A middle-aged man and woman … lying in his-and-hers bathtubs on a mountain bluff, are cozying up to each other to the tender strains of jazz guitar music, while the announcer poses the towering question of our age: ‘When the moment is right, will you be ready?’

“For Eli Lilly & Co., the moment was right during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, when the drug manufacturer paid more than $4 million to subject 90 million unsuspecting fans to this 60-second Cialis commercial. …

“In the fierce battle for market share in what Wall Street analysts project will be a $6 billion-a-year market by 2010, Lilly spent over $100 million launching its competitor to Pfizer’s Viagra, the market leader. To further penetrate the mass mind, Cialis’ marketers even met with sitcom writers and Broadway producers to induce them to incorporate the sex drug into their scripts. …

“Such ads are inundating not just TV, but radio, the Internet, newspapers, magazines and mailboxes nationwide. They’ve become part of today’s ‘mainstream’ cultural landscape, along with Cosmopolitan and clones with their ‘Hot Sex Tips!’ and in-your-face cleavage screaming from every grocery checkout in the country, not to mention ever-more-explicit TV and movie fare … Howard Stern, MTV, swimsuits, the fashion industry, cars, children’s toys — you name it, and it’s been sexualized.”

David Kupelian, writing on “Selling sex in the U.S.A.,” in the November issue of Whistleblower

Missing the point

“In [‘Polar Express’], a magical train … on Christmas Eve picks up children who are starting to doubt the existence of Santa Claus and takes them to the North Pole. … En route they learn lessons about themselves and the spirit of Christmas, meeting Santa and learning to ‘hear the bells’ if they only ‘believe.’ …

“The movie emphasizes the importance of ‘believing,’ while saying nothing about the content of belief. This movie presents the very act of believing as what is important, no matter what the belief is. But believing in God, believing in Santa Claus, and believing in oneself are not the same thing.

“Creepier than the lifeless high-tech forms that pretend to be alive is that this is a Christmas movie that, on the surface, tries to formulate a positive message, but … there is no inner life. Many beloved Christmas songs are on the soundtrack, but none of them so much as mentions the birth of Jesus Christ. Since Christmas is about God made flesh, a Christmas movie in which even the human beings are not made flesh can only miss the point.”

Gene Edward Veith, writing on “Bipolar Express,” Saturday in World Magazine online at www.worldmag.com

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