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From James Bond to Soccer Mom—The Death of Cool

by Glenn R. Geist

I grew up in the last golden age of British motorcars. I remember groaning when Antony Perkins drove one over a cliff screaming Phaedra! I saw that in the 1962 movie with Melina Mercuri.  I’ve owned an Austin Healy, and I own a Jaguar XJ. 

I’ve driven a Morgan, but of course, the name Aston Martin was from a world above, a world apart from the world boys dreamed about. That’s a lost world, never coming back and boys today dream about other things and their world lives in a cellphone.

Remember James Bond, the coolest man of the Cold War; way too cool to sweat, even too cool to have driven a Saab (or anything not British as they had him do during the ‘years of sh*t’).  In the books and the original movies, Bond drove an Aston Martin. He had no choice. No, they’re not the fastest, not in our new, largely unnoticed age of 800 and up horsepower in stock form.

A new Corvette can be faster and cheaper ( and more reliable) But they’re sports cars of the sort you can take to the club, to South Beach, to Monte Carlo and be cool anywhere you go, in any clothes you wear and with anyone in the passenger seat. Who cares how many soccer balls you can put in the back seat with the pizza boxes and stinky athletic clothes? Back seats are not cool anyway and two doors are plenty.

OK, you’re not going to be surprised to hear they’re going to start making 4-door SUVs. Somewhere a guy in a Savile Row Tuxedo is crying in his Veuve Clicquot ’22. What would expect him to do? Order a Budweiser? No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to cry.

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Posted by on April 30, 2021. Filed under COMMENTARY/NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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Bill Formby
Bill Formby
1 month ago

You may be right about the movie, Mike. I think when you were in high school I was in the marines. But you are on a roll with Sean Connery. By the time Dr, No hit the movie theaters I had each and every one of the Bond books. I had two buddies from Oregon and we took turns buying the next new copy reading it and passing it along (paperback, of course). In 1962 the purchase of a best selling novel, even in paperback, was a major purchase for a PFC or Lance Corporal in the USMC. This was still during the days that you were told that if the Corps did not issue something to you, you did not need it. I remember we were all elated when we heard that they were going to start making the books into movies. The first time I saw Connery he looked, to me, exactly like I had pictured Bond. Since then Connery has been one of my favorite actors. I find it interesting that while most other actors try to adapt to the accents of their characters, Connery never changes. When he played a Russian Submarine Captain, he carried it off perfectly with a Scottish accent.

Michael John Scott
Admin
1 month ago

You are the only other person I know who actually watched Phaedra. I was a junior in HS, and overseas, at the time it came out. I pretty much agree with everything else you say. No one can replace Sean Connery or his cool cars.