Trump, James Bond, and American Culture

The media were horrified.

From the podium at a rally, Donald Trump was discussing Ted Cruz’s stance on waterboarding in which the Texas senator appeared to hesitate. From the audience a woman yelled out that Cruz was…was…well, “the P-word”.  The “P-word” suddenly so potent a word that the media bleeped not only the woman’s words but Trump himself when he slyly repeated it to the audience (unbleeped version here at YouTube) - which roared its approval. 

The media went into overdrive disapproving.  The New York Daily News called Trump “foul mouthed.”  Over at Cosmopolitan the famously left-leaning cultural magazine huffed that Trump had used “a sexist and profane slur.” The Washington Post suddenly raced to the defense of Cruz against what it called a Trump “insult.” And, but of course, there was much more in a similar vein from self-righteously offended media outlets.

Like this from an aghast Huffington Post.

Donald Trump Basically Called Ted Cruz A ‘P***y'


But wait! What is this?

Back there in the pre-historic days of 1964, there was the New York Daily News  headlining this about the blockbuster James Bond movie of the moment. The headline?

‘Goldfinger’ exudes fun and sex galore

Gushed the News movie reviewer of  this Bond classic:

It's phenomenal! A rare case in film history that a series projecting the same character, with the same star, improves as it goes along. The James Bond movies do. The first, "Dr. No," was good; the second, "From Russia With Love," was better; the best and the wildest is "Goldfinger," a fun galore thriller that is one of the brightest lights of the holiday offerings on screens of De Mille and Coronet Theatres.

As Albert Broccoli's and Harry Saltzman's adaptations of Ian Fleming's mysteries get better so does Sean Connery's casual, tongue-in-cheek portrayals of the author's Operator 007. And though it hardly seems possible after "From Russia With Love," Connery is gaining in sex appeal with each appearance. Or Call it animal magnetism with that graceful panther walk and baring of the teeth in that slow smile of his.

There are girls galore in "Goldfinger" to fall for this irresistible charm. Duty can always be arrested for pleasure when Operator 007 meets a beautiful blonde.

….Beautiful blondes are Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton and Tania Mallett. And all are beautiful and very sexy.

Life magazine was so thrilled by Goldfinger that it featured another actress in the film, Shirley Eaton, on its cover - naked and painted in gold paint.  Honor Blackman - her character’s name well identified - was featured inside in the pages of Life, the most famous and popular magazine of the day.

Only recently Cosmo was celebrating 89-year old actress Honor Blackman for her role as the sexy Bond girl in Goldfinger. Wrote Cosmo ever so matter of factly:

BHonor Blackman thinks Daniel Craig is a better James Bond than Sir Sean Connery.

The 89-year-old actress played Bond girl Pussy Galore opposite Connery in 1964 film ‘Goldfinger’ but for her Craig has brought more to the role in his three films than original 007 Connery ever did.

Note: Not a word here from Cosmo that the name of Blackman’s character was, as they suddenly shrieked with Trump,  “a sexist and profane slur.” Nah. They loved her role in Bond.

The HuffPo also celebrated actress Blackman at 89, headlining:

Most Famous Bond Girl, Pussy Galore, Turns 89

Thrilled the HuffPo:

What can we possibly say to the news that Bond Girl Honor Blackman, who played "Pussy Galore" opposite Sean Connery's 007 in "Goldfinger" in 1964, just turned 89? Well "happy birthday" for sure, and a hearty “well-done!"

….We admit that Pussy was our favorite Bond Girl, probably because of this iconic scene which lives on in the memories of every man who was a teenager in 1964.

Wait!!!! Say what? The name of Honor Blackman’s character was what?!!!!!! Yes, that’s right. All the way back there in 1964 the media of the day was loving the latest James Bond movie Goldfinger - and they never blinked at the name of Honor Blackman’s character: Pussy Galore. In fact, in the day the character’s name drew only laughs and winks from the media at this latest offering from producer Cubby Broccoli. In fact, Broccoli’s Bond films became such cultural staples that years later this guy  made a short video saluting Cubby (Mr. Broccoli is, sadly, now deceased.) After lauding Bond for being “courageous” and “a symbol of real value to the free world” President Ronald Reagan went on to salute the man whose film made a cult figure of the Bond girl named Pussy Galore.

Bond fans will recall the scene the HuffPo was enthusing about, the scene where Ms. Galore first appears as Bond comes to after being taken unconscious aboard a Goldfinger jet.  The scene, here, has Bond slowly awaking, the dialogue going this way:

Bond: Who are you?

Galore: My name is Pussy Galore.

Bond (with a slight smile and a glint in his eyes): “I must be dreaming.”

Cue the laughter.

So. Now Donald Trump stands at a podium as a woman…note well: a woman!…yells out that Ted Cruz is the P-word. Trump gleefully and slyly repeats, and suddenly the media turns puritanical.

As Rush Limbaugh noted:

I have a question.  There was a character in the movie Goldfinger that nobody had a problem pronouncing.  There is a nickname for cats that people have no problem pronouncing.  And that would be, as Sean Connery famously said it, "Pussy Galore."  And then you have your little pussy cat running around, if you have one in your house, and nobody says a word.  Then somebody comes along and uses the word as a synonym for coward and everybody's having a cow here.

Rush is correct. Don’t believe a word of this media outrage. As Cosmo inadvertently demonstrated when they celebrated Honor Blackman at 89 there wasn’t a single word - not a hint - that Cosmo  regarded the name of her most famous character as “sexist” or “profane.” 

The fact is that over the last fifty years American culture has been repeatedly and quite deliberately coarsened by liberals everywhere on the scene, from Hollywood to politics. If one is old enough one recalls the far-left’s 1960’s Vietnam protests against Lyndon Johnson, young leftists shrieking in the streets as the cameras recorded it all:

1,2,3,4 We don’t want your f…..g war!

Suffice to say these demonstrators were hailed in the day as heroes. Love scenes in films went from chaste kisses on screen to total nudity. Hosts of the Golden Globes treated the television audience to this or that obscenity. Jimmy Kimmel had actresses Sally Field and Julia Roberts on his show for a “celebrity curse-off.” These being but a handful of examples in a culture that has been drowned for decades in behavior once considered way out of bounds. In today’s 21st century media environment You Tube abounds with examples of all of this.

And yet? Suddenly the media is primly tut-tutting at Donald Trump using Bond girl Galore’s first name? Give me a break. 

The fact of the matter is that millions of Americans, marinated in this culture, see one big no big deal in Trump’s remarks. Why? They understood the context - and more than likely either have heard the word used often enough in their own lives or used it themselves. To quote the online Free Dictionary the p-word is defined not just as sexual slang. It is also defined as: “A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly.”

One can like what Trump said. Or one can not like it. But without doubt the horse has long since left the barn about the use of  the P-word in American culture.

In fact, the horse has long since left the barn about a lot of things in American culture. And Trump’s critics show exactly zero enthusiasm for turning back the clock to a pre-Goldfinger American culture where the most notable example of daring was Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind - in 1939 - telling Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara that “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  

For better or worse, American culture is where it is. And as Ronald Reagan’s celebration of Cubby Broccoli and all those once-deemed racy James Bond films - Goldfinger and Pussy Galore included - illustrates, for better or worse it is never going back.

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