Tuesday, December 11, 2018

License To Swill: A Report on James Bond’s Drinking Over Six Decades

     This is a great and in depth report that covers James Bond’s vices and the use of alcohol and cigarettes.   The report is very well documented and I find it very interesting as to the things that James Bond can do after drinking several cocktails.

   Two of the authors, NK, AT watched all 24 James Bond movies in the Eon Productions series (1962–2015; online.   Alcohol-related content was identified, discussed, and recorded on a pre-printed form, and the details then transferred to an Excel file. A third investigator, PS also watched selected segments when there was uncertainty about coding decisions, with final decisions reached by consensus.

     When Bond was seen drinking (the glass or bottle reaching his lips), this was deemed an “observed alcohol use event”. If the alcohol brand or bottle label was not visible, we assessed the beverage as being alcohol on the balance of probabilities. We classified other events as “alcohol use assumed” if actual drinking was not observed but alcohol was on the table in front of Bond and it was likely he had consumed some in that setting. In contrast, we did not assume that alcohol was consumed by Bond if alcohol was present but he was in a dangerous situation, eg, when his drink could be spiked. Examples of inclusions and exclusions are included to minimize the chance of missing drinking episodes, we cross-checked our data with details in a publication on Bond’s drinking.

     The Women in James Bond’s world were similarly classified the alcohol use by the lead woman character in each movie — based on the order of the cast list.   For the two greatest binge events observed, we estimated units of alcohol consumed and Bond’s blood alcohol levels, based on one standard measure of spirits being 25 mL. Blood alcohol concentrations were computed with the routinely used Widmark formula, with Bond’s weight assumed to be that of an average British man approx.. 84 kg.

     Bond’s activities after drinking were recorded for the period until he was presumed to have gone to sleep for the night. Bond’s post-drinking activities included fights, driving vehicles, gambling, sex, athletic extremes, and operating complex machinery or devices. “Alcohol used as a weapon” described instances in which alcoholic drinks were used as vehicles for drugs, or bottles were used in fights or to start fires (eg, Molotov cocktails).   Data on specific visible alcohol brands, eg, on beverage containers, on advertisements in the background, were collected. Evidence for product placement was cross-checked with a website devoted to product placement in movies and with the names of alcohol companies listed in the movie credits.

     Bond had a mean 4.5 drinking events per movie (median, 4; range, 2–9), with no statistically significant trends over the six decades.   Bond has consumed a diverse range of drink types, indicating that he is happy to drink whatever is readily available. He does, however, show a preference for cocktails and other spirits (55% of all drinks). This class includes a cocktail he designed himself (the “vesper”), for which he provided instructions to a barman in Casino Royale (2006). Also included in this category is his fairly stable level of martini consumption. He was seen to drink beer on only four occasions.        One statistically significant change over time has been the declining use of alcohol as a weapon by any character, including Bond.   Alcohol as a weapon mainly involved using bottles in fights, but alcohol was also exploited as a vehicle for drug delivery, eg, chloral hydrate in spiked drinks in From Russia with Love and The Living Daylights and, on two occasions, for starting fires, Thunderball and A View to a Kill.
     Both the lead female characters and the random sample of Bond’s sexual partners had a stable pattern of drinking across the six decades. In contrast to Bond, who has not smoked while drinking since 2002, some of his sexual partners have continued to do so, eg, Séverine in Skyfall, 2012.
     After drinking, Bond frequently engaged in a wide range of potentially high risk activities. These included fights, driving vehicles, including chases, operating complex machinery, eg, flying a helicopter, contact with dangerous animals, and sex. The latter is noteworthy, as it sometimes involved enemies, eg, Fiona Volpe in Thunderball, Helga Brandt, No. 11 in You Only Live Twice, or was undertaken with guns or knives in the bed, eg, Jinx activated a flick knife in bed during a post-coital moment in Die Another Day, 2002. In other movies, Bond was under the influence when escaping a komodo dragon, evading a tarantula, and playing a drinking game with a scorpion on his hand. An example of the extreme complexity of the mix of his post-drinking tasks include a series of contiguous events in Dr. No in 1962: Bond operated nuclear power plant machinery, destroyed almost single-handedly Dr No’s nuclear/space complex, killed Dr No, rescued Honey Ryder, and escaped the island. Similarly, on another post-drinking occasion he successfully killed the “Man with the Golden Gun”, accomplished the mission goal retrieving a solex unit, and escaped the island before it was destroyed. On yet another occasion, after drinking at lunch he chased May Day up the Eiffel Tower, jumped on top of a high speed lift, drove a stolen taxi recklessly on footpaths and through the streets of Paris “violating most of the Napoleonic code” in the process, then jumped about 10 meters from a bridge and through the roof of a barge. Performing these types of activities after drinking has not declined over time, and high stakes gambling by Bond after drinking has indeed significantly increased.
     In conclusion, there is strong and consistent evidence that James Bond has a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the “severe” end of the spectrum. He should seek professional help and try to find other strategies for managing occupational stress. His workplace (MI6) needs to become a responsible employer and to refer him to support services, and to change its own workplace drinking culture.

Read More at https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2018/209/11/licence-swill-james-bonds-drinking-over-six-decades?utm_source=carousel&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=homepage