Cautious caveats are a MSM prerequisite when reporting the passing of a pre-Woke pop cultural icon today. The BBC News website was naturally required to pay tribute to Sean Connery, whose death at the age of 90 (yes, hard to believe, I know) has been announced; but it also had to stick to the post-MeToo BBC ‘toxic masculinity’ agenda. Therefore, the site’s ‘tribute’ included such Bond era disclaimers as ‘The action scenes are still thrilling; but the sex bordered on the non-consensual’ and ‘Thankfully it’s been a while since 007 slapped a woman on the backside and forced a kiss’. Yes, we’re sad he’s snuffed it, even though he was a horribly misogynistic symbol of the patriarchy as viewed through the stony-faced prism of the century without irony. Personally, I found Connery’s Caribbean tax-exile cheerleading for the SNP far more offensive (not to say hypocritical) than his portrayal of a cartoonish character created before the male of the species was emasculated by the feminisation of the arts, but maybe that’s just me.

Connery’s death comes at the end of a week that has seen a swift succession of deaths of men whose marks were made in a different era – Frank Bough, Bobby Ball, Nobby Stiles – and one cannot help but feel the begrudging necessity of the mainstream media having to mark these deaths when none of them were transgender People of Colour is an inconvenience to the revolution. At least they’re all gone now, eh? But it means jack shit, anyway; by the time Sean Connery returned to the Bond fold following George Lazenby’s one-movie interregnum, he already looked out of shape and irrelevant, bearing the kind of shabby toupée even Frank Sinatra would’ve rejected. 1971’s ‘Diamonds are Forever’ is arguably the worst 007 outing for Connery (nobody acknowledges 1983’s woeful ‘Never Say Never Again’) and it was evident the world had moved on – as had the man himself.

1971 was the year that saw the release of both ‘Shaft’ and ‘Get Carter’ – next to those two, the creaky ‘Diamonds are Forever’ looks like a period piece done for no other reason than spinning the money for a franchise sorely in need of a contemporary reboot. The Bond series was waiting for the knowing, eyebrow-raising archness of Roger Moore to place it firmly in its own cinematic universe of unreality as a means of surviving the nasty new decade, whilst Moore’s predecessor had the nous to be looking elsewhere. 1974’s surreal and disturbing ‘Zardoz’ is far closer to the confused spirit of the early 70s, as is 1972’s ‘The Offence’, the film that brought Connery back down to earth as a Scottish CID man investigating the rape of a young girl whilst struggling to keep a lid on his own unhealthy urges. Both should be held up as examples of an actor willing to spread his wings. Sean Connery was deconstructing his popular image on celluloid half-a-century before the so-called ‘intelligentsia’ caught up with him.

By the 1980s, Sean Connery was established as the kind of old-school leading man who always played the same character, whatever the movie. The likes of ‘Robin and Marian’, ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ and ‘Time Bandits’ are rightly recognised as evidence Connery could be versatile if required, but they didn’t put enough bums on seats to justify the undoubtedly hefty fee the star received to appear in them; therefore, Connery was smoothly assimilated into that pantheon of Hollywood A-listers, happy to grace any old shit with his heavyweight brand if it paid well enough. And that’s essentially where he remained before deciding to retire from the silver screen in the early 2000s; what else was there left for him to do? Anyone who can simply sit down and enjoy a classic Bond movie on its own terms cannot fail but appreciate nobody did it better, to paraphrase a later theme tune by Carly Simon.

I guess for many outside of the Woke bubble, the passing of one of this country’s genuine cinematic giants comes as a brief respite in the relentless assault on the senses courtesy of the pro-lockdown propaganda. In a way, it’s almost a relief to hear of a death that has no connection with something we’re being unconvincingly persuaded is worth destroying society for in order to temporarily stem the unavoidable tide of. Stay safe, stay miserable, save lives, kill yourself. The threat of another futile nationwide lockdown looms as Johnson, Sturgeon, Macron and Merkel lower their respective drawbridges and plunge Europe deeper into the Dark Ages that the complementary forces of Radical Islam and BLM/Antifa/ER/SJWs have already laid the ground for. God only knows how future historians will summarise this era, but when it comes to Blighty I think we can probably safely say the scale of the disaster to come will surpass the respective misfires of Chamberlain and Munich, Eden and Suez – even Blair and Iraq.

I don’t credit Johnson with sole responsibility as PM, for it’s not as if he’s been isolated as a deluded voice in the wilderness amidst a wave of strong and stable opposition to any move made by his administration. The same elite that fought tooth-and-claw to prevent the Brexit verdict being enacted has no party affiliation and has pressed long and hard for a return to the measures that made life such fun in the spring and summer because they’re alright, Jack. Yes, even that self-appointed spokesperson for the lower orders, the Labour Party, has inexplicably come to the conclusion that the one sure-fire way to punish ‘Tory Scum’ for denying free meals to children of the poor is to guarantee the poor remain on the breadline by preventing them from earning a living or living a healthy, fulfilled life. Keep them down and then they can be weaponised as a useful grenade to toss from one side of the House to the other. Honestly, I wouldn’t piss on any of them if they were on fire.

Echoing some of the sentiments I made in the previous post when describing a brief immersion in nature, I draw some solace from a wonderful site I visit regularly by the name of ‘Brain Pickings’. Not only has it proven to be a useful source of birthday/Christmas gifts in its promotion of overlooked books that deserve a far wider audience, but it routinely reminds the reader of how past authors and poets have confronted the crises of their own eras – something that can be a useful bulwark against ours. In the latest post, the 19th century wordsmith Walt Whitman was quoted. ‘After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love and so on,’ he said, ‘what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or a woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons – the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.’

I received a further sample when engaged in my weekly Saturday morning outing walking a friend’s dog this morning; mixed with my admiration of the dazzling shades of yellow on offer at my feet, I mused with discernible envy on the basic requirements of our canine companions – food, shelter, walk, and that’s all you need. No existential dilemmas, just TLC; give a dog that and they never forget; they instantly decide you’re their best friend for life. Maybe their lives being so short liberates them from the encumbrance of the vaster and bigger picture of mankind that can be such an obstacle to the kind of internal tranquillity that has so far been impervious to the encroachment of the Surveillance State into our every thought. So far, I say. The way things are going, we can’t take anything for granted anymore. You only live twice, after all.

© The Editor