Richard Cohen, who is employed by the Washington Post as an opinion writer for reasons which, like God's peace, passeth all understanding, went and saw Skyfall this weekend, and something is bugging him: this Daniel Craig fellow is rather... muscly.
This Bond ripples with muscles. Craig is 44, but neither gravity nor age has done its evil work on him. Nothing about him looks natural, relaxed - a man in the prime of his life and enjoying it. Instead, I see a man chasing youth [... C]ontrast this new Bond to Roger O. Thornhill, the charmingly hapless advertising man played by Cary Grant in North by Northwest. [...] In North by Northwest and other movies, Grant - for all his good looks - represented the triumph of the sexual meritocracy - a sex appeal won by experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have.
Yes — the true sexual meritocracy, where ugly men like Cary Grant can nonetheless win women thanks to their "experience and savoir-faire," is nothing like the sexual oligarchy populated by Daniel Craig, whose willingness to work out for two hours every day represents discrimination and elitism. As Cohen puts it, "Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held." And how.
You see, Richard Cohen, who "gets it" — Richard Cohen, whose finger is so on the pulse he uses the 100-percent absolutely-real word "zeitgeisty" without fear — Richard Cohen understands that under a real sexual meritocracy, where young women weren't being brainwashed by Bond movies, they wouldn't want "rippling muscles" — they'd want sophistication:
That's why Sean Connery was my kind of Bond. He was 53 when he made his last Bond film, Never Say Never Again. Women loved him because he was sophisticated and he could handle a maitre d' as well as a commie assassin.
They'd want experience and confidence:
Maybe the best example of the unmuscled hero is Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. Bogart was 15 years older than Ingrid Bergman and it did not matter at all. He had the experience, the confidence, the internal strength that can only come with age.
They'd want strength of character:
Gary Cooper in "High Noon" wins Grace Kelly by strength of character, not muscles. He was about 50, and Kelly was a mere 23.
Sensing a pattern here? That's right: in a sexual meritocracy, the only relationships are between older men and younger women. Younger women who are around, oh, let's say 23, and want experience and sophistication and strength. And where can they find it?
Mr. Cohen himself was accused of engaging in "inappropriate behavior" toward Devon Spurgeon, a 23-year-old editorial aide at the paper [...] After reading a Lewinsky-related article that referred to oral sex as "casual sex," Mr. Cohen engaged Ms. Spurgeon in a discussion on the subject that other staff members found offensive. Staff members said that Mr. Cohen sometimes used foul language in the office and that he remarked on Ms. Spurgeon's appearance, telling her she "looked good in black," according to a Post staff member. On another occasion, the staff member said, Mr. Cohen asked Ms. Spurgeon to "stand up and turn around."