The Importance of James Bond
San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2017
Edited by Greg Johnson
About The Importance of James Bond
The Importance of James Bond collects Jef Costello’s critical writings on movies, television, literature, opera, conceptual and performance art, and even advertising. Costello is at his best in bringing out Traditionalist, New Right, and masculinist themes in such works as the James Bond movies, Fight Club, and Breaking Bad. He offers sensitive readings of the classics of dystopian fiction, explores fascistic themes in spy spoofs from the 1960s and little-known American movies from the Great Depression, and hilariously demolishes pretentiousness, cynicism, and vulgarity wherever he finds them. The Importance of James Bond is a treasury of wit and insight that establishes Jef Costello as one of the leading cultural critics of the New Right.
Praise for The Importance of James Bond
“Jef Costello is not just an outstandingly great New Right critic he is simply an outstandingly great critic. The Importance of James Bond will help you to look at popular culture with the monocled gaze of a detached higher being. But in the process you will find yourself laughing out loud at his sharp wit and scouring through Netflix for TV shows and movies that you never knew were so essential. This remarkable collection of essays will quickly become the go-to pop-cultural manual for groovy Radical Traditionalists everywhere.”
—Christopher Pankhurst, author of Numinous Machines
“Just before the ‘Alt Right’ was something every know-nothing had an opinion about, underground writers like Jef Costello at Counter-Currents were making commentary on popular culture that was truly alternative. Costello’s presentation of Fight Club as ‘holy writ’ is a revelation that brilliantly explains how a movie put dreams in the heads of sleepwalking men that were good enough to wake up and live for: ‘We are all Jack and “Tyler” is not “somebody else.” He is the higher part of ourselves.’ As Costello mentions in that piece, it doesn’t necessarily matter what writers or Hollywood or certainly the actors involved intend, or say they intend, to communicate with a film. Virile characters like Bond and Durden take on a life of their own in the minds of men whose entire existences seem like copies of copies, and remind them who they really want to be, and how they really want to live. Costello’s work articulates what most only feel.”
—Jack Donovan, author of Becoming a Barbarian
“Jef Costello has the long-time fan’s mastery of the arcana of the Bond Universe but also the rarer skill to convey both the personal excitement and social significance of pop fandom (from fanaticism, ultimately a religious frenzy). Pop culture tells us who we are and where we came from, and Costello shows us the future we can make from it.”
—James J. O’Meara, author of Green Nazis in Space!
Quotes from The Importance of James Bond
“James Bond is a hero for the modern age. Actually, this claim has often been made. But I mean it in a special sense: Bond is a hero in spite of modernity; an anti-modern hero who manages to triumph over—and, indeed, harness—the very forces that turn most modern men into soulless, gelded appendages to their desktop PCs. This is why Bond is important, and this is why we’ve worshipped at the cinematic altar of Bond for half a century. We long to be as free as he is. As Julius Evola might have put it, Bond is spiritually virile. He is a self-contained, self-actualized man who appears to be a self-indulgent hedonist, but is in fact fundamentally detached from the pleasures and distractions that obsess and enthrall most men. This is the real meaning of the Bond family motto ‘The World is not Enough.’ The things of this world, which would be too much for most men to handle, are not enough for James Bond. He is greater than they are, thus he can ‘use them’ without being corrupted by them.”
—from “The Importance of James Bond”
“All religions have been “created” by men, and I have a pet theory that all religions are just covert ways in which men worship themselves. I don’t mean that Tom, Dick, and Harry are worshiping Tom, Dick, and Harry. I mean that they’re worshiping what they could be and calling that God. There’s a reason why God is He and Him and His. And Our Father (or All Father). And it’s the same reason why ‘virtue’ comes from ‘vir-‘, an Indo-European root that means ‘manly’ (we get ‘virile’ from this too). And have you ever seen a lingam? God, Allah, Shiva, Buddha, Mithras, whatever, are not just guys, they’re guyness. Tyler Durden is being honest with his men when he says ‘You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.’ Jesus was a guy too, but Tyler could beat the shit out of him.”
—from “Fight Club as Holy Writ”
1. The Importance of James Bond
3. The Cat is Back!
4. Fight Club as Holy Writ
5. Breaking Bad: A Celebration
6. Adieu, Breaking Bad
7. Better Call Saul!
8. The Flash in the Pan: Fascism & Fascist Insignia in the Spy Spoofs of the 1960s
9. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: A Cautionary Tale
10. Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
11. Gangway for a Führer: Proto-Fascist Cinema of the Great Depression
12. Disingenuous Genius: A Tribute to Leni Riefenstahl
13. Why Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows Sucks
14. The King’s Speech is C-C-Crap
15. Rage Against the Machine: A Very American Ring Cycle
16. Dystopia is Now!
17. Tito Perdue’s Lee
18. The Vermont Teddy Bear is a Giant Phallus
19. Bi-Coastal Adventures in Modern Art
20. Why I Live in the Past
Index (print editions only)
About the Author
About the Author
Jef Costello is the penname of a high-functioning bipolar narcissist with a touch of Asperger’s who resides in a palatial, book-lined apartment in an unfashionable area of New York City. His many essays and reviews have appeared online at North American New Right, the webzine of Counter-Currents Publishing (www.counter-currents.com). He is the author of the novel Heidegger in Chicago: A Comedy of Errors (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015). His writings have been translated into French, German, Russian, and Swedish.