Never Underestimate a Man

I had written two articles that I intended to submit for publication on the Return of Kings website. Less than a day after I had both drafts finished, Roosh V made the announcement that he was closing the site. So I am posting this one below and another probably next week. Both might be a little different to what I usually write here and that’s simply because of the audience I had in mind when I wrote them. 

The character of James Bond would certainly be considered an ideal for any man who wants to maximise his attractiveness to women. With his unapologetic masculinity embodied in portrayals by Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton; he has remained an attractive character to men and women alike. Even the more neutered, politically correct portrayals of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig are beacons of masculinity compared to the pudgy weaklings with mouths grinning agape you see in social justice circles.

Although better known in the mainstream through film, the James Bond books are even better exemplars of this though, unlike the films, they are far more of interest to men than a general audience. The thrilling pulp novels are essentially male romance or fantasy and the genre is still common today though they tend to be historical fiction. They are also a window into the civilisation that was lost just a few decades after their publication.

The Bond novels are also worth reading not just because they’re entertaining but for what can be learned from them. They provide an interesting perspective into the nature of relationships than the films simply because the reader knows exactly what Bond is thinking when encountering women. The character’s creator, Ian Fleming was certainly no stranger to the fairer sex and is known to have had numerous affairs and liaisons at a time when such behaviour was still considered scandalous. I’m guessing (without knowing), that this is a major reason why he lived in the Caribbean. [Please note here that none of this or what follows should be read as approval for this sort of behaviour.]

Quantum of Solace is a short story from ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and is not to be confused with the awful film of the same name which only borrows the title. Quantum of the Solace is not really a story about James Bond but this is only a small part of what makes it so interesting. It begins at a party at the Governor’s residence in Nassau which Bond is attending to keep up appearances after an operation against Castro’s rebels in the 1950’s. Bond is stuck talking with the Governor at the tail end of the night and a flippant remark about marrying an air hostess leads to the Governor telling Bond a story that is all too familiar today.

The governor begins telling the story about a promising young man in the British foreign service who met an air hostess and was instantly smitten. For many women, a job as an air hostess was merely a way to advertise yourself to successful or promising men and I suspect this is still true in countries like Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. They were soon married and settled in Nassau.

Once settled, the woman, (who is actually not ready to settle), immediately begins partying and having affairs while her husband is working. This isn’t such a surprise today but at the time it was written; it certainly was. The telling thing is that in this story, despite it being public knowledge that was gossiped about, the society that surrounded the young couple did little to try to stop it. This is the same generation that would act similarly when they’re children moved to fundamentally reshape their own societies in the following decades.

As the governor tells it, things get bad enough that there needs to be an intervention. But nobody suspects that the man being cucked is capable of doing anything about it. To everyone’s surprise — especially his wayward wife, he ends up cracking and forcing her on to one side of their house before slowly squeezing her out of his life altogether. This culminates in him leaving her destitute and indebted as he moves on to another assignment with the British Service in Africa. The woman of course, latches on to someone else and Bond discovers that she is the same vacuous woman he had been stuck talking to earlier in the evening.

The governor comments on all of this with something that is worth quoting in full and which also explains the otherwise odd title of the story:

“[Relationships] can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people. When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn’t care if the other is alive or dead, then it’s just no good. That particular insult to the ego—worse, to the instinct of self-preservation—can never be forgiven. I’ve noticed this in hundreds of marriages. I’ve seen flagrant infidelities patched up. I’ve seen crimes and even murder forgiven by the other party, let alone bankruptcy and every other form of social crime. Incurable disease, blindness, disaster—all these can be overcome. But never the death of common humanity in one of the partners, I’ve thought about this and I’ve invented a rather high-sounding title for this basic factor in human relations. I have called it the Law of the Quantum of Solace.”

Rather than being a scandalous incident told late one evening, stories such as this are now so common as to be banal. And there is certainly an increasing lack of humanity in any relationships with fleeting ones becoming essentially normal.

Although this is a story, Fleming was writing for his time and would have heard about if not have been witness to similar stories. A couple of things can be learned from this. One is that no matter how weak, how cucked, how under the thumb a woman believes she has a man, he is still a man and is capable of a savage response if pushed far enough. Another is that society exercises a lot of control over how women behave. If they are allowed to behave like the air-headed hostess in this story; then many of them will. And the more that can get away with it, the more women will follow. If you see this sort of behaviour, especially towards friends and family, this should be something you firmly rebuke before it gets out of control.

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