In a world with nothing much of interest happening (apparently), the internet got all aflutter when it was announced that James Bond would drink a Heineken in Skyfall. People everywhere were freaking the hell out while “news” outlets capitalized on the fact that they have no integrity by plastering misleading headlines everywhere. Just like this one: James Bond Will Swig a Heineken Instead of a Martini. That’s from Time Magazine’s online presence.
People used to respect Time Magazine. I say used to assuming that there’s only so much bullshit one can suffer before you stop respecting something. Granted, this is “only” the on-line face of Time Magazine, but hey, it’s a slippery slope, right?
Here’s what we know: Heineken has secured a product placement deal with Skyfall. In one scene, James Bond will drink a Heineken. I’m not sure how that translates into “Bond will no longer drink martinis and will instead only drink Heineken beer forever and ever.” I mean, unless you don’t give a shit about accurately reporting stories. Then you might as well headline “Skyfall to feature Heineken Advertising Everywhere and Bond Hates Vodka and Drinks Beer and Also He Might Be Gay Now.”
Because why not? Granted – exaggeration. But so is saying Bond is drinking beer instead of martinis.
Have you ever seen a Bond movie? He drinks, generally a lot. Generally a lot of different stuff too. When people think Bond, they do think “vodka martini, shaken not stirred.” Cool. Well, in Casino Royale his martini is actually three parts gin to one part vodka, so it’s not even a true vodka martini. Also, we see him later drink bourbon in his room. He sips champagne frequently in the movies and, yes, even drinks beer.
James Bond is a borderline alcoholic. There’s no reason to get your panties twisted around the idea he’s going to drink AT LEAST ONE BEER. I mean, that’s all we know. We know James Bond will drink ONE BEER. Better hit our dicks with hammers, because this is the end of the franchise as we know it.
Except for book fans, because they watched their beloved super spy change even more drastically. And by drastically I mean, not too much.
You see, in the books James Bond isn’t much of a martini drinker. Various people have counted up the incidents, and he drinks 19 vodka martinis and 16 gin martinis throughout the books. This is unclear to me how the Vesper (a mix of gin and vodka) gets counted. Perhaps it gets counted in both? Either way, that’s a total of 35 martinis in the books.
Bond drank champagne more than sixty times in the books, and also guzzled Scotch (with soda) and Bourbon (neat). Combined, his whiskey drinks amount to 99 beverages.
So why do we think Bond drinks vodka martinis, shaken not stirred? Because of product placement. Yup. All those years ago, it was some marketing that put vodka in his hand, predominantly. It fits with the character, of course, and few people were upset about it because hey – the man likes to drink. And drink he does! Bond has also enjoyed mint juleps, brandy, rum collins, sherry, mojitos, and sake. Can you recall freaking out over any of these?
Neither can I. Because it’s not a big deal. James Bond has always drank beer. He’s always drank martinis. He’s always drank Scotch and Bourbon. The man pounds down alcohol like it was a job requirement. (It is. To forget the pain.)
So what have we learned? First, anyone running a headline that says Bond is drinking beer instead of martinis is overstepping the release. All we know is that in one scene Bond will drink a Heineken. So fucking what? I’ll wager he drinks some liquor later on. So to those of you running that headline – take an online journalism class. Learn to report on facts, not just make shit up to get people to click on your headline.
Second – James Bond has a long and diverse alcoholic history. He’ll drink a beer. It won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last. Deal with it.
Frankly, I don’t know what has me past my boiling point more – the stupid, ignorant headlines or the fact that people are upset that a guy who drinks a wide variety of drinks will drink a wide variety drinks.