This week, Dr. Wayne Baker welcomes guest columnist Dr. Benjamin Pratt, a literary expert on Ian Fleming’s James Bond. This year, the Bond movie series reaches its 50th anniversary. Where are the values in all of this?
On Monday, Dr. Pratt explained Fleming’s fascination with personifying 7 Deadlier Sins in his novels.
Here is Dr. Pratt’s second column …
Each day this week, I will reveal more about Fleming’s Deadlier Sins—temptations he believed were more dangerous today than the classic 7 Deadly Sins. Here are two from Fleming’s list:
Twins of Duplicity
Hypocrisy and Self-righteousness
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER and HYPOCRISY: Ian Fleming personified hypocrisy in the ruthless Spang brothers and their Spangled Mob in the glittering Diamonds Are Forever. Fleming describes the passion for perfect diamonds as akin to the passion for ostentatious perfection that drives hypocrisy. Both worlds are ruthless and cold. Hypocrisy pretends that the imperfect is either not there at all, or, at least, can be obscured by glistening, jewel-bedecked beauty. Envision an evil dragon that detests its own tail, so tries to present only a perfect head to the world. This masking is aimed at one goal: to deny our imperfect, very human lives. Death and diamonds are forever! So is hypocrisy!
MOONRAKER and SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS: Self-righteousness is personified in Sir Hugo Drax (a phonetic play on the German word for dragon) in Moonraker. Self-righteousness is the loftiest head of the evil dragon. From a position of imagined superiority, this is a purist who believes, “I have the right and only answer.” We tend to chuckle about this sin and forget it, but the truth is: Self-righteousness is a potentially deadly evil, the malevolent force behind war as well as more common forms of pain that we visit on each other. A simple test for signs of self-righteousness: Does this person want to talk with me or only at me?
Where do you see hypocrisy and self-righteousness today?
When do these common failings
become deadly sins?
Please, leave a Comment below.
Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.