Too Street? What You Should Know About Horowitz, Elba, and Bond

Unlike many of the people who are angry with Anthony Horowitz over his comments on Idris Elba’s inability to play James Bond, I read the entire article. Why do I assume that the outraged did not read the entire article? Because, well, if they had, they would be even more outraged. It’s that bizarre.

There are also other things that people might not understand about this entire scenario, especially because of the way this has been reported. When people talk about “James Bond author,” it can be confusing, especially for people who don’t know much about the Bond franchise. As a Bond fan, I’ve attempted to clarify some of these elements for those who might not clear on them.

Horowitz has only written one book about James Bond, called Trigger Mortis, and it comes out in September 2015.

This is something that many people may not understand: James Bond began as a literary character, and still exists as a literary character.

The latest Bond novel. About him, not written by him.
The latest Bond novel. About him, not written by him.

I have never read a new James Bond novel, but I know people who have. They’re fun summer reads to take on vacation. They could be labeled as “authorized fan fiction.” Since Fleming passed away, his estate has commissioned one of these novels ever couple years. Jeffrey Deaver, the guy who wrote The Bone Collector and a bunch of other thrillers, wrote one of them in 2011.

Horowitz doesn’t like the new James Bond films

“Skyfall is my least favourite. I know it is heresy to say so, but it is the one Bond film I have never liked.”

He also thinks that Spectre, the one out this year, looks dumb based on its trailer (below).

If it’s not clear, this guy has little-to-nothing to do with the Bond films. So if anyone thinks that a boycott of Craig’s fourth 007 film might solve something, think harder.

Horowitz is very butthurt about not getting to write a James Bond book sooner.

He almost said no to writing this. But he said yes, because how couldn’t he?

He brought back the character Pussy Galore for this book.

Sigh. This is how I know people haven’t read this entire article. Because the character Pussy Galore is in it, and she’s still named that.

And the only time that it’s acknowledged that she has a silly name is when it embarrasses Bond.

Horowitz also says something very strange about Pussy Galore

“In the original book, the fact that Pussy was raped as a girl becomes something attractive. If I had put that in I would have been killed.”

Sooooo that’s the only reason you didn’t include that, Anthony? What?

James Bond naked wrestles a man in the book

Without having read the book, and only the interview, I’m still not clear on the context of this.

Horowitz has a play about to open called Dinner with Saddam

It’s true. He does. Not sure what to do with this information, but I found it interesting enough to be worth sharing.

Elba handled this whole thing in a classy way.

First, he posted this on his Instagram:

Yes, I screenshotted this from my phone.
Yes, I screenshotted this from my phone.

But, more importantly, he captioned it with:

Always Keep Smiling!! It takes no energy and never hurts!

Learned that from the Street!!


Idris Elba is pretty cool.

Horowitz kinda apologized, but his apology makes it clear he isn’t really sure what he did wrong.

I think this article does a good job explaining how Horowitz’s apology doesn’t quite get it. It mostly comes across as a guy who is upset that he upset other people, but still doesn’t know what they’re so mad about and just wishes they would stop being so mad at him.

And finally, the audiobook James Bond of Trigger Mortis is going to be performed by David Oyelowo


Know who that is? He portrayed MLK in Selma. So, kinda, technically, David Oyelowo is the first black Bond.

What did I just read?

This article was way more blog-spammy and listicular and a “hot take” than what I normally publish on here. But I felt a lot of this had to be said, especially because the articles I was seeing about it just weren’t cutting it.

You can read his entire interview with The Daily Mail here.

Also, unfortunately, it sounds as if Horowitz’s novel doesn’t confirm the James Bond Codename Theory. Bummer.


What exactly is Ballers supposed to be?

Herodotus told us to call no man happy until he is dead. The same is true of television: no series, no season, no episode can be called good until it is over. All endings matter. And it is for this reason that the first episode of HBO’s Ballers is good, while the subsequent two are bad.

The three things that you need to know before you keep reading are a) Ballers is the new Entourage, b) I do not like Entourage, but c) I kinda like Ballers.

Point A is not debatable. Everyone agrees that it is the new Entourage. To be more specific, it’s the “Entourage of the NFL,” and remember that Entourage was always “Sex and the City for men.” Which makes Ballers the “(Sex and the City for men) of the NFL.” (Sex and the City, if you cannot remember it, was the Girls of the late ’90s and early oughts.)

Regarding my dislike for Entourage: I have only seen two episodes. The first two. There was not a single moment during those first two during which I thought to myself that I should continue watching. I gave it two, rather than one, out of a sense of fairness,and because I’d finished The Wire and needed something else to watch. The second episode of Entourage is the worst episode of television that I can recall finishing. It’s a terrible way to spend thirty minutes. I would rather spend thirty minutes on an episode of Duck Dynasty or the first ninety pages of a Dan Brown novel.

Anything with this many smiles = boring.
Anything with this many smiles = boring.

The reason that Entourage is so bad is that it is nothing but watching good things happen to bad people. (I am aware enough of Entourage to know that, yes, the show continues within the mold of bad people, good things, throughout its run).  There is nothing more boring than a television show in which the characters continually get what they want. But enough about Entourage. Let’s discuss the trouble with Ballers. Continue reading “What exactly is Ballers supposed to be?”

Dead Men of Westeros and The Stringer Bell Paradox

Note: The following contains aggressive spoilers for both the first three seasons of The Wire, and for the five existing seasons of Game of Thrones.

You remember when Omar Little and Brother Mouzone teamed up to take down Stringer Bell.  For each of them, it was an act of retribution.  Stringer had first murdered Omar’s boyfriend Brandon in Season One, and had, in Season Two, manipulated Omar into attempting to murder Brother Mouzone.  They eventually teamed up and killed him, quickly but violently, during the penultimate episode of the third season.

Just as important as their quest to kill him was Stringer’s quest to become a new man.  This included community college courses, reading Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, buying property, bribing congressmen, and ultimately informing on his best friend and business partner, Avon Barksdale.  He was on a path toward redemption, or at least toward his own vision of it.  And just as he found himself on the cusp of success, his past caught up with him, in the form of a shotgun and a bowtie.

Stringer is, without a doubt, one of the greatest characters on The Wire.  He’s arguably one of the greatest characters in television’s history.  The only solace that one could take seeing him gunned down was “at least it was Omar who killed him.”  Which has lead me to create what I refer to as The Stinger Bell Paradox (SBP), which is when one of your favorite characters kills another of your favorites. Continue reading “Dead Men of Westeros and The Stringer Bell Paradox”