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Would You Rather Be James Bond or The Most Interesting Man in the World?

Would You Rather Be James Bond or The Most Interesting Man in the World?
Jed Diamond, Ph.D. has been a health-care professional for the last 45 years. He is the author of 9 books, including Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Male Menopause, The Irritable Male Syndrome, and Mr. Mean: Saving Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome . He offers counseling to men, women, and couples in his office in California or by phone with people throughout the U.S. and around the world. To receive a Free E-book on Men’s Health and a free subscription to Jed’s e-newsletter go to www.MenAlive.com. If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe. I write to everyone who joins my Scribd team.

Many of us identify with the larger-than-life image of James Bond played by Sean Connery. He’s a man’s man, attracts women with ease, and can defend himself when needed (or wipe out armies of adversaries whenever he wishes).

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Although I insist that I’m way beyond hero worship, in my secret heart-of-hearts I sometimes dream of having the qualities I imagine are part of the James Bond mystique. Although the image is one of charisma, health, and wealth, the reality for men is often quite different. The James Bond films are based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond (code designation “007”) appearing in novels by Ian Fleming, a real life “James Bond,” who was a Navel intelligence officer during World War II. Unlike the fictional character in his novels, Fleming, like many men who went to war, later suffered PTSD. In 1961 Fleming, a heavy smoker and heavy drinker, had a heart

attack and three years later, at age 56, had another heart attack and died on his son Caspar's 12th birthday in 1964. Eleven years later, Casper committed suicide with a drug overdose and was buried with his father. Another image of the modern man is portrayed in Dos Equis beer commercials as “the most interesting man in the world.”

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"The most interesting man in the world" is a distinguished older gentleman, played by actor, Jonathan Goldsmith, who is shown through film clips of deliberately varying quality to have led an extremely eventful and colorful life, packed with over-the-top heroism and adventure. There are generally two types of ads: one features the man in a bar environment giving advice or opinions about various subjects, and the other features a narrator describing the man's distinguishing, but quirky background. Some examples include:

"If he punched you in the face, you would have to fight off the strong urge to thank him."

"He lives vicariously through himself."

• • • •

"He once taught a German shepherd to bark in Spanish." "His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards." "Bulls flat out refuse to fight him." "They say he once found the fountain of youth but didn't drink from it, because he wasn't thirsty."

• • • • •

"He can speak French in Russian." "He's been known to cure narcolepsy, just by walking into a room." "He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels." "Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number." "He is The most interesting man in the world."

As one blogger commented, “It takes serious balls to claim you're the most interesting man in the world, but the current Dos Equis spokes-character is trying his darndest.” Interestingly, Goldsmith, the real man behind the ad, first established himself as an actor in Western films, appearing in over 25 films in that genre. In the 1976 film The Shootist, Goldsmith played a villain who was shot between the eyes by hero John Wayne, who fired blood capsules from a special pellet gun at pointblank range into Goldsmith's face for seven painful takes. Rather than trying to emulate the “most interesting man” character, we may do better by following in the footsteps of the real-life person. According to his bio Goldsmith enjoys wine tasting, and he has been quoted saying, “I actually don't drink beer at all. In fact I usually spend my nights reading a book, not partying with women."

If you were picking a role model, who would it be? If you were raising a son, who would you like him to become? If you were going to live happily ever after, who would you want to be with?

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