I suppose it is fair to say that, despite Boris’ wistful musings that London could host the Olympic games again within twenty years, we won’t be seeing a summer like the one of 2012 for quite some time. That is not to say we couldn’t: after this summer and the run up to it, it would be the simplest thing in the world to get everything going again, and I bet it would be even more awesome than the last. It’s just that London has already hosted the games three times – more than any other city. There are plenty of other cities for the Olympic party to go to – cities in countries which have never hosted the games. That means, of course, that I better come to terms with the fact we probably wont get to see the queen making any more grand entrances, with double oh seven or anyone else.
I’m still obsessed with that bit of film, sorry. As I mused last week, I hope Rio does it’s own reply. I’m intrigued by it’s postmodern juxtaposition of fictional and nonfictional characters: it blends reality and fantasy in a new way, which brings me to wonder what other weird and wonderful combinations I can come up with. Now we have had the queen meet James bond, anything else is possible, nothing else is unthinkable, no person too big or too important, no scenario too far fetched. She may not have realized it, but when she uttered the words ”Good evening, Mr. Bond”, her majesty opened up an exciting new world of postmodern possibilities. Although she may never utter them or their equivalent again, what might they have spawned?
The mind boggles: there are so many fictional characters and so many possible scenarios, it’s hard to know where to begin. What if president Obama was shown talking to superman? What if the mayor of New York was shown talking to Batman about crime in the city? Such stunts could be put to good use, and help deliver important messages. I have been trying to think of ones which are vaguely realistic all day though, and it is harder than you might think. James Bond was the obvious choice for introducing the queen as the stunt did not really need much setting up in terms of pretext. If he were indeed real, as a government agent her majesty would already know him, which is why she could just greet him with a simple ‘good evening’; indeed, the way in which she has 007 wait a few seconds while she finishes her writing subtly demonstrates that the queen is familiar with her agent – had she not known him, surely she would have turned around as soon as he entered the room. Bonds grin and slight pause before he replies underscores this sentiment. yet, as she then rises and walks towards the door, bond looks straight ahead, maintaining a formality and verisimilitude. If Bond had turned his head as her majesty passed him, it would have looked odd – even disrespectful. Thus the pause is not bemusement or impetuousness, but 007 being a professional royal servant, which I think adds to the sense of reality vital in such stunts.
As for the question of why the queen used such an unusual way to get to the ceremony, given that her majesty didn’t actually parachute in to the stadium but landed outside of it and entered as she ordinarily would, how do we know that this is not her usual way of getting places? In other words, whereas if anyone tried to do a similar stunt with some other fictional character they would need to establish a pretextual justification for it, because Bond is a (fictional) government agent, the film makers did not need to explain why this character could appear with the queen. If professor Dumbledore had been used in the olympic ceremony sequence instead of Bond, for example, it’s makers would have had to explain why he had taken a break from his duties at Hogwarts; with 007, a government agent who for all we know does such things with the queen frequently, no such contextualization was necessary. That’s why other examples may be harder to find, as they would need a greater degree of preamble. I’ll continue to mull it over, and try to come up with one as good as bond and the queen. Please put your suggestions in the comments.