James Bond. A name that has become synonymous with terms like, “espionage,” “covert operative” and “spy.” Many people in various law enforcement organisations refer to the character as the original inspiration for their work.
Some would argue, however, that it is not Bond’s occupation that attracts admiration and envy, but rather, “The Bond Lifestyle.”
Paul Kyriazi, wrote the book on being James Bond- Literally.
“The James Bond Lifestyle,” by Paul Kyriazi asserts that, “Bond is resourceful and calm under pressure, but you do not have to be in danger to live like James Bond.”
His book asserts that it is not what the man does that gives him the finesse, but rather how he does it. “As I say in the book, [The James Bond Lifestyle] it is investing in yourself not to show off to others,” says Kyriazi, “but to remind yourself of your goals.”
Kyriazi, who says that he originally invented the term, “James Bond Lifestyle,” in 1993 and says that the concept integrates not only the principles of Flemings beloved superspy, but also Frank Sinatra and ideas from numerous self-help seminars.
Kyriazi’s reason for inventing the program was initially for himself. He says, “I was very shy when I was younger and was looking for something to help me get myself out of that and become more social and less quiet.”
Though Kyriazi coined the term, he is not alone in theory. Many seek to follow in the footsteps of the supposedly inimitable superspy.
Remmert van Braam is a double agent. Web-designer to some; Bondophile/CEO of “JamesBondLifestyle.com,” to others.
“I always loved Bond films,” says van Braam through a subtle Dutch accent, exhibiting phonomenal English language skills. “My parents introduced me to them when I was about 9 years old and I continued to love them.”
Online lessons throughout the web cover all areas of Bond’s expertise, from literally spying on others to implied advice from a masculine role model, the sub-niches self-multiply.
“My site is more focused on the fashion of James Bond and on the actor,” van Braam intimates, “Obviously no man could ever become James Bond, but they can learn and follow one or two things to improve themselves.”
In contrast to the fashion friendly fan from the Netherlands; Kyriazi, though he often mentions the importance of spending money and “acquiring gadgets from Q Branch,” is more focused on the persona of Bond and overall Bondacity of mind.
“Why should James Bond have all the fun, all the resorts, all the cash and all the adventure? It’s time to claim a piece of it for yourself.” Kyriazi declares in his book, though he clarifies, “having nice things doesn’t mean that you have to spend more money than you have.”
Kyriazi is currently residing in his home in Japan, purchased while nostalgically keeping in mind that this was the sacred home country of, “Tiger Tanaka.”
As for the direction that Bond is taking, Kyriazi and van Braam both felt some ambivalence ab initio.
“I always thought of Daniel Craig as the creep gangster in the Tom Hanks movie Road to Perdition and couldn’t believe he was chosen to play Bond,” Kyriazi says, “I changed my mind 30 minutes into my first viewing of Casino Royale. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this is the real James Bond all those suave, handsome actors played in the movies.’”
Van Braam also found himself pleasantly surprised, “I was very happy with Casino Royale. Overall I think it is probably the best Bond movie.” He says, “I think the director was great and Daniel Craig really showed all the people who criticised him for being less handsome or different than past James Bonds.”
The two enthusiasts vary not only on their purposes, but their opinions.
“Pierce Brosnan is my favourite, he had classic Brioni good looks and was a great Bond,” raves van Braam.
“George Lazenby made my favorite James Bond,” counters Kyriazi. “Lazenby is young, athletic and romantic.”
These two views sharply contrast with the popular vote for Sean Connery, who often winds up with a roughly 89% landslide victory in polls.
“Brosnan was the first Bond I saw in theatres.” admits van Braam. “So that could be part of why I choose him.”
“Lazenby is young, athletic and romantic. It’s the only movie where Bond falls in love and gets married,” Kyriazi sighs in his book, taking an unusual stand for a male and perhaps attributing a little too much to the actor and a little too little to the writer.
Van Braam’s site, “JamesBondLifestyle.com,” has been around for a fraction of the time of Kyriazi’s idea, but has a sizable following, with 7071 fans on facebook alone.
“The Aston Martin DB5 is my favourite,” van Braam deliberates with some ambivalence.
Out of the bouquet of cars mentioned in the vehicle section of Braam’s site, the Aston Martin DB5 made the final cut, “Although, I really like the Vanquish and I rode one once and I love the way it drives.”
With the upcoming release of, “Skyfall,” Bond movie number 23 and with the recent occasion of the series’ 50 year anniversary being celebrated, even people who are not fans must admit, the series is at least statistically more successful than the average marriage.
“This is our James Bond 50th Anniversary Special Edition,” a saleswoman [name not included at request] says, exhibiting a large but sleek looking Omega watch, with the chronometer’s “50,” in bold red.
“The Bond series is a very successful line, probably more than most other Omega’s produced. This one has a bullet in the back of it and is one of a limited number produced.”
At more than three times the price of Mr. Kyriazi’s Sintra, the watch is truly an investment for those living “The Bond Lifestyle.”
But what is it beyond what Bond wears that makes him so accessible yet aloof, so transparent yet so mysterious?
What is it that makes him so Bond?
“He is smart, he is good at everything even before he has ever done it before, he is well-dressed and attractive,” Braam begins.
“His name is spoken whenever anyone wants to refer to what is masculine and cool,” says Kyriazi in his book.
One of the most revered characters in cinematic history, it seems that he is imitated more than any other and yet his image and individuality are maintained and remain according to many accounts, inimitable.
Many people, however, do not like the direction that the series has taken as “Quantum of Solace” received its share of negative feedback, the current cast and crew are skating on thin ice.
According to van Braam, “Skyfall will be the decider for Craig. He was very good in Casino Royale and the writing was great. The jokes were subtle, but they were still there. In Solace the jokes were removed and so was much of the personality of Bond, Skyfall will show us whether Daniel Craig is one of the best Bonds or one of the worst.”