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Recognizing Real Evil

Dave Gordon - Monday, 28 January, 2008
From National Post
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 James Bond returns, back in her majesty's secret service with the "Quantum of Solace," now in production.
But the baddies this time aren't Cold War Russians, or moustache-twisting billionaire megalomaniacs.

French actor Mathieu Amalric, who plays villain Dominic Greene in the new movie, says that he's decided his character ought to be inspired by real life villains.

"That's maybe what is horrible about today," Amalric said http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080124/ap_en_mo/movies_bond_film
in a recent interview. "We can't guess who the villains are. The villains are invisible."

For a fleeting moment, I had thought he'd touched on some poignancy about the villains who live amongst us, perhaps subtly referencing the "banality of evil" that Hannah Arendt had written about when analyzing Adolf Eichmann's otherwise ordinary, trivial life, stained by his wickedness.

I had thought Amalric might be channeling those "next door neighbour" type of criminals, the invisible kind who live in suburbia with the white picket fences but keep a body buried in the backyard.
But it wasn't to be. Amalric said he modeled his character to some extent on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

That's right Ė Mr. Amalric believes freedom-loving Blair and Sarkozy are these "invisible" villains.

"I've been taking details, the smile of Tony Blair, the craziness of Sarkozy, he's the worst villain we've ever had," he said.

Who is "we"? Does he mean it self-referentially about his country and countrymen? If yes, it's curious that he could not think up a French leader more perceived as malevolent than Sarkozy Ė who was democratically elected, just nine months in power. The French are in pretty good shape, then. I guess throughout all of those bloodthirsty clan wars in recent centuries, the Guillotine beheadings they were the inventors of, the odd colonial butchery, and Nazi collaborators, there was nary a French villain amongst them.

Or does he mean the "worst villain we've ever had" in the world? Surely not. That'd mean Mr. Amalric was stupid, incapable of remembering names like Hitler, Ahmadinejad, Pol Pot, Stain, and Mao.  

I half-expect this to be one of those misunderstandings like the Will Smith brouhaha last month http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Movies/12/25/people.willsmith.ap/ where an actor's words are opportunistically pulled out of context in an interview for shock value. Smith, as some may recall, made a stray and innocuous comment about Hiterlerian evil, which was turned on its head by the reporter.

So how could Sarkozy be so villainous in Amalric's eyes? Could it be because Sarkozy Ė who understands the threats of terrorism - is the only French leader to have not turned the French flag into a white flag?  http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/france.html

This is another example of the Achilles Heel of the Left: the inability to recognize evil, nor want to fight it.

At least I can be comforted to know that in the movie, James Bond will inevitably, and stylishly, beat out this pseudo-villain, who to be sure won't be making an appearance in a sequel.


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