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Diddy and Bond: a match made in the pits of hell

Sean Combs is mystifying. He has gone through an evolution of names, from “Puff Daddy,” to “P.Diddy,” to just “Diddy.” Why he hasn’t completed the logical progression and started calling himself “Dipshit” is beyond me.

Why a man who has released exactly one non-flop album needs three names is something I don’t understand. Why a man whose single real contribution to the world is that he was friends with Biggie once is still somehow culturally relevant is something that cannot be explained. But what I do understand is that Puff Daddy wants desperately to be the new James Bond.

Puff’s latest quote, as reported by MTV, was:

“I know in [MI6] they have some black agents,” Diddy said at New York’s London Hotel. “I know there’s some black people that can save the world. White people aren’t the only people that can save the world. My variation, I would come from the New York agency. I would actually be working with James Bond. And he would get kidnapped, and I would have to come get him and save the day. It’s a natural thing. It’s organic. I think it would be a tragedy for the next James Bond not to be black, and I think the next Superman should be black. We are like the coolest creatures on the face of the Earth.”

I see his point: it would be exciting to see more racially diverse franchises become popular. But what I fail to see is Puffy’s underlying logic; when Hollywood has been criticized for years for “whitewashing” roles, is the answer really to “blackwash” other ones in return?

In a movie industry that has spent the last half-decade remaking titles, wouldn’t it be more original and less questionable to create franchises and story lines from scratch? Of course, all of that lacks the intellectual laziness and opportunism that has defined Diddy’s entire career, so I don’t know why I’m spouting all of this rhetoric instead of just getting on with things:

The above quote is bewildering. “Stupidest thing I’ve ever read” is a term that gets thrown around lightly, but believe me when I say that this is easily one of the dumbest things I have ever subjected my brain to. Each sentence offends in a different way, unique from the last one.

It’s like he’s executed a multi-faceted terrorist attack on reason itself. This might seem a bit extreme, but I feel that we need line-by-line analysis here.

“I know in [MI6] they have some black agents,” Diddy said at New York’s London Hotel.

This totally turned my world on its ear. Before Diddy, I had no idea that vast, governmental intelligence organizations would think to hire operatives from more than one race. I figured that if America wants to infiltrate China, the CIA will sort of hem and haw for a while before telling one of their agents to dye his hair and “try to act like Mr. Miyagi.”

“I know there’s some black people that can save the world. White people aren’t the only people that can save the world.”

Man, Diddy is smart. Isn’t he just so forward thinking? If everyone else was as enlightened as Diddy, they wouldn’t have elected dumb old John McCain for president. Four more years of the same, people. Way to go. Me and Puffy, we know better, but you guys just never listen.

“My variation, I would come from the New York agency.”

I’m confused. Is he saying that MI6, the British secret service that operates out of Great Britain to protect British national interests, has an office in New York?

I’m pretty sure that he’s thought this idea through for about 40 seconds, and has some vague notion of a hip, Gucci-wearing spy agency whose purpose is to infiltrate evil after-parties. Sure, at first there would be some friction between Bond and Diddy, because they have different approaches to the job. Bond is icy and British-appropriate. But what he doesn’t realize is that sometimes you have to wear sunglasses indoors and steal from other people’s music to get the job done. But in the end, they’ll learn to work together when they realize that, whatever their differences, scowling is an international language.

“I would actually be working with James Bond.”

Since Diddy’s ego is big enough to appear on air traffic control radars, I assumed that he planned to replace James Bond, rather than allow the legendary superspy to be his partner. His generosity really surprised me here; he should change his name to Didhi, just so everyone can see how much like Gandhi he is.

I cringe when I think of the inevitable scene where James Bone orders his shaken-not-stirred martini and Diddy orders some Hypnotiq and winks smugly at the camera. I can just imagine my eyeballs finally getting fed up of this abuse, popping out of my head, and leaving to join an ashram in northern India.

“And he would get kidnapped, and I would have to come get him and save the day.”

I had always thought that the whole point of James Bond was that he routinely takes on suicide missions where he would be disavowed by the British government and left to die if he was captured. But let’s put that aside for now; I want to know what different, useful skills and tools Diddy’s character would make him something other than just another Bond, but with more melanin.

More importantly, I want to know how culturally specific, but totally not racist these differences will be. At this point, I assume we’re subscribing to the Tyler Perry philosophy of film-making, which states that if black people are saying it, exploiting the lowest common denominator isn’t racist or offensive. That being the case, I’m imagining a bumbling, step-dancing version of Q who invents things like an Escalade that turns into a submarine.

“It’s a natural thing. It’s organic.”

I think it’s safe to say that the Bond Universe is a giant, made-up exaggeration of 1950’s masculine idealism, in which a steely look, a drinking habit, chest hair, and a complete lack of respect for women gets you laid constantly. It’s a universe in which shadowy, villainous organizations employ beautiful, traitorous women with names like Pussy Galore, all of whom are apparently willing to bang the enemy almost immediately upon meeting them.

Personally speaking, I wouldn’t describe any of that as “natural” or “organic.” But, then, Puffy tried to make Da Brand famous, so he and I are on pretty different wavelengths.

“I think it would be a tragedy for the next James Bond not to be black, and I think the next Superman should be black.”

These historic characters were created in a certain time period; it could be argued that part of their long-standing popularity and charm comes from what they represent and reflect of bygone eras whose traditions that we recognize, but no longer necessarily embrace. There’s something archaic and yet utterly timeless about the all-American determination embodied by the Man of Steel. There’s something adolescently appealing about the Cold War-era superspy with death concealed in his dinner jacket.

But I see Diddy’s point: we should probably still go ahead and shit all over history and the original creators’ visions. In fact, you know who else should be black? The next George Washington.

“We are like the coolest creatures on the face of the Earth.”

Sorry, we’re subscribing to the Tyler Perry philosophy of film-making and public speaking. With all due punches to the crotch respect, how does anybody get away with calling the entirety of the world’s black population “creatures” in this day and age?

In his eagerness, Diddy completely overshoots the ideal of “racial equality,” and goes right into “species inequality.” Not only are black people the coolest type of human, but they also out-cool every other backwards, square breed of plant, animal, bacteria and (debatably) virus that has the bad taste to exist and thusly kill the vibe on planet Earth.

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Joe Sapien

Joe Sapien is a regular columnist. He is currently floundering through grad school and running up debt. He never got to be a bully as a child, but he would have been pretty good at it.

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