It seems that some tend to attribute too much credit to the goings on of shadowy operations. No wonder when we consider the longevity of the spy fiction genre.
via The Week
Moviegoers love spies. James Bond is probably the most successful franchise in history. And when you consider all the spinoffs, descendants, books, television shows, and media-spanning imitators, it’s probably fair to say that spying is one of the top two or three subjects of popular media in America, along with superheroes and light sabers.
Most spy fiction portrays spies as noble and almost superhumanly skilled, both physically and intellectually. James Bond is always a master at whatever the screenwriters can dream up, up to and including sword-fighting with a half-dozen different kinds of blades. Jason Bourne speaks a dozen languages, fights like an MMA specialist, drives like a rally car champion, and can break into CIA headquarters without even breathing hard.
This could not be more dissonant with the reality of spy practice, which particularly in American history is chockablock with buffoonish incompetence, bloody failure, and “success” of the grimly horrifying sort.
So why do we love spy movies when they represent such a nonsensical fantasy? Because they serve as a crucial legitimation device for the modern state whose terrible reality and breathtaking incompetence we just can’t bear to face.
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