I'll give this to our mongrel, screwed-up idea of a country—we certainly know how to amuse ourselves when the chips are down. In the two weeks since we last waded wistfully into the lowbrow tide: Colin Farrell was granted a restraining order against a model/actress ex-girlfriend attempting to distribute a private sex tape which Farrell claimed would "irreparably harm [his] reputation and career." (Point No. 1: I thought his reputation was for screwing model/actresses. Point No. 2: What career?); master thespian Ben Jones, who limned the role of "Cooter" in the tour de télévision The Dukes of Hazzard, called for a boycott of the new film version on the grounds that Jessica Simpson's Daisy Duke is less family-friendly than the original series' virginal lass; and you all wrote me more letters than at any time since last spring, when I dared to refer to a certain macho American Idol alum as "Miss."
As you'll recall, I put it out there that we were long past due for a new Bond, James Bond, and, man, did you kids decide to play along. With the exception of some irate kook who yipped at me for ribbing Pierce Brosnan (or "Pierce Bros-yawn," as one wise reader bored with that limp 007 put it), everybody got very excited about who deserves the driver's seat in the Aston Martin. Most of you actually put some deep thought into the matter, which, frankly, was a little troubling to me—until I remembered that I was the dumbass who started the thunderball rolling.
Ignoring my big brother's suggestion that David Hasselhoff is the ideal candidate because he's huge in Germany, I was startled to discover that many of you are in perfect agreement (are you all talking to each other behind my back?). Hugh Jackman, who has been mentioned in the press as a top contender, is apparently the major favorite, though I have two reasons for shooting him down: (1) He's already Wolverine in the X-Men films, and no one should get more than one franchise; and (2) ever since I saw him dancing on the Tonys, I can't picture him laying Russian babes. (It's this damned internalized homophobia; I'll address it with my therapist.)
A couple of you want the Harry Potter films' Lucius Malfoy, a brooding Jason Isaacs, to check in with M ("I definitely want to shag him," someone wrote, citing the boinkability factor I listed as a requirement). Unfortunately, there's Reason No. 1 above and the fact that Isaacs is already 42 years old; we don't want to be dealing with a fiftysomething Bond after just a couple of films. Christian Bale, you say? Again, he's now officially Batman, and I don't like those fanged teeth of his (hey, if we're going to be superficial, let's lay all of our cards on the table, shall we?). Some African-American OO7s—Blair Underwood, Don Cheadle—make for intriguing suggestions, although I think the Brits would go ape shit on us if a Yank stole their main man.
Finally: Thomas Jane, people? Have you no respect? Hot or not, the guy battled rectal-obsessed aliens in Dreamcatcher. His box office oeuvre makes George Lazenby seem like he had the Midas touch. Or should I say "the goldfinger"?