1. ERNESTO BLOFELD – JEFF BEZOS: This one has many parallels including their similar affinity for male patterned baldness. Bezos is the founder of the tech company Amazon. Bezos has been quite open about his pursuit of government contracts and the monopolization power and wealth that he has accumulated as a result of this. Bezos is the richest man in the world by far due to how ubiquitous Amazon has become. Bezos has now moved his fascination to space with his side project, Blue Origin, and is now in competition with another villain, Elon Musk, on being the first individual to profit from the business of space exploration and tourism (Since he has already defeated the Earth). Bezos bought the Washington Post as a glorified propaganda tool for the United States government. The most recent iteration of Blofeld from the movie SPECTRE is more similar to Bezos than the zany schemed one from the 1960s to 1970s who had elaborately goofy plans to hijack the world which was so hilariously mocked by the fictional Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget and Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers franchise. Blofeld through his organization SPECTRE had monopolistic control over technology which allowed massive surveillance on the global population. Amazon, as a company, is one of the largest purveyors of surveillance of any tech company. The data they have accumulated on individuals that use their service is highly valuable. Blofeld also has control of the Nine Eyes, a fictional take on the actual Five Eyes alliance that shares signals intelligence taken from across the world. Bezos is the one person whose AWS software could be used globally to create a massive surveillance dystopia. Let’s hope that he never turns his attention to politics or global conquest or the world maybe looking at its first unstoppable villain.
2. DR. STRANGELOVE - KARL SCHWAB: Even though he also has a resemblance to James Bond’s most notorious villain, the fictional Dr. Strangelove from the mid-1960s Stanley Kubrick film better represents Schwab due to their similar histories. Dr. Strangelove garners respect from politicians and leaders who listen to him like he is an expert despite his bizarre ideas. Dr. Strangelove presents the idea of living underground in mines if nuclear weapons happen to be used as he tries to repress the authoritarian Nazi impulses that he was raised into. Dr. (Falsi)…sorry…Fauci also has similarities to this character minus the Nazi impulses (Fauci has more of a gangster mentality). Schwab was born into Nazi Germany on March 30, 1938. He founded the World Economic Forum which has had lots of influence over the politics of Europe and to a lesser extent, the United States and Asia. Schwab is a big believer in ‘large government’ and ‘authoritarianism.’ I wonder where he got these ideas. Schwab also has crazy ideas like the “Great Reset”, a proposal supported by many politicians and corporations around the world to switch our economic model to prioritize social issues while he helps create the 4th Industrial Revolution that revolves around surveillance, robotics, and automation. When Schwab talks, you can hear the echoes of the fictional Dr. Strangelove. The only problem is that he does not feel guilt for his thoughts like Strangelove does throughout the film.
3. ELLIOT CARVER, GARY WINSTON from ANTITRUST, and DR. CHARLES NICHOLS from THE FUGITIVE: Bill GATES: Maybe the worse of these real-life villains, Gates is difficult to pin down as one specific villain because he resembles so many of them. Media mogul looking for more money and control like Carver from TOMORROW NEVER DIES. Check. Gates has been all over the media with his organization promoting ideas and companies he has “invested in” which will bring about a supposedly better planet (According to him). The story of the founding of Microsoft makes him relatable to Tim Robbin’s villain in ANTITRUST. In our present day, Windows 10 is a surveillance nightmare and the history of the Microsoft company is filled with antitrust and anti-competitive behavior especially regarding their sabotage of the open-source Linux kernel. Finally, Gates is a huge proponent of the controversial COVID-19 vaccines that have killed over 3000 people in the United States alone (And almost 4000 in Europe). This all from a man who has discussed depopulation of the Earth on multiple occasions. The man is a living, breathing Bond villain. Let us hope that the information that has come out about his relationship with his ex-wife Melinda brings him back down to reality and gets him to disappear from the public sphere for awhile.
4. CARLTON DRAKE from VENOM and HUGO DRAX from MOONRAKER – ELON MUSK: Again, it is difficult to portray Musk as one particular villain. His personality and behavior ranges from the surprising sane to the increasingly neurotic. He has dreams to bring humanity into space and remake the world but needs ‘capital’ (Mainly from governments) to achieve his long-term goals. His Tesla cars are innovative but increasingly being seen as not worth the price or effort. 20% of people have switched back to combustible engines after their ownership experiences with EV. Carlton Drake from VENOM is inspired by Musk. His noble intention in the movie leads to his eventual downfall. Hugo Drax’s plan for space to make human beings an interplanetary species aligns almost perfectly with this billionaire. The only difference is that Musk has not embraced Drax’s eugenics ideas…yet. Also, having Musk show so many similarities to Drax is fitting since MOONRAKER is the most ridiculous of the James Bond films. But living in the 21st Century, Elon Musk comes across to millions of people as absurd, so the comparison is apt. The scary thing about Musk is that his personality often comes across as unstable probably related to suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. It would not surprise me if Musk crosses an ethical line in the future and actually becomes a major problem for our civilization.
5. COLONEL QUARITCH from AVATAR with a splash of EMPEROR PALPATINE from the STAR WARS franchise - DICK CHENEY: This one maybe controversial because the Colonel is actually better than Cheney in multiple ways. He actually will fight to defend his values. But the Colonel has no problem with mining a foreign planet for resources (Unobtainium: I would love to meet the writer who came up with that). that the military needs as well as invading and occupying a foreign population. His motivations revolve around the preservation of power over the protection of the environment. Emperor Palpatine can also defend himself due to his ‘dark side’ force powers. But Palpatine’s greatest asset is his ability to manipulate, something that Cheney mastered during the Bush Jr. presidency. Cheney has been the largest enabler of the military industrial complex and our surveillance state during his reign of terror as Vice President in 2001-2009. Due to recent political events, his demonic spawn known as Liz was just removed from power in Congress taking the Cheney family out of their position of influence for the first time in 20 years. This archvillain may have been kneecapped and put down for the count. Let us hope that it remains this way forever.
There are many other examples of archvillains in our society that have movie equivalents. Boris Johnson is a walking, talking messy haired contradiction who has done the opposite of almost everything he wanted to accomplish while making the United Kingdom even more authoritarian and miserable. Joe Biden has definitely entered villain territory with his destruction of the Constitution. Mark Zuckerberg will go down as a legendary villain when he eventually takes off his costume and reveals the android living inside him which everyone on the planet already knew existed. What about Vladimir Putin? There are already hundreds of American films that use “Russians” as a villain archetype. If anything, the Russians should sue us for being portrayed as villains on a much higher level than any other ethnicity (With Arabs being a close second). Benjamin Netanyahu also qualifies. This individual, who I had the unfortunate privilege of meeting back in 2002, give off a negative aura that I have never felt with any other individual that I have met. If Christians believe that Satan is alive today, they may want to start with the prime minister of Israel.
The unfortunate thing is that there is a lot of darkness in our world right now. People are looking for someone to save them. This is why Marvel films have become part of our cultural zeitgeist. We are all hoping that Tony Stark can stop making weapons and save us all from the tyranny of governments, corporations, and economic unfairness. Unfortunately, the world does not work this way. As Harvey Dent says in THE DARK KNIGHT, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Even the worst villain sees himself as saving the world and many of our worst problems have been created by people with the ‘best’ intentions. Let us hope that we can get through this ‘crisis’ era peacefully.
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