"Celebrating 2000 years shaping the minds of America's Youth"

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CN has transcribed an Original Oratory written by Oklahoma competitor, Brady Henderson.  It is provided as an example of a "typical" winning oration and incorporates many different types of language and content, from the very technical to more light-hearted.

Please remember that this is copyrighted material, and is authorized for non-commercial educational use only. The author retains all other rights to publication. (If you would like to use this for a Standard Oratory or Oratorical Interpretation, please feel free, provided you give credit to the author.)



America on the Rocks: Shaken not Stirred 

(NFL Nationals Version)

© Brady Henderson 1999

You thought you were safe, didnít you?  You thought that I was merely another harmless orator giving a speech.  Well you were wrong!  The cut of my coat conceals my Walther PPK. The top button of my jacket, is actually a miniature camera.  And in my pocket, my license to kill.  Obviously, Iím not who I appear to be.  My name is Bond, James Bond, the real one, not one of those imitators from the silver screen.  Notice, the debonair and cosmopolitan appearance, fine clothing, and body the ladies find, irresistible.

You donít believe me do you?  I guess youíre noticing the big nose, bad hair, and eyebrows that give a visage like Sherwood Forest, or maybe it was just the fact that Iím not British.  Well I guess I should stop pretending, Iím not James Bond, but I want to be.  You see Iíve watched every Bond film ever made, I know the lines, I know the villains, and I know the ladies.  You could say that Iím a 007 fanatic.  This, in addition to giving me a good knowledge of Baccarat, has given me a unique perspective on life.  I watch Goldfinger, and think, Bill Gates.  ďQ,Ē thatís Lee Iococa, and finally Dr. No, Jack Kevorkian.  And when I look at the world around me, I think of James Bond, because I see a generation being brought up obsessed with the ideals of Bond, the movie hero, and having lost touch with about everything else.  So letís take a journey through the fantasy of 007, and compare it to our own reality.  So hop into the Astin Martin, and fasten your seatbelts for our mission through the twists and turns of a society that has lost control.

Now in my long history as a fan, I have discovered that every Bond film, and Bond star, have but three critical and unwavering features.  Namely, sex, violence, and suave sophistication. 

First, letís talk about sex!  I said that rather loudly, didnít I?  It used to be that sex was a taboo subject, but thanks in part to Bond and his movie harem, sex and sex-appeal have become the greatest obsessions of our society, often overtaking far more important values.   Just watch one episode of Baywatch and youíll find its probably not the intricate plots, enamoring storylines, or the poiyant portrayals by the actors that make ďBabe-watch,Ē as it is often called, the most popular television show in the world.  When it comes to this obsession, both men and women play a part.  Ever since Helen of Troyís face sailed a thousand ships, it seems men have proceeded to rate every women they meet in ďMilli-Helens.Ē  The chief consequence of this obsession is born by women.  In fact, contrary to popular belief, the number one wish of girls age 13 to 17 is not to be my girlfriend, itís just to be thinner.  In the extreme, this can lead to anorexia or bulimia, or even augmenting oneís body with silicon, sometimes with deadly consequences. All because young people view sex-appeal as being so critical.  And perhaps their right.  Instead of entering meaningful and long-lasting relationships, we go out every weekend, walk up to someone weíve never seen before  and say, ďNice shoes, wanna----Ē

Well you get the idea.

In fact have you ever wondered why weíve had five James Bonds, a new one about every 3 films?  My theory: theyíve been steadily dying of STDís.  In the movies 007 gives us the example of the man who gets around, and we are becoming better and better at following it.   Recently in my own High School, a popular student whom I have known for over 10 years was diagnosed with the AIDS virus.  While this was shocking enough, far more horrifying was his charge last month for nineteen counts of involuntary manslaughter for the nineteen people to whom he has already given the fatal disease.  And I donít even know nineteen girlsí phone numbers.

Let us now leave the world of sex for the real ďmachoĒ feature of every James Bond film, the violence.  For over 20 years, 007 has been blowing away the bad guys, not once reloading the gun.  As a child, my friends and I would run through the neighborhood with our toy M-16ís and AK-47ís.  We had fun with toy guns because thatís what our heros did, heros like James Bond.  Our games were like his movies; the good guys always won, and nobody ever really got hurt.  Unfortunately that was not the case last March in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where 13 year old Mitchell Johnson and 11 year old Andrew Golden armed up and opened fire on their own classmates.  The whole nation was shocked, but passed it off as ďan isolated incident.Ē  Then two more angry students in Littleton, Colorado proved that it was far from isolated.  In fact in the last four years alone, 165 students have been slain at school. 

This juvenile violence, though, is not a new problem.  In fact the lessons of Columbine, and Jonesboro, were taught two decades ago, when California teenager Brenda Spenser opened fire on her school yard from across the street, saying ďI donít like Mondays.Ē  Unfortunately, the lessons taught, like those of Jonesboro, werenít learned, with almost no action being taken to prevent such tragedies in the future, a future realized on April 20th of this year.  The stories of Brenda Spenser and Jonesboro were shocking at first, but then passed from the headlines faster than a dry martini through James Bondís lips.  A whole society, shaken, but not stirred.  Not stirred to action, or even stirred to care. 

When it comes to victims of violence in our society, genuine caring is in short supply.  Recently police officer Lisa Jobes recalled a short time spent with students at innercity Los Angeles high school.  The students were discussing the random and

senseless murder of one of their classmates, who was shot to death the night before by a drive-by shooter, as she slept on the couch in her living room.  In the course of the discussion one of the students rose and said, ďThe stupid girl deserved it; she was sleeping on her couch.  Everyone in this neighborhood knows youíre supposed to sleep in your bathtub.Ē 

Perhaps this studentís comment is indicative of Americaís crisis.  We have become so desensitized by what we see and hear that instead of facing problems, we ignore them, and live our lives instead in the warped belief that itís all somehow normal.

This brings us to the last part of our James Bond journey, that of suave sophistication. This is perhaps the one feature of James Bond that we have not imitated, and ironically itís the one we probably need to.

Indeed sophistication provides the best direct comparison of Bond and reality:  007 plays Blackjack in Monte Carlo, we play Lotto in gas stations.  Bond might travel the world in search of the perfect champaign, we travel to Texas to buy cold 6-point beer.  Bondís villains use everything from high-tech lasers to killer viruses to stamp out human life, in America 13 people are killed each year by falling Coke machines.  James Bond watches his enemies closely, while we watch Jerry Springer. 

It is, in fact,  TV Talk shows like Springerís that have taken us from Moonraker to Muckraker, all giving us the same thing.  Absolutely nothing.  That is to say no content, no substance, and no reality.  Indeed it is this ignorance of our society that has lead to the apathy of our society.  After all, why should we worry about Sexually transmitted diseases or violence in our schools when both are tragically trivialized while stupidity is immortalized, and all For Your Eyes Only.

So do we smash our televisions to bits, a rip up our movie screens, of course not, because the answer to our problem comes amazingly enough from James Bond.  You see there is one other feature of all eighteen Bond films, James always wins, always survives, despite impossible odds.  He does so by having a firm grasp on reality, by facing problems, instead of ignoring them, and most of all, by never giving up.  Fortunately, we donít have to endure the hardships James Bond does to save the world.  We can do it more simply.  Like young people realizing the danger of obsession, and taking a stand against it.  Or parents talking to their kids about sex, drugs, and violence, before movie heros and talkshow fanatics become their only teachers.  And most importantly, all of us realizing that life is not a movie , nor a game, and there are real problems to be faced in a very real world.  When we do that, weíll see the one thing even James Bond could never experience, real joys, when we live life as aware individuals boundless in our possibilities, not as slaves in bondage to what we see on the screen. 

And with that, we finally come to the happy ending, so letís roll credits.

The cast is only one, and I have no key grips, so letís get right to the disclaimer:

The people, places, and incidents portrayed in this speech, are real.  Any similarities should be inferred.  And any unauthorized duplication and advocation of the ideas expressed in this speech will result in severe improvements in our families, schools, and nation.

Then thereís always the final reassuring message at the very end of the reel, ďJames Bond will Return,Ē because America must not continue to just be shaken, we must be stirred.   

© Brady Henderson 1999  



Online since March 29, 2000; Last updated August 25, 2000

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