There is a classic scene in many spy films and novels during which, face to face with his nemesis, and surrounded by onlookers, the protagonist is asked: “So, Mr. Bond, what is it that you do exactly?” The protagonist – in this case, Bond – then replies: “Why, I’m a spy!” at which point all those in the room, including himself, break into raucous laughter at such a preposterous declaration. (Is my memory faulty, or does this not happen in the main poker scene in Casino Royale?) The irony, of course, is that he’s told the truth. The truth has the appearance of a fiction.
Only humans, in this respect, can be spies. There are, of course, many animals – like the killdeer, for instance – who can feign injury in order to protect their young by luring away a predator, or to attract prey. But this is simply a case of doing something false, behind which there is a ‘truth’. No animal, unlike Bond, can emit a truth which has the appearance of a falsity. That is the unique and dubious gift of ‘00’s around the world, and, more generally, of humankind.
(Inspired by several passages throughout the work of Slavoj Žižek)