ACCORDING to half a million men, the most influential man in the world this past year was a work of fiction.
Bond, James Bond, was named top man of 2012 by readers of online men's magazine AskMen.com this month.
007's accession to number one marks only the second time a fictional character has made the top of the list - Mad Men's Don Draper was the first in 2009.
But I'm disappointed in all this.
I'm disappointed there
weren't more fictional char
acters listed in "most inspirational".
The real-life guys never stack up against those tailored to never fail.
Sure they falter, show a few cracks in their characters towards end of the second act, but ultimately they prevail, winning our admiration, saving the world and getting the girl all in a two-hour frame.
Arnold Schwarzenegger - a man I've greatly admired for years for squeezing successful careers in bodybuilding, movies and politics into his one lifetime - even goes off and has a child with one of his maids.
Lance Armstrong, admired by millions for not only surviving cancer but taking out seven Tour de France titles, has just recently been named as the ringleader in "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program sport has ever seen".
Whether or not it's true remains to be seen but the damage has been done.
That poster of Armstrong hanging in an aspiring cyclist's bedroom just doesn't have the same aura it once did.
Don't even get me started on those footy players who time after time disgrace themselves, their clubs and embarrass their fans with their disgusting attitudes towards women.
They're not worthy of the admiration of anyone.
Yet fictional characters never disappoint - never.
They're shining idols on whom we should model our own lives.
A friend of mine once said every person has an attachment to one or more fictional characters in their life.
For her, me, and so many others - it's Batman. The Dark Knight. The Caped Crusader. The World's Greatest Detective.
He's an idol. I've worshiped him since I was a child. I've grown up with the cartoons, the movies, the comics, the toys, with everything.
He stands up for what's right and doesn't let his fans down.
He's the kind of man we should be looking up to, along with someone like James Bond, as influential figures.
They're called heroes for a reason - it's time more of us looked up to them as more than just works of fiction.