Friday, February 27, 2015

RIP, Mr. Spock.

So, here's the thing: I was in high school when the original "Star Trek" first aired on television, and I immediately became a fan, as did my best friend Jeffrey. We wrote at least one piece of fanfic together, before fanfic became a thing.

In high school, the question, "Who do I want to be like?" hangs around your brain a lot; or at least it did mine. And in my brain, the answer was frequently, "Mr. Spock."

Of the Enterprise crew, Scotty, the ever-ingenious miracle worker, came in second. But Jim Kirk seemed overly full of himself, and Bones...well, excitability aside, Bones was boring. He didn't have much of a life, you know? (Any resemblance to real doctors in that regard was, I'm sure, accidental.)

Spock, on the other hand, was the quintessence of cool, and I found that enviable, admirable, and downright seductive. My own natural inclinations at the time were to experience life with emotional intensity, and sometimes that was so deeply painful - not to mention confusing - that I yearned to rise above my own emotional fray, to evaluate situations logically, to simply solve problems with precision and alacrity, and to regard anomalies not as painful or frightening, but simply as...

So, I admired Mr. Spock and wanted to be like him early on. Only with the passage of considerable time did I learn to admire Leonard Nimoy separately as an artist whose talents went beyond portraying Spock and as a person whose deep concerns included the environment (it wasn't coincidence that one of the two "Star Trek" movies that he directed was an entertainingly-packaged save-the-environment leaflet) and the Holocaust.

For a thorough obituary, I defer to the New York Times. I'll say that on top of everything said there, I admired his willingness to not take himself too seriously. So I'll leave you with not one, but two, reminders of that.

He lived long. He prospered.

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