An Ode to Spock

I don’t want to belabor the point–Leonard Nimoy was not my grandfather, or brother, or close personal friend, and I feel a bit of a trespasser upon other people’s sites of mourning just by typing this.

But I just really need to say that I miss him, especially as Mr. Spock.

For nerdy kids like me, with a surplus of imagination, a penchant for academic overdrive, and an intense desire to be taken seriously, Star Trek, and Spock specifically, was a beacon hope.  He allowed me to think that maybe, someday, there will be a world where anthropological impulses take precedence over aggression, where science officers can be honored counselors, where multi-culturalism goes without saying, and academics can be heroes.  He made me long for relationships built on things other than assigned gender, for egalitarian approaches to social expectations, for intense intellectual companionship, and for the ability to be rational, privately emotional, and yet caring–assiduously, empirically, and philosophically.

I have not achieved many of these personality traits, and we have not arrived uniformly at this kind of world.  That’s all understandable given that Vulcans are an alien race built on collective, sci-fi myth-making and the personal craft of Leonard Nimoy.

But I still aspire to many of the things that Spock stands for.  I aspire to be as loyal, as intelligent, and as curious.  I aspire to be a good friend even when my introverted personality requires that I check out for a while.  I aspire to travel, to learn, and to build intellectual kinships.  And I aspire to consistently believe that the world can be a better place, and that I can be a part of that betterment.

When English monarchs die, the country solemnly murmurs, “The king is dead. Long live the king,” as a way of saying, your myth and our connection to its cultivated meaning carries on.

As dramatic as it may be–as emotional and illogical, god forbid–I would like to say to Leonard Nimoy, “Live long and prosper,” in much the same spirit.

Thank you for creating a character who will live on collectively in the hearts of the unique, the investigatory, and the scientific.  Thank you for seeing the seriousness behind all the tribbles and tricorders and helping to build a Star Trek canon that continues to inspire.  And thank you for being one of my heroes.

Historian, novelist, musician, and imagination professional.

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