Friday, February 27, 2015

Vale, Spock

The original Star Trek premiered less than two weeks before I was born. By the time I was watching TV, it was in reruns. (Growing up in the more conservative side of the Wesleyan/Pilgrim Holiness side of things, television itself was somewhat controversial, but we did have one).

My wife jokes that I must be somewhere on the spectrum. If so, I've learned to hide it well. But it is interesting in retrospect that I identified as a child with both Spock in Star Trek and the Vision, whom most of you will meet for the first time when Avengers 2 comes out this year. Both are a strange mixture of dedication to objectivity and yet both have a sense that life must be lived in service of the greater good.

In a strange way, Superman fits into the same mold, perhaps my greatest hero as a child. Fully rational, but completely self-less. A Christ figure, in truth. Massively powerful, massively good. Sheldon on Big Bang Theory has the logical side but lacks Spock's sense of the greater good. His logic only serves himself.

I identified with Spock because I have always been completely and utterly dedicated to truth in my mind, wherever the evidence and reason most likely lead. (I also consider it logical not to share everything you think is true.) I identified with Spock as well because beneath that dedication to truth is a churning sea of emotion, vying to take over reason.

(Most will remember that Spock is not fully Vulcan, but also half human. His human side is always there, lurking, but his Vulcan side keeps it under control. He is thus a model of human self-control.)

For Spock, it was only logical that the good of the many outweighed the good, not only of the few, but it outweighed even his own self-interest. Those who know the original movies know that the most recent Star Trek movie ironically reversed the original death scene.

And so "Vale," Spock. Farewell, Leonard Nimoy. "I have been and always shall be your friend."

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