Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83: Mr. Spock will Live Long and Prosper

I was one of those kids who waited eagerly for the very first episode ofStar Trek‘ to air on September 8, 1966. I was 15 or so, and I had been enthralled with science fiction since I’d read Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs when I was about 8 or so. I’d read everything from Andre Norton to Isaac Asimov since then, but  Star Trek was the first science fiction show other than the real dumb ones like, “Lost in Space“, that had ever aired, and young people like myself were hoping it would start a new trend, something other than “spy” shows and sillier stuff.

English: Leonard Nimoy (Spock) at the Las Vega...
English: Leonard Nimoy (Spock) at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What enthralled me about the show from the very first episode was its humanity. The stories had depth and character, and so did the characters themselves. We could sense Mr. Spock‘s hidden vulnerability, and Bone’s compassion under his irascibility. Even it’s hokeyness was endearing, with the salt shaker diagnostic tools in Dr. McCoy’s futuristic sick bay and Scotty’s hackneyed brogue.

It was pure schmaltz in so many ways, but there were deeper truths, too. It was a glimpse into a future where humanity could make a difference, by using technology and universal principles of mutual respect and humanity to assist other cultures, and learn from them instead of stomping them into dogmeat and plundering them ruthlessly. It was what mankind could accomplish if we did not forget our own lessons taught in our nation’s constitutional republic, and dearly bought by the blood of our patriots. (This was very subtly implied, but not missed by the MSM–this was very possibly why the show struggled  to survive and only lasted 3 years.)

Fans dressed as Klingons in a Star Trek Conven...
Fans dressed as Klingons in a Star Trek Convention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Menacing, despotic and cruel empires like the Klingons didn’t stand a chance. The Romulans were vanquished. The oligarchal jaded gods  were banished. Friendship, loyalty, integrity–the principles of human rights and freedom–conquered all.

The show died–but a cult following sprang from it that has only grown. From the ‘Trekkie” conventions where odd folks greeting each other in Klingon and wearing Gorn costumes, to series of fan-written books that kept an entire alternative reality based on the series alive, to the Star Trek movies, it wasn’t the ‘show’ it was the deeper principles behind it that gave Star Trek its immortal essence, and Mr. Spock, who represented the struggle of “reason” vs “spirit” that personified that essence. And Mr. Nimoy did so beautifully.

All of the actors were so wonderfully human, and down-to-earth. They showed up in all kinds of places, in the silliest cameo appearances, but that’s how they all were, and still are.  They were more like family than iconic superstars.

Robert Heinlein, L. Sprague de Camp, and Isaac...
Robert Heinlein, L. Sprague de Camp, and Isaac Asimov, Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1944. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like to think that it was those of us who took to heart the lessons Mr. Nimoy and his fellow actors portrayed so well, and passed on when we raised the generation now promoting those lessons that are giving the Beast-Men and their puppet such a hard time right now. Perhaps I flatter ourselves.

We were a generation that had a lot dumped on us, at an age when we were not really emotionally ready to cope with the tremendous upheavals we were dealt with. I was around 10 or 11 when the Cuban missile crisis happened–and my brothers were both in Nam, and I was 12 when Kennedy was murdered–and there were all the Civil Rights things and the Cold War, and…it was a lot to go through, and the traumas have never stopped. It made us either pretty tough, or walking zombies. Take your pick.

At any rate, not easily fooled. My Bullshit Tolerance Level was fully developed before I went to college. I was able to miss a lot of the “Aquarian Conspiracy” as a result.

Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edga...
Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., 1934 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Criminals are stupid, or they wouldn’t be criminals. Liars and thieves are stupid, or they would know they lose in the end. Pagans are stupid because they are all deceived and serving vicious, controlling powers who exploit them for their own purposes.

Humans serve the best interests of each other and those they love, and everyone gains. That’s what Christ teaches. The gifts of each person are the gain of all. What’s so hard about that? Wasn’t that the lesson we all learned from that kind of silly show?

The Way I Feel (Leonard Nimoy album)
The Way I Feel (Leonard Nimoy album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mr. Nimoy may pass on, but his legacies never will–even the really dumb ones, like the record album I bought where he sang about ‘Bilbo Baggins, the bravest little Hobbit alive..” that was so truly awful I let my Iguana crap on it. (Sorry, Leonard.)

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