I am deeply saddened by the news that Leonard Nimoy has passed away. Some of my earliest memories of childhood were watching the original series. The show was on every weekend and I watched it religiously. Spock was my childhood hero. I wanted to be just like him: incredibly smart, calm and unflappable in the face of any catastrophe. When being smart and idolizing such a character earned me the scorn and ridicule of my peers, he taught me not to let my emotions get the best of me. Though I never so much mastered my emotions as bottled them up. But I think Spock grappled with that as well.
I remember when Star Wars came out, and, like the other kids my age, I was infatuated with it. But when Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out 2 years later I began to see that the beauty of science fiction is not in the fancy gadgetry or the heroic space battles, but rather it is a way to put people in alien circumstances and explore what that does to one’s humanity (for better or for worse). See humanity and the world in a different light, and, hopefully, think about how to make each a bit better. I think Star Trek did that better than any other sci-fi franchise.
I lived for a number of years without a TV, and just recently started watching some of the various Star Trek series (my favourite being Voyager) with my wife. I started noticing a theme that runs through almost every part of the Star Trek franchise: there is always a character who is trying to come to terms, in some way, with what it means to be human. Data, Seven of Nine, The Doctor, T’Pol, Odo and the original template, Spock. Like all of us, Spock had to grapple with a part of himself that he wasn’t comfortable with, but, ultimately turned out to be an essential part of who he was. What is more human than that?
This is expressed the best in Kirk’s eulogy: “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”
Here’s a sad story from the Van Bunschoten book, which would be a great premise for a tragic love poem (like The Highwayman)
Sarah, b. Jan. 8, 1786; d. Sept. 5, 1803. She was to have married John Greene, ... He came up from New York to his home near Hyde Park with an illness that proved to be yellow fever and she nursed him. He died; she caught the fever from him and also died, and they lie side by side in Hyde Park church-yard.
Sarah’s page can be found on WeRelate
I just migrated this site to Laughing Squid’s new cloud hosting and upgraded WordPress. I’ve been hoping to get this blog going again, as I have a bunch of rants bottled up, but it has been a very busy year: My daughter just turned two, we moved across the country last year and the house has needed a lot of work.
I debated setting up separate blogs for the different topics of concern to me, but I figured that’s just too much work, so there will be an odd mix of topics here including: veganism (from an abolitionist viewpoint), bicycling, gardening and various computer programming topics.
Considering this is my first post pretty much since my daughter was born, I’m sure I’m talking to an empty room. That’s ok, I’m used to it. But this post at least will explain the long gap and the change in focus.
The world got one more vegan yesterday (5-Nov-08) at 6:14pm when Madeleine Helen Marie Fisher was brought into this world. She was 7 lbs 1 oz and 20 inches long. As can be seen in this picture she quite liked laying on her front with her butt up in the air. Contractions began just after Obama’s acceptance speech, so obviously she was waiting for that before gracing us with her presence.
Both mother and daughter are doing well.
Update: photos are now online here.