Saturday 28 February 2015

Editor's Note #21 Far better resting place I go to than I have ever known...

I've spent all day analysing why the death of a person I never knew makes me sad. And as the day draws to a close, I've settled on the fact that it is what he represented to me, so many years ago, and for so many years since, that makes me sad that he has left the world. So I've devoted my day to remembering Star Trek and Spock - Leonard Nimoy's most iconic of characters, and to being grateful Mr Nimoy put so much of himself into that role so many years ago.

In the passing of Spock I'm revisiting so many things he inadvertently taught me as a younger version of myself; things that have some part in making me who I am today.

Top of the list is science. Spock got to look for stuff, understand stuff, deal calmly and logically (I fail greatly here) with things, and was a valued and integral member of his crew. Of course I'd have loved to be on an Enterprise, seeking, learning and finding stuff in space, too! I can't quantify how much Spock and Star Trek have shaped my drive to search and find some more earthly things - seek new viruses, learn new knowledge and find out how infectious diseases are caused.

From here.
Spock was Mr Nimoy. But more than that-all Vulcans must now have elements of Mr Nimoy's portrayal of this one character or for many, they are not Vulcan at all. That's quite an acting legacy. You can't just write "be logical" down on a script-you have to have seen a Vulcan. A part of Nimoy was given to Spock. Other actors achieve this too of course - to my mind all Klingons are represented by Michael Dorn, Rangers by Viggo Mortensen, Wolverine is Hugh Jackman, Tony Stark is Robert Downey Jr, Batman is Christian Bale...and so on.

As Bones said in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (from which the image above is borrowed): "He's really not dead, as long as we remember him". 

Of course we will remember him. How could we forget the person, the character, the message of hope, tolerance and that use of logic? And the accidental humour. Spock was a perfect foil used so well to look both at, and into, ourselves.

Today I still very much respect and admire the ideals that represent the many iterations of earlier Star Trek voyages - care, knowledge, teamwork and a sense of shared goals chosen for the betterment of us all. 

In a world  that can so often be filled with hate, pettiness, self-interest, fractured communities, an absence of care, a disrespect of knowledge and lack of desire to work together, Trek still contains hope that others who share the mission and vision will eventually rise high enough in their roles, often enough, to make the world a better place. Many already do. Star Trek's creators and those who brought its many stories to us, are owed much.

We should always strive to continue the ongoing mission to explore, seek and boldly go where no-one has gone before, in whatever it is that we choose to do. 

Spock understood the need to work for everyone's benefit. He voiced it so well when he reminded Kirk that he has no ego to bruise and that "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". We should try and stow our own egos more often, and work towards the bigger needs. We should do that as part of the same cree more often too - that of the spaceship Earth.

The ship is not yet out of danger Spock, but you gave us a lot to help make it work better. 


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