When I was in high school, girls my age used to fawn over and have posters of and crushes on rock stars and sportsmen. I must have had some “norm-chip” missing, as the only two men I was fascinated by – heck, even related to – were two fictional characters: Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes. To use a cheesy movie phrase – Spock had “had me” at “It’s logical, Captain,” and Holmes about whom I’ve written (or rather gushed) about in an earlier post – had had me at “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,” and of course, much more.
So, it gives me great pleasure, and in a sense, a form of therapeutic closure that characters for which I was teased about for having crushes on back in school (and college) have now proven to be timeless icons of intelligence, poise and “cool.” Why is it that in life, those who were considered “uncool” for not following any trend, nor buckling to any peer-pressure or fashion-du-jour find out years later that they had just been ahead of their times in their individualism, and years later when more prominent figures reveal that they too liked trend-buckling oddballs – it is considered “cool?”
Why is it so important to be “cool?” Really, who cares? In fact the people who are really cool are those who never cared about trying so hard to be “cool” in the first place but the guts to face the snickering for not being afraid to like what they themselves could relate to – not what everyone was following. Also, trying to make a great show of going completely in the opposite direction of trend-following, and thereby joining anti-establishment groups – is quite simply following something else in the opposite direction – so that’s not being too different either. The true individualist doesn’t really care too much about being popular nor unpopular and that’s what makes them different, without even trying. There is freedom is just being. Being you. Knowing yourself.
Some people wrongly assume that loving or possessing a Vulcan sense of Logic or stoicism must mean that Emotion is alien to such possessors. I do not understand why there is such an either/or approach. Having a logical and analytical mind does not mean that that person is devoid of deep, indescribable emotional magnitude. In some, the Apollonian and the Dionysian does not come at the expense of the other. It is best described in the words of Spock’s father Sarek when he explains to his young half-human half-Vulcan son the basis of their calm self-assuredness on the surface while a wide spectrum of emotional depth churns underneath. (For some reason when I watched that scene in the 2009 reboot movie, it made me cry. For some reason I could relate too well.) Sarek’s words to a very young Spock: “Emotions run deep within our race. In many ways, more deeply than in Humans. Logic offers a serenity Humans seldom experience. The control of feelings, so that they do not control you.”
Anyway – on the eve of the release of Into Darkness, a photo of me and Jack Black – who is doing his own version of Spock’s hand sign. Both of Black’s parents were satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. This was during a spontaneous moment after which Jack and I did a silly Star Wars laser hand-fight but with Spocky hands.
Live long and prosper, those who loved/love Spock – especially the few girls who were open about it and thereby faced ridicule for making choices which were different than those of their peers…..
The new May 2013 Audi commercial featuring both the old and new Spocks
Star Trek fan President Obama flashes the Spock sign: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/star-trek-fan-president-obama-picture-nichelle-nichols-vulcan-hand-gesture-article-1.1055970
Aaah….therapeutic indeed after those early years of being teased for being the oddball girl in school who loved Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes…….and who still thinks they are timelessly awesome.