Illogical–A World Without Nimoy

color_nimoy_headshotSo, if you haven’t heard–and I hadn’t, until just this moment, Leonard Nimoy has died. He was famous for many things–acting, directing, producing, the old Hollywood trifecta–but for all his accomplishments we all know him for one thing above all: Spock. Yep, Spock is dead, and there’s no reason to write a grand summary of his accomplishments when perfectly adequate obituary-type articles are available here, here, and here.  As the hours and days pass, there will be others–dozens, hundreds.  Blogs will explode, all of us wanting to say something about this man who, for me, has been a constant media presence in my life since my earliest recollection, despite that fact that the show that made his career, Star Trek, went off the air right around the time I was born.

Nimoy made a great effort to distance himself from the character, and it must have put limits on his career as time passed and, inexplicably, Spock grew from science fiction sidekick to cultural icon, but in the spirit of Shakespeare, which was repeatedly Spock614echoed in that show, I think Mr. Nimoy’s protests were a little bit contrived, his ambivalence a little too pragmatic.  In American cinema, there are maybe a dozen characters that transcend the screen along with their actors: Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones or Han Solo, Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry,  Arnold Schwarzenhegger, Stallone, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, but he is the only one who arguably wasn’t the leading man.  In the new incarnation, it can be argued that the Kirk/Spock pairing is a buddy movie, but the original show was cut out to be The Captain Kirk Show.

Spock, as it turned out, couldn’t be kept down.  Ironically, it was Nimoy’s layered performance of the supposedly emotionless alien who became the heart of the show, and that struggle against his emotions the core of what set Star Trek apart from so many other shows.  As Kirk said, eulogizing Spock, “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most–human.”  That’s the core of it, right there.  Nimoy as Spock became a mirror against which not only the other characters, but any man, was reflected. And if Nimoy didn’t understand that, he died today without truly realizing how great an accomplishment his career represents.



About JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.
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5 Responses to Illogical–A World Without Nimoy

  1. markbialczak says:

    Great tribute to Leonard Nimoy, a fixture to our generation. Thanks, Chuck. RIP, Leonard. Your Spock taught this old guy a bunch through the decades, first run on network as a little kid watching with my father and repeats forever after as I grew to figure things out myself.


  2. Pingback: Spock’s Buick | Old Road Apples

  3. Leonard Nimoy was a great Jewish soul! He brought along some of his Jewishness in his portrayal of Mr. Spock character: his hand greeting – one of his trademarks – is taken directly from the Hebrew priestly blessing “the four fingers on each hand are sometimes split into two sets of two fingers …”


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