Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Vulcan

Leonard Nimoy as Spock. Image source.

Everyone will tell you Vulcans don't have emotions, but I know they do.

Even Spock, half-human, half-Vulcan, wanted to believe he was unaffected by emotion, that he was somehow above it. His highest virtue was logic. Everything he said or did or believed needed to be logical. Yeah. Same for me.

He loved his job and he was good at it. But it was hard for him to be with humans all the time. Their behavior ranged from "fascinating" to "illogical" and he never fit in. He was half-human; maybe I'm half-human too.

And they said he had no emotions. But I know he did.

Look at his devotion to Captain Kirk. The friendship and respect between them. Spock was fiercely loyal to Kirk, and also to his previous captain, Pike. In "The Menagerie" (my favorite episode) Spock risks everything and breaks all the rules because of his devotion to Pike.

Look at how much respect Spock had for rules and authority. He obeyed orders from Kirk and from Starfleet. He respected and valued Vulcan tradition. There were times when he made the logical choice to break the rules in service of the greater good, but afterward he always turned himself in to face the consequences of his rule-breaking.

Look at the way he struggled, always trying to hold himself together and give the appearance of not having any emotions. The way he fought against and rejected his human side, wishing he could be fully Vulcan. And all the while, Dr. McCoy alternated between criticizing Spock's logical, rigid ways, and pointing out every time Spock's facade slipped, every time he smiled or cried, as proof that he wasn't so logical after all. I was never sure how much of it was playful teasing and how much was actual criticism. And Spock always covered his embarrassment with a confident face and some kind of "logical" reason for his apparent display of emotion.

Sometimes I even got annoyed with Kirk and McCoy, how they tried to explain something to Spock by saying "It's just human behavior, it's emotional, not logical. You can't understand." As if emotions and logic are completely separate, two different worlds. Come on guys, emotions come from somewhere. They have a cause, though they may seem "illogical" when they are disproportionate to the thing that caused them. Still, they are very real and important, and we make logical choices based on them.

They say Spock didn't have emotions, but I know he did. And not just because he was half-human; no, full Vulcans have emotions too. In the episode "Sarek," Spock's father, Sarek, mind-melds with Picard, who then feels just how strong Sarek's emotions have been all along. Picard cries as he expresses Sarek's love for his wife, and Sarek's sadness at never having been able to truly express it to her.

Everyone will tell you Vulcans don't have emotions, but I know they do. They just have trouble expressing them in a way that humans can understand and relate to. Yeah, like me. Maybe it's because I have Asperger's. I feel like Spock, trying to navigate the human world, unable to fit in, holding on to logic and reason because everything else seems so... illogical.

He saw the world differently than everyone around him, and he was proud of it.

Image source.

Thank you, Leonard Nimoy. For showing the world what Vulcans are like. For bringing to life a character I can relate to. Seriously, Spock is my favorite character in all of fiction. No that's not an exaggeration; that would be most illogical.

They said he had no emotions, but I know it's not true. I know what he made me feel. Maybe it's illogical, proclaiming my love for a fictional character... But Spock touched me on such a deep, emotional level...

I bleed green too, and Spock is my hero.


Spock Discovers Purity Culture 
Asperger's and How to Follow God Without the Rules 

1 comment:

  1. That may be the best remembrance that I have read.