February 28, 2015

Leonard Nimoy dies

For a longtime Star Trek fan like me, this was an unfortunate day.

It would be illogical to mourn Leonard Nimoy's death, so we shall celebrate his life instead.

For Leonard Nimoy, Spock’s Hold Made Reaching Escape Velocity Futile

By Alessandra StanleyIt’s hard to think of another star who was so closely and affectionately identified with a single role. Even George Reeves, the first television Superman, was also one of the Tarleton twins in “Gone With the Wind.”

It’s even harder to think of a television character that so fully embodied and defined a personality type. Just as Scrooge became synonymous with miser, and Peter Pan became a syndrome, Spock was dispassion personified.
He lived long and prospered. And taught us that being cool and logical could be a way of life. Or as I tweeted:

Everybody who learned to be more calm, rational, and logical from Leonard Nimoy's portrayal of Spock, raise your hand. ‪#‎LiveLongandProsper‬

Leonard Nimoy Showed Us What It Truly Means To Be Human

By Charlie Jane AndersBefore Spock came along, alien beings in mass media (and most written SF as well) were one-dimensional. They represented the "other," the strange and unknowable beings who could only throw our human characters in relief. In the hands of most actors, Spock would have been a one-note joke character: the guy who spouts off formulas and equations in a monotone. Spock could easily have become the butt of Star Trek's jokes, or just a weird side character.

But Nimoy imbued Spock with a life and complexity that were impossible to deny. Far from being a one-note character, Spock became one of the most complex and nuanced people on television. From his inner torment to his quiet amusement at the humans around him to his occasional flashes of anger, Spock was a constantly surprising mystery, with a lot of layers.

A 1999 column about Trek notes how the original series worked because of Shatner and Nimoy.

The trouble with “Trek”

Plagued by falling ratings, rampant merchandising and a boss who hates the franchise legacy, the noble "Star Trek" faces the indignities of age.

By Robert Wilonsky
It’s likely those of us weaned on Roddenberry’s first series view its successors through the blinding haze of a nostalgia that grows brighter the longer the original characters remain off the screen. It’s damned difficult to watch Captain Janeway try to get her “Voyager” crew home week after inexorable week when all we want to see is Shatner dust off his toupee for one last hurrah as Captain James Tiberius Kirk. Nostalgia has a way of skewing perceptions, of making us all a little giddy and unreasonable.

“But this isn’t nostalgia,” says Mark Altman, who penned the indie comedy “Free Enterprise,” which stars Shatner and comes out on DVD Tuesday, after writing nearly a dozen “Trek”-related books. “They got all the ingredients right with the original. It was impeccably cast. Look at how brilliant Shatner and Nimoy were; look at the caliber of the scripts. This was a show written by people who fought in World War II, who had been cops, who were among the top science-fiction writers—these were people who lived life. The new shows are written by people whose only experience is writing television.”

President Obama Releases Statement On Leonard Nimoy's PassingLong before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.

I loved Spock.

In 2007, I had the chance to meet Leonard in person. It was only logical to greet him with the Vulcan salute, the universal sign for “Live long and prosper.” And after 83 years on this planet–and on his visits to many others–it’s clear Leonard Nimoy did just that. Michelle and I join his family, friends, and countless fans who miss him so dearly today.
Side note: Obama exemplifies why Spock would make a good ambassador but a bad politician. You want Kirk making the decisions with advice from Spock, not the other way around. When Spock makes the decisions, they often fail because they're too "logical."

“Spock made being different cool”: Hollywood remembers Leonard Nimoy

These Leonard Nimoy farewells from friends and fellow travelers will hit your heart-spot

Rest in Peace Leonard Nimoy, My Honorary Space Grandpa

Leonard Nimoy's Final Tweet Reminds Us How Much He Will Be Missed

As Mr. Spock said to Dr. McCoy, "Remember."

Good-bye, Leonard Nimoy and Mr. Spock. We'll always remember you.

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