Michael Maiello's picture

    Leonard Nimoy Open Thread

    I admit, it hits me whenever somebody from the original cast dies and I'll probably feel the same way about Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager.

    The whole Star Trek vision and, believe me, some of it has its problems, has always struck me as a bit of necessary hope in a society that can very easily turn cranky.  The whole show, and Nimoy embodied this, has always been about humanity overcoming its want for resources and its inane and unproductive tribalisms.

    Well, that and how military hegemony under the guise of exploration might be a viable form of intergalactic government.



    This 2005 interview he granted The Tablet Magazine is superb. A truly impressive man.

    Correction: This is an excerpt from Stars Of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish, by Abigail Pogrebin.

     It is sad we have lost one our generations greater role models. 

    Prime directive, Live long and prosper, will always be words planted on my mind.  

    Prime Directive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Childhood's End by Arthur C Clark had a totally different view on this issue. Too often the prime directive seems like nonsense to me.


    If only neocons had a Prime Directive...

    If I remember Childhood's End correctly, it has been a couple of decades since I read it, the aliens that took control of Earth didn't really rule it. They made a few rules, rigorously enforced them, and left us mostly to ourselves. The main rule being no more wars.

    The prime directive always seemed to me to be a cop out. The defense on the show was, look at how complex the ethical questions are sometimes. Therefore we will do nothing at all ever no matter how clear the ethics are or how easy it might be. I think it was mostly plot driven. Without the prime directive the show would have to actually deal with the issues it conveniently pushed aside. The second reason was liberal political propaganda, to push back against colonialism in our culture.

    Of course the neo cons are like the Klingons in the original Star Trek. For them it's all about acquiring power.

    The crew of the Enterprise did get directly involved in planetary affairs. Take "The Cloud Minders" for example. Kirk beams down to the miners rather than the cloud city as directed by the leader of the elites. Spock openly notes his diste for the treatment of the miners. Masks are developed for the miners to prevent inhalation of mind-numbing fumes from the zenite


    Yes, that's another reason I'm not fond of the prime directive. In the original Star Trek it was bullshit. Kirk just ignored it anytime he felt like it. I loved the original Star Trek but it lacked the nuance and sophistication that later versions had.

    Yeah, Kirk tended to frequently ignore it.  But I think its function in the Star Trek universe was that it kept every story about less developed planets from turning into a gunboat story.  The Enterprise was just too powerful a weapon.  

    I agree, We might have stayed out of Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

    I've always been a big fan. but seeing the public response reminds me just how important having a character like Spock (a character who, by the usual rules, should never be one of your protagonists, because you want your leads to be emotional) was. 

    Nimoy was so warm and positive with his celebrity. Both the character and the actor were public treasures.


    A compassionately logical authority figure must have seemed like a great idea during the Viet Nam era.


    It was, 

    Many of us citizens were placed under threat as our nation was being forced to kill the Vietnamese; who only wanted freedom from French Colonialism.

    The story of the bigotry that Leonard Nimoy faced in Boston as a Jew is heartbreaking.

    I was fascinated by Nimoy and John de Lancie discussing how they as actors read a script, envisioned a character, and then presented the character on stage. It was impressive. The pair developed a project performing science fiction stories as radio style plays.


    The plays are available for download at $10 per play.

    RIP Leonard Nimoy

    Star Trek's pilot show was aired the summer I graduated from high school in 1966.  We thought the hour long show was really good.  I was of the generation that had watch sci-fi shows on Saturday morning and movies on Friday night. I would go to slumber parties on Friday and we would stay up and watch monster and sci-fi thrillers that had been made for matinee theaters in the 1940's and 50's. 

    Network CEO's had no idea the impact that show had on the baby boomers. We were just a bunch of hippies that didn't want to fight a war.  Their advertisers wanted a certain demographics market and young trekkies just wasn't old enough to foot the bill. So eventually after a few seasons the show was canceled. This was the era of hour long Cowboy shows and variety shows my parents loved and that is who the advertisers knew would buy their products. NBC later admitted they regretted cancelling it. It was one of the biggest mistakes any network made because it became a huge money gravy train. 

    I do remember it being on Friday night.  This large group of nerds fought hard to keep the show on the air with a letter writing campaign and saved it from cancelation after the first season. They followed it into syndication and turned it into a cult. They collected toys and tee shirts and spent money on anything trekkie.  They held Star Trek conventions and dressed up into characters to attend in the early 70's. I took my very young kids to one.  Now you see our grand children dressed as Klingons and Volcans at Comicon conventions. They continued to support every sequel and lined up for hours in costume on first showings of Star Trek movies.  

    Through all of this Mr. Spock was most celebrated character.  He will be missed.   

    This was the era of hour long Cowboy shows and variety shows my parents loved and that is who the advertisers knew would buy their products.

    And Gene Roddenberry smartly sold his show as Wagon Train to the Stars...

    Most of us that became of age in the mid 60's ended up being very liberal.  Our older siblings didn't have the same experiences so most of them became the angry conservatives. It was a period of upheaval and protests.  We had shocking assignations, Cuban missile crises, civil rights demonstrations, with in weeks of graduation drafted to fight a war and war protests.  1968 was the summer of love with hippy flower children hitchhiking to California. We were a real thorn in the side of older people and dismissed as lazy and spoiled. We were less religious and that upset our families who went to church regularly. We grew our hair long and some did drugs.  My mother until the day she died picked on me about me wearing my hair long.  

    Star Trek connected with our world view that did not connect with older generations.  

    Here is a bit of Star Trek trivia some people may not be aware of. In the first pilot of Star Trek, The Cage, the First Officer was a woman, Majel Barrett with Spock's later personality. Nimoy's character Spock was a dippy excitable Science Officer. The bigwigs couldn't accept a woman in such a high position of authority so the two positions were combined and Barrett was relegated to supporting roles.in the series.  Barrett also played the unforgettable Lwaxana Troi in the later series.

    Majel Barrett was also Gene Roddenberry's wife, IRL.

    Barrett played McCoy's nurse, Christine Chapel in TOS

    I did not know that. 

    And she's also the voice of the Enterprise computer.

    I hope no one has posted this yet. LLAP.  

    Those are such fine words Very thoughtful

    Better to give, than receive.

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