Anyway, I was/am a Star Trek geek and I know everybody loves Spock, but I connected with his character in an extra nerdy way. Vulcans are purely logical people. I first thought, as everyone did, they didn't have any emotions. That sounded really awesome to me.
Later I learned that Vulcan history involves a lot of violence, and they consciously chose to suppress their very intense emotions. After generations of training, they learned to replace their emotions with pure logic. Amazing.
I envied them as Captain Picard later envied Data in a TNG movie, when he told the Captain he was going to deactivate his emotion chip.
"Spock, Vulcan name unpronounceable."
I learned that Mr. Spock has a more emotional struggle than most Vulcans, his mother was human. The show wasn't afraid to tackle difficult cultural issues of the time. Throughout the course of the show he does show emotion, and a lot of humor. Nerd humor, but that was the target market.
Little did I know I already was doing that. Having 2 brothers made me tougher than I may have been. Anyone with siblings quickly learns to hide their fear, and to a large part their happiness. If someone knows what makes you happy and sad, it makes all that much easier to torture you.
That's not as devious as it sounds, Only Children of the world. Sibling torture prepares you for the bullies of the real world, who are often more cruel and usually much more stealthy with their intentions.
Speaking of family drama, even Mr. Spock, the allegedly all-logic Vulcan, had a strained relationship with his father. We're forced to assume this comes from his human half. He also consulted Bones, the ship's doctor, quite often to check if his behavior was appropriate throughout the show. He continues to struggle and grow in terms of emotions throughout the show and the movies.
If you haven't watched the show, you should look into either The Original Series (TOS) if you are a fan of fun, campy SciFi, or The Next Generation (TNG) if you're more a fan of pure Science-based Fantasy/Fiction. TNG is less campy, much better geek writing. Unlike many, I liked them both for their various reasons.
I'll always love both Captain Kirk and Captain Picard, and I still do. I tell my husband I would still hit it, for both captains, yes even now. I have a special place in my shriveled grinch heart for Spock. I think a lot of women, and certainly some men, can really relate to and respect the concept of suppressing emotions, and replacing with logic.
I know I'm pontificating a fictional character, I know that.
To some Fiction is more important than a story being told. For a lot of people Fiction of all kind is an escape. I feel like you either get that or you don't. If you do, I'm sorry you felt you had/have something to escape but in terms of your choice, it could be a lot worse. Take it from me. There is no return from some kinds of escapes.
When I watched TOS, I was young and it was a fun escape. When I watched TNG, I felt I really needed a mental escape from my life. It wasn't as easy for me as a non-Vulcan to suppress my emotions.
Prescription (and some not) drugs helped with that, and created a myriad of other problems, too many to get into during this post.
Thanks to all of those distractions, and the beginning of a very long journey of counseling, I was able to successfully suppress all emotions so well that I stayed in a horribly oppressive marriage for years after I should have. Conservatives and religious zealots would consider this a victory, and as always they can line up to SUCK IT.
Considering the very dark place it brought me to, including violent thoughts, it could have been very disastrous.
It's also taken me decades to start realizing, feeling and and even acknowledging my actual feelings, let along trying to deal with them. This is what the teen years are supposed to be for. I'm beyond emotionally immature. The dick jokes are Just the Tip.
My point is, it was a really bad situation. Humans aren't Vulcans, because we're real. We exist. Beings that exist cannot possibly suppress every human emotion. Not without dangerous results. Eventually your feelings are going to surface, in a variety of ways.
Maybe you'll be lucky and all that will happen is you have a harmless little nervous breakdown. These often come at inconvenient times, and without much warning.
Maybe you'll develop intensely bad habits while using all of your energy to hide your misery. You could become addicted to an unhealthy substance, or even too much of a healthy one. Once you're an addict, to whatever it is, do you think anyone is going to appreciate that this was a result of wanting to "stick it out" through a tough situation? No, they won't.
If you have a breakdown and anyone or anything winds up getting damaged, do you think it will be in your advantage to mention the struggle you were going through at the time? It won't.
Once the situation has finally broken your spirit, and it will, all anyone will remember is the bad thing that was the result. The lives you hurt. The money spent to fix the situation. The damage you've done.
No one will care that you tried so hard for so long to get along. Not one person will appreciate the enormous effort it takes to put on a fake happy face and trudge through misery day after day. Believe me. Not your family, not your children, certainly not your Significant Other.
The longer you pretend to be happy when you're not, the more betrayed everyone will feel in the end. Allow yourself to feel your feelings, you're human. You're supposed to have feelings. Find a safe person, a safe place to explore those feelings.
Figure out what you want, often the most difficult line of thinking a human can do, and then take small steps to get yourself to that point. No matter how long of a process that is, the journey will help you. Each step will be enough to get you through to the next. A community of support will help, but you have to be true to yourself in the end. Nothing good comes of pretending.
I can't offer advice on how to be happy, that's up to every individual. I can tell you how to deal with utter misery.
Don't fight it. Don't suppress it. Don't try to replace it with logic. We're not Vulcans. Being Vulcan is not logical. Not for humans.
Quick mini-tribute to the real person, Leonard Nimoy:
I learned there was so much more to Nimoy than Mr. Spock. (I keep wanting to call him Dr. Spock, totally different guy.)
I heard about him directing, but did you know he wrote poetry and was a pretty amazing photographer? Though my novice eyes are easily impressed, his photographs seemed to have deep meaning.
The poetry? Don't ask me, and I really mean that. Do not ever ask me to read and decipher poetry, it makes me cranky. I never get the same meaning as other people when I read poetry, at times it's downright embarrassing so I've learned to avoid it. I have a fear of poetry, and developed an Intolerance. It's a medical condition okay Karen, so no, I do not want to read your daughter's poem for school, I'm sure it's beautiful.
His photos however, are very artistic. There is nothing to puzzle and decipher, you look, you're touched. Or not. Art is subjective, and usually I hate most of it.
|Self portrail from cbsnews.com|
And, okay if the art is really good, I also feel a dollop of jealousy (I'm only human) that I don't seem to have the same resources, or use of my lame limbs as these other-wordly super humans that are just here to make us feel inferior. These photos don't make me feel that way.
The photos I've seen of Nimoy's are mostly of people.
If you're thinking "Big Whoop" I'm with you and we should totally *fistbump* and go make fun of an art show sometime.
Some of his photos did make me stop and look for a minute.
I am always fascinated with pictures of him smiling.
|Do your eyes go straight to the ears? Just me? from fanpop.com|
One amazing project that moved me is The Full Body Project. This was a book that he did with real-life women. That is to say, real life real sized curvey women.
I'll put a link here, the pictures are totally Not Suitable For Work. They're also extremely artistic, which yes means some are NEKKED. They are also very empowering photographs for women.
According to the author, the aim of the book was to showcase the average American a woman, someone who “weighs 25 percent more than the models selling the clothes,” and to go against Hollywood’s “fantasy” ideal of what females should look like. The collection received rave reviews, with critics applauding Nimoy’s respectful approach to the photographs and his sincere attempt in demanding change within the industry.
Live long and prosper, he certainly did.
I must be the only one that never watched the original series. I'm sad to have learned of his loss, but it doesn't seem this one hit me as hard as it did for others.ReplyDelete
Also, 100% agree with your statement on happiness and emotion. In high school my wife had really bad ADHD, and it was making her depressed. The doctors prescribed her pills that made her feel absolutely nothing, and she hated it. She threw them in the garbage and vowed never to use medicine to fix her mood again, because feeling sadness is still better than feeling nothing at all.
The Original Series was very campy, so "real" Sci-Fi fans are often angered by it's lack of Science. I kept in mind the time it was made, and I also love campy shows and movies.Delete
I'm with her. The most effective anti-depressant I tried did that same thing to me, just made me numb. I didn't even KNOW what I liked and what I didn't. That is better than being suicidal, but not by much. And not for long. After awhile you really want to just cut yourself or something, just to see if you CAN still feel anything. I'm with her. I'd rather have my mood swings than be a robot. Glad she was strong enough to do that! The alternative is creepy. And often doesn't end well.
Well, Joy, of all the thoughts and tributes I've read about Leonard Nimoy/Mr. Spock over the past few days, yours is the most thoughtful and profound one, full of very hard-earned wisdom. And I'm going to check out that link to the Full Body Project when I'm not here at work.ReplyDelete
P.S. "The dick jokes are Just the Tip." I bow to you, o mistress.
Wow thank you for saying that. There certainly have been a lot. I've only been able to see a few and I was blown away. Such a true talent and deep-thinker. Not what I normally expect from a television actor. Goes to show me yet again how little I k ow of the world. I genuinely like his photos. You get a real sense of what moved him with the subjects. Without any words. That is talent.Delete
I typed a really long response in here, Joy, and it was prolific and I got emotional. It was too long, and had too many feels in it, however to leave here.ReplyDelete
If I use it for anything else, I will of course thank you for the inspiration.
This was beautiful. From one TOS nerd to another, this was fantastic and really did justice for the character, and the actor behind Spock.
Live long and prosper.
Sorry I made you have the feelings! But as a wise writer once said, that's the point of writing. A lot of my blog post ideas came from other people's stories, and I do the same thing. We're supposed to support and inspire each other. I hope your feels and the subsequent writing is cathartic and enjoyable. I know some of what you've been through, and though it's hard to write about it, it has helped me in the past. Even the stuff I write and never publish. Though I hope you do and you do share it. *Nerd high-five* whoops, missed. ;)Delete
Joy, have you ever thought of becoming a therapist? You have a great sense of self awareness, self reflection and a way of looking at things on a much deeper level of empathy and understanding than most. Seriously, as a therapist myself, you would be awesome.ReplyDelete
A lot of what you wrote towards the end, pertains to things in my life and so it was kind of a lump in the throat moment for me. And as a self confessed Sci-Fi Geek, I love your tribute to the wonderful Mr Nimoy.
Wow, thank you for saying that. Before, during, and after hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars of therapy? Of course I did. Then I found out how much the training cost versus how much they make. Also quite frankly I'm not sure I can absorb so many things from so many other people, and then be able to turn it off at the end of the day. I'm a sucker for a heart-breaking story, and I have a hard time letting it go. It's also why during my year of not being able to get pregnant, we talked about adopting but agreed that fostering would be a bad idea for me. I can't let things go. I sometimes have an inflamed sense of demanding justice in an unjust world. I don't know how you pros shut it all down and are able to go on. That's the real gift right there maybe.Delete
Thanks for reading and for the feedback, Lily.
Ya know Joy...I don't participate in blog post awards (giving or receiving) but if I did...THIS one would get the Mikey Likey Award! You absolutely rocked this. It was 7 p.m. on the week nights sitting on this black leather couch and my dad turning on Star Trek for the two of us to watch. I've been hooked from the get-go. And I'm loyalist to the original series though SNG (and their movies) and the last couple of new movies rocked! Ironically, I took a lot of the depth from what the original characters said - spiritually, philosophically and crap I just spaced the 3rd "ily" word I wanted to use. There are/were a gazillion Spock moments for me personally but if I could encapsulate the best of them it would Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home. Oh, was, "The dick jokes are Just the Tip..." one of your funny innuendoes? This is one time I wasn't sure. Thank you for the read Joy...LOVED it. Btw...I'm at work ;-)ReplyDelete
Oooh a Mikey Likey Award, that sounds very prestigious. That's a great memory, watching with your dad. They did have great messages on that original show.Delete
Yes, I totally meant that double entendre, I just didn't think it was that great so I didn't call attention to it.
Hope you didn't click on any NUDIES at work, sorry!
Joy-to-my-world, this is a beautiful and very touching tribute to Leonard Nimoy, and also a great discourse on Spock and escapsim and bullying. And Star Trek, which I came to via Voyager (I know, but I love it...), which WAS my escape for several months after our awful Christmas When I Should Have Been Pregnant, and while my marriage was at one of its many low points.ReplyDelete
I'm glad, at that point, that no-one told me to follow what I wanted, because it would have been off a cliff.
But this post I LOVE, and your heart for offering gentle advice, self-deprecation and wisdom, I also love.
Thank you for the real info about LN - I didn't know he was a photographer as well! And a poet, too!
ALTHOUGH, as one who styles herself a poet, I kinda want to take on the challenge and make you like it now ;)
I love Voyager, too! Captain JANEWAY and Tuvac are amazing. I wanted to mention Tuvac, he was actually the FIRST full-time Vulcan on the show since Spock and he was REALLY SO GOOD. His Pon-Far? OMG. Soooo good.Delete
We're stronger for coming through the dark times, and all that other crap people tell you, but we handle some crap and there is confidence in that I suppose.
I did not know all of that about him either, but I love it. And if ANYONE could make me like poetry, it would be you! Just don't quiz me on the real meaning, or get offended if I take it to a dark place. Did you know those inkblot tests are NOT in fact all demons and blood spatters? That's what they tell me. The same liars who try to tell me that hideous dress is not white and gold. Sorry internet, inside this dome? It's white and gold and how can I be "wrong" when that's what I see?
It was blue and gold for me, but it depends on so many variables it makes PERFECT SENSE that it's different for different people, so whatevs.Delete
Well, I shall have a think. I've been missing poetry lately. I wrote a smouldery one the other day over at Bards. Dunno if you're into smouldery. I tend to make my meanings quite clear, on the whole, so there'd be little guesswork for you to do ;)
Inkblot schminkblot. It is what you make it, like chewing-gum on the pavement.
JANEWAY IS MY FAVOURITE. And I did like Tuvac though it took a while. I didn't like Nelix as much as I wanted to though, which was sad. Whatserface was AWESOME though. B... B... Dangit. I'm mid-post and can't get out to look it up. BELLANA. Her. I knew it was SOMEWHERE in my brain.
I waited tables in a neighborhood greasy spoon in NYC in the late 80s and Nimoy sat at one of my tables one day. I was so freaking excited, I ran into the kitchen and all I could manage to eek out to the cooks was "The guy with the ears is here!!!" They were all Japanese and had no idea what the hell I was talking about. Finally I blurted out "SPOCK! SPOCK!" They still didn't know what was wrong with me. He was very nice and soft spoken. Even smiled. ;) RIP The Guy With the Ears.ReplyDelete
WOW, that is so cool! He smiled at you, amazing. For a geek who watched him with no emotions for so long, I would have fan-girled embarrassingly.Delete
I will really miss him...such a great actor. Groundbreaking in many ways. Did you ever see him in Fringe? I loved his role on that show. He was made for sci fi...ReplyDelete
I've never watched that show, is it good? I'm out of it when it comes to TV. We have wee ones and just assume one day we'll catch up on the good stuff via Netflix. He is really good. He just 'has it.'Delete
I never was an avid follower of Star Trek, as I'm not really into Sci Fi - I feel a bit uncomfortable admitting that to someone who was clearly a huge fan! However, probably like most people, my favourite character was Dr Spock. In contrast, I always thought Captain Kirk was a bit of a prick!ReplyDelete
Ha. We like what we like, no harm no foul. Captain Kirk was definitely a pig of a character, but I loved him. The Shat played that character SO WELL.Delete
I just came across your blog.ReplyDelete
Very interesting and well written words. And Inspirational too.
LN was a great actor and his character in the series was always my favorite.
Thank you for saying that, I'm glad you stopped by and even more glad you left a comment.Delete
He was a great actor, and though I do enjoy the SciFi writing of TNG, there will always be a special place for TOS in my nerdy heart. Nice to 'meet' you.
Joy Christi, beautiful post by beautiful girl .ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kind Person.Delete