Why quibble about that nonsense, when so much else about all-things-Trek is wildly improbable? I say some kinds of improbable in Sci-Fi are necessary, but some kinds are unacceptable. Not enough attention has been paid to the realities of such people's lives, and I think that is careless in a way which cancels the right to keep creating them and foisting them on Sci-Fi fandom.
The likelihood of humans marrying outside their species is virtually nil, but that humans sometimes will have sex with non-humans (with or without the creature's consent and apparent enjoyment) is well-established fact. It's not the sex part I find too fantastic, because obviously that happens. What I find impossible is the casual way the fictional people of the future keep marrying outside their own species, especially when people of the same species but slightly different race or creed still can't seem to get along! Disturbing questions about human exploitation of non-humans are hardly ever raised, but they certainly should be. It's a large quality-of-life issue, not just a right-to-exist issue.
*If* humans encountered attractive non-humans that couldn't resist their erotic blandishments, whether because they found us irresistibly sexy, or because they didn't have the strength or wits to fight us off effectively, and *if* sexual congress occurred, and *if* this resulted in a pregnancy, I believe the resulting creature would be the product of some unique and heretofore-undreamt-of genetic amalgamation that would result in NOT a "hybrid", but what might be called a CHIMERA, an ~impossible creature~, and a unique species all its own. Such a creature would be very unlikely to be viable, much less fertile. If it could reproduce, it probably would produce monstrous mixed DNA messes which would NOT be at all likely to be viable!
Mr. Spock is NOT a hybrid. Vulcans are humanoid in appearance only. They are in no way human. He is not half this and half that, either, but a whole, unique creature, with a unique set of instincts, unique needs, and a unique psychology. No matter how much his family and friends care for him he must, in a very personal way, feel utterly alone.
That his creators in fact see him this way is indicated very strongly in the "Is There In Truth No Beauty" (TOS) episode. The Medusan ambassador, temporarily housed in Spock's body, stops (once the crisis is averted) to marvel aloud, first, that Spock's body and its senses are so wonderful, and next, to realize what a lonely existence it is for him. The horror and pity he feels as he realizes the depth of Spock's personal loneliness shows in Spock's eyes (nice bit of work on Nimoy's part). Spock's deep sympathy for the plight of the Horta, the "salt vampire" and others might be rooted in his understanding of how it feels to be the only one of a kind.
The scene in "Naked Time" (TOS) where Spock finally succumbs and hides himself for a good cry clearly shows that his life is not a happy one. Spock's mother Amanda (in "Journey to Babel", TOS) tells Captain Kirk as much, when she says Spock's only home is Star Fleet. She meant that Spock did not feel at home anywhere else: that he personally felt himself to have no homeland, no nation or people he could call his own. This is a very sad problem!
Spock is not likely to meet a female of his own kind. He has no choice: if he's going to couple at all, it must be with someone of a different species. Procreation is out of the question, so logically, why even try? I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he prefers his own company, to always feeling hopelessly "other" no matter whom he's with. It's not hard for me to imagine Spock might prefer a homosexual relationship, since in that way at least he could be with someone somewhat like himself.
Spock showed little sadness when his Vulcan fiancée rejected him. He does like *human* women, that's plain enough, but his heterosexual relationships have lead nowhere. He apparently had an affectionate (by Vulcan standards too affectionate) relationship with his classy human mother, which may be why he has chosen to live among humans, uneasy as it is. At least humans don't question his right to think and behave as an individual. The touch-telepathic Vulcans insist on a mind-numbing degree of conformity.
Spock has always had identity and relationship issues galore. He probably has unique physical problems too, especially in the sexual arena. How can he enjoy something like a normal relationship, when he himself is so vastly abnormal? Perhaps he needs extraordinary help. Perhaps only an extraordinarily courageous and forgiving lover would even try.
T'Pring could never be that lover. She had zero love or respect for Spock, but really, who can blame her? She was betrothed to him while a mere child, then he takes off for a career far from home. T'Pring probably hardly knew him, she only knew of him, the famous Mr. Spock. As admired as he was by his Vulcan relatives, Spock nevertheless confounded them with his inexplicable behavior. Finally, when Spock shows up to claim his bride, not like a man in full-blown Pon Farr, but like a sailor on leave with a couple of his rowdy human comrades in tow, an exasperated and clueless T'Pau asked Spock to tell her once and for all if he considered himself Vulcan, or Human. Spock didn't accept either of these "choices", but instead answered (rather poetically) that his blood was on fire. That he could converse at all was seen by the Vulcans as highly suspect! Normal Vulcan men aren't that chatty when they're in heat.
What was T'Pring thinking as she chose Kirk to challenge him? She may have sensed something funny going on between those two, and thought it might be a good time to force a confrontation: to see if Spock could finally get on one side or the other. Vulcans are funny that way, they don't like ambiguity. Maybe she sensed Kirk 's reluctance to surrender his friend to marriage. After the battle, she coolly explained (to a suddenly coldly rational Spock), that she thought it would be wise to get them both out of the picture _so a guy who really wanted her_, ~whom she actually liked~ could step in, which Spock admitted was very smart of her.
Forget about what Kirk said to McCoy or anyone at Kun-ut-kalee-fee...what was *he* really thinking? Could it be that Kirk was betting all along that Spock would never really hurt him? Of course, the rough-and-ready Kirk doesn't mind getting hurt a little bit now and then, as we have seen. Hell no! In fact, he often seems to be asking for it! But I digress...
After Spock's disastrous and humiliating wedding ceremony, and seemingly without stopping to assuage his sex drive (which would have been fatal to a full-blood Vulcan man) he oddly was suddenly utterly rational. He returned to the Enterprise, apparently in full command of his faculties, ice-cold and stone-hearted... to find Jim alive and well! He was beyond relieved - he was thrilled, ecstatic, and embraced Jim joyfully, which Jim didn't mind one bit. You can't deny that this painted quite a picture.
Who besides Kirk ever offered Spock such a whole-souled, unequivocal, unconditional love? After Spock misbehaved dozens of ways, including strangling his Captain into unconsciousness, Jim merrily shrugged it off as a learning experience. All was forgiven, just like that! But that's how Jim is. If he forgives at all, he does it quickly, generously, thoroughly, and then gets on with the rest of his life. Watch out: He also demands as much from others!
Back to Spock, who obviously does experience desire. He is capable of erotic and sentimental feelings, and can be tender, as well as fiercely determined when aroused, but then he agonizes over it. He hesitates, is diffident, second-guesses himself, and in short (in matters of the heart) is of a divided mind. Most people seem to feel that Spock's logical Vulcan upbringing and his famous father's domination are the reasons for this, but I think the real answer is rooted in Spock's unique instincts, which might always be confused or conflicted, not because he's neurotic, but because he *physically feels mixed up*: is moved by contradictory impulses. Spock's very personal reason for relying heavily on reason and logic may be that he thinks he can't trust his own instincts, and he might confide as much to his best friend.
Kirk would have his own way of seeing it. It takes guts to fly an untried craft, and Kirk might think of Spock as a kind of test pilot, forced by weird fate to fly through life in an experimental vessel. For Spock just getting up every day is act of courage. It's amazing the crazy thing flies at all: it brakes without warning not only when you want it to; it's nimble, powerful and quick except when it's not, and whenever you flush the toilet the lights flicker. Do you dare try to land it? You can't abandon ship because the doors won't open unless it's at full stop. Unfortunately you can't just beam a guy out of his jerry-rigged body and into a more agreeable one. So you cope...and Kirk won't abandon a buddy in trouble, leaving him to cope alone!
Jim's military training and sense of loyalty alone might move him to play a supportive role for Spock, at least in private, granting him a freedom he'd cherish for himself: the right to let the metaphorical hair down and be imperfect, to experiment, to make mistakes - in an encouraging environment.
Each of these men knows how to boldly act, even when they don't know what the heck they are doing or how it all might turn out. In this, they really have a lot in common.
Kirk and Spock go to extraordinary lengths for one another's sakes, far beyond what duty demands, and they thereby empower each other to an extraordinary degree. Their friendship is an incredibly effective partnership born of a very deep bond. I'm sure there are noble impulses at work, but mightn't there also be some purely selfish ones? We are not just motivated by ideals, we are also creatures of flesh, driven by wants and needs.
James Kirk, an intelligent, idealistic, passionate character, acts on his beliefs, and he doesn't waste time getting around to it, either. When he commits to a course of action, he does it in a brisk and businesslike manner: bravely, confidently, with his whole heart leading the way. If he can find a way to get some personal benefit out of doing good for others, he takes it. Hey! He's not going to play the hero without defending his own rights and needs too! Kirk is a good fellow, but he never leaves his own interests out of the equation. One big reason he's willing to risk his own life for people is because he wants, among other things, a hero's glorious death. Not that he has a death wish: Kirk wants to live forever, dead or alive, and he wants to feel really alive while he is alive too! To Kirk, life is a big, romantic adventure: it's all about the large questions, like Love; Good vs. Evil; Progress; Truth; Fun; Peace; Beauty; Nature; Freedom, including kids having the freedom to *be* kids while they *are* kids, unless they're whiners, brats, or bullies! Yeah! He'll drink to that! Civilization's advance: confronting and illuminating the mysteries of the unknown! Oh yes, he'll eloquently and wittily wax philosophical for hours, unless someone gags him. Heck, even that wouldn't stop him: he's also fluent in body language.
Kirk naturally wants to cultivate a special relationship with the spectacularly talented Mr. Spock, and Spock could be persuaded by him to appreciate the benefits of such an alliance.
Oh, still don't think it might become sexual? Kirk *is* a bit *weird*, really, isn't he? Some of his actions and choices have been...colorful. He's mentally as fearless as he is physically. He allows himself to dream anything, think anything, consider anything, and (if circumstances seem to warrant) ~do anything~. Kirk certainly would use seduction as a method of getting what he wants: He's done it many times! Sex is one of the many weapons he uses without compunction if it seems appropriate. It's not only a terrific way to manipulate people, but it's also tons of fun!
In my imagination Kirk quips:
"Terrans say, 'All's fair in love and war'. Why not just say All's Fair, period? What else is there? Ultimately, what's the difference!? I mean, isn't that redundant? Like when Henry David Thoreau said, "Simplify, simplify!" Why didn't he just say 'SIMPLIFY', and leave it at that!?"
An unusually long pause, so Spock asks:
"Shall I attempt to answer you?"
"Oh, I'm just yakkin'" Jim smiles, waving his hand dismissively. "Feel free to ignore me completely!"
As if that were possible, Spock thinks, but says nothing.
"All right Spock, what's your answer? Love and war are not the same and here are the 19 thousand, two hundred and seventy-six reasons why?"
Spock waits to see if Jim really is expecting an answer, then he solemnly replies:
"I happen to agree. Passion and aggression seem inseparable. Only aggressive organisms display bonding behavior. Clearly the capacity for love is bound to the urge to fight. Vulcan, and human males, like those of other, ~especially mammalian~ species, will fight one another for the right to mate. Also, an otherwise gentle mother's fierce protectiveness of her offspring is legendary. One emotion naturally gives rise to all the others, which is why the Vulcan practice non-emotion. It's the only civilized way to ensure enduring peace."
Kirk leans forward and declares, "That's not really living. I'd rather tolerate a few little wars to be able to also love. Love is the most wonderful thing about being alive. It makes all of life's pain seem insignificant."
I'd like to be convinced of that, Spock thinks, but says nothing.
"No comment, Spock?"
"I have no desire to argue with you."
Jim's eyes twinkle with mischief.
"So, OK, does that mean you don't like me? That's a logical conclusion, judging by what you've just said."
Spock rises to the challenge.
"I'll answer that question by posing another: If I were to attack you, would you then be convinced that I like you?"
"Gee, I don't know. Try it and see!" Jim grins.
"Do it! Do it for science, Spock!"
"This conversation has certainly taken an odd turn!"
"No wonder! Jim chortles, winking. "Look who's talking!"
Captain Kirk's questing spirit obviously *does* want to be intimate with the exotic Mr. Spock. Not necessarily sexually, but really, why not? That such intimacy is fraught with peril might scare off the women, but such things don't faze the dauntless and irrepressible Jim Kirk. He loves stimulating problems, he's fascinated by alien things, and would happily grapple with Spock's oddities as if it were merely another opportunity to exercise his ingenuity. The gutsy, broad-minded, and, well, ~peculiar~ Kirk, who genuinely admires Spock, would never allow Spock to be emotionally marooned: not on *his* watch! For Spock the man, his friend, he might feel moved (and not only for Spock's sake) to capture, discover, or build a realm where Spock could feel at home.
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2002
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