Spock was raised in the Vulcan way, which is to control your emotions. For telepaths to keep their emotions to themselves, they have to learn to not feel them at all, but it's simple politeness where he comes from. He is also a military man, and traditionally the military asks the same of its people. He has emotions, he's just very well-trained, very self-disciplined, and also (I think) inhibited. Both Pon Farr and the spores removed inhibitions, so what you see there is the pure, uncensored Spockman in all his raw glory.
Spock seems to me to be introverted and shy by nature. His TOS incarnation seemingly takes comfort in the restrictions and protocol of military life. He's also a bit overly concerned with preserving his own dignity, no doubt feeling the pressure to be an exemplary officer AND famous ambassador's son. He tries to loosen up and join the fun now and then, but you can see it's an effort for him. His natural tendency is to seek his own level, which happens to be a lonely place.
Poor Spock. Everywhere he goes he's the odd man out. He must wonder what it would be like to just be one of the guys. I think his love for Kirk arises out of the charming way Kirk insists on including him in and buddying up to him. Kirk is not just Spock's best friend, at times he seems like Spock's only friend. Let's face it, Spock is not exactly a Bon Vivant. Basically, Spock is a drudge. A spectacularly talented one, but still, a drudge.
His behavior when under the influence shows that he is a man with desires and moods, and what's revealed is a guy who basically likes to focus on one person at a time, preferably in a very private place. You don't see him jumping up on a table in the canteen with his harp to entertain the crowd with filthy Vulcan mating songs, do you? The rare times he breaks out the harp his manner is typically restrained, and his influence seems to favor genteel civility, not outright merriment. He might raise the occasional joyful noise, but to rock all night goes against his quiet nature, and would probably give him a headache.
Look at his best friend Captain Kirk. James Kirk is the kind of guy that, when he walks in, the party starts, even if they weren't planning on having one. He's a genuinely fun and naturally likable guy. Men like him, women certainly like him! Women can't seem to come near him without wanting to climb him like he's an E-ticket ride at the fair. Obviously he has charisma. I'm sure animals and kids like him too. His greatest leadership quality is his ability to inspire others. He also obviously knows how to get what he wants in other ways, including coming after it himself, with "hammer and tongs". A never-say-die, "we can do it!" kinda guy. Rock all night? Hell yes we'll rock all night, and past next sundown too, if that's what it takes! OK, he's here: bring him big sandwiches, the big alcoholic beverages (whatever you are having is fine, he's not picky), and the big breasted women, *now*. And by the way, what's for dessert? Brew some strong coffee, you'll need it to keep up. He works hard, he plays hard, he dies hard...and well, you can guess the rest.
Talk about an odd couple: Spock will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid killing, although he certainly will not shirk his duty or disobey an order. Being a lifelong vegetarian, he'd have cultivated no taste for blood. Kirk, being a hearty former bale-buckin' Iowa farm boy probably learned early to be casual about killing. He wouldn't drown unwanted kittens: that would be cowardly. He'd very efficiently swing them by their hind legs and smash their skulls on a fence post. That to him would be most merciful, not only to them but to him, since he'd be home in plenty of time for lunch. Who's on the menu? Buttercup, the calf he was milk-feeding yesterday. Kirk likes his steaks rare, but being a nosy son-of-a-gun with a powerful survival instinct, he'd steal a look at the kitchen first, to be sure it was sanitary. He has his sensitive side: he wears in on the outside, keeps it shiny for company, and never lets it grow too deep.
If Spock were an animal he might be a crab. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside, and always walking sideways while everybody else walks straight. Notice how his favorite act of aggression is a pinch. Kirk is a predator. Not a Tiger, though, something cuter like a Bobcat. In the Pooh-in-space alternate universe, Spock's kind of an Eeyore, and Kirk is a bouncy, irrepressible Tigger. I know people like both these men. Kirk types are outgoing, gregarious, sporty, chatty, and they love all life's pleasures in hearty portions. Spock types are reflective, sophisticated, cultured, considerate, thorough, and usually they are extremely well organized. Spock types tend to be prudish, and if not prudish, their favorite vice is voyeurism. Exhibitionistic Kirks love an appreciative audience, because to them that makes the experience more real. There you see the potential for a bond between these two dissimilar types. In Bambi-Trek, Kirk would be Thumper hollaring "Hey, Bambi lookit I can do!" Coaxing Spock out onto the ice and giving him a shove to see how he reacts. Spock's reaction would be just like Bambi's: he's game, until he realizes the situation is out of control and might even become unpleasant. Like Bambi, he learns to cope, and might even learn enjoy these games, but it's not the kind of situation he'd create on his own. (Fizz-Bin? What new hell is this? When one has memorized the entire Encyclopedia Galactica and one recalls no reference to Fizz-Bin, it can be annoying. Still, fresh challenges are stimulating...)
Spock gets easily bored, and I'll bet he thinks Kirk is a hoot, because he's so inventive and unpredictable. Not to mention ballsy. Spock probably advanced on the strength of his astounding technical skills alone. I'm sure Spock was always scrupulous about toeing the line and doing everything by the book until Kirk corrupted him. Kirk is not only skilled and capable, but also socially very adroit, a real people person. People like him, and let him get away with bending the rules. Heck, he's a manipulator. Not an evil one, just don't get caught on the wrong side of him. He apparently learned at some point in his youth that it was always easier to apologize than to get permission. Rules!? What Rules!? Who thinks of RULES at a time like this!
"Spock rarely gestures with his hands. That adds to the impression that Vulcans are very controlled in their manner."
That's NOT ITALIAN! LOL Theory: He works with computers all day. Maybe he just rests his hands when he can. In the episode "Shore Leave" he expressed puzzlement at the idea of running around on green grass as a form of rest and relaxation. To him, relaxing means to use less energy than usual. Obviously the hyperactive Kirk *has* to run around to relax. Sitting for hours in that Captain's chair is probably a purgatory for him. Spock could occupy that chair and happily entertain himself with his own thoughts for days, but Kirk probably jumps up every few minutes to pace restlessly around and incite debate. Kirk likes to argue for fun. If he can find no one to oppose him he'll play the devil's advocate just to stir up trouble. That's another reason he likes Spock. Spock is so different in general that they can probably always find something to argue about. Spock would win on technical points, but Kirk is always the crowd favorite with his witty ways.
Overheard: Spock in the spacebar:
"You're not from around here, are ya?"
"Correct. I am not a local resident."
"What exactly are you?"
"I am a Starfleet officer."
"We don't see many like you in here."
"Not surprising. At these prices you won't see many more."
Spock actually does have a wry, dry, dark sense of humor, and he occasionally enjoys pranking people, so he's not a total Gloomy Gus. He loves music, and can be convinced to entertain with his harp a little. He likes animals and they like him (Tribbles, Selats, Hortas, etc.).
For contrast, here's a story they might tell about Kirk:
Jim's hanging out with Scotty and Bones tossin' back a couple of quick ones and shooting the breeze, when in walks this extremely well-stacked young lady. When Kirk can't immediately catch her eye (an oddity), he has the bartender send her a drink. The three men watch for her reaction and are shocked when she refuses the drink. Jim, being this eternally questing soul, promptly strides across the room to politely, quietly inquire of her, WHY she rebuffed this friendly gesture. She calmly explains that she makes it a policy to NEVER accept drinks from *strange men*. Now Kirk, who knows he is wearing a Starfleet uniform and not a gunny-sack takes this as an insult to the whole fleet. There is a pause as he straightens, thinking fast. He's a tough guy: he can take being shoved onto the express shuttle to Looks-a-fool in front of his friends who also happen to be Starfleet officers whom he respects and who look to him for leadership...BUT HE'S NOT GOING THERE ALONE. Everybody in the place hears Jim's clear voice firmly declare: FIFTY BUCKS? NO WAY, LADY!" The whole place is looking at her while he strides back to his table.
The rest of the story (which would not get told) is that the woman, blushing to the eyes, collects herself and prepares to leave, but something in Jim's provocative gaze inspires her to stop at his table and demand an explanation. He immediately apologizes in a fairly obvious way, and goes to work on restoring the woman's dignity and saving the situation, because he can't bear to stay the bad guy. He is so lavish and seemingly sincere with his apology that the woman immediately decides to forgive him. He improves upon the situation by introducing himself and his companions, praising each one in his turn, and making everybody smile. The volume and animation in the bar rises as everybody else begins laughing and chattering to each other about the funny thing they've just witnessed. Jim ratchets up the hilarity the moment she agrees to sit for a minute, by asking her to buy *him* a drink. The poor woman doesn't know what to say, so she laughs nervously. OK, Kirk now knows she can be had, so he goes to work on her. A half dozen quips and a couple of funny anecdotes later, he's got her cornered and holds her completely spellbound. He's got one arm resting lightly on the back of her chair, the other on the table before her, and it's all downhill from here. When she excuses herself to visit the ladies room, Kirk lets his pals know that it's a good time for them to ~find something else to do~, and they quickly agree to some plausible way to break ranks. Sure enough, within the hour Jim and his new flame have holed up somewhere cozy to get better acquainted. He's still doing all the talking, when they are not kissing. He's talking her out of her blouse, and at this point she's nearly persuaded. Let us now draw the curtain on this peaceful scene.
It was established fairly early on that Kirk and Spock were more than simple comrades. Their friendship gets pretty cozy after a while. I'm looking at the friendship, and at what the attraction/bond is. They don't really talk about it much, it's one of those "it goes without saying" things. But seriously? What do those two see in each other? They seem a real "odd couple".
Kirk strikes me as the kind who might insist on being friends with Spock because he admires Spock's unusual powers. He would want to be sure of Spock's loyalty and esteem, but what's in it for Spock? Spock frankly prides himself on not being motivated by emotional concerns, but I can't believe he founds his feelings of friendship on a logical basis...*logically* he doesn't have to be friends with his Captain, unless it's some ambition-driven suck-up thing, which I believe is beneath Spock.
Spock and Kirk mind-meld at one point (Specter of the Gun). Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems their friendship was established before this happens. I look at Amok Time, and Kirk and Spock already seem pretty deep with each other by then. Which episode would you say first clearly shows that Kirk and Spock are more than shipmates, but pals? In Galileo 7 for example Kirk shows fierce reluctance to abandon Spock, and Spock's willingness to try something wacky might be seen as his faith in Kirk.
It's pretty plain Spock is not in any way "cuddly"...~prickly~ is the word I'd use, but he is a *sensitive* creature. Spock doesn't like to _seem_ sensitive, though, he likes to be perceived as logical and unemotional. We, the audience, have seen deeper into him and know better.
"I'm not so sure that Kirk is such a party animal. Yeah, he likes to bed women, but is he the life of the party? I need evidence of that."
Sure he likes the occasional romp with a woman like any healthy, heterosexual male. Is he a fun guy? Sure he is! He's bright, warm and witty: a real people person. That's one of the things that make him attractive to women. Kirk is very outgoing, chatty and sociable. He's portrayed as a fellow who is socially confident, who opens his heart with ease, and who likes to share a laugh. He's broad-minded, generous-spirited, big-hearted and sincere. He likes people and they like him right back. Is this not so?
We've seen him hanging out in the rec area playing chess, or horsing around in the gym with the guys, hanging out drinking and shootin' the breeze with Bones, etc. He'll get right in the mix and dance with women, or join in a lively debate...he even thinks fighting is fun. He's shown a knack for finding the fun in even dangerous situations. Fizzbin, anyone? :) Danger is fun for him; he's a thrill-seeker. He's not only ready for anything, he can't wait for something to happen. He is certainly not at all shy. The only discomfort he's shown in any social setting, formal, casual, friendly or hostile, is that he can't sit still! How could he not be the life of every party? That show-off would never settle for being just another face in the crowd...not on his own time, anyway.
I wouldn't characterize him as a "party animal". I say he starts the party off, that's a bit different. Even in his down time he still plays a leadership role. I say he's the kind of guy who knows how to R the hell out of R&R, and he'll show other people how, too. I say he has a hearty appetite to go with his hyper metabolism, but that does not mean his appetites and passions are out of control, ever. He actually has a lot of self control. He's too ambitious to allow himself to get too self-indulgent.
We were repeatedly shown how focused, how fanatical he is about his Captain's responsibilities...sure, that's the main thing. You don't understand Kirk if you don't understand that about him.
"Leadership charisma, sure. Serious, very, in connection with his duty. Duty comes first to Kirk, just as it does for Spock."
Well, yeah, but don't forget we have mostly only seen them at work. ;) Of course they are attentive to their duty when they are *on duty*. :)
Spock was loyal to Kirk for a simple elemental reason. He needed a commander. For all of Spock's powers, he was presented as having poor leadership motivation. He is a leader by default only. He needs someone to serve, because someone must lead, and he doesn't want to."
I'm not satisfied by that. You make it sound like he would serve anyone equally gladly. Spock follows Kirk because Kirk outranks him, it's his duty to do so. Kirk doesn't often pull rank with Spock though. He's comfortable treating Spock as an equal, or actually more. He often defers to Spock's judgment, and always welcomes Spock's advice.
Spock demonstrates that he's fiercely loyal beyond the call of duty with Pike his former captain, even when the guy keeps blinking "NO!" Obviously, Spock is capable of disobeying orders and even the expressed wishes of people he respects. He broke all kinds of regulations and put his own career on the line, then, and argued with and even flat out disobeyed Kirk more than once. It's not like he's incapable of independent action and bold decisiveness.
I think what Kirk and Spock have in common is they are both oddballs of a particular kind: leaders or loners, not followers, not joiners. They have joined forces for the sheer exhilaration of sharing their powers, and I think they really admire and appreciate each other. There is genuine affection between them, but tough guys don't get mushy (especially not when one of them is Vulcan).
Spock has a different leadership style than Kirk. Spock is more independent, IMHO. Kirk's leadership style is very hot-headed (he's always ready, even eager for a fight) and but at times brilliantly creative (Corbomite? Fizzbin?). Neither Spock nor Picard would go off impulsively and passionately like Kirk (not as often anyway). Look at Galileo 7, though, when after exhausting every logical choice he had, Spock tried something apparently illogical (desperate). That was his call alone. Spock didn't brainstorm, or ask for advice, or seek consensus or permission or forgiveness or anything else at that time. He was in command, and he made that decision and took the action *independently*. In his mind that's his job, and he was just doing his job.
Spock is independent, sometimes too independent. Many times has shown he's capable of bold action (even in the face of strong opposition). He is *not* servile by nature. Spock's weakness is he's not a very good team player: he doesn't like to depend on others too much. He'd rather do a thing himself than delegate. That's why he doesn't like leadership: he'd rather be let alone than to try to lead a gaggle of foolish people anywhere.
Kirk OTOH always talks his options out with the people around him. He rarely does other than what he wants to do, though. Maybe he just likes the sound of his own voice. ;) If nobody is there he talks to himself. :)
I've always viewed Kirk and Spock as 'Blood brothers', I can't see them as lovers."
I just watched This Side of Paradise again, and again I marveled at the scene where Kirk verbally abuses Spock to anger him out of his spore-induced silliness. Kirk knows Spock well enough to zero in on the most sensitive issues in Spock's life. He attacks Spock's parents, his loyalty as an officer of the fleet, the Vulcan nation, his mixed racial status, his integrity, his manhood, and his very personhood. Kirk armed himself before the confrontation, showing that he knew ahead of time that if he was successful, Spock would not cry, he'd *get mad*, and then he'd have a real fight on his hands, perhaps a fight for his life.
Captain James T. Kirk thereby demonstrated that he knew Spock this well:
A) Spock has emotions. When his normal inhibitions are gone it's possible to set him off.
B) Spock is sensitive about the central fact of his life, which is that he's a unusual (unique?) creature.
C) If you play too casually with Spock's nerves, you just might get your lungs pulled out through your ass.
"I think if you look at eps like The Menagerie (The Cage) and G7, you'll see that Spock is *experimenting* with how to be. He hasn't come to a complete set of conclusions yet."
It's very possible that Spock simply has no solid sense of self due to no fault of his own. His mixed-species DNA might permit him no consistant feeling of who he is. He might have a wildly fluctuating hormonal cycle, or an endocrine system that sends him conflicting biochemical signals when he is under stress. He is living with a body that looks Vulcan, but doesn't feel or act very Vulcan. Nor is he very humanlike.
Poor Spock. He must be perpetually torn between acting natural which makes him seem as odd as he is, and acting "normal", which for him might feel very unnatural. Combine his superior strength, intelligence, and abilities with a confused inner life, and you have a potentially very dangerous person.
Spock, thankfully, has some pretty firm ideas about right and wrong. He apparently had a sound morality drummed into him in his youth. He's educated, cultured, and fairly open-minded. He's a pretty sophisticated fellow. He tries to always be rational in his decisions and he is capable of being altruistic and sympathetic. He tries to be a good guy.
It's plain he likes Jim Kirk's approval, although he doesn't go to too much effort to please anybody else. Spock just fixed on Kirk as a kind of lighthouse in his fog of confusion. Jim is such a *definite* personality that it seems to reassure Spock to use him as a point of reference.
In TOS, Spock is not too good at making friends, but Jim is. Spock simplifies his social life by being buddies with Kirk. It's a very efficient social shortcut, and Spock is certainly big on being efficient. That way, he can have maximum social contacts with minimum personal effort or involvement, a combination which Spock would find attractive, since people really get on his nerves, although he knows he needs them.
They need him too. He likes that part. Spock makes himself indispensible so he has power in relationships. Not because he's power hungry, but because he hates being in a disadvantaged position. He's protecting himself from being vunerable to abuse, I'm guessing. The feeling I get from Spock is that he's emotionally rather frail, and he has layers of protections built up around himself.
Spock seems like people that I've seen in real life, who are overly perfect to compensate for low self esteem. Like he feels he has to constantly prove he's worthwhile. Kirk would ordinarily not exploit this weakness in Spock. You notice most of the time he goes out of his way to praise Spock, and the only time he teases him normally is for those things Spock insists on doing that emphasize his difference from other people. It's like Kirk is trying to socialize Spock to be more human and fit in better. Kirk also tries to be an example to the crew by being openly curious and accepting of Spock's Vulcan heritage and habits, but you see from the above that if he criticizes Spock, it's for being too different, something that Spock is outwardly arrogant about.
What's ironic about this is Jim Kirk himself doesn't exactly fit in too well. He's a leader or a loner, not a joiner. Never really just "one of the guys". I wonder, could this really be what they have in common, that neither one of them could ever just be a face in the crowd, and blend in? They are both just too outstanding, each in his own way.
In his academy days Kirk of all people was teased and harassed for being too much of a grind. Kirk's always apparently been fiercely dedicated and ambitious. He's fanatical, really. Kirk and Spock both share a passion for excellence, a love of adventure and problem solving, and got savior and martyr complexes up the yin-yang. Is this not so?
Maybe they are friends because it's so fun to finally have somebody equally crazy to hang with!
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