Everything I needed to learn about life, I learned from watching Star Trek
My Personal Top Ten Reasons Why Spock Is The Most Fascinating Vulcan
by Laura Goodwin
It's been decades since the first episode of Star Trek aired, and as time and Trek have rolled on, the overwhelming impact that Spock had on popular culture hasn't lessened, it's only been diffused somewhat as time rolls on, and as more Vulcan characters have been introduced. We have met many Vulcans since Spock, and they each have their charms and their fans, but Spock to me is still the Bull Moose King of them all for many reasons.
We knew nothing about Vulcans until we met Spock. We learned about Vulcans from Spock. Spock revealed facts about himself and his people by slow degrees, and - at the time that this process was first happening - the process of learning about Spock, and Vulcans, was as perfectly thrilling as a perfect strip-tease.
[Historical NOTE: Modern audiences are completely inured to the sight of women "dancers" casually showing their genitalia immediately and could *not* possibly understand, so I'll explain - A strip-tease is an ancient form of erotic entertainment, once enjoyed by Jurassic audiences, in which the "artist" would playfully and slowly undress, usually to musical accompaniment. The object was to "tease" the audience with the implied promise of impending nudity, but to delay that fulfillment until the last possible second, when at the climax, the audience would be rewarded with a momentary glimpse of nakedness. This was once considered an extremely sexy and naughty thing to do and enjoy, just like piercing your face used to be considered an extremely weird thing to do and enjoy.]
Everything we learned about Vulcans, we learned from Spock, and that is the pure and simple truth. The recent introduction of a TOS prequel and a supposedly pre-Spock Vulcan doesn't change OUR history as an audience.
Spock was revealed to be not only Vulcan, but an unusual Vulcan. It was revealed that he had a human mother, specifically an Earth woman named Amanda, whom we met in Journey to Babel. We saw that his mixed ancestry caused him problems, especially in Amok Time, where at one point a frustrated clan Matriarch named T'Pau asked Spock to make up his mind and decide once and for all if he was human, or Vulcan.
Spock was revealed in both Journey to Babel and in Amok time to have a distinguished lineage. He was related to T'Pau, the most famous living Vulcan of his age. His father, Sarek, was the highly influential Vulcan ambassador to the United Federation Of Planets. Spock was in effect, practically royalty.
Spock ultimately became an ambassador himself, but in his youth he was in fact an unofficial Vulcan ambassador everywhere he went, and he seemed to realize that, and to take his responsibility to the Vulcan people seriously. He always strove to conduct himself like a gentlemen and to represent the Vulcans, and Starfleet, with dignity.
That was not an easy thing for him to do. He was surrounded by people who didn't understand and appreciate him very well. On a couple of occasions he was the target of outright racial hostility. On rare occasions he allowed himself the luxury of verbally deploring the bad behavior of the humans around him.
Still, it is obvious that Spock loves humans, and he was loved right back by them - and for good reason. Spock was not only Captain Kirk's most adored companion, but several of his shipmates learned to love him. Anyone who came to know Spock well eventually learned to love him.
We the audience did and do love him. At the time Star Trek was new, the Spock-love mania was a fan phenomenon of great significance. The fact that Spock is still many people's favorite Vulcan after all these decades demands acknowledgment. Even though we have many other Vulcan characters to choose from now, Spock still is at the top of almost every Trekkie's favorite Vulcan list. He tops many favorite Trek character lists. He also is at the top of the the list of most significant pop culture phenomena, especially when you consider that it is virtually impossible to avoid the mention of his name, even today. Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock get mentioned in movies, songs, articles and conversations all over the world more than any other Trek characters by far.
There are good reasons for this. Spock is a fascinating character of rich depths.
Here are my personal top ten reasons why, to me, Spock is and always will be not only the most fascinating Vulcan, but also one of the most interesting fictional heroes of any category, ever:
- 10) Spock kicks ass: Spock is a powerfully effective person. For good or ill, if Spock sets out to accomplish a thing, he becomes a juggernaut of unstoppable will. He gets the job done, by gum, and in ways that sometimes seem magical. He may be half-Vulcan, but there is nothing else half-way about him.
- 9) Spock is a rock: Spock has a solid moral core. True, he has some extremely, um, *innovative* ideas about right and wrong, but he is definitely a good guy, not a bad guy. He may not agree with the people around him, but he certainly does have the courage of his convictions. If he thinks he's doing the right thing, he doesn't care what anybody else thinks about it. He trusts in himself more than in anybody else, often for good reason.
- 8) Spock is a rare and precious genius-hero: He (unlike many other fictional heroes) is incredibly smart. He is a fiendishly clever S.O.B. He can instantly calculate complex equations and huge sums in his head. That's just plain impressive, not to mention extremely handy at times. His mind is well-educated, and well-informed, to such an extent that he's virtually a walking encyclopedia of useful knowledge. He's intellectually independent: sees things other people don't see, and he doesn't need other people to tell him what to think about it, either. Intellectually powerful, nimble, and able - Spock naturally is very broadminded and liberal in his views. Like Captain Kirk, Spock is generously accepting of a wide variety of alien lifestyles.
- 7) Spock, although a geek, is not a wimp! Spock is incredibly brave. In Devil in the Dark, for example, Kirk (who is not a timid guy) cowered in the background, back against the wall, phaser clenched tightly in his trembling hand, while Spock calmly approached the Horta (a creature that secretes an acid corrosive enough to melt rock instantly, and BTW, which was a proven killer). Spock touched the Horta, and sat right down next to it, and leaned into the mothereffer as if he was preparing to milk it! THAT TOOK BIG HUGE TITANIUM BALLS. Spock is adventurous and daring, and not timid or squeamish at all. He dislikes killing on moral grounds, not because he's afraid of bloodshed. He's fearless about shedding his own blood for a worthy cause.
- 6) Spock is tougher than tough: Spock is much stronger than a human being. He has incredible stamina, too. For example, he can manage with out food and sleep for much longer periods than the average human could. He can withstand stresses that might kill a human being, which in dangerous situations makes it possible for him to accomplish otherwise impossible things. He nevertheless is very gentle, except in battle, or when engaged in self-defense. He doesn't use his strength abusively.
- 5) Spock is not a work-work-work wonk: Spock is well-rounded, and fabulously talented. We know that he can play his lyre, and a piano, but for all we know he could play any musical instrument he likes. He doesn't just play music, he can instantly learn a new piece of music just by reading it, and play it perfectly the first time he tries (Refer: Requiem For Methuselah). Spock's phenomenal musical understanding helped to save the day in Paradise Syndrome. He can dance! He sings like an angel! He sang beautifully in Plato's Stepchildren. He also has a tender side: humans and animals like him, for example.
- 4) Unlike most other Vulcans we have met, Spock is sexy: Yes, he is! He's got a very distinctive, *sexy* voice. Doesn't he!? Doesn't he!? You know what I say is true. Nobody else sounds like Spock. You could pick him out even in pitch black darkness, Right? And some of you would like to try, right? He ain't bad lookin'! Some people really go for that exotic (and somewhat demonic) kind of a thing that he has going on. His strength and gentle grace are sexy. He's tall and fashionably slim, with devilish eyes and kissable lips. His hands are beautiful. And his hair is so soft and shiny that your palms just itch to pet him, don't they? Don't they? Well, anyway, mine do. You wanna pet his yummy dark, silky chest hair too... doncha? ohhhh YEAH! Admit it.
- 3) Spock is fiercely, passionately devoted: There is nothing tentative about his love. Spock is a powerful ally, and as a companion, his love knows no bounds. Spock's awesome support is one big reason why Captain Kirk can be so confident. Kirk knows that with such an uncommonly talented and powerful friend/companion solidly on his side, he is in great shape.
- 2) Spock can mind-meld, and more: We recently learned that most Vulcans can't/don't do this, but Spock certainly can, and he's a grandmaster of the art. He also has other extremely cool telepathic abilities that are useful in many situations. For example, he can sense and manipulate other minds at a distance, even without touching, This certainly could have some interesting erotic uses. He'd know what you were feeling without you having to even say anything, even from across the room, so without question he should be able to be a dynamite lover, too, and he probably is one.
- 1) Spock is not boring: Spock's story is a highly dramatic, symbolically complex, and adventure-packed story that is full of surprises and weird twists of fate! Just when you think you have a handle on who he is and what he's about, he throws out another curveball. Despite this, he's modest and very private, absolutely secretive: which is kind of refreshing when compared to all the "It's all about me because I'm so fabulous" people. He likes to keep people guessing, which makes it hard to take him for granted. He also likes to make himself utterly indispensable, which of course makes it impossible to live without him. Ask Kirk!
Never Underestimate Him...
All site contents Copyright L. Goodwin 1990 - 2006
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