Friday, February 27, 2015

Why am I so sad Leonard Nimoy has died?

Why am I so sad Leonard Nimoy has died?  Forget about the extended lifespan of Vulcans, or anything to do with his character Spock.  Um, that's hard to do.  I've read one of his books and know he's worked in theater and directing and done a lot of behind-the-scenes kinds of things, but I think I somehow transferred all of the good things that Star Trek envisioned about the future onto Nimoy.  Shatner was a philanderer, as evidenced by some of the "blooper reels" from the original Trek.  They fall into two categories: 1. people running into doors because they didn't open properly and 2. Shatner  or Kelley ruins the shot by blatantly groping one of the female guest stars.  Maybe Nimoy did it too, but if I've seen it on video I've blocked that out.

Here's a youtube playlist with Trek bloopers. The quality isn't great on most of them and to be honest I lost patience trying to find clips that show women getting molested behind the scenes at Trek. There's one of De and Majel Barrett in this first clip, but there are plenty more out there.

Maybe it was because Nimoy always seemed to appreciate his fans.  I know he tried to distance himself from Spock for a while, but he wanted to explore other dramatic possibilities.  He did not want to be typecast as an unfeeling, emotionless alien in all his roles, after all.  I recently saw an episode of Columbo where he played a surgeon who never lost his cool - except for once when he tried to destroy a key piece of evidence while having an emotional outburst.  Columbo busted him because his behavior was so out of character.

I knew that he was struggling with COPD, but he's a celebrity.  I saw on twitter or facebook that he had gone into the hospital a few days ago.  I thought they had special machines that could cure anything, but only celebrities could afford them.  And he doesn't look as old as they made Spock in the new movie, so naturally he can't die until he looks older than in a movie.

One of my favorite things he did was the introduction and sound test at the Mugar Omni Theater at the Museum of Science in Boston.  In this video you can see it a little bit, but it's this new version where a recording of an over-excited museum employee supposedly interacts with Nimoy.  Those of us who remember the original know they just took his version and chopped it up because kids today can't pay attention to life unless it's constantly like a carnival.

I haven't deluded myself into thinking he transferred his katra to someone before he died or anything like that.  But I do think we should freeze him or vitrify him or whatever it is they're doing to allow people to be restored in the future.  Maybe he should be put on one of those sleeper ships like in "Space Seed."

There was something about Leonard Nimoy that I think every Trekkie or Trekker loved.  I don't think I've met anyone who didn't like Spock or Nimoy.  He was the lynchpin that kept the whole franchise together (minus little things like DS9 Voyager and Enterprise).  Groundbreaking in TOS, brilliant in TNG, and his character made the whole reboot possible.

"Peace and long life" begins the Vulcan greeting that everyone can quote the response to: "live long and prosper."  It's a hashtag now too.  So #LLAP Leonard Nimoy, it's so cliched now but it wouldn't be right for me to finish with anything other than Kirk's eulogy to Spock:

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