When we took off from Seattle our route took us directly over Canada. We caught up with nightfall somewhere over Hudson Bay. Craig reached over and lifted the window cover and said, “Look!” We’d caught up with dawn and saw the sun rise over the Irish Sea. Sadly, my camera was in the overhead compartment, but it really doesn’t matter. The window was way too smudged to get a good photo. I lifted the one above from the internet. For what it’s worth, it’s prettier than the one I could have taken.
It was so odd to come against the limits of reality. Natural time feels like it is a universal. Night comes and day follows. But it doesn’t work that way in flight. You catch up with the night and then pass through it. It’s been a very long time since I was able to run up against a limit that wasn’t induced by multiple sclerosis. It was a bit of a thrill.
Strange that we caught up with the dawn over the Irish Sea. We’d just passed over Dublin. I couldn’t help but think of my pub band. I miss getting tanked and singing Irish songs. It’s the truth. But I also miss being young, being a romantic. I had a student this term who was a romantic. It was painful to watch, especially when his passion would interfere with his ability to internalize discipline. It was painful to watch because I knew what the price of internalizing discipline would do to him. Is it worth it? Yeah, it’s worth it. But you can’t understand at that age what cost is, let alone how much it will cost you. Paying hurts. When I look at him, I can’t help but flinch.
Of all the bizarre coincidences, I was watching the new Star Trek movie as the sun rose. Now Simon and I have an argument about the movie. I like it and he doesn’t. I understand his position to a certain extent. I mean, they let a by-and-large two-dimensional villain blow up Vulcan. I mean, they blew up fucking Vulcan! Talk about maiming your original Star Trek universe. I see his point. And Nero was a lame villain. Simon had other points that didn’t register as neatly. He didn’t like Simon Pegg as Scotty, saying what had once been a serious character had been converted to comic relief. I dunno. The most memorable Mr. Scott moments for me were from The Trouble with Tribbles
I liked Scotty as a bar-brawling Scottsman who then proceeded to beam all the tribbles into the hold of a Klingon D-4 cruiser “where they’ll be no tribble at all…:” Certainly, I relished the fact that the new Scotty made Admiral Archer’s dog the victim of an experimental transporter accident. I always hated that mutt.
I love dogs. But come on. A dog on a starship? A starship captain who sleeps with his dog in sickbay and gets offended when new alien species find dogs objectionable? It was too much. Scotty fries Porthos in a transporter accident? I love it!
But you see, I think that blowing up Vulcan took balls. The thing I hated about the Enterprise series (the one with Scott Bakula in it) was that they didn’t have any. I thought the Tucker-T’Pol relationship was awesome. Connor Trinneer definitely needed more fuck scenes. Craig and I really loved the one where he ran around the ship all episode long in his underwear. The guy is not only cute, but he’s seriously hung. Seriously. I don’t know jack about how women view the world, but Craig and I believed that Trip was a product that would move off the market quickly. T’Pol needed to close the deal.
But sci-fi seriously now—a love relationship between a really masculine, but nonetheless emotionally expressive human male and a sensual if repressed Vulcan female had great energy. I thought they made a great couple. Watching them work through a relationship as the series would have progressed would have been, well, fascinating. The writers were just too fucking limp-dicked to mess with the formula. I hate that. Take some fucking risks!
Well, this group of writers that weren’t scared of cracking some eggs to make their omelet. This line of history will be totally different. Yeah, I see what Simon says that in a way it’s disrespectful. We cherished all those stories (except Star Trek V—did anyone like that movie?) and now they don’t exist. But what I came back with was that Star Trek wasn’t just sci-fi anymore. It is, in the purest literary sense, mythology. What makes myth work as a literary form is its timeless capacity for being told and retold. I am excited by the possibilities.
And yeah, this means something personal to me. Destroying Vulcan totally changed Spock. I think maybe Kirk is the only reader here who knows me long enough to remember this, but Mr. Spock was my childhood hero—half one thing and half the other, a super strong mind ruled by logic—what wasn’t to find cool? I even identified with him getting beaten up at school all the time.
This Spock, however, is different. Compare and contrast Old Spock with Lieutenant Uhura—
Mr. Spock: Miss Uhura, your last sub-space log contained an error in the frequencies column.
Lt. Uhura: Sometimes I think if I hear "frequency" again, I'll cry.
Mr. Spock: Cry?
Lt. Uhura: I was just trying to start a conversation.
Mr. Spock: Well, since it is illogical for a communications officer to resent the word "frequency"... I have no answer.
Lt. Uhura: No, you have an answer. I'm an illogical woman who's beginning to feel too much a part of that communications console. Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young lady or ask me if I've ever been in love? Tell me how planet Vulcan looks when the moon is full.
Mr. Spock: Vulcan has no moon, Miss Uhura.
Lt. Uhura: I'm not surprised, Mr. Spock.
—with New Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura:
This Spock, among other things, gets laid. Surprise, so does the new Talal. Small wonder I like the change. The old Spock viewed his human side as his weakness, but is now willing to integrate it. The new Talal has had a very long time now to examine and integrate his human frailty. Moreover Spock as a character has a new beginning. And watching the sun rise over the Irish Sea, I realized that I, too, have a new beginning, even if it’s come late in the day. This Talal won’t be like the other Talal. He has a lot of new weaknesses, but he also has new strengths. But for better or worse, this Talal caught up with the sunrise. Maybe he’ll even graduate. So yeah, I hope the new Spock makes it, because maybe I’ll make it too.