|11:25 pm - Going boldly where none have gone for the past four decades|
Forty years ago tonight one of the great pop-culture icons of the 20th century made its debut on American television. Kirk, Spock and the other members of the crew of the Enterprise made their way through space on Star Trek's first aired episode. (Read the newswire story here.)
I was only four and a half months old when the show started. I'm sure that I saw it at least once during it's initial three-year run though, since I have a distinct early-childhood memory of watching a dark-haired man with pointy ears on the TV from my high chair. I remember being fascinated by his ears as I sat there, absorbed by the images flickering on the black and white screen in the wooden cabinet.
Later on I watched the series constantly in syndication. Due to my bookish nature and interest in the sciences, as well as my sardonic humor, I acquired the nickname "The Vulcan" in school. Being as Spock was my favorite character, I embraced my new moniker with enthusiasm.
I found the Vulcan cultural ideals of being logical and knowledgeable, living a life of personal integrity and honour and learning to control one's emotions to be ones I wanted to emulate. The last was the most challenging, but I had the advantage of being a half-Brit -- stiff upper lip and all that. Despite that advantage, I also had to deal with the passionate nature of my Latin heritage -- hot-tempered Spaniard and bonne-vivante Gallic tendencies that have been difficult to reign in at times.
The internal self-discipline and stoicism of the Vulcan ideal are a good counterweight to my more chaotic, live-for-the-moment, damn-the-torpedos impulses, although there are plenty of days I feel more like a Romulan or Spock's philosophical-rebel brother. On those days I try to remember one of my favorite Spock lines -- "The healthy expression of emotion is often not healthy for those around one."
Current Mood: nostalgic
Current Music: "Theme from Star Trek" by Alexander Courage