Tag Archives: Spock

Five Things I Wish Were Different This Monday Morning

1. The Snow

Oh yes, the snow. It started to fall yesterday, great fat flakes like sky-kisses gently carpeting the world, and I admit it was pretty. So pretty, in fact, that I stood staring out at it for ages, allowing the gentle flickering to soothe my mind. It was mesmerisingly psychedelic, and I did wonder about the possibility of an evil genius harnessing the power of falling snow to hypnotise an entire population and make them do his will… But then I came to my senses and shut the blinds.

And there was no panic, because it was Sunday and nobody had to go anywhere or do anything in particular, and that was fine.

But now it’s Monday. And people have to go places. Trains are delayed. Roads are clogged. Nincompoops like me are afraid to set foot outside lest they find themselves unwillingly doing the splits. Anyone would think I was living in New York, where approximately fourteen feet of the white stuff has lain in situ since some time last year; I’m talking about a couple of inches, if that, which has already started to melt. It’s still enough to scare me, no matter how gorgeous it looks.

So, yes. It’s pretty and all, but I wish I’d woken up this morning to a snow-free world. Sue me.

2. Leonard Nimoy being dead

How did this happen?

Image: chipchick.com

Image: chipchick.com

I hate that Leonard Nimoy passed away last week. I don’t care that he was in his eighties; he was too young to go. Or maybe it’s that we weren’t ready to lose him. Then, with people like him, there’s never a good time for them to check out. A campaigner for equality, a fan of humanity, a photographer, a director, a father, an actor of superlative ability, I was (and am, and always shall be) a massive fan. With regard to his work: I love Star Trek in general, but in reality it was Spock I truly admired. He made the programme what it was, the quiet centre around which the rest of the characters orbited, and Nimoy’s ability to express the depths of emotion beneath the calm surface of Spock’s cool rationality always blew me away.

LLAP, Mr Spock. I will never forget you.

3. The world

Right, so I’ll admit this is sort of broad. But maybe you’ll know what I’m getting at anyway. I regularly tell myself ‘I must go on a news-break’, but I never really manage to do it for longer than a day or two. I’ve heard of people who don’t follow current events at all; they just live their lives, and get on with things, and (not so funnily enough) they seem like the happiest people on earth. I reckon there’s something in that.

I can’t count the amount of times over the past few weeks that a news bulletin has reduced me to a gibbering wreck. Now, of course, that might say more about me than it does about the news, but still. Terrorism, freaky weather, political assassinations, mass abductions, the workings of Operation Yewtree in the UK, people being displaced in their hundreds of thousands, gun crime… the list goes on. Sometimes, it does start to grind you down. It can be hard to remember that one person’s good choices can change the world, but it’s really important not to lose sight of it.

It’s important to be that one person, and to make those good choices, too.

4. My entire brain

Lately, my concentration has been shot. I’ve been eking out a word count on my WiP but it is going so painfully slowly that putting the words on paper seems akin to eating boulders. I’m not sure what, exactly, I’d like to be different here – my brain in general, or my focus, or this particular WiP, or what. But all’s I know is, somethin’s gotta change, man.

Let nobody ever try to tell you that writing is not hard work. It flaming well is.

But there is hope. This week, I have no distractions. I have no appointments, I have no visitors, and I have no excuses. There will be writing. It will be done. And that is that.

5. The state of my house

I’m not exactly living in a hovel, but y’know. I didn’t do a lot of what you might call actual housework over the weekend. This now means I have a pile of dishes as tall as myself which have to be cleaned before I can so much as make a cup of tea this morning. This ‘using all the crockery because it’s Saturday and I can’t be bothered washing up’ thing, dear readers, is something I regularly do. It’s a classic example of why you shouldn’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, but do you think I ever learn? Of course I don’t. At least I got the bathroom cleaned and the dusting done last week, though. It sort of distracts from the fact that the hoovering needs doing and that there’s a general, low-lying mess everywhere. I have a nagging feeling it’s a metaphor for my existence, but that’s too scary to contemplate, so I’ll just put some dirty plates over it and hope it goes away.

They should teach this stuff at school. I’m not even joking.

Anyway. I hope your Monday is better than my Monday, and that your week is looking good. Remember to be that one good person, and do something awesome for someone else this week in memory of Leonard Nimoy – or, just because you want to. Whichever.

 

 

Starship Utopia

I’d better begin today’s blog post with a small disclaimer: I’m not a real Trekkie.

I don’t understand each tiny detail of every series; I haven’t watched every single episode and forensically dissected all the movies; I have a favourite Captain of the Enterprise (sort of), but my loyalty wavers; I don’t fully understand who or what the Borg is, and I quite like Wesley Crusher – that last one alone would be enough to discount me from Star Trek fan-club membership, in some circles.

Actually, I think the whole Wesley Crusher thing can be put down to the fact that I watched most of ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’ at a certain age. It had nothing to do with the character, as such. Apparently, some people found him rather annoying. I didn’t really notice that part.

Hello, sailor... Image: comicvine.com

Hello, sailor…
Image: comicvine.com

Anyway.

Yesterday evening, I watched ‘Star Trek: First Contact’, a film I first watched years ago, but which I’d forgotten just enough of to make a second viewing enjoyable. (Sometimes, having an imperfect memory can be a wonderful thing.) ‘First Contact’ is widely considered to be one of the best Star Trek movies, and – to be honest – not only do I agree with this assessment, but I realised as I watched it that I needed to see it, right at this particular point in my life. I read a news report at the weekend, you see, one which filled me with horror about the future of humanity and which left me with a dreadful sense of foreboding as to where the planet is going and what may happen to it, so much so that I spent yesterday writing an utterly depressing dystopian short story – but ‘First Contact’ has given me a fresh perspective.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the future turned out to be just like it’s depicted in Star Trek? I think so.

I’d love to be part of a world where genuine idealism and selfless concern for life – all forms of it (except, maybe, the Borg) – drove the wheels of society and innovation; I’d love to be part of a world where there is equality between genders and races (except, again, for the Borg, but that’s mainly their own fault, to be fair); I’d love to live in a reality where things like capitalism and commerce and colonialism and environmental horror and overcrowding and lack of resources have all been dealt with and overcome. I’d love to wake up tomorrow and for all that to be real.

Unfortunately, the reality is more likely to be something along the lines of what I read about in the news report I mentioned above: too many people all trying to live on one overcrowded, under-resourced planet; survival of the fittest, in the worst sense of the phrase; desperate competition for dwindling supplies of everything necessary for sustaining life; rising temperatures and climate migration and permanent damage to the ecosystem. I can imagine all this happening – I can actually see it starting already. It’s much easier to imagine this than it is to imagine all the races of the universe living in harmony, warping between star systems in an attempt to bring peace to the cosmos, and all that jazz. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed ‘First Contact’ so much – it shows such a positive view of the possible future of humanity. It’s a break from the constant stream of dystopia that seems to be all over the place – in books, in movies, on TV shows – and, though it shows a Utopia which is so far away that none of us will live to see it, we can nevertheless feel confident of bequeathing it to our descendants. How hard would you work and how long would you strive to bring forth a wonderful, peaceful, clean world for your children and grandchildren if you knew, for certain, it could be achieved? Maybe it’s just me being an idealist, but I know I’d work pretty hard.

Perhaps that’s what we need, you know. A positive message. It’s all too easy to live down to expectation – if all the images of our future as a species and a planet show us devouring one another just to stay alive, then that’s how we start to think about ourselves. It becomes difficult to envisage a different future, a different set of choices. Pretty soon, the imagining becomes the reality, and we end up fulfilling the dark visions of the past. A positive view of what humanity may be capable of, however, may be far more useful – something to strive for, instead of fall back on. If we reflect ourselves succeeding instead of failing, perhaps it will start to become the truth.

But of course I know the visions and dreams of the average person have very little to do with the shaping of an entire planet, or culture, or people. That’s just not how it works. Unless there’s a payday in it for the most powerful, nothing will ever get achieved. As well as that, once we’ve started going down this road, the road which rewards greed and corruption and secret dealings done in small groups which affect millions of lives, it’s hard to get back from it. I don’t want to think that it’s already too late, but changing course is very difficult.

And, yes, I’m also fully aware that ‘Star Trek’ is fictional, and not only that but as unlikely a fiction as you’re ever going to get; that doesn’t stop me from wishing, passionately, that it will one day be the truth, and that we as a species will not destroy one another, but instead learn to live compassionately and gently, however.

A gal can dream, right?

Live long, and prosper. Image: tumblr.com

Live long, and prosper.
Image: tumblr.com