My favorite Leonard Nimoy tribute item

I really enjoyed learning about the Jewish roots of Mr. Spock’s “live long and prosper” gesture.

Nimoy was a guy who deserved to be known for more than that one rather cheesy (no, really, I’ve been watching it on Netflix) TV show. But at least he was loved for it, and I’m glad he became reconciled to that later in life….

Oh, and my second favorite Nimoy tribute was the one below, by Astronaut Terry Virts:

24 thoughts on “My favorite Leonard Nimoy tribute item

    1. Juan Caruso

      Seems you both may have missed the best tribute by far (available at YouTube) titled “Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: ‘The Challenge’ ”

      Superbly deadpan!

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Speaking of Terry Virts… I had to look him up.

    Remember when we knew the name of every astronaut? If so, you’re old.

    Back then, it would have been impossible to imagine a time like now — when American astronauts have to hitch rides to an object in low Earth orbit, because we don’t have a single operating spacecraft. A time 45 years after we first went to the moon when we not only haven’t gone farther, but haven’t been back in four decades?

    If’ we’d been given those facts about our future back in 1962, we would assume that the only way that would happen would be if World War III or some other apocalyptic event had destroyed our country and left us technologically backward. We’d be shocked to learn about a future time in which no cataclysmic event has occurred; we’ve just ceased to be a people who do big things…

    1. Norm Ivey

      Phillip points out below that we have been farther–to Mars and beyond. The distances between planets are so great it makes human travel beyond the moon impractical.

      There’s really no reason to go back to the moon. We know pretty much all there is to know about it. It’s a big cold rock with no atmosphere. Establishing a base there is silly when we can do the same thing just a few hundred miles above us. I do wish we still transported ourselves, however.

      The next big technological hurdle we face is adapting to a warming planet. When we get serious about that issue, we’ll do the big things again.

  2. Phillip

    I’m not saying it wouldn’t be great to do more in-person work on the moon, but yours is, I feel, too narrow a view of what constitutes “big things.” The fact the we can successfully land vehicles remotely on Mars and get them to move around and collect and analyze stuff is mind-boggling, to me anyway. Then there is the Kepler Mission which is vastly expanding human knowledge about the existence of planets in other solar systems, including identifying the ones in the so-called “Goldilocks zone.” Humankind’s knowledge about the cosmos has increased vastly since the last manned moon mission: we continue to educate and produce brilliant scientists in this field at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.

    Just because this kind of thing doesn’t dominate our headlines and TV broadcasts the way the moon landings did doesn’t diminish their long-term importance. The moon missions were the product in part of a crazy national Cold War competitive obsession—one that in this case at least had a positive outcome. But to sustain that indefinitely would have been, well, illogical.

    Then, of course, when you consider all the other scientific advances (not to mention engineering and computing) of the past 25 years, who can truly say we’re a country that fails to do “big things”?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      No Buck Rogers, I’m not satisfied.

      I had friends who built and flew radio-controlled model airplanes (in other words, drones) back in the 60s, before we landed on the moon.

      After that, nothing we do with machines remotely impresses me all that much…

      And I liked the “crazy national Cold War competitive obsession.” It goaded us to reach for the stars…

      1. M.Prince

        Since this thread is about Leonard Nimoy, how’bout an apropos quote from …

        Leonard Nimoy:

        “Th[is] is the exploration that awaits you! Not mapping stars and studying nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.”

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        Another way of looking at it… If Kirk and his crew had always stayed on board the Enterprise, it wouldn’t be much of a show. Sometimes they needed to “boldly go” by beaming themselves down, if anyone was to keep watching…

        Even though the outcome was entirely predictable. The guys in red shirts were toast…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              It’s available for streaming on Netflix.

              You know, Rockwell is building quite a resume of offbeat or comic sci-fi roles — this, his leading role in “Moon,” his star turn as Zaphod Beeblebrox in the otherwise regrettable film version of “Hitchhiker.”

              Of course, Sigourney Weaver, who first became a star in the iconic “Alien,” is quite… impressive in this, too… I like it when someone comments negatively on her character’s irritating shtick of repeating whatever is said, and she replies, “Look! I have one job on this lousy ship, it’s *stupid*, but I’m gonna do it! Okay?”

          1. susanincola

            Galaxy Quest is one of my favorite movies of all time. We watch it at least once a year.

  3. Norm Ivey

    “Remember when we knew the name of every astronaut? If so, you’re old.”

    You’re old when the icons of your youth and young adulthood die due to something other than a drug overdose or a plane crash.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    The original Star Trek was less cheesy than most anything else on TV at the time. The production values were appalling–the SNL sketch where a plastic model of a car is obviously suspended on strings while approaching the “Enterprise” nailed that, and Shatner’s excessive acting–my friend and I watched it in reruns in our teens and used to crack ourselves up doing Kirk saying the Pledge of Allegiance–I.pledge.allegiance.totheflag, OF THE UNITED.STATES.OFAMERICA….andtotherepublic OF.WHICH.IT.STANDS. Onenation. underGod, WITHLIBERTYANDJUSTICE..forall…
    It had higher aspirations, though–the use of allegory, otherwise largely absent outside of the Twilight Zone, and a larger message than “crime doesn’t pay”

    1. Brad Warthen

      I was into “Green Acres” in those days. Which was like, way existential. Or something….

      Actually, I was into almost everything on TV. I mean, I watched, and enjoyed, “Lost In Space.” So I’ve got no room to sneer at Trek, except in hindsight, from my current lofty sophistication…

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        I watched reruns of Green Acres in the 90s, and it held up surprisingly well. The Beverly Hillbillies, which for some reason I watched a few months ago, not so much. I think Green Acres was probably the best written and acted of the “hick” TV shows that populated the 60s, I think riding on the Andy Griffith Show’s success: Gomer Pyle, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Green Acres–am I forgetting any? Arnold Ziffel was a classic bit.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          But Andy Griffith and Green Acres were polar opposites! Mayberry was warm and nostalgic. The essence of Andy was when he and Barney were sitting on the porch after a good dinner, and this dialogue ensues:

          Andy: You know what would be a good idea? If we all went up town and got a bottle of pop?
          Barney: That’s a good idea, if we all went up town to get a bottle of pop.
          Andy: You think Mr. Tucker would like to go?
          Barney: Why don’t we ask him…..if he’d like to go uptown to get a bottle of pop?
          Andy: Mr. Tucker?
          (No response from Mr. Tucker)
          Andy: You wanna lets me and you go?
          Barney: Where?
          Andy: Uptown to get a bottle of pop?

          By contrast, Oliver Wendell Douglas was a sane man trapped in an insane universe, which everyone but him accepted as rational.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            Yes, but Andy Griffith was good in one way–an idealized, sweet way, while Green Acres was farce, pure and simple, but very good farce.

          2. Kathryn Fenner

            And Oliver Wendell Douglas was a great straight man, but still not entirely sane–he moved there and stayed there…

  5. Pat

    I enjoyed the video. I had read about the Vulcan greeting but it was nice to hear it in his voice. Nimoy was my favorite. I didn’t like Shatner so much at the time of Star Trek; I thought he was arrogant. Then I saw Shatner making fun of himself on the Carson show, and it changed my opinion of him. But Nimoy is still my favorite.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      I guess as a strong Myers=Briggs “F” it comes as no surprise that I was Team Bones McCoy.

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