Spock’s Body

In ST III: The Search for Spock, there’s an interesting battle between absence and presence, especially where Spock/Nimoy is concerned. Nimoy himself is pointedly absent from the film until the last ten minutes or so; though as the film’s director, he’s a constant, unseen presence who is guiding the audience’s gaze.

By contrast, “Spock” is present in much of the film in the form of his tortured boy-selves. The foregrounding of the Spock-lings underscores the absence of”our” Spock; that is, none of these actors are Nimoy, so none of these characters are Spock. As a reader, it feels to me that Nimoy is making a very deliberate choice here–as a director, he’s very conscious of the absence of his body in the film, and of the power that this deliberate withholding gives him over his audience.

When he does give us his body (so to speak), it’s done in a teasing way: having re-minded Spock walk past James and his other crewmmates at first (though the perspective of the camera tells us that it’s his snubbing of James that’s significant); then that pause on the stairs with his back to James and to us, surrounded by men in similar robes, of similar build; then a slow turn and a very careful removing of his hood–only then do we see “our” Spock again, only then do we (and James) possess his body once more. It’s a lovely, very carefully designed and well–executed sequence. It’s Spock’s body, and Nimoy knows how to use it.

Don’t point that thing at me, mister.

To help me puzzle through my sudden slash addiction, I’m writing brief reviews of some of the stories that I’ve read. In this post, I’ll be discussing a set of stories by Killa and Janet St. Claire.

Just a warning: the links below will lead you to K/S writings. What is seen cannot be unseen; although, as Spock would say, there are always possibilities, that doesn’t mean that you have to look at all of them.

At My Most Beautiful” by Jane St. Claire
A lovely, barely-slashy-at-all story that gets James just right. Really, it’s kind of perfect. The glimmers of desire are there, but James has other things on his mind. Like “Turning Point” (see below), this story posits a past James/Gary Mitchell relationship, which is fine–but I didn’t wholly buy into it; luckily, the story doesn’t hinge on this detail. This is a damn fine piece of writing. If you want a gentle introduction to the human birds and the Vulcan bees, start here. Continue reading “Don’t point that thing at me, mister.”

Only one of each of us

In K/S slash, there’s a lot of talk about drowning; Spock drowning in Kirk’s kisses, or Kirk drowning in Spock’s pleasure, etc. etc.

I started to read slash this week, intending only (expecting only?) to duck my head beneath the waves and bob up better informed.

However–

My mouth is full of saltwater, my eyes are stinging from the sand, and, oh, please keep that life preserver to yourself.

I suppose what’s bothering me here is that I did not expect to like slash–to find it intellectually interesting, yes; as a fascinating embodiment of de Certeau’s notion of “making do” (per Henry Jenkins), yes. But to enjoy it as writing? Not possible.

However. Continue reading “Only one of each of us”

Praise the joH’a’ and pass the Romulan ale

Two things that bug me about ST VI: The Undiscovered Country:

1) Uhura doesn’t speak Klingon?! Bullshit!

2) Uh, Spock? That whole forced-mind-meld thingy you did to Valaris? Dude, you know that’s considered rape on Vulcan, right? It’s no good pleading ignorance–it’s not my fault you haven’t read the fan fic. But trust me on this–you’re good for 5 years on a rehabilitation colony. Hope you like psychotropic barcaloungers, my friend!

This isn’t what it looks like.

I have much love for the TOS episode “Amok Time”: it’s Spock-centric, we learn cool stuff about Vulcan, and McCoy gets to be a drug-wielding hero.

And it features T’Pau, who spits out more good lines in this episode than Chekov gets in two seasons–
“Are thee Vulcan, or are thee human?’

However–

Up until now, I’ve managed to overlook what seems now to me to be a huge leap (or absence) in the episode’s logic:

Spock doesn’t get laid. Continue reading “This isn’t what it looks like.”

Slash is the sugar that helps ST: TMP go down

So I watched Star Trek: The “Motion” Picture last night at an outdoor showing with 100+ of my fellow ST dorks. Watching it for the umpteenth time didn’t change my basic take on TMP: it’s not a good, entertaining, or even particularly smart film (sorry, ADF, but you’ve done better). It’s tedious, repetitive, and really fucking dull. Also? Everyone in Starfleet other than the Enterprise and her crew are apparently morons who just stare at alien probes as they absorb Klingon birds-of-prey and show no sense of urgency in letting Earth know that they’re about to be attacked yet AGAIN by some alien killing machine that’s wandering lonely as a cloud.

[Look, at least the Federation *tries* to do something about the whale Probe in ST: TVH–they have a command center and everything! Here, nada. It makes me wonder what Starfleet would have done if Kirk hadn’t “volunteered” (i.e. demanded) to take back the Enterprise. Would they have let Will “don’t call me Riker” Decker and co. try to face it? Yikes–I hope Vulcan was ready to become the “capital” of the Federation because Section 001 would have been a pile of angst-y, air-brushed ash.]

But– Continue reading “Slash is the sugar that helps ST: TMP go down”