The editor in chief of the conservative Washington Free Beacon published a column today in which he outlined why he felt “apathetic” about the passing of Leonard Nimoy — his iconic character, Spock, reminds him too much of President Barack Obama.
Matthew Continetti opened his column by noting that the president himself drew the comparison, writing “I loved Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared, and level headed, the center of Star Trek‘s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.”
“As I thought more about the president’s statement,” Continetti wrote, “I realized he identifies with the very aspects of the Spock character that most annoy me. I don’t love Spock at all.”
“Not only do Spock’s peacenik inclinations routinely land the Enterprise and the Federation into trouble, his ‘logic’ and ‘level head’ mask an arrogant emotional basket case…Spock spends most of his life as a freelancing diplomat eager to negotiate with the worst enemies of Starfleet. He’s the opposite of a role model: a cautionary tale.”
After outlining the many decisions made by Spock in the original series, the movies based on it, and The Next Generation, Continetti turned his attention to the new film franchise, which is “an enjoyable picture that is revealing of Spock’s awfulness.”
“It shows how Spock is tormented, physically and mentally, by the fact that his mother is human, how Mr. Logic is actually a boiling kettle of fury, resentment, passion, and ambition. Spock is a jerk to his girlfriend Uhura, who is way out of his league. He almost kills Kirk. He is so overcome with emotion he relieves himself from duty in the middle of a huge crisis. Spock is rude to his father.”
He then asks, “and Obama likes this selfish jerk? The coolness the president so appreciates in Spock is a thin veneer over a remarkably arrogant and off-putting detachment from human suffering.”
“What Leonard Nimoy’s death revealed,” Continetti wrote, “is that there is a sizable portion of Trek fans, and of nerds in general, that identifies with Spock’s neuroses, his hang-ups, his self-loathing, that are attracted to the cold soulless abstractions through which he views life, who believe in the naïve and ineffective diplomacy in which he so thoughtlessly and recklessly and harmfully engages.”
“It will take America some time to recover from the legacy of our Spock-loving president,” he concluded.