In case you are hiding under a rock, and it’s not sentient and burning messages into the ground next to you passing on important science fiction headlines, Leonard Nimoy died on Friday. After a weekend watching the end of Star Trek II on repeat and completely breaking down every time Nimoy’s voice grated painfully over the words “… my friend”, I eulogized him on Monday. The rest of the civilized (read: people who appreciate science fiction) world has spent the week finding touching tributes. I gathered them here for a Nimoy edition of SciFi Thursday. So put away that shitty synthehol and pour out some Romulan ale for the once and future first officer.
First up, people noticed a very long time ago that former Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier looks an awfully lot like Spock, especially when he’s on the Canadian $5 bill (my quick math assures me that this is their northern version of a nickel). Draw a few lines, get that Vulcan page boy just right, add some assertive eyebrows, and boom, Spockanuck:
Canada’s central bank announced that there’s nothing illegal about it, although it is illegal to electronically reproduce currency. So, um, Canadians, don’t try to spend that picture or they’ll sick the moose on you.
On the other hand, the bank’s spokesperson was concerned that someone might actually think a bank was kind of cool, so Josianne Menard said Spocking the bills was “inappropriate because it defaces a Canadian symbol and source of national pride”. One source, calling itself Myspiteful Innervoice, suggested that Ms. Menard hates joy and hunts puppies for sport.
(source: AP via HuffPo)
Next up, the MMO (for those of you are in the target audience of CSI: Cyber, that’s a board game played through Internet tubes) Star Trek Online is officially constructing permanent in game memorial on Vulcan in honor of Spock. Over the weekend, thousands of players visited Vulcan in order to pay tribute. Says game executive producer Steve Ricossa:
“I want to once again express my heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, and fans of Leonard Nimoy. Everyone at Cryptic Studios was saddened to hear of his passing and we want to make sure we never forget the cultural impact of the man or the character he played. To that end, the Star Trek Online team will implement a standing in-game memorial to Spock and Leonard Nimoy this Thursday March 5th with our regular weekly maintenance.
In this way, we hope to keep his memory as alive in our game as he is in all of our hearts.
Finally, the header image up there (duplicated below) is one of a bunch of billboards that went up in Atlanta over the weekend. Turns out an advertising company was behind them, so maybe they aren’t COMPLETELY evil.
As another space opera once posited, symbols matter exactly because they don’t matter. They’re the things that matter because we say they do, because we invest meaning in them. A thousand years from now, or a million, we may be gone from our pale blue dot, whether because we took to the stars, died on this world, or a third way unimaginable to us today. Everything in this universe is temporary, and it will all fall to dust with the passing of cold eons. That’s the final conclusion of nihilism, but also the first step of wisdom. For it means that whatever we believe in today, whatever irrelevancy we pour our fire into, the fact that it is irrelevant is in itself irrelevant. Because nothing matters on the timescale of the universe. And to realize that, to prop up these totems anyway, to mourn the passing of the irrelevancies we love, that is the most powerful thing we can do.
If all sound will die in the void anyway, we might as well sing.
Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here.