News broke earlier today of Leonard Nimoy passing away. Here are the facts, presented in cold, Vulcan-approved format:
- Nimoy was 83 years old. That is below average for a healthy man born in 1931, but Nimoy was not healthy and therefore his expectancy would be considerably lower.
- Nimoy suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease, caused by a heavy smoking habit that he gave up over three decades ago. The disease affects ones lungs, with a decreased ability to breath, and frequent cough and mucous buildup.
- The news was delivered by Susan Bay Nimoy, his wife. She had also announced he was going into the hospital several days ago, and many suspected this would be the end for the pop-culture icon.
- Leonard Nimoy was human, as are we all. Humans have not been able to manufacture nor evolve into a form that benefits from immortality, therefore it follows that Nimoy would have to die eventually. Likely this death would be caused by complications due to his chronic illness.
These facts should make us feel better. We should be unsurprised by this news, which seems only the logical conclusion to the recent turn of events. However, we at Sub-Cultured feel varying levels of confusion and upset, and if social media is any indicator, we are certainly not the only ones.
The Human Side
So we know that half of Spock–the Vulcan half–would simply acknowledge the news and move on. But the other half would grieve, likely in a deep way, and likely in a way never full expressed. Spock is an essential character to the science fiction canon. He was the lone alien on a ship full of humans. He was the center of the crew’s conscience, and certainly the character who grounded Kirk one wacky adventure after another.
But more than that, Nimoy was a beacon of wisdom. He completed his college degree in his 40s, proving that it’s never too late to finish what we start. He sang his heart out regardless of criticism. He took his turn behind the camera, directing two Star Trek movies and Three Men and a Baby (yep) among many other projects. He published books of his own writing, across genres and formats, illustrating his poetry with his own photography. He worked tirelessly on voice-overs for television and movies, and returned to his most famous role in 2009 when Star Trek returned to the big screen. It wasn’t just Spock that inspired us–it was the man who portrayed him, too.
Later today, we’ll post our personal tributes to the man who would be Vulcan, but for now, we hang our heads with grief and raise our hands in salute.
Live Long and Prosper, old pal, wherever you might be now. We still don’t think it’s logical that that’s anywhere but here.
Leonard Nimoy’s New York Times Obituary.