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04 February 2006

On Being Vulcan, Part 1

****The New News****
Scooooore! Last Friday I completed an interview with the lovely and talented Kriss Turner, head writer for Everybody Hate's Chris and screenwriter of the new film 'Something New'. But, yes...that's right. I'm transcribing look for the article next Friday. She was very cool and it was a great conversation.
****The New News****


When I was ten or eleven my cousin Cynthia nicknamed me Mr. Spock.

We were at the waterslides in Manteca, dripping wet and barefoot, padding from one ride to another on a hot summer day. You know, the kind of hot you can only get in that particular part of California...all pine needles and red dirt. She'd said something--I have no idea what. I do remember my ten or eleven year old brain considered my older cousin to be one of the most irrational creatures alive.

My knee jerk response to whatever it was she'd said was likely along the lines of what 'made sense' or what 'logic demanded' (oh yes...I was one of those kids). It was, of course an incredibly irritating thing to say. I had not yet learned the value of sugar coating the truth for the sake of not being annoying. Operating as I did on the principle that Truth was Truth; its wardrobe was beside the point. Speaking the Truth (and no, in my head there was no "as I saw it" caveat to handicap me) was my responsibility, receiving it, the listener's problem.

So anyway, on this hot summer day while I was being annoying and my cousin was being irrational (she was! that much, I'm sure of) at the waterslides she called me Mr. Spock. I still remember the little thrill I felt as she spoke. Mr. Spock! Very cool.

"Thank you." I said. This of course annoyed Cynthia further...and really...I was a pill. There are few things more exasperating than making person feel complimented while attempting to offend them. One of which, is having to explain to the complimented person that you are insulting them and then having them (patiently) explain why you're wrong and then describing the manner in which your epithet was really a rather nice thing to say. Which is what I did next. Then the conversation hit a lull.

You will find it hard to believe, but Cynthia and I have never been what you (or anyone) would call close. The years, our disprate upbringings and interests thoroughly divided us. But her comment stuck with me. Mr. Spock...I prided myself on the moniker. It helped give flesh and in strange way, a role model to the nebulous sense of ease thinking my way through a situation always brought. There was comfort in having the ability to analyze a situation and know the logical response, to know what 'made sense'. It was like math for living. When I was young (very young) I took this ability to mean that (apart from a bloody temper)I was bereft of emotion...an emotion-free zone. And when I was a child that seemed...safe.

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