Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I grok Spock

Last week my friend Heathre learned from the Twitterverse that there'd be a screening of Star Trek IV on the Paramount lot in Hollywood, where much of the movie was filmed. I have such useful friends. :) She got a group together and so last Saturday I got to see my favorite Star Trek movie in a theater for the first time. It holds up well, just as funny as ever.

Kirk: "You're not exactly catching us at our best."
Spock: "That much is certain."

What has changed is that the movie no longer looks like the crew of the Enterprise visiting our own time. Now it looks like the crew of the Enterprise visiting that strange and colorful world of the 1980's, which is the primitive past to us as well as to them!

AND! Leonard Nimoy was there and answered questions for almost an hour afterwards! I haven't been to all the conventions like some who are better fans, so all of his stories were new to me. Did you know that he's the one who came up with the Vulcan salute? And you know where he got it from? Once as a boy he was in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, and the Kohanim, men from the priestly tribe of Levi, got up and blessed the congregation. They were calling out the blessing very loudly-- "May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace!"-- and as they did people threw their prayer shawls over their heads and everyone was supposed to be bowing with eyes closed as the glory of God descended, but little Leonard Nimoy took a peek and saw the priests making that sign with their hands. Apparently they do this because the shape of it vaguely resembles the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter of Shaddai, one of the names for God.

I'm sure that's old news to all true Trekkers, but I thought it was cool. :)

Update: found a link that explains it.


Warren said...

My favorite bit in that movie is where Scotty picks up the mouse on a mac classic and tries to talk to it, while trying to teach the 1980s humans to make "transparent aluminum".


JimAroo said...

Sometimes I do feel like a stranger in a strange land......but I think it is spelled grok..... but I don't know if it rhymes with Spock

Rachel Gray said...

My favorite parts are the Checkov scenes. "It's vhere they keep the nuclear vessels!" "I varn you, if you do not lie on de floor, I vill haf to stun you!"

Thanks Jim; I fixed it. Also Googled your first sentence and found out the origin of "grok".

JimAroo said...

Now that I have had time to think about grok in Heinlein's book......
to grok some one was to understand that person profoundly, with deep empathy, to even see things as they saw them. Sounds like a Vulcan mind meld to me. Think of Picard and Sarek - that was a real grok.

Rachel Gray said...

Well, in that case I can think of many people I grok or would like to grok, but it seems somehow disrespectful to name them. :)