“President Obama’s favorite Star Trek character is an appeasing arrogant jerk,” Matthew Continetti writes at the Washington Free Beacon, putting a fresh spin on the history of the future to come which we’ve all loved since 1966:
The 2009 movie has a backstory that is complicated and silly, and I am too tired to recount it in detail so you can read a synopsis here. Nevertheless, Star Trek is an enjoyable picture that is revealing of Spock’s awfulness. It shows how Spock (played by Zachary Quinto) 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 (Zoe Saldana), who is way out of his league. He almost kills Kirk (Chris Pine). He is so overcome with emotion he relieves himself from duty in the middle of a huge crisis.
Spock is rude to his father. “I never knew what Spock was doing,” Sarek (Mark Lenard) tells Picard in “Unification 1.” “When he was a boy, he would disappear for days into the mountains. I would ask him where he had gone, what he had done; he’d refuse to tell me. I forbade him to go; he ignored me.” Spock and Sarek fight constantly throughout the Trek continuity, despite Sarek’s offering his son countless diplomatic opportunities that Spock invariably messes up. Then Spock ignores his father for years as Sarek suffers from Bendai Syndrome and dies.
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. Dr. McCoy, played by the charming DeForest Kelley, bitingly exposed this truth about Spock’s nature again and again. Discussing the Genesis Project in Wrath of Khan, for example, Spock lectures McCoy, “Really, Dr. McCoy. You must learn to govern your passions. They will be your undoing. Logic suggests—”
But McCoy won’t hear it—and he’s right. “Logic? My God, the man’s talking about logic; we’re taking about universal Armageddon!”
All Spock can do is pretentiously raise his famous eyebrow.
Spock is ashamed of his humanity. He flees it. In Star Trek VI Kirk tells Spock, “Everyone’s human.” Spock says he finds that sentiment offensive.
And as Bill Whittle reminded us in an early PJTV video, Spock is a good man to have manning the sensors and the library computer, but like Obama, he’s the last guy you want to toss the keys to the Enterprise to — like Obama, disaster invariably ensues when a man sharing a different reality than the rest of us sits in the big chair in the center of the bridge.