Of Spock and Other Mixed Messages

Leonard Nimoy as Spock
Leonard Nimoy as Spock

Leonard Nimoy’s death reminded me of the many hours I spent watching the original Star Trek series (whose production company, Desilu, had a little bit to do with Desi Arnaz, Jr.), and a poem I used to read at the Nuyorican Poets Café:

Star Trek #6

So, what’s it like to be Latino?

Well it’s just like that episode of Star Trek

When one guy is black on one side and white on the other

And the other guy is white on one side and black on the other

And they chase each other up and down the Enterprise

And beam down to their home planet

And keep fighting each other down there

And Kirk and Spock and McCoy

Are watching it all on the main screen

And they look at each other and say

“God these guys are pathetic

Can you believe they’re fighting to the death like this

Just because one of them’s black on one side and white on the other

And the other one’s white on one side and black on the other?”

star-trek-bele-lokai

The theremin whines, the credits roll and

Kirk, who doesn’t get laid in this episode

Smirks, “Sulu, take us out of orbit, warp factor 1”

Then turns to Spock and says, “What a stupid planet!

It’s a good thing we don’t have stupid planets like this

In the Federation”

And Spock replies, poker-faced

“You forget, Jim, I’m half human.”

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