Friday, January 2, 2009

Obama as Spock

While I am not a Trekky or even know that much about Star Trek, I read an interview in today's Wall St. Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123084942774447411.html with the new stars of the upcoming Star Trek movie...the new Captain Kirk, Chris Pine (full disclosure: Chris was a classmate of my son's from K-12 and a terrific guy), and the new Spock, Zachary Quinto. What was striking was the following question and response about Spock:

Why has this character become so mythic?


In this archetypal way, people respond to someone who's able to contain himself. He operates from a place of logic, but always with the betterment of others in mind. He's able to endure things and experience things from a place of balance.


Ok, who does this sound like? If Obama immediately springs to mind, so did it to me. Assessments of Obama's MO continuously refer to his pragmatism and logic. Curiously though, that assessment oftentimes has come from a quizzical perspective as though these were weird/alien traits for the genesis of someone's thinking. But really, coming from the press, I'm not surprised that they would be baffled by that.

More similarities:
- Spock's mixed parentage, half Human, Half Vulcan; Obama's half Kenyan, half White Kansan.
- Their unusual names:

Spock
-Vulcan: Spohkh; his full name is unpronounceable to Humans*


The name, Barack Obama, will always be alien to some, but to most Humans, his name slips from the lips like champagne from a flute. As adaptive Humans, we have absorbed his name, can pronounce it properly, and probably have assimilated it to the point that it is now permanently tattooed into our hippocampus, and when activated, can even already elicit a thousand (wonderful) memories (
note from self: sappy grey matter activated here).

Prediction 1: While I have expressed from Day One, that Obama is not the Messiah, nor the Second Coming, I do believe that his pragmatism, logic and self-containment will serve him well, and that he will take his place beside Spock as affirmed here:

Spock was a Human/Vulcan hybrid who became one of the most distinguished and respected figures in his lifetime.
(United Federation of Planets TOS: "This Side of Paradise", "Journey to Babel")*

And, I dare add to "in his lifetime", Obama will be distinguished and respected "beyond his lifetime".

What is really interesting about this is that Spock offers us a time portal that we can step into to envision future battles (albeit the Galaxy didn't have to contend with economic challenges then...they were well beyond materiality and had smartly dispensed with the pernicious power of money). While these struggles are allegorical, they preview for Obama the nature of the intense tests ahead. On January 20th, we will watch as Obama steps onto his 'Enterprise'** to embark on his journey of monumental trials that await him. If he proves to be a 'descendant' of Spock's, we are in good hands.

A sidebar about Kirk: Is Biden Captain Kirk to Obama's Spock? Personality-wise, it would seem so, and let's hope that they work as well together to save us from catastrophes as the USS Enterprise's Captain and First Officer did when they were guiding their ship.

Prediction 2: In the 24th century, Spock became a celebrated ambassador and adviser to the Federation's leadership.* And, so to, will Obama, post-Presidency and, happily, we won't have to wait til the 24th century.

*Source: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Spock
** "Enterprise" - Boldness, energy, and invention in practical affairs (Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, 1963)