> "The Footnote," folks. Read it with its
> exegesis (anyone have a pointer?) It's as close as we get to
> Roddenberry's blessing.)
Judy Gran has her analysis at:
I wrote one too which I'll post separately.
ASCEM messages are copied to a mailing list. Most recent messages
can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ASCEML.
[From the book:]
<<"Jim! Goodbye, my...my t'hy'la*. This is the last time I will
permit myself to think of you or even your name again."
*Editor's note - The human concept of friend is most nearly
duplicated in Vulcan thought by the term "t'hy'la", which can also
mean "brother" and "lover". Spock's recollection (from which this
chapter is drawn) is that it was a most difficult moment for him
since he did indeed consider Kirk to have become his brother.
However, because "t'hy'la" can be used to mean "lover" and since
Kirk's and Spock's friendship was unusually close, this has led to
some speculation over whether or not they had actually indeed become
lovers. At our request, Admiral Kirk supplied the following
comments on this subject:>>
It is at this point that Kirk's statement is inserted:
<<"I WAS NEVER AWARE OF THIS LOVERS RUMOR ALTHOUGH I HAVE BEEN TOLD
THAT SPOCK ENCOUNTERED IT SEVERAL TIMES. APPARENTLY HE HAD ALWAYS
DISMISSED IT WITH HIS CHARACTERISTIC LIFTING OF HIS RIGHT EYEBROW
WHICH USUALLY CONNOTED SOME COMBINATION OF SURPRISE, DISBELIEF,
AND/OR ANNOYANCE. AS FOR MYSELF, ALTHOUGH I HAVE NO MORAL OR OTHER
OBJECTIONS TO PHYSICAL LOVE IN ANY OF ITS MANY EARTHLY, ALIEN AND
MIXED FORMS, I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND MY BEST GRATIFICATION IN THAT
CREATURE CALLED *WOMAN.* ALSO, I WOULD DISLIKE BEING THOUGHT OF AS
SO FOOLISH THAT I WOULD SELECT A LOVE PARTNER WHO CAME INTO SEXUAL
HEAT ONLY ONCE EVERY SEVEN YEARS.">>
FYI, the second and last time that the word "t'hy'la" is ever used
appears later in the book when Spock meditates privately after
fixing the problems with the warp drive. Quote:
<<"There was much to put out of his mind. Why was it difficult to
forget Checkov's astonished delight which greeted him at the command
airlock when he boarded. And on the bridge - Kirk! The mere name
made Spock groan inwardly as he remembered what it had cost him to
turn away from that welcome. T'hy'la!">>
NOTE: Many people point to this footnote as "proof" that the whole
idea of Kirk and Spock as lovers was preposterous to GR, but they
aren't paying attention. This carefully worded and ambiguous
statement is *not* a denial, as I shall explain:
"I WAS NEVER AWARE OF THIS LOVERS RUMOR ALTHOUGH I HAVE BEEN TOLD
THAT SPOCK ENCOUNTERED IT SEVERAL TIMES..."
So Spock was aware that this rumor was circulating, and failed to
mention it to Jim for a while, it seems. That would be typical of
him. He's the same guy who forgot to warn Kirk that Ambassador Sarek
was his dad.
Jim is now speaking of the rumor. Think about this: This means that
Kirk is admitting that _in his universe_ rumors about him and Spock
being lovers are circulating, and he's acknowledging this.
"APPARENTLY HE HAD ALWAYS DISMISSED IT WITH HIS CHARACTERISTIC
LIFTING OF HIS RIGHT EYEBROW WHICH USUALLY CONNOTED SOME COMBINATION
OF SURPRISE, DISBELIEF, AND/OR ANNOYANCE...."
So Spock dismissed the rumor several times, but never outright
denied it. Neither does Kirk.
"AS FOR MYSELF, ALTHOUGH I HAVE NO MORAL OR OTHER OBJECTIONS TO
PHYSICAL LOVE IN ANY OF ITS MANY EARTHLY, ALIEN AND MIXED FORMS...
Here Kirk is stating flat out that he personally has no objections
to homosexuality, and other alternative forms of erotic expression.
...I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND MY BEST GRATIFICATION IN THAT CREATURE CALLED
Best compared to what? He's frankly admitting here that he has at
least experimented. Best ~for what~, most gratifying ~in what way~,
he neglects to say. It's quite clear from this remark that women
aren't his ONLY source of "gratification". This is a frank
admission that he is bisexual.
"ALSO, I WOULD DISLIKE BEING THOUGHT OF AS SO FOOLISH THAT I WOULD
SELECT A LOVE PARTNER WHO CAME INTO SEXUAL HEAT ONLY ONCE EVERY
Just because he would dislike being thought of that way doesn't mean
it's not true.
Spock, a half-human, is viable between Pon Farrs. We see Spock
showing sexual interest outside of Pon Farr more than once.
Besides, who says Kirk is the one who did the selecting? Maybe Kirk
was selected, and felt he had no choice but to be a good sport.
That would be typical of his pattern, which is only to mate when
he's in captivity. ;)
In any case, what Kirk is really saying here is that:
1) He has become aware that people think he and Spock are lovers.
He doesn't say that they don't have good reason to think that.
2) Spock has confronted some of the gossipers, and quelled their
whispering with a dirty look, but not with a denial.
3) Kirk admits he's bisexual. Furthermore, he makes it plain that he
personally has no moral issues about it. He also is comfortable
with the idea of alien sex. The idea of mixed forms of sex (humans
with aliens, group sex) also causes him no difficulties. In short,
he has no moral or other reasons to not have sex with Spock... or
with Spock and a girl at the same time.
4) What really bugs him most is the people who think he'd be happy
with having sex only once every seven years. As IF!
5) Kirk never denies that he and Spock are lovers! Neither, it
seems, does Spock.
When Spock turns to Kirk in The Wrath of Khan and says "I am always
yours", to me that pretty much sews it up. Spock is always his, not
just once in a while. :)
...I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND MY BEST GRATIFICATION IN THAT CREATURE CALLED
I feel constrained to point out that you can hang a wig and a dress
on almost any creature and call it a *woman*. Spock calls Kirk
T'hy'la, but what Kirk calls Spock behind closed doors we can only
guess at. ;)
Why did Roddenberry coin this "Vulcan" word? It's important to note
that he created it as a label for Spock's relationship with James T.
Kirk, in the ST: TMP novel. Why was this necessary? There already
was a perfectly serviceable word in play, "friend". Apparently GR
felt that the word "friend" was insufficient.
"T'hy'la" - A term applied to someone who is a friend/lover. If
this is not a husband/wife, then what is it? This can't simply be
an umbrella term for any fond relationship, as if Vulcans make no
distinction between motherly love, friendship between children, and
the love of two lovers. That makes no sense. Being scientific and
logical, Vulcans must demand more precision than that in their
I understand that the Vulcan word for husband is Adun, for a wife,
Aduna. T'hy'la is a term to describe a love which is other than
that between a husband and wife in a heterosexual marriage. If they
are so unemotional, why a special word for impractical love
relationships? How un-Vulcanlike: to acknowledge an emotional
relationship with its own word, and a not very precise word too -
*unless* applied only to a person who is exactly both of these
things: friend/lover. THEN it becomes a very precise and narrowly
defined term indeed. Then it becomes a word to describe a
relationship which is as all encompassing as marriage, without being
a marriage. It becomes the Vulcan word for "Longtime Companion",
which is a Terran euphemism for Gay lovers. *Not* fudgepacking fuck-
buddies, but _lovers_. Two people of the same sex who are ~in love~
with each other.
The question unanswered is, can t'hy'la be joined in kalifarr? I
say, why not? Perhaps two men or two women can in a sense be
married, under Vulcan common law. The Vulcan have one word for both
mating and marriage, so to them, to mate is to be married. If two
guys or two gals physically as well as psychically bond, I don't
think the Vulcan really have a way to distinguish that bond from
that which is achieved via a heterosexual marriage, except perhaps
by designating such partners t'hy'la, instead of adun/aduna.
Some people have asserted that Spock can't be Gay because he is
celibate, as if it would be illogical for Spock to have sex with
*anyone*, but I disagree. Obviously, he would have a lot of
perfectly logical reasons to want to have sex, that include _to
father children_. That's not the only logical reason he might want
to "do it". There are plenty of other logical reasons why he might
want to, including:
1) Promotes social bonding. 2) For the experience of pleasure. 3)
Relief from sexual tension. 4) As a soporific (helps you to sleep).
5) Health. Keeps the plumbin' workin'!
Heck, here's 14 logical reasons why Spock would like to have sex
1) Kirk has got what it takes. Spock is an ass man, and Kirk does
have a cute butt.
2) Kirk loves Spock. It's logical to do it with someone who has
positive feelings for you.
3) Kirk and Spock have a lot in common. It's logical to mate with
someone who can share much with you.
4) Kirk is trustworthy. It's logical to choose a partner you can
5) Kirk likes sex. It's logical to prefer a sex partner who's
positive about sex.
6) Kirk is vigorously healthy. He could take anything the Vulcan
could dish out, even if they are playing rough (which he actually
would probably prefer).
7) All those adoring women can't be wrong! [Wait, maybe they *are*
wrong! Not about whether he's adorable, just about whether he
welcomes their adoration.]
8) Kirk is convenient. The guy is always right there. If you gotta
go right now, who better to go with than someone who is readily
9) Kirk is his Captain, and on his way up the ladder. If Spock makes
his Cappy happy, this could help his career!
10) Kirk sure as hell isn't getting pregnant! Let's face it, neither
Kirk nor Spock want kids, so it's illogical for them to mess with
11) Kirk is a fun guy! Guy's a hoot and a half!
12) Aesthetically, Kirk is a good choice. Kirk is prettier than any
of the women.
13) Plus, it feels good, and...
14) It keeps their plumbin' workin' ;)
Even if Spock (or Kirk) might want kids doesn't mean he has to give
up guys. It just means he has to work something out with a lady.
He could have it all. Lots of people do. I feel constrained to
point out that we have no reason to believe Spock is fertile. He's
a half-human biological oddity. Even if he could father offspring,
maybe he shouldn't.
The procreative urge is an instinctual drive. What's love got to do
with it? Birds do it, bees do it, even uneducated fleas do it.
Vulcans do it even when they don't want to. Even when there is a
complete lack of love, desire and volition, Vulcans do it. Spock
did not love or want T'Pring, he went home to her only because he
was driven to it by a biological imperative - in fact, we were given
reason to believe he would die if he didn't go.
Those who say Spock would not have sex with Kirk because there is no
proof that they did ignore the ton of circumstantial evidence that
Kirk and Spock do indeed have a deeply intimate relationship. They
also have to ignore the complete lack of evidence that Spock ever
could really prefer a woman. We've seen Spock reject women several
times, usually to be with Kirk.
The statement that Spock wouldn't behave emotionally is certainly
easy to disprove. The statement that Spock is always motivated by
logic is easy to disprove. The statement that Spock doesn't love
anybody is easy to disprove. The statement that Spock doesn't show
a marked preference for any one person's company is easy to disprove.
Spock during TOS is shown many times to be very imperfect in his
ability to remain unemotional. He certainly is capable of sexual
feeling. He gets all excited over Leila Kalomi, Zarabeth, and seems
to be flirty as hell with Droxine. You don't mean to say you don't
think Spock got laid in This Side Of Paradise? He almost threw his
career and everything away for Zarabeth in All Our Yesterdays. He
told Droxine that "extreme feminine beauty" could be disturbing to
Vulcan men at any time, not just during Pon Farr. If that's true
about Vulcan men in general, it certainly could be true about
Spock. In Mudd's Women you can catch Spock watching the women's
butts when they walk out of the Captain's quarters after the first
interview. Spock may be Vulcan, but he's not dead! This, and
several other incidents show that Spock is capable of sexual
interest outside of Pon Farr. Some of this happened before he ever
experienced Pon Farr, so Spock apparently was erotically viable to
some extent before the events depicted in Amok Time.
Because Spock has chosen of his own free will to live among humans
and work along side them, I think it's self-evident that he doesn't
actually reject his human side. He likes humans! He allows himself
to me humanlike at times. Spock clearly does many things for
pleasure's sake (he like to play his Vulcan lyre, and he sometimes
entertains his shipmates with it) He's not anti-sex, or anti-
pleasure. Spock is a serious fellow and his pleasures aren't silly
ones, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't believe in having fun.
If he can enjoy looking (which he can) and touching and kissing
(which he can), why wouldn't he enjoy going all the way? As we were
shown more than once, he might.
OK, so Spock likes girls. BUT saying that Spock is not Gay because
he likes girls is certainly wrong. Sure, he likes women, but he
could be bisexual.
Spock is sometimes emotional and he obviously sometimes can feel
sexual desire. Don't say he couldn't have tender feelings for Kirk,
because he admits to shameful feelings for Kirk in Naked Time,
rather explicitly. Don't say he wouldn't let Kirk touch him because
he very plainly would/does let Kirk touch him. Kirk puts his hands
all over Spock dozens of times, and Spock permits it. BTW, Spock
touches him back, sometimes without being first invited to, like in
Requiem For Methuselah. Those two have a *very* physical
relationship. They also clearly are very fond of each other. Spock
is closer to Kirk than other person in the whole ST universe is.
Kirk explicitly states this to Spock in Turnabout Intruder, and
Spock doesn't deny it. When Kirk says Spock is closer to his
Captain than *anyone* in the *universe*, that includes all the
ladies that either Kirk or Spock have supposedly been with. That is
Spock confided in Kirk about his sex needs, then he invited Kirk to
come with him to his wedding, then he gets in a big fight with Kirk,
then after his fight with Kirk he suddenly comes to his senses, and
his fiancée says _she had a feeling that neither Kirk nor Spock
would want her_ (which is why she's glad that Stonn is there). Then
Spock goes back to the ship, without mating with her, nor with
anyone else. As far as we know, at that point he's still in mortal
danger: in desperate need of a mate. When Spock discovers that Kirk
is in fact alive, he grabs Kirk and gives Kirk a big smile, acting
wildly emotional, which McCoy comments on. Then Kirk and Spock run
off together...and that's the HAPPY ENDING, literally.
After that, they live (more or less) happily ever after, without
either one of them ever marrying a woman. OK, they weren't always
happy with each other, but they did stick together until death did
them part. That's how the story ends. And death has to try to part
them more than once before it finally wins, too. Talk about a
couple of die-hards!
Gee, if only it wasn't two men. If it was a man and woman we were
talking about, we could call it romantic. We could call it a Great
Love Story. But people aren't ready for a great love story about
two men, so I guess we have to settle for calling it a really great
"IN A PIG'S EYE!"