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13 July 2011 @ 03:19 pm
Generic meta post in generic  
Yeah, I haven't been around much lately and I have no good excuse, so...here's space husband meta pulled from my ass and is possibly redundant? I just have a lot of feelings and none of them include communicating outside of tumblr (though even that is sparing really) or getting things done and all to do with fangirling over fictional characters. I think I'm preaching to the choir on this, so here we go.

If you’re a diehard K/S fan, you probably already know about this this, but let’s go over it again in case you missed it. In The City on the Edge of Forever, Kirk is walking with Edith Keeler one night and looks troubled. Edith tells him, “Whatever it is, let me help.” He remarks that "a hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He'll recommend those three words even over I love you." The K/S part comes when in the very next episode, Spock says 'let me help' to Kirk when he is bedridden and wants to help on the mission. Kirk deliciously seals the deal by saying, “I need you Spock”, pausing a bit to let that sink into a blind and deaf 1960’s audience before moving on to try (and fail) to mask how utterly gay that scene was going.

I want to emphasize the fact that not only is this the episode right after Kirk reveals that, to him, those words are more romantic than ‘I love you’, but also that this exact combination of words rarely appears in the entire series, so much so that you can count the instances on one hand. In Miri Kirk asks the aging children to ‘let me help you’, in City on the Edge of Forever, Spock offers to ‘let me help you’ as he nerve pinches a police officer and, in the same episode, Edith says it to Kirk, Operation—Annihilate with Spock saying it to Kirk, and then several episodes later in A Private Little War (which I will talk about in a minute.) Funny that in 79 episodes which constantly feature Kirk or anyone else in the crew pleading with someone or something time and time again to let the Federation help out, we only see that particular phrase in four episodes, one of which came before the definition of love precedent and another that, while in the same episode, was used by Spock flippantly and was also said before Edith said it to Kirk.   

The closest we get to another acknowledgment of ‘let me help’ after we squeed ourselves to death in Operation—Annihilate is in A Private Little War when Spock is left unconscious for most of the episode from a gunshot wound. Chapel is clearly pining for Spock still, and in one scene actually holds his hand. M’Benga notices and points out that Spock is probably aware that she did it. Now I hope you aren’t convinced that Spock has a single romantic feeling for Chapel, because once again you’re going to be disappointed. Spock wakes up and starts to get out of bed, Chapel offers to “let me help you.” Spock says no, he’s fully recovered now, thanks, and Chapel hilariously responds, “Yes, I see you are.” I swear, Chapel’s unrequited love for Spock is like a goddamn Greek tragedy, isn’t it? I mean, this is the exact inverse of ‘let me help’ here and it’s the last time it’s used in the show or the movies. When she said she loved Spock in The Naked Time, he said, “I’m sorry”, her only kiss with Spock is by force in Plato’s Stepchildren and he clearly did not enjoy it, and then in the first movie Spock basically makes out with Kirk in front of her in sickbay. Give the woman a lifetime supply of chocolate and a sassy gay friend, please. You’re going to write a sad poem in your PADD and move on.

Now, even if you call all this coincidence or believe it was included on purpose yet the scene in Operation—Annihilate was about Spock loving Kirk in a strictly brotherly way, none of that really matters because we still get that this is Kirk's definition of love. No he doesn’t sit there and say, “Edith, I love you too because I believe when you said ‘let me help’ you were saying the same to me.” Even the blind and deaf audience of the 60’s could see the way Kirk looked at her and right after he arrives back in their room and Spock tells him Edith must die, Kirk admits that he’s in love with her (also, OUCH. Poor Spock. It’s a good thing I know that you will later get your man because this is painful to watch.) It’s a clue in decoding Kirk’s character, much like his canon fear of dying alone helps us understand what goes on in his head and how he approaches life and, might I add, Spock factored into the easing of that fear with that whole “you were never alone” thing in Star Trek V: Shatner Writes Slash. Finding out that Kirk shares that Orion writer’s belief that ‘let me help’ is better than saying ‘I love you’ is incredibly useful when you start analyzing Kirk’s relationships.

Limerence- an involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction for another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated. In other words, romance. That feeling you get in your tummy whenever that special someone is being adorable or, conversely, when you see that special someone hug someone else and you want to stab them in the face with a soldering iron. To Kirk, this is divorced from the concept of True Love. Interestingly enough, in about 95-99% of Kirk's dealings with women, limerence is the presiding factor. Kirk loves easily, relishes romance and thoroughly enjoys flirting and wooing those he's interested in. In fact, I dare say that even the negative aspect of limerence, namely, the part about having a jealous chest monster, doesn’t fit with Kirk. How many times have you see Kirk get jealous? Go ahead, count them—I can wait. So, a big fat pile of ‘never’? Well, not unless you count This Side of Paradise, when he somehow overcomes the effects of the spores when he just happens to see Spock holding the hand of a pretty blonde girl and smiling. ::coughs:: Hey, it’s not often that Spock’s loyalty and devotion to Kirk wavers and it sort of takes mind-altering situations to achieve it (All Our Yesterdays, anyone?)

Notice, however, that all of Kirk’s relationships are fleeting and even though a spark for someone may still exist, he still considers the Enterprise his one true love. That ship is another clue in decoding Kirk’s inner self. I could write books on psychoanalyzing the dynamics of the relationship between Kirk and his ship, but at the end of the day, the ship is a hunk of metal and Kirk is the one giving her anthropomorphic traits. Kirk calls her a lady and connects himself to the ship as if he were married to it because his ship embodies his definition of love. Let that sink in. It's not romance—it's necessity. Kirk needs his ship, plain and simple. It's his home, his life's work, his entire identity. It gives him freedom to explore the stars and make a difference, it never asks for anything except a fine-tuned engine and a good crew, and it needs Kirk just as much as it needs him. If you want to understand where Kirk's heart lies and what is important to him, you need to look at the ship and look at what's more important, namely, Spock.

We all know Kirk risks his career in Amok Time so Spock doesn't, you know, die, and in the third movie he flat out self-destructs the Enterprise on a mission to get Spock back. So what makes Spock so important to Kirk? I’m not being rhetorical here. Really, what makes Spock that important? Clearly Kirk loves him. He loves McCoy too. He loved his parents and Gary Mitchell, but it's so much more than that. Spock doesn't fit Kirk's usual profile for romance. Kirk usually goes for women, blondes preferably. Then there's the fact that Spock scoffs at emotions and thus romance in general, so it seems like they are the exact opposite in the realm of love and romance, but are they really? In the TMP novel, Spock walks within earshot of two humans engaging in sex and thinks that the way they mate is far removed from his definition of passion. Does that mean that Spock shares the same belief that Kirk does?

Because in all honesty, Kirk's definition sounds like something a Vulcan would use as a definition of love. It's practical, almost unromantic in itself. I wouldn't call Spock's loyalty 'romantic', but it certainly brims over with love. Spock is always by Kirk's side, always believing in Kirk, so much so that in Court Martial Spock tells the court that Kirk could not possibly have panicked and accidentally killed someone because he was Kirk. The logical answer would be that Kirk is human and thus could, conceivably, panic, but Spock's faith in Kirk is so unshakable that he compares Kirk to the friggen law of gravity (and I momentarily float away as I recite some Shakespeare—"love is not love, which alters when alternation finds, or bends with the remover to remove...") In the Ultimate Computer, Spock talks about the merits of the M5 computer and Kirk is upset that Spock would choose machine over man. At that point in the episode, logic would suggest that machine is better than man and yet Spock not only doesn’t choose that option, he doesn’t even try to do his usual song and dance routine of making an emotional decision of his seem like the logical choice. No, he says loyalty to one man is key, and nothing can replace Kirk. Seriously, go back and listen to it—Spock is being highly emotional here and baring his feelings all over that damn bridge, and Kirk smiles like the sun came up after a month of night. I think I could cite examples of how much they care about each other night and day and I’d be here a year easy.

We all read 'let me help' and know that Kirk is talking about doing things for someone else simply because you love them, like make them homemade chicken noodle soup when they're sick or listen to their horrible taste in music for a while because it makes them happy or even let them be with someone else because that's what they want. It’s about self-sacrifice—it’s about wanting someone else to be happy, even if their being happy means you won’t be. Saying you love someone is easy. Romance is something for the young, something to court and woo, a symptom of love rather than an indicator. So saying 'I love you' is just that, saying some words and even if you mean them, you haven't tested them. Kirk said that it was an Orion writer, and what better people to understand the difference between lust and love? I like to think that this already extends to reboot. Gaila, who happens to be an Orion, easily tells reboot Kirk that she loves him but doesn't seem overly hurt that Kirk was like, "wait, whut?" and seemed more miffed that he didn’t play along than anything else. Gaila was participating in limerence, but this Kirk finds it ‘weird’, maybe because he doesn’t see ‘I love you’ as anything but words and found it ‘weird’ that Gaila would say them so easily, but maybe because he’s had fewer examples of love in his life than Kirk Prime had and perhaps tolerates limerence a lot less than his predecessor. 

In the end, it's about compatibility and being equal with someone. There's a feminist theory that girls tend to like slash because when two males are together, there's no gender bias and a relationship can continue without those prescribed gender roles that Hollywood likes to force on romance (see: 90% of all relationships in all media across the board.) 'Let me help' is a further continuation of that search for equality. Kirk and Spock's relationship suddenly isn't about a 'trying to get the girl/boy' trope but simply showing that real love happens everywhere, even between a human and an alien. That is why I like Metamorphosis so much, because even though you get anti-feminist plot points like 'The Companion's a woman so therefore she loves the man and that explains everything,' you also get Kirk, Spock, and McCoy wondering why the hell Cochrane is so disgusted over an alien lifeform loving him and Spock calling it a 'totally parochial attitude'. I think this is why Kirk and Spock’s fangirl popularity has endured so long and so fervently, because Kirk and Spock's relationship has a gender-blind, species-blind, universal appeal to it.  It really is that fucking simple of a feeling, isn’t it?

HELP. I have no idea what kind of meta to do next, so I'm taking requests. Anything you'd like me to talk about? I can't promise I'll do it, but you never know, I'm pretty verbose in my love of space husbands.
Current Mood: enviousenvious
Current Music: Bread - I Would Give Everything I Own | Powered by Last.fm
the pirate queen of norwayashkitty on July 13th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
I have no requests because I am still basking in this one. I love it. I want to respond properly but am not sure I will be able to. Bask, bask, bask. :)
coeurdesoleil: kirk/spock AOS TOS original OTPcoeurdesoleil on July 13th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
I would like to second this comment :D
Big Mama G: New Spockbigmamag on July 14th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
:D That is perfectly acceptable.
ariadnechan: janewayariadnechan on July 13th, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
Also i want to add that "Let me help" is a tradition of trek
in Voyager
the first officer Chacotey falls for the Captain really quick and really deep so he say to her "Let me help" the words doesn't help him, so he tries really hard for almost 7 years to show her that he can help and he can be the right companion for her. (Poor guy!! he never get the hour of the day except one episode)
he is not creeper like Chapel only too in love.
Janeway likes older guys and borg women( but only if is the queen of the borg or Seven) so poor Chacotey never gets the chance
Big Mama G: TOS closebigmamag on July 14th, 2011 04:19 am (UTC)
This pleases me. I've heard of Janeway/Seven of Nine, so I can see how he'd fail all the time. I sort of like 'let me help' becoming a tradition. Jesus Christ, if Kirk or Spock said this to each other sometime in reboot? They'd have to haul me out of theater because I would suffer a heart attack right there.
ariadnechan: K/S xiariadnechan on July 14th, 2011 06:03 am (UTC)
i would die happy too if they say it!

seven of nine was suppose to be gay character, but finally off course nothing happens and when Janeway/Seven was too much showy they marry Seven with Chacotey in the last 3 episodes *Sigh*

but she was to be the gay character who was promised to Gene
after that in Enterprise Malcom Reed the english guy was suppose to be gay too, for the same reasons, but finally Star trek never deliver
what a piece of work is ann.: RAINBOW SPACE HUSBANDScicero_drayon on July 13th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)

I m on a super Space Husbands high these days and this was just the cherry on top! Everything I wanted to hear and everything I needed refuted is plain here!

I just got done rewatching TSFS for the 500th time because I am having a little marathon, so I was already literally rolling on the floor basking in Sporkish goodness. Then you have to go and put Sonnet 116 in there and now I'm seriously flailing. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL AND NOTHING HURTS.

I am wracking my brain for more meta ideas but my mind is just too blown. Brain and brain, what is brain?!
Big Mama G: otpbigmamag on July 14th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Oh my golly gee do I love TSFS! I don't even need to quote sonnets for that one because it's already a goddamn sonnet in itself!

Ahaha, Spock's Brain reference FTW. I will go down with that episode.
pasty_pantspasty_pants on July 14th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
you should write a book, it should be called "Let me Help" and it should be a collection of your meta. I would buy the shit out of that <3
idvo: Kirk Spock orangeidvo on July 14th, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
Seconded! :D
Big Mama G: otpbigmamag on July 14th, 2011 04:23 am (UTC)

I've had a crap day and this cheered me right the fuck up. *wibbles*
idvo: Kirk Spock orangeidvo on July 14th, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
Ooh, this is great! I really like how you point out that Kirk's definition of love is almost Vulcan-like. I never thought of it that way before, but I am now ^.^ And YES FOREVER to everyone's bafflement at Cochrane being all "ew!" about the alien loving him. If that's not proof that Star Trek's world is accepting (or is supposed to be accepting) of all forms of love, I don't know what is. I mean, they're just so confused as to why he'd react that way, it's amazing.

As for your next meta... Hm. I keep noticing how Kirk interacts with other men, not just Spock (like how he totally flirts with Captain John Christopher from "Tomorrow Is Yesterday"). And I wonder if there are differences between Spock's reactions to Kirk talking to men vs. Kirk talking to women. IDK, just something I wonder about ^.~
Big Mama G: TOS closebigmamag on July 14th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
That's one of the things I love most about Star Trek, an Earth where there's peace and bigotry is a minority opinion. It's also my biggest disappointment, because it saddens me that there has yet to be a canon gay character on this show. I mean good job for making Kirk and Spock become the surrogate gay married couple, but I want true canon where it's announced and not a huge deal is made of it. I mean, I privately want a scene in which Kirk is marrying two dudes, then walks away to talk with Spock about a mission and no emphasis is put on it, we're just shown that dudes marry and no one finds it odd.

I actually had to think about this for a minute, and you know, there aren't many male characters I'd say that Kirk flirts with besides Spock. I mean, there is heavy insinuation with Captain Christopher and Gary Mitchell, but I am hard pressed to think of another possible candidate (and I so don't count Finney from Court Martial, even if he named his daughter after Kirk because he is ugly. Shallow, I know, but please. Kirk would have better taste in men than that clearly inept and major grudge-holding dude.) As for Spock reacting to them, I'd say that he reacts with amusement from Captain Christopher, which he sorts of acts with a lot of women Kirk flirts with, but he sort of just tolerates Mitchell, even if we only get, like, one or two scenes of them interacting before he goes god-like. I don't think I could form coherent meta over it, but I think it holds up to my theory that Spock tolerates/is amused by most of Kirk's flings because he knows they are not permanent and there's that limerence factor. However, there's the obvious Edith, the girl from The Conscience of the King, Rayna, and really I think it's not so much men vs. women with Kirk but flirtation vs. passion.
polished to the nth degreecopperiisulfate on July 14th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
this is ♥

you should talk DUE SOUTH. i miss those boys.
Big Mama G: fraser/raykbigmamag on July 21st, 2011 05:39 am (UTC)
Oh man, but I don't know what to talk about! I've already done the meta I wanted from them, and now I can't think of something that hasn't been said by someone smarter and more eloquent. I dunno, maybe next time I'm on a police husband kick I'll think up something nice.
Did I make that wish, or did the wish make me?: hearts by kaitou1412alpha_hydra on July 14th, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
ZOMG SO MUCH LOVE ♥ basically everything you said here is and forever always will be Tru Fax, especially about the universal appeal to the K/S relationship :)

Also, I have a secret that I thought you might like to know.

Sometimes, when I feel like i need more awesome in my life, I click on your "space husbands" tag and go through all your amazing meta. And it NEVER stops being AWESOME :D

Big Mama G: otpbigmamag on July 21st, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)

YOU HAVE MADE MY WEEK. I can't believe people like it so much when it's basically me fangirling and rambling like a rambling thing. I'm so happy my love of their love is loved by you. It's a love orgy.