Spock and McCOy

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Kinokima, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    McCoy is one of Spock's few friends. He invited him to his wedding for goodness sake.

    I don't think anyone can say McCoy hates Vulcans or thinks he is better than them. He doesn't agree that their general philosophy in life is correct to supress all emotions. Just as some people don't think its appropriate for women to wear a full burkha.
    He believes he has the sort of relationship with Spock that he is confortable with expressing his misgivings about the Vulcan supression of emotions especially in regards to Spock.
    Unfortunately McCoy sometimes make racist remarks which mostly Spock doesn't take seriously.
    If you take someone like Archer who probably did dislike Vulcans in general in the beginning of ENT, I can't remember him making a racist remark at all. Yet I'd say Archer and his crew were quite racist at the beginning of ENT. A lot more than McCoy. As T'Pol and the crew got to know each other their prejudices began to disappear.
     
  2. BennieGamali

    BennieGamali Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for this thread!

    So, some of you seem very concerned about the racism against aliens coming from McCoy and aimed at Spock. First of all, as someone mentioned, this is harmless banter amongst friends. At least that is how I always interpreted it. Second of all, you actually have to read the character and dialog in the light of when it was made. McCoy is meant to be a bit short tempered and his remarks weren't intended as anything but bursts of frustration.

    Look at McCoy as a whole and you know he's not meant to be a racist.

    ALSO! In this day and age, people make racist remarks on TV all the time. Just watch a movie. There really are a lot of "racist" jokes where the characters are not racist. It's just a way to use dialog to portray a characters sense of humor and their relationship with the other character. So we're not really any better in that respect. The key is to try and understand that people who are as familiar with one another as Spock and McCoy often say things to each other that they never would say to a stranger. The dialog is a reflection of their relationship, not of McCoy as a character.

    So: love and familiarity + rivaly + them being oposites = banter.
     
  3. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    There's some kind of transporter accident-induced fanfic waiting to be written about such a combination... :wtf:

    Racism is every bit as real whether the target is a fictitious individual or not. It's the attitude of the originator of the remark that matters.

    Deciphering that attitude is what can be really difficult. Gene Roddenberry had many faults, but I sincerely doubt racism was one of them. He would not have built this trait into his leading characters.

    Those remarks in ST VI really turned me off that movie. I don't understand why so many people liked it - the remarks are not in the least bit funny, and I hope the reason they were included was to show how Kirk should have taken his own advice that he spouted so many times in the TV series about people getting along and deciding to behave civilly.


    As for the Spock/McCoy relationship... I read a fanfic some time ago where Spock is present at McCoy's deathbed. I must have cried for a good 15-20 minutes after finishing the story - it was beautifully written and captured the characters and their relationship perfectly.
     
  4. Kinokima

    Kinokima Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Of course I am not saying there is no such thing as "fictional racism". Fictional racism is often used to symbolically portray real racism.


    TOS showed fictional racism against Spock for example in the episode Balance of Terror. If you recall when a certain character made remarks about Spock, Kirk said we will have none of that on this ship or something to that affect. Here the writers were clearly trying to portray racism.

    In the case of Spock/McCoy however the writers & actors were not trying to portray racism & that's the bottom line. They were trying to portray banter between friends, albeit very different friends.

    However I will stand by my remark that people should be more concerned with "real racism" in media than fictional racism. And when I say real I mean directed at real groups of people. I am also not talking about interpreting a character as racist, but seeing things in the scripts as a whole or in the portrayals of the characters themselves.

    For example George Takei was talking about Sulu as a positive representation of a Japanese American because he was a top pilot whereas a common negative stereotype was that Asians were bad drivers. So something racist for example could be as small as Sulu always almost crashing the Enterprise (which thankfully they never did).

    Of course I am not saying TOS was free of problematic things either but I don't want to take this thread too off track.

    Gene Roddenberry's discusses Spock/McCoy here under McCoy:

    http://missionlogpodcast.com/discovereddocuments/040/

    He also said the following quote in 1975

    "I think the surface quarreling [between Spock and McCoy] is the fun of testing each other’s ideas. Very often, people who are very deeply affectionate with each other have a surface fight going all the time. I have dear friends who I would never in a thousand years refer to in any way other than ‘you ugly bastard"


    Sorry I know this got long. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Pinkskins.

    Personally I believe that Andorian eyes see differently than ours do, so people like Travis and Hoshi (to a Andorian) would both be "pinkskins."

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  6. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am not a fan of McCoy, and his treatment of Spock is the main reason why. I don't mind the jokes and comments about Spock's "otherness" - that was just the writers using the McCoy character as a sort of stand-in for the rest of us. They used him to point out things that they wanted us to notice, and he was also comic relief at times. I'm fine with all of that.

    But what I hated even as a little kid being allowed to stay up past my bedtime just to watch Star Trek (my mom's a big fan too :) ) was how McCoy would turn on Spock when things were going bad - accuse him of not caring at all, even for the captain, and he had to know that wasn't true. McCoy would be worried or upset and he'd take it out on Spock - and he'd do so again and again - not because he was a racist but because...well, I'm not sure why he kept doing this so consistently throughout TOS. But it was wrong. And unfair.

    The fact that he sometimes felt bad afterwards didn't stop him from doing it again (and in front of other crew members, I might add) the next time the chips were down. There Spock would be, doing his best in a difficult situation with the captain unavailable for a variety of reasons, and there the good doctor would be, criticizing him at every step of the way, not offering a single piece of constructive advice - and again, he'd sometimes do this in front of the crew.

    As a child of 8, I disliked it and found it unfair and unjustified. And I still do today. McCoy wasn't a racist but he was a real jerk sometimes, and I am not a big fan of guys who repeatedly act like jerks to someone who is supposed to be their friend, and who do so when what the friend needs is support.

    When Spock was under pressure as a commander, McCoy was a jerk. That doesn't make him a racist, but it doesn't make a very good friend, either.
     
  7. marksound

    marksound Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    McCoy was not racist, he was gruff. His barbs toward Spock were usually in frustration. When they weren't in frustration, they were good-natured jabs at a close friend. Male friends do that. At least in this country.

    In this clip from Rules of Engagement, Jeff and Russell have just been berated by Jeff's wife Audrey for constantly ragging on each other. Just when they've agreed that they might have to let up a bit, they see their friend Adam in ballroom dance lessons with his fiance Jennifer ...

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BCUnWXYYSg[/yt]

    This is typical of American men who are close friends. The relationship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is no different.
     
  8. BennieGamali

    BennieGamali Commander Red Shirt

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    That's how friends act no matter what gender they are in every other country...
     
  9. Kinokima

    Kinokima Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    McCoy definitely had faults I am not denying that but he was never a jerk to Spock just because he wanted to give Spock a hard time.

    If you look at all the times McCoy was a "jerk" to Spock it was because he was also under extreme pressure himself. And sometimes when we are under pressure or emotional stress we can take it out on the wrong person, in this case Spock. This is actually a very human thing to do.

    McCoy always apologized and admitted he was wrong. I don't think you can say he didn't learn from his mistakes because unfortunately this was somewhat of an episodic television series, the characters never went through major changes. It is what it is. That being said McCoy obviously softened a lot towards Spock in the movies. He still teased him a bit but you could tell their relationship had grown (and though it wasn't said outright I think it had to do with the whole katra thing).

    As for Spock though it is easy to say McCoy should have known and yes I think McCoy deep down knew Spock really did care. But in a crises situation when Spock talks with cold logic and doesn't "show" he cares then this would negatively affect McCoy. Remember Kirk was the balance between Spock & McCoy, when he wasn't there it was natural for the emotional & logical side to clash but in the end the point was they work better together.

    I also only remember in one episode McCoy telling Spock off in front of younger crew member: the Galileo 7. McCoy might have went too far there, although I blame that on the writing and the fact that it was an early Spock/McCoy episode. Even here McCoy eventually told Boma the younger crew member, he was going to far against Spock.

    I think McCoy was hardest on Spock in the Tholian Web but there he was under extreme stress and most likely affected by the negative space himself. Here he definitely apologized in the end.

    I will also add that McCoy did a lot of things to show he cared about Spock. He was often quick to defend Spock when someone else said something about him, he worried about Spock's well being, and often he was the first to run to Spock's aid. Spock of course did a lot of these things for McCoy too.

    The whole thing is Spock & McCoy were meant to be "friends in secret". Their relationship was different from Kirk/Spock & McCoy/Kirk. For me it was more they would never admit to liking each other but they of course really did....I think anyone who likes that type of love/hate relationship will appreciate Spock/McCoy.

    Anyway I know you can't help your opinion of not liking McCoy and I doubt my post will change your mind. But call it my own failing that I can't help but defend McCoy (who I admit I love). :)
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    McCoy sometimes reminds of some folks I've encountered in real life that appear not to have consistent impulse control. They can be very intelligent and skilled and very personable, but it is a quirk that they can react impulsively and say the first thing that comes into their head before really considering it first. Afterward they can indeed regret what they said or how they behaved, but they can never seem to really get a handle on their impulsiveness. And funnily they can also spend a great deal of time on making other kinds of decisions. Go figure.

    Human beings are a quirky lot.
     
  11. Commishsleer

    Commishsleer Commodore Commodore

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    I was watching 'Amok Time' today.
    Spock actually seemed to want McCoy in his wedding party. And in the last scene McCoy wanted to know all the T'Pring gossip just like a friend would.

    And even when Kirk was trying to get Spock to tell him what was happening said "he didn't want to lose the best first officer in Star Fleet" not that he didn't want to lose his friend, he only said that to McCoy. I'm probably not explaining this right - but even Kirk wouldn't say to Spock directly that they were friends so how could McCoy.
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The way men express themselves between each other has changed over the years, but perhaps not in essence. I'm reminded of my father who is very much "old school." He expresses his feelings through actions and teasing and jokes. He wasn't one to openly say "I love you" to his kids, but we never doubted it for a minute. It's just the way he and so many men were like.

    Today we see fathers act very different with their kids in how they express themselves. Do they love their children more than their fathers and grandfathers did? I don't believe that for a second.

    In one way I think our parents and grandparents understood one thing that some parents today do not. The older generations understood their kids had to be prepared to deal with a world that could be quite tough and uncompromising. Today there are parents I'm not sure really understand this. Sometimes it seems as if some cater to and shelter their kids too much. Even in terms of play some parents are terrified of letting their kids out of sight for a second. This is in real contrast to how many of us grew up where we took off with our friends for hours (and without a cellphone) and nothing was said as long as we were home for lunch or dinner or before the street lights came on. During that time we learned about the world and our surroundings with our friends on our own terms and laying the groundwork for us to be independent and to fend for ourselves. Is society today more dangerous than before? Maybe, in some respects, but perhaps we're also more sensitized to it because of instant communication and a 24/7 news and media cycle screaming at us incessantly.

    Guys today still tease and insult each other and we're not prone to openly saying "I love you, man" except perhaps in extreme circumstance. But society has pressured men to be more feminized in some respects and seeing a reflection of how men generally behaved in the past can fly in the face of that.

    Kirk, Spock and McCoy cared about each other. It was evident in their actions that spoke louder than any barbs they exchanged. They could really argue with each other, but in a crunch they'd back each other to the end.
     
  13. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    Nailed it.