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Canada figured out the weirdest way to pay tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy

They're essentially paying $5 to memorialize Spock. Live long and devalue.


Aja Romano

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 3, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 9:55 am CDT

Since the death of Leonard Nimoy, the Internet has exploded in an outpouring of fan art and memorial tributes. But Canadians (of course) have found the oddest way of paying tribute to everyone’s favorite Vulcan.

It’s called “Spocking,” and it involves morphing the image of former Canadian prime minister Wilfrid Laurier—whose face is found on the country’s currency—into the iconic visage of Star Trek‘s Spock.

The trend has become so popular that the Bank of Canada on Monday promised that the currency defacement wouldn’t be considered illegal. 

Bank spokesperson Josianne Menard told CBC News that defacing the currency isn’t against the law. At worst, she said, retailers might refuse to accept the bill and the money just might fall out of circulation. 

We can’t imagine anyone not accepting a Live Long and Prosper dollar, but we can easily imagine the bills winding up in a fan’s scrapbook instead of serving their intended purpose. And were that to happen, we wouldn’t blame the collector in question.

The trend of turning the $5 bill into an image of Spock has long circulated in Canada as a bar trick. But since Nimoy’s death, the amount of publicity given to the fad has turned it into something that (of course) Americans are trying to outdo:

But even though the currency fan art isn’t illegal, it’s not exactly being given the thumbs-up. Menard later said in a statement released by media outlet Wenn that it was a bad idea for security, and, worse, a matter of national pride:

It is not illegal to write or make other markings on bank notes… However, there are important reasons why it should not be done. Writing on a bank note may interfere with the security features and reduces its lifespan. Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.

There you have it. Live long and devalue, Canada.

Photo via hawthorneandrewj/Twitter

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*First Published: Mar 3, 2015, 1:34 pm CST