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View Full Version : George Takei... Am I missing something here?


wabsnazsm
02-21-2013, 05:05 AM
What is the big deal about George Takei? 3.5 million "likes" on Facebook and people quoting him all the time. Why? He's just that bloke from Star Trek, isn't he? Why do YOU like George Takei?

naita
02-21-2013, 05:20 AM
He's that bloke from Star Trek and he actively posts really funny stuff on facebook that lots of people like and share.

Johanna
02-21-2013, 05:21 AM
He's witty and personable. What's not to like? Also, I'm gay and George is a great spokesman on gay issues.

USCDiver
02-21-2013, 05:21 AM
He's that bloke from Star Trek and he actively posts really funny stuff on facebook that lots of people like and share.

Oh my!

Nancarrow
02-21-2013, 05:22 AM
I have a FB and RL friend who has taken to sharing Takei's FB posts occasionally (once a week or so). From what I can tell it's simply that (IMHO) Takei's posts are often funny and/or informative and/or thought-provoking. If we apply Sturgeon's Law (that 90% of everything is crap) to Facebook posts, and probably update it to 99.5%, I consider Mr Takei's account to be squarely in the 0.5%.
(not that I've actually got round to 'like'ing him yet)

Steophan
02-21-2013, 05:43 AM
He posts funny stuff, and sometimes relevant stuff to gay rights issues.

I'm sure there's loads of other people who do the same, but for whatever reason his page is the one that went viral, basically.

kayaker
02-21-2013, 05:55 AM
He's a 75 year old dude who remains cutting edge.

BorgHunter
02-21-2013, 06:04 AM
He wrote a book (http://www.amazon.com/Myyy-There-Goes-Internet-ebook/dp/B00AHP5NY6) about his experiences on Facebook. In it (and I highly recommend it), he expresses his own astonishment that he can get so many fans to follow him, listen to him, share things he says, etc.

Ionizer
02-21-2013, 06:05 AM
I don't have time to find/link the video/news reports, but Google his name and "Its OK to be Takei". A beautiful statement as far as I am concerned. My 'tween daughter is 'coming out' (with my full support) and she holds him as a hero of sorts.

I follow him, fwiw. A great man, even without the Star Trek connection.

samclem
02-21-2013, 06:09 AM
Moved from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem

lost4life
02-21-2013, 07:31 AM
I don't have time to find/link the video/news reports, but Google his name and "Its OK to be Takei". A beautiful statement as far as I am concerned. My 'tween daughter is 'coming out' (with my full support) and she holds him as a hero of sorts.

I follow him, fwiw. A great man, even without the Star Trek connection.

This. He did some videos that really hit a point regarding gay rights. Some places are trying to ban the word "gay" from schools (okay, Tennessee mainly), and he offered his name as a substitute (The second half of his name rhymes with gay), saying "It's okay to say Takei." The videos IIRC, were well spoken, logical, and really had a strong message. I couldn't care less about Star Trek, but I like George. I think this gave him the status of cool, wise, elder.

wabsnazsm
02-21-2013, 07:35 AM
Then, I like George. I just didn't get around to following him and wondered what the fuss and buzz was all about.

Loach
02-21-2013, 07:38 AM
99% of what he posts on Facebook is reposting stuff others send him. But he has a good sense of humor and a lot of it is funny. I have often seen things that have become widespread memes first on his page. And he seems like a really nice guy. And Star Trek.

Ruby Slippers
02-21-2013, 07:43 AM
99% of what he posts on Facebook is reposting stuff others send him. But he has a good sense of humor and a lot of it is funny. I have often seen things that have become widespread memes first on his page. And he seems like a really nice guy. And Star Trek.

All of this plus the fact that he stays actively involved. He doesn't just share whatever comes his way -- he filters for what is funny or thought-provoking and adds his own often pithy comments. He's just one cool dude.

CalMeacham
02-21-2013, 07:47 AM
1.)George Takei has a LOT of exposure. He began doing vboioce-over work back in the 1950s (His voice shows up on the english language dubs of some kaiju films from the 1950s). He's in episodes of Twilight Zone and other series even before Star Trek.

2.) He was Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek and in the subsequent movies. At first it looks as if they wanted to make him a biologist or something (in the second pilot he's fussing with plants), but I guess they realized that, if that were the case, we'd never see him, and (as the visible asian-ancestry cast member) that would never do. So he became a navigator. He was young and got to do nifty things like fencing with his short off, so he was highly visible and relatable, not just a random crew member. So he was "prime crew", and showed up in the movies as well.

3.) He parlayed the fan affection by writing. He co-wrote a book with Robert Lynn Asprin (Mirror Friend/Mirror Foe about a futuristic ninja that shows hiom on the cover bare-chested with a sword, like in that Star Trek The Naked Time episode. He wrote issues of the Star Trek comics.*

4.) He continued his voice work. Partyly because of his experience, and partly for his familiarity, he became in demand. As Pepper Mill has noted, he became the "go to" guy for asian voices. He's done a lot of episodes of The Simpsons, both in and out of character. He was the elder i n Disney's Mulan. And other things.

5.) Now that he's older and an ico n of the old Star Trek series, he appears on things like Big Bang Theory and talk shows. He's riding the Adam Westian nosdtalgia wave.

6.) Now that he's come out (at a time when it's trendy) he's a visible and notable gay figure and quasi-spokesman.


So why not? He's worked at keeping his name in the spotlight and desrves it. Having reached more than minimum critical publicity mass, he's recognizable to people who may never have seen 9or cared about) Star Trek, and it snowballs from there.

Don't Call Me Shirley
02-21-2013, 07:47 AM
He did an amazing interview with Penn Gillette on Penn's podcast. It was a 90 minute interview and they talked about Star Trek for maybe 20 seconds. He mostly talked about how he was rounded up and sent to a concentration camp when he was five, and about being gay in Hollywood in the 60s. I highly recommend everyone to download that podcast.

Skammer
02-21-2013, 08:06 AM
Some places are trying to ban the word "gay" from schools (okay, Tennessee mainly), Just to be clear, it's not Tennessee, it's a few right wing-nut legislators. The "don't say gay" bill hasn't passed and probably never will in the statehouse.

On topic: George Takei is awesome.

Czarcasm
02-21-2013, 08:11 AM
Just to be clear, it's not Tennessee, it's a few right wing-nut legislators. The "don't say gay" bill hasn't passed and probably never will in the statehouse.The recently revived bill has been modified to be even more evil than it was before. The new provision in the bill states that teachers are required to tell parents if a student confides that she or he is gay.

Švejk
02-21-2013, 08:58 AM
Takei also gained some notoriety/popularity being on Howard Stern's show. That's where (IIRC) 'oh my' became his catchphrase.

I ended up unliking him eventually because, while I like his political agenda and support it, most of the things he posts are just stupid memes and crap puns reposted from elsewhere on the internet.

CalMeacham
02-21-2013, 09:09 AM
I forgot to mention -- Takei ran for office out in LA. I believe he served on the Transportation Board, or something, which probably raised people's awareness of him.

I'm not saying that's the reason he did it -- a lot of entertainment folk run for office, and I'm sure they're motivated by the same things that motivate anyone doing this, including a desire to achieve a lasting impact. Their high visibility gives them a potential leg up through voter recognition.

Anaamika
02-21-2013, 09:12 AM
I'm not even gay and I think he's awesome for bringing cool Asians to the forefront. And maybe allowing a few Asians to be gay and accept themselves - it's still very difficult. And he's just funny as hell.

Grrr!
02-21-2013, 09:17 AM
I was watching some news program the other day (Can't remember which one) but a pundit on there made a very good point regarding modern day issues with gays.

The media is slowly but surely portraying gays as normal now. They're just regular folks like anyone else. It used to be that the word gay would conjure up images of a bunch of guys in flamboyant costumes marching in a Gay Pride parade.

Now, when you hear gay,(on the media) it conjures up images of soldiers fighting our wars in the ME, conjures up images of people who just want marry the person that they love, ect... Real people with real problems. Not some caricature you see on some sitcom.

I think George is the perfect embodiment of that. The normal guy.

Sister Vigilante
02-21-2013, 10:33 AM
I regularly share his posts. But he needs to stop plugging his book 14 times a day.

Chimera
02-21-2013, 11:28 AM
Also (from the wiki page) on Nickelodeon's Supah Ninjas;

"George Takei as Grandpa "Hologramps" Fukunaga, the sensei of the Supah Ninjas and Mike's deceased grandfather. A hologram carrying the family ninja legacy, he guides and trains the Supah Ninjas and in an underground high-tech dojo under Mike and Martin's home and uses a robot to guide them to fight."

lost4life
02-21-2013, 12:02 PM
Just to be clear, it's not Tennessee, it's a few right wing-nut legislators. The "don't say gay" bill hasn't passed and probably never will in the statehouse.

On topic: George Takei is awesome.

Okay, not actually Tennessee itself, but some of legislators from Tennessee and supported by their constituents from Tennessee who voted for them and will probably keep voting for them, but not Tennessee.

Tim R. Mortiss
02-21-2013, 12:02 PM
I have nothing against George Takei; he seems like a decent sort. But IMHO, he is garnering so much attention mainly because he has become a sort of hipster touchstone. "Liking" him and sharing his posts is a way of saying, "I'm cool and accepting of people different than me and that makes me better than all you Neanderthals out there."

At least, that's the feeling I get from the phenomenon.

Rachellelogram
02-21-2013, 12:07 PM
I never watched Star Trek, but I first heard of him on facebook with the "ok to be Takei" campaign. He seems like a cool guy, even though he's like 112 years old. I don't follow him on Facebook, but my mom does. She reposts his best stuff so I eventually see it.

Really dug the 50 Shades of Gray reading recently, as well. OH MY!

miss elizabeth
02-21-2013, 12:07 PM
The recently revived bill has been modified to be even more evil than it was before. The new provision in the bill states that teachers are required to tell parents if a student confides that she or he is gay.

It's my understanding they will be required to inform the child's parents if there is even a suspicion of homosexual tendencies.

It really is one of the most disgusting, cruel laws I've ever heard of. As a future Tennessean (I move in 2 weeks!) it appalls me, and I hope it never passes. I will certainly fight it.

missred
02-21-2013, 12:36 PM
It's my understanding they will be required to inform the child's parents if there is even a suspicion of homosexual tendencies.

It really is one of the most disgusting, cruel laws I've ever heard of. As a future Tennessean (I move in 2 weeks!) it appalls me, and I hope it never passes. I will certainly fight it.

As a Tennessean for nearly 20 years, I seriously doubt that it will pass, even with the Pubs having a supermajority in the statehouse. The yahoos there tend to sponsor some of the most outrageous legislation to get their constituants' bowels in an uproar and quietly let a lot of it die. But it gets a lot of attention when it is proposed.

Caricci
02-21-2013, 01:20 PM
I love him because he's so funny and open on Howard Stern and he post nice things on Facebook.

Acsenray
02-21-2013, 01:53 PM
2.) He was Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek and in the subsequent movies. At first it looks as if they wanted to make him a biologist or something (in the second pilot he's fussing with plants)

His first appearance is as "Physicist Sulu"

So he became a navigator.

Sulu was the helmsman. Chekov was the navigator.

Loach
02-21-2013, 02:01 PM
I have nothing against George Takei; he seems like a decent sort. But IMHO, he is garnering so much attention mainly because he has become a sort of hipster touchstone. "Liking" him and sharing his posts is a way of saying, "I'm cool and accepting of people different than me and that makes me better than all you Neanderthals out there."

At least, that's the feeling I get from the phenomenon.

I'm about as far from a hipster as you can get. I have no hipster friends. He posts funny things. Most are quite innocent and not very hip (like Star Trek memes). He sometimes talks about marriage equality and other political issues but it is definitely the minority of his posts.

Infovore
02-21-2013, 02:02 PM
George is great. What's not to like? He's fun, he's a 75-year-old guy who "gets" the internet (not only gets it, but grabs it with both hands and makes it do his bidding), he's a good role model for gay kids and those who support them, he's happily married/partnered to the same person for oodles of years, he's funny, and by everything I've heard about him, he's a genuinely nice guy. That's even leaving out his contributions to Star Trek.

I think the world needs more people like George.

Yookeroo
02-21-2013, 03:11 PM
1.)George Takei has a LOT of exposure. He began doing vboioce-over work back in the 1950s (His voice shows up on the english language dubs of some kaiju films from the 1950s). He's in episodes of Twilight Zone and other series even before Star Trek.

2.) He was Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek and in the subsequent movies. At first it looks as if they wanted to make him a biologist or something (in the second pilot he's fussing with plants), but I guess they realized that, if that were the case, we'd never see him, and (as the visible asian-ancestry cast member) that would never do. So he became a navigator. He was young and got to do nifty things like fencing with his short off, so he was highly visible and relatable, not just a random crew member. So he was "prime crew", and showed up in the movies as well.

3.) He parlayed the fan affection by writing. He co-wrote a book with Robert Lynn Asprin (Mirror Friend/Mirror Foe about a futuristic ninja that shows hiom on the cover bare-chested with a sword, like in that Star Trek The Naked Time episode. He wrote issues of the Star Trek comics.*

4.) He continued his voice work. Partyly because of his experience, and partly for his familiarity, he became in demand. As Pepper Mill has noted, he became the "go to" guy for asian voices. He's done a lot of episodes of The Simpsons, both in and out of character. He was the elder i n Disney's Mulan. And other things.

5.) Now that he's older and an ico n of the old Star Trek series, he appears on things like Big Bang Theory and talk shows. He's riding the Adam Westian nosdtalgia wave.

6.) Now that he's come out (at a time when it's trendy) he's a visible and notable gay figure and quasi-spokesman.

Don't forget:

I love him because he's so funny and open on Howard Stern and he post nice things on Facebook.

He's really great on Howard Stern. Calling him "open" is an understatement.

Dr. Strangelove
02-21-2013, 03:25 PM
He tweeted about the satellite project (http://www.skycube.org) I've been working on, earning us probably a few tens of thousands of dollars, and even kicked us some funding himself. So yeah, he's an awesome dude.

Smapti
02-21-2013, 03:48 PM
Takei also made this clip on Youtube responding to homophobic basketball players a few years back (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s1iQODC5OI), which is both insightful and inspiring in addition to being completely hilarious.

Idle Thoughts
02-21-2013, 04:59 PM
Moving over to Cafe Society, which is just what George Takei would do.

salinqmind
02-21-2013, 05:17 PM
I love him because he's so funny and open on Howard Stern .

Yes, I know a "real manly man" type who cringes from teh gay, but listens to Howard Stern every day. A few years ago they threw George an on-air 'bachelor party' when he married his partner. (Party games: Guess What's Up My Ass? and Prettiest Penis Contest. Oh, MY! :D) It was excrutiatingly funny, and ever since, this person thinks George is tha bomb and loves loves loves him, "he's all right, ya know?" (plus residual love of the original ST series).

Beastly Rotter
02-21-2013, 05:25 PM
"Liking" him and sharing his posts is a way of saying, "I'm cool and accepting of people different than me and that makes me better than all you Neanderthals out there."

How is acceptance of people different from oneself not cool?

BMalion
02-21-2013, 05:28 PM
I have nothing against George Takei...

Unless you're slow-dancing and just can't help it.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
02-21-2013, 05:37 PM
He was young and got to do nifty things like fencing with his short off

Nice Freudian typo there.

Gyrate
02-21-2013, 05:44 PM
I "liked" his page because I find most of the stuff he reposts amusing, and because he's generally pretty cool. I would be surprised to learn there was any hipster cred (if such a thing exists) in joining any Facebook page.

Also, he reposted something I made, which validated my entire existence.

GIGObuster
02-21-2013, 05:56 PM
Obligatory link to the video of George telling homophobic Arkansas School Board Member McCance that he is a douche bag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UACK93xF-FE

I'm not gay, but to me that was awesome, no one can sound so respectful as him even when being insulting with targets that deserve it.

Sampiro
02-21-2013, 06:44 PM
He seems kind, intelligent, and funny. Finding any two of those things is easy, but the three together is the holy trinity of a person in my opinion, somebody I'd want as a friend. In an age of witless classless snark he brings wit and warmth and if he brings sting it's as deserved as it is sharp.

Except perhaps in the case of Twilight, which he hates and often skewers, but at least there it's funny, and more importantly, I agree with him.;)

JackieLikesVariety
02-21-2013, 08:29 PM
Takei also made this clip on Youtube responding to homophobic basketball players a few years back (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s1iQODC5OI), which is both insightful and inspiring in addition to being completely hilarious.

ha!

moriah
02-21-2013, 08:40 PM
Trekkies love him because he makes fun of Shatner.

VOW
02-21-2013, 08:52 PM
George has been a political activist for Gay Marriage Rights for years, especially in his home state of California. Several years ago when it became legal (all too briefly) in California for gays to marry, George and his partner Brad (who had been together for something like 25 years at that point) made plans to marry.

At first, they were going to join the masses of people at City Hall, but instead, George wanted to wait and plan "the wedding of his dreams." Fortunately, they did marry when the opportunity was still available. There were even some Star Trek stars involved. I understand Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) was George's "best man."


~VOW

BMalion
02-21-2013, 08:55 PM
Obligatory link to the video of George telling homophobic Arkansas School Board Member McCance that he is a douche bag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UACK93xF-FE

I'm not gay, but to me that was awesome, no one can sound so respectful as him even when being insulting with targets that deserve it.

I agree, that was darn awsome!

Mister Rik
02-22-2013, 03:25 PM
He was Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek and in the subsequent movies.
In the interest of fighting [my] ignorance, help me clear a fuzzy spot in my memory. In TOS, I don't recall the character ever being referred to by any name other than "Sulu" or "Mr. Sulu", even in the credits. I was under the distinct impression, as a kid watching the show in syndication in the early '70s, that the character was supposed to be Chinese. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized that Takei is a Japanese name*, and it was still later when I first learned that the character's full name was Hikaru Sulu.

Was Sulu indeed originally presented as Chinese, or was that simply my child's brain not yet comprehending the difference between Chinese and Japanese? (and did the "Hikaru" name only come along later, after the original show's run?)

4.) He continued his voice work
I've always thought he has a James Earl Jones-quality speaking voice.




*And having just started rewatching Deep Space 9 on Netflix, I chuckled a bit when I realized that Keiko O'Brien, a Japanese character, is portrayed by Rosalind Chao, a Chinese-American.

Acsenray
02-22-2013, 03:27 PM
I can't recall his ethnicity ever being discussed in the original Star Trek episodes. I believe "Hikaru" came up first in a novelization or perhaps even in a fanzine.

Smapti
02-22-2013, 03:30 PM
I can't recall his ethnicity ever being discussed in the original Star Trek episodes. I believe "Hikaru" came up first in a novelization or perhaps even in a fanzine.

Says Memory Alpha in their entry on Sulu (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Hikaru_Sulu);

Sulu's given name, Hikaru, was canonically established in Star Trek VI, though it had been used in fan circles since it was introduced in Vonda N. McIntyre's 1981 novel The Entropy Effect. McIntyre created the name, taking it from The Tale of Genji, because she needed to write a love scene featuring Sulu, and she "couldn't figure out how to write a love scene where the protagonists called each other by their surnames." Hikaru was also given in the script of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as the name of the young boy whom Sulu later realizes is his great-great grandfather.

Acsenray
02-22-2013, 04:18 PM
Ah, yes, the very first original novel in the Timescape series. And Sulu's paramour was its own annoying Mary Sue -- Captain Hunter.

gaffa
02-22-2013, 04:36 PM
Obligatory link to the video of George telling homophobic Arkansas School Board Member McCance that he is a douche bag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UACK93xF-FE

I'm not gay, but to me that was awesome, no one can sound so respectful as him even when being insulting with targets that deserve it.
I wish there were a better term to call that sort of person. Douche bags are useful things, and can come in very handy when you're feeling "not so fresh".

Johanna
02-22-2013, 11:07 PM
Considering there is no /l/ in Japanese, only /r/, and the name Sulu appears to have been borrowed from the Sulu Archipelago, populated by ethnically Malay people, located between Malaysian Borneo and the Philippines—the character Mr. Sulu may have been intended as some sort of composite pan-Asian.

clarkstar
02-22-2013, 11:35 PM
love mr takei, he's ok in my book. i am a follower on facebook, his posts are consistently funny. i really love him on the stern show

Zebra
02-23-2013, 12:50 AM
And don't forget he was in The Green Berets with John Wayne. He was absent from the trek set for a bit and that helped Chekov get more screen time.

Washoe
02-23-2013, 01:24 AM
Moving over to Cafe Society, which is just what George Takei would do.

Don’t you mean ‘beaming it over’?

Gyrate
02-23-2013, 03:52 AM
One of my favorite Takei anecdotes is his story about getting on an airplane, taking his seat (in first class, natch), glancing over at his seatmate and doing a doubletake at the sight of Patrick Stewart sitting there.

Takei: "Excuse me, but aren't you...?"

Whereupon Stewart does his own doubletake and says "Well, aren't YOU!"

WhyNot
02-23-2013, 04:09 AM
I wish there were a better term to call that sort of person. Douche bags are useful things, and can come in very handy when you're feeling "not so fresh".

Nah. Douchebags disrupt the natural order of things, cause irritation, increase infection rate and generally make a wonderful place into a chemically altered cesspool. So it's a pretty apt metaphor for an idiotic school board member.

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