George Takei is coming to Kansas City next week! I was reminded of this when I heard him on a local radio show this morning---being hilarious ---plugging his upcoming show.
He will be appearing at the Kauffman center for a "Sci-Fi Spectacular" , with the Kansas Symphony Orchestra. Audience members are invited to "travel to the edge of the universe with music from the biggest and best science fiction TV shows and movies, including Avatar, Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey."
Takei will be there to provide *dramatic narration*. There will even be a laser light show!
I probably don't have to tell you that this is right up my dork-baitin,' geekozoid alley. T'would do my old Trekkie heart good to experience George Takei in this fashion.
For you see, I have long loved George Takei. Because of him, I have learned many things.
He was one of my favorites on Star Trek, in his portrayal of Sulu. It wasn't so much the cool way he cranked up the warp speed at Kirk's command ....
It was more the humor and liveliness he exhibited in other scenes --running through the corridors of the ship with a fencing foil, frollicking on shore leave. I picked up on the fact that he was a colorful person, but I had no idea at the time that he might be gay. Now that he's come out, I think --"Well, I knew there was something about him." It wouldn't be the only time that the person I found the most interesting turned out to be gay.
Anyway, I was fascinated by him, and became curious about his Japanese heritage. Soon I became curious about anything having to do with Japan or Japanese Americans. And so I did what curious people did back in those days. I went to the library and checked out as many books as I could find on the subject.
Somewhere along the way I read Takei's biography, and learned that he had been sent with his family to a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. I read all I could find on the internment camps, and I did a report on them for school.
I also came across articles about our bombing of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and first-hand accounts of survivors, and so became preoccupied with the history of those events. When it was time to do another report for school, one where we had to stand up in front of the class and talk, I knew what my topic would be. I still have a vivid memory of giving that report and using the overhead projector to show pictures from the destruction of Hiroshima.
All this self-directed learning, from my weird obsession with George Takei!
Note: There was some weird technical glitch the first time I published this post, and a bunch of my editing was somehow deleted or not saved, so the first version was a real mess. Thanks to H.B. for bringing my attention to it. One of the things that had been deleted was some stuff about George Takei being a broker of Star peace, intervening in a feud between William Shatner and Carrie Fisher. Well, I'll have to save that for another time.
Oh and by the way, I just checked and the Sci-Fi Spectacular appears to be sold out. Snif.