George Takei is a Hoopy Frood

Within the context of the works of Douglas Adams, a hoopy frood is just a “really amazingly together guy.” According to Plato, every thing in the world has its ideal form. In other words, every chair you see is just an imperfect example of the ideal chair.

I think if there is a Platonian ideal of the Hoopy Frood, it would bear a strong resemblance to George Takei.

I would hope that some of his current fans remember that the 75-year-old actor was famous for a role on a TV show called Star Trek long before he was the King of all Social Media. They might not remember that, between Star Trek and other versions of Star Trek, George was already politically active, serving as a delegate to the Democratic convention in 1972, running for city council, and serving on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Rapid Transit District.

His road to stardom and life as a Facebook icon was not always effortless. He was one of hundreds of thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent displaced from their homes on the West Coast and place in internment camps during World War II. To this day, he remains one of the leading voices for the remembrance of that serious hiccup far the notion of American democracy and freedom. Being gay, Japanese, and an actor in the 50s and 60s probably wasn’t all happiness and rainbows either.

Either despite this or because of it, what strikes me about George Takei’s activism is not just his commitment to those causes important to him, whether it be for survivors of the internment or gay rights, but also the seemingly bulletproof sense of optimism that cuts through even the strongest opinion on the thorniest issues with humor and grace.

Even when George has reason to be angry, even when he probably is angry, his counter punches come wrapped in a disarming smile and words effortlessly chosen to defuse rather than stoke conflict. At a time when opponents of gay rights and marriage equality seemingly sputter on the verge of incoherence, the most eloquent spokesman in favor of the same causes is almost impossible to dislike, and thus hard to ignore.

For all those reasons, it seems like a no-brainer to describe Mr. Takei as one of the Hoopiest of Hoopy Froods.

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