Yes, I'm an unabashed fan. I'm not apologizing for it. Ever.
Since around the time I was old enough to be aware of such things, I was a fan of Star Trek. Unfortunately, that was the year NBC cancelled it, so I mostly recall watching it as reruns.
In the 1970s, a group of Seattle-area fans got together and founded the Puget Sound Star Trekkers (PSST), under the leadership of Kitty Cantebury who passed away in 2012. PSST ran a Star Trek convention, which grew out of control, lost money left and right and put Kitty into bankruptcy. After the second PSSTCon, a third was held, ostensibly to pay off Kitty's personal debt.
George Takei was the guest of honor that year. It was a single-day convention. He was a real sport, and I believe it was Kitty who presented him with the "Captain Sulu" t-shirt. This was many years before the character showed up in Star Trek 6 as captain of his own ship. I never asked what George's fee was, I wasn't involved in running the convention. He may have come free of charge, as Heinlein had the year before.
But of course, that's not why George Takei is the best person ever.
In my post about small farms and befriending a farmer, I mentioned Akio Suyematsu, a strawberry farmer from Bainbridge Island, from whom I learned that small farms are always in need of help. I learned this because my mother took us to his farm to help him in a year when he stood the risk of losing his entire crop. But there was another thing I learned.
Once, many years ago, Bainbridge Island had many strawberry farms. It was known for its strawberries.
The strawberry farms, when I was young, were all but gone. They'd vanished during the second world war.
Why? Why did the strawberry farms go away?
The strawberry farms went away because the farmers were Japanese-Americans, and in the second world war, America rounded up the Japanese, placed them on trains, and sent them to internment camps. First generation Japanese immigrants were not allowed to own land. Most of the Japanese strawberry farmers were tenant-farmers. The land-owners found other tenants, and the Japanese lost their homes and their farms. Some of the locals worked to save the property of their neighbors, but most were indifferent. Thus the strawberry farms vanished.
Akio Suyematsu was lucky. His family had placed the farm in his name, even though he was just a teenager. As second-generation, he could own land. So after the war, he came back, and the farm was still there.
So knowing Akio, even though not well, for he was a quiet man, introduced me to the plight of the Japanese-Americans during the second world war.
Like Akio, George Takei is second-generation Japanese-American. He too was sent to the internment camps. He is working to preserve the memory of the Japanese internment, and this is a very good thing indeed.
But this is also not why George Takei is the best person ever.
No, George Takei is the best person ever because he spreads joy. George has mastered Facebook, and Twitter, by being witty and fun and clever. He's even published books about it.
In my post about Wil Wheaton, I mentioned Spider Robinson's laws of conservation of pain and joy. Where Wil shares his pain, George shares his joy. "--thus do we refute entropy."
And that is why George Takei is the best person ever.