“The official Swoodilypooper soundtrack: 1. Shoulda Passed 2. Is it Because I’m Handsome? 3. Unnecessary Slidetackle 4. Pass To Your Husband 5. Nil-Nil Draw 6. Not Your Best Cross 7. Does That Look Like a 67 Skill-level? 8. That’s Not a Foul, That’s Hugging With the Knees 9. The Boys are Exhausted 10. He’s a Finisher! I’d buy it.”—babychicky113 on Youtube, this comment just made my life so I had to post (via anotherbeliever)
Now that the third season has come to a close it is time to name our second Home Town Hero. Much like last year the voting for nominees will be left open for about a week. After that the 3 to 4 nominees will be named and voting will commence to find our second Home Town Hero.
“Behind the corpse in the reservoir,
behind the ghost on the links,
behind the lady who dances
and the man who madly drinks,
under the look of fatigue
the attack of migraine and the sigh
there is always another story,
there is more than meets the eye.”—from ‘At Last the Secret is Out’ by W.H. Auden (via hermionejg)
I'm not going to link to The Sun because it's a terrible newspaper.
I’m also not going to post an “I Can Count to Potato” image in this post, because 1. I think it’s hurtful, and 2. I totally disagree with the idea that a meme can’t go away. Memes go away all the time. Remember All Your Base Are Belong to Us? I don’t.
That said, I had no problem with Brad O’Farrell’s original post; he was making the point that when we are called to account for our hurtful actions on the Internet, we all suddenly feel embarrassed and regretful. (This meme had existed for three years, after all.) I think he caught a lot of flak for posting the image mostly because once the Internet realizes it has gone too far, it has a tendency to go too far in the other direction.
(See also, Kony.)
But make no mistake: The Sun is not running that story to end bullying. The Sun, as Kenyatta pointed out, is TMZ for old people. They’re running that story as link bait: They recognize that if they declare war on trolls, they’ll get attention (and therefore clicks and dollars), just as trolls realize that if they do something trollish, they’ll get attention.
We can keep chasing our tails. Or we can work together to improve the quality of discourse on the Internet. You might say that’s impossible, that we all must live with the lowest common denominator, but that has not been my experience on the Internet at all. My experience has been that this place is as useful and kind and generous and engaging as we make it.
I thought you were all a bunch of cry babies did not believe that this book could evoke enough emotion that people would cry real tears from just reading it.
I have never read a book that has made me cry, movies have caused tears, songs have caused tears, but books…no tears.
But this book, TEARS, at approximately 59% (thank you kindle fire), I felt them coming. I I felt my eyes start to fill, then a little tear rolled down my cheek, then a few more, then streams of tears and sobbing to the point that I could no longer see the words. I spent the rest of the book a crying fool and I have John Green and the lovely world of tumblr to thank for my puffy eyes and red nose (and the looks of confusion from my husband).
It is a beautiful book, so well done, and I will recommend it to everyone I know.
50 Shades of Grey.
First, thanks. (ALSO, GOOD JOB AGAIN, TUMBLR. U R DOING IT RIGHT.)
Second, you are about to SERIOUSLY change gears, book-wise.
Hi, John :) I was wondering, do you have an idea of how many nerdfighters there are? I know it's impossible to know exactly, but I would like a rough estimate. I'm doing a speech about Nerdfighters for my Speech class, and I'd like to be able to give an accurate estimate of how many of us there are in the community. Thanks in advance :D
I think there are six nerdfighters, but all six of them spend a lot of time on the Internet and constantly invent new identities.
Just bought ‘The Fault in our Stars’. It’s amazing how there can be peer pressure from people you don’t actually know aka tumblr. But I trust your judgement and look forward to reading it. (Have to finish Mockingjay first… and some other books…)
why do you use terms like "video information" and "links" and "comments" in CrashCourse and not "doobly-doo?" :(
Because Crash Course is made for a wide audience of educators and students, many of whom are not nerdfighters and don’t know what a dooblydoo is. We are trying to change the world by making curriculum supplements freely available to students and teachers instead of having them cost underfunded school systems billions of dollars.
I have a writing question but idk of you can answer this but here it goes when you write the ending of a series and the publishers or who ever has control of your books does not agree with the ending like it wont be “commercial acceptable” do you tell them no this is how it’s suppose to end or do you listen to them and change it to be “commercial friendly”? Like say you kill the main character and enrage ur readers do you change the ending to make them happy or go with how your story?
I like the idea that out there, there are secretly super debauched, evil versions of YA books where everything ends in a total bloodbath that have been suppressed by editors.
Editor: So, I see you’ve turned in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince …
JK Rowling: Did you like it?
Editor: All except the part where Harry is gored to death by unicorns at the end. That was … unexpected.
JKR: Exactly! No one will see it coming.
Editor: If Harry’s dead, what are you going to call the next book? His name is in all the titles.
JKR: Harry Potter and the People Who Remembered Him Fondly?
Editor: I really don’t think that’s going to sell.
* * *
Ah, fantasy world of publishing, you are so much funnier than actual publishing.
The actual answer is, no one can make you change anything about your book you don’t want to. People spend a lot of time worrying that when they get published they will be “made to change” aspects of their books but this seems largely bootless to me: you are in a partnership with your editor, with the common goal of making the book good. It is not in your interest to fight their suggestions. That said, editors can’t make you do anything. Your name is on the book and you decide what goes between the covers.
That doesn’t mean authors don’t ever take what’s commercial into account. Some do, some don’t, according to their personality. (Authors who ever admit they take what might or might not sell better into account, or are even imagined to have done so, are generally treated like dirt, because the idea that you might want to make a living off what you write is apparently a deeply evil one, an opinion I can only assume is held mainly by people who have never lived for any length of time with no health insurance. The intersection of art and commerce is a complicated one, and there may be a lot of crashes at said intersection, but Dickens got paid by the word.)
Anyway. I cannot imagine an editor ever saying “this will not be commercially friendly” to an author rather than “this ending doesn’t suit the book” or perhaps the blunt “nobody will like it.” That’s all your editor can do: express their opinion. You don’t have to take their advice. If I wanted to end my series with Jace having been turned into a chicken salad sandwich I could. It’s really the marketing department that would be the angriest.
Also, just because you kill off the main character or whatever doesn’t mean the book won’t sell. Look at The Amber Spyglass. Jesus, that ending is depressing. People don’t really know “what’s commercial” and what isn’t. If they did, every movie and every book would be a blockbuster. Publishers aren’t in the business of altruism, they’re in the business of publishing and making money, but they generally let authors do what they want, simply because no better method of producing books that are going to sell has yet been found.
I get asked a lot what my editor made me change, what the “original” versions of my novels looked like, etc. The truth is that novels are not written by one person. Novels are a collaboration—for almost a decade now, my closest collaborator has been Julie Strauss-Gabel, my editor at Dutton. But I also collaborate with copyeditors and proofreaders and with every single person who reads the book, because the reader chooses how to read a novel (which paragraphs to skim, which to reread, how to fill in a novel’s many blanks).
So please believe me when I say that you ARE reading the original version of The Fault in Our Stars or Looking for Alaska or whatever. And you are reading the only original version that will ever exist, because the book you read will not be quite the same as the book that anyone else reads.
Hank and I have always felt varying degrees of discomfort supporting our YouTube videos with advertisements. We don’t control the content of the ads or who sponsors our shows, and many times we disagree with the advertisers.
I do not, for instance, think gold is a good investment, or that Obama is a terrible President, or that sexy geeks are just a click away. I also don’t particularly enjoy being supported by for-profit universities, oil companies, and Super PACs.
Recently, some nerdfighters have been upset about ads they’ve seen on vlogbrothers videos, and we share their concern. But these videos are a big part of our jobs—we spend a lot of time making them and trying to be good leaders of this community—and while there are other ways we make money (t-shirts, books, music, etc.), the ad revenue is a vital part of how I buy diapers.
But it’s not really that much money relative to the size of nerdfighteria, because online advertising rates are so low. Even so, I still think that most nerdfighters would rather glimpse an ad than use kickstarter or something to create a delightfully ad-free world of vlogbrothers. But with ad rates pretty stagnant and the success of kickstarter projects like Ze Frank’s, I’m beginning to wonder A. if I’m wrong, and B. if creators of online video might find themselves turning to new models of supporting their work rather than continuing to seek corporate patronage. Also, C. these days, I find myself personally more inclined to support online video projects and their creators directly.
EDIT: To be clear, I am not suggesting some awful subscription model in which you have to pay to watch videos. That would be gross. I’m suggesting a model like the one you find here in the US with National Public Radio: some people pay to support the station, but the listening experience is available to all, regardless of whether they pay. (There are bonuses for members, of course: tote bags or This American Life CDs or whatever.)
Mostly, I’m curious what you think. Do you want to watch stuff supported by ads, or supported directly by viewers? Are there youtube channels (not just vlogbrothers or crashcourse or scishow but any YouTube channels) you’d give $5 or $10 or more per year? Or do you like the current system and believe that advertising should continue to play the central role in visual media funding it has since the earliest days of television?
I am thinking tonight of a year ago, when Sarah and Henry and I were preparing to leave for Amsterdam, huge swaths of the book that would become TFiOS still either unwritten or horrible (and still without a title).
I was sick, and I was also overwhelmed with anxiety, all these constant humming fears: You’re going to die. You won’t finish this book and they’ll have to push back the pub date again. Or you will finish it, but everyone will hate it because it’s a cruel and exploitative book. Your stomach hurts because you have cancer. You will run out of money. etc.
We went to Amsterdam. I got sicker. (Only several months later did it become clear that my gallbladder needed removing.) I also became more and more paralyzed by fear, which generally does not make for great writing. Or any writing, for that matter.
And yet, I wrote. Certainly, my family was insanely supportive—like, impossibly supportive. My editor guided me through with patience and faith and never mentioned how much of both our careers was staked on the book. I also think the memory of Esther made me keep going.
But I don’t think I would have ever finished The Fault in Our Stars without nerdfighteria. The Dutch nerdfighter community, which has been strong since Tobias was making Hank’s songs into mp3s back in 2007, cheered me on during my months in the Netherlands. But more broadly, nerdfighters offered tremendous inspiration without intending to do so. People say the Internet is a distraction, and it certainly can be, but every day, I saw tweets and emails and YouTube comments and tumblr posts that helped me work. (That’s still true.)
The messages could be about most anything: pennies or Syria or friends or books or love. But what I saw, and what I see so often in nerdfighteria, was people trying to focus outward, trying to imagine others complexly, doing the hard daily work of paying sustained attention to the big and small stories around them. Seeing that, every day, pulled me out of myself enough to finish the book. You showed me how to write, even in pain, and even amid fear.
So I guess all I want to say is thank you for that.