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Why I Love John Green (And Why You Should Too!)

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

by: Steve Romenesko

This summer a friend of mine told me about something cool that she loved called vlogbrothers – two brothers, John and Hank Green, that a few years ago decided to cut off all textual based communications for one year and communicate through face to face means at least once a day via a YouTube channel.  During that year the two brothers’ channel became so popular that it still exists today – though videos are only posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as offshoot channels by the brothers like Hankgames (Hank and Jon play video games), Scishow (Hank teaches about science) and Crash Course (John teaches courses in -10 minute spurts – currently world history).  John Green is known for being an author, and a New York Times bestselling author at that, while Hank is a music artist, as well as manager of DFTBA records.

I found myself very quickly becoming enticed by John’s videos – he’s an extremely well-versed speaker, yet he’s an extremely relatable everyman.  He’s the kind of guy you’d love to have for an older brother – somebody who’s intelligent who can show you the ropes in a loving and caring way.  There are numerous videos where John takes concepts that are seemingly way over our heads and brings them to our level – including the Israel/Palestinian conflict (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Jk1kpKvfs&feature=BFa&list=PLE07B3721D9061DAC&lf=plcp&context=C352c3acFDOEgsToPDskLuiYnaAHA563Ubv2UqJpXv ), the Obama stimulus package (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0lc1dg8MVg&feature=bf_prev&list=PLE07B3721D9061DAC&lf=plcp&context=C352c3acFDOEgsToPDskLuiYnaAHA563Ubv2UqJpXv ), the swine flu pandemic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaR00FvxIUs&feature=BFa&list=PLE07B3721D9061DAC&lf=plcp&context=C352c3acFDOEgsToPDskLuiYnaAHA563Ubv2UqJpXv ), among others.  He also does a pretty great video on one of my favorite novels ever: The Great Gatsby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VhYMdnAsyM ).  This is not to diminish Hank’s vlogbrother videos – I highly recommend watching every video to come out of youtube.com/vlogbrothers, but I just find myself gravitating to John.

While watching the videos this past summer, I heard that John’s next book, The Fault in Our Stars, was to be released in early 2012.  I preordered the book and awaited to read a piece of work by this man who’s every word I hung on.  A bonus to all of this: John was going to sign every single copy of his new book that was preordered.  The thing is, John Green was a pretty famous author before this so he signed 150,000 copies of his book – eventually having to go to an occupational therapist because of hand pain and he wanted to keep signing, fulfilling his promise.  I think that’s part of the awesomeness that is John Green – the guy loves his fans and thanks them every chance he can get.  It truly seems to me that John Green is an accessible guy.  Somebody that I could hang out with and he would want to hang out with me simply because I am who I am and he is who he is.

One of the coolest things about John Green, and the vlogbrothers community in general (known as “nerdfighters”) is that there’s a constant feeling that everybody there wants you to become a better person.  They really care about you and want you to grow as a person.  The motto of the community is “DFTBA” or “Don’t Forget to be Awesome”; DFTBA is something that I have taken to heart and have truly attempted to do every day.  In my day to day life I do what I can to make the day awesome, to help other people be awesome and be awesome myself.

I just realized I was about to sign this post, finishing it and calling it a night – but I have yet to even mention the massively amazing body of work that is the novels of John Green.  When I finally got my hands on a copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars I read the book in four and a half hours, and that was with an hour of snow blowing sandwiched between readings.  I laughed and I cried but, ultimately, I fell in love with the book.  So much so that I got my hands on another John Green novel: An Abundance of Katherines as fast as I could; then I found and quickly devoured Looking for Alaska.  These books are phenomenal.  Branded as “young adult fiction” the books should have been teen fiction that I scoffed at, but I identified with it and found it remarkably relatable.  John Green writes like he is – intelligent, but not high brow, relatable, but not boring.  This short paragraph doesn’t do John Green’s work justice; I recommend it more than words can express.

These are many of the reasons why I love John Green and you should too.  As previously stated, I don’t know if I these can convince you to look into John Green, but I cannot put into words how much you should check this guy out.

DFTBA,

Steve Romenesko

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