How the author of The Fault in Our Stars built an ardent army of fans.
In late 2006, the writer John Green came up with the idea of communicating with his brother, Hank, for a year solely through videos posted to YouTube. The project wasn’t quite as extreme as it sounds. John, who was then twenty-nine, and Hank, who was three years younger, saw each other about once a year, at their parents’ house, and they typically went several years between phone calls. They communicated mainly through instant messaging….
…The Greens started posting videos several times a week, under the name the Vlogbrothers. The project was less a conversation than an extended form of parallel play. They shared personal stories—John confessed that the only sports trophy he ever got was made by his parents, and bore the inscription “All-Star in Our Hearts”—but mainly they exchanged ideas. The brothers had signature preoccupations, which they discussed with excitable urgency, talking into the camera at tremendous speed. John discussed books, existential anxiety, and pizza; Hank was into science, math, and corn dogs. John invented a highly undignified “happy dance”; Hank wrote and performed songs, many of them about Harry Potter. The tone of their monologues ranged from goofily informative (how giraffes have sex) to wonkish (Why Are American Health-Care Costs So High?). Many posts dispensed adult wisdom, but in a reassuringly modern way. In a post advising boys on how to charm a girl, John jokingly said, “Become a puppy. A kitten would also be acceptable or, possibly, a sneezy panda.” But he also said, “If you can, see girls as, like, people, instead of pathways to kissing and/or salvation.”
To read Margaret Talbot’s complete article, visit The New Yorker.
To watch more vlogbrothers (which we highly recommend!) visit their Youtube channel.
To order the über cute giraffe shirt, go here. 🙂