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Help, I can't tell my roommates apart! What if my relationship has an expiry date? How much reflection should you do after finishing a book? And more!

 (00:00) to (02:00)


So, hey, before we get to the proper podcast, I wanted to do a quick prologue to let you know that the tenth annual Project for Awesome is this week! The Indiegogo fundraiser starts on Wednesday. For those who don't know, the Project for Awesome is Nerdfighteria's 48-hour charity event, where there will be a livestream all day Friday and Saturday until Sunday at noon. You can find that at youtube.com/vlogbrothers.  During the second half of the fundraiser, we'll be raising money for charities chosen by the Nerdfighter community.  You can participate in the voting and everything else at projectforawesome.com, where you can also find the fundraiser.  If you donate, you can get lots of great perks, including an exclusive episode of Dear Hank and John, so please donate if you can, but regardless, I hope to see you in the Project for Awesome livestream and over at projectforawesome.com.  Thanks for listening, now here's me and Hannah.

Hello and welcome to Dear Hank and John.  It's a comedy podcast about death where myself, John Green, and my brother, Hank Green, although not this week, because he's on paternity leave, answer your questions, provide you with dubious advice, and give you all the week's news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  Today, I am joined by the amazing, the brilliant Hannah Hart.

H: Yay, that's me.  Hello, everybody.

J: Hey, Hannah.  How are you?  

H: I'm doing pretty well, John, I have to say, it's an honor.  Thank you so much for having me. 

J: Oh, well, thank you.  I appreciate you filling in for Hank.  You have been one of my favorite YouTubers since your very first upload.  I am, not to brag, an old school hipster Hannah Hart fan.  I knew about you when you had like, 500 subscribers.

H: Yep.

J: And that makes me super cool and hip and with it, but for those people who may not be, will you talk a little bit about your work and perhaps do some self-promo?

H: Oh yeah.  I would love nothing more.  If Tyler Oakley has taught us anything, it's how to do self promotion.  

J: It's so true.

H: So true.  Um, well, first of all, thank you so much, John, for believing in me from the get-go.  For those of you who don't know, my name is Hannah Hart.


 (02:00) to (04:00)


I uploaded back in March of 2011 a video called My Drunk Kitchen, which originally was just a joke intended for a friend, but it was public and then lots of people, John included, saw it.  From there, I learned all about the internet community at a wonderful little convention called VidCon, it was the second annual VidCon, that was really great.  That's where I learned how to internet, and now five years later, I have a channel that does more than just My Drunk Kitchen, though My Drunk Kitchen is still a weekly occurence, ahem, weekly to the best of my ability at YouTube.com/harto.  I've also done a couple movies and written a couple books, most recently Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded which is my book about, well, you know, it's a comedy book all about death, mental health, and um, and self-help.

J: For those of you who haven't read Buffering, it is a really wonderful memoir.  It is gut-wrenching and oh my God, it's just a great story brilliantly told, so uh, it's one of my favorite books of the year and I think everybody should pick it up.  I'm going to be talking about it in my holiday book round-up.  

H: Oh, man, that is so rad.  

J: So Hannah, generally we start off this podcast with me reading a short poem, and I haven't been doing that the last few weeks and the listeners have been furious.  I don't like to like, give in to popular opinion, but in this particular case, I'm going to, because the volume of email that we've got in re: my refusal to read short poems has been totally unacceptable, so here is a couplet from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, not my favorite poet, but I do rather like this couplet.

To meet, to know, to love, and then to part
is the sad tale of many a human heart
H: That--that--that--that--that--that--that--John--that's--

J: You've gotta do the like, the finger snapping.

H: Oh yeah, oh yeah, I got it.  There you go.  There's some good beatnik vibes.  I mean, I am a huge, huge fan of poetry.

 (04:00) to (06:00)


I don't know if I told you this, but recently I actually got a Mary Oliver line tattooed to my body.

J: Did you really?

H: I did, yeah.  There's a really--

J: I'm a big Mary Oliver fan.  What line did you get tattooed on your body?

H: From Blackwater Woods, I got "to love what is mortal" tattooed on my body.  For those of you who--it's--it's like, I got it done when Buffering became a bestseller and it was just like a really great day to finally, like, get that story out there and share it and for those of you who aren't familiar with that poem, it's a great poem, it's longer than the last stanza but the last stanza says: "to live in this world, you must do three things.  to love what is mortal, told it against your bare bones as if your life depends on it, and when the time comes to let it go, to let it go."  and so, a big fan of impermanence and the constant reminder of it, so I put "to love what is mortal" on my ribs to tell myself, you know what, Hannah?  Go ahead.  Get attached.  Love this life.  It's a great one.

J: Oh man, you're gonna make me cry even before we start providing dubious advice to our listeners.

 (06:00) to (08:00)


H: Aww, John, I'm hugging you, I'm hugging you.  There's a semicolon on it, too, because I was thinking--

J: Aw, I miss hanging out with you in real life.  It--

H: Yeah.

J: One of the very few things that makes me want to move to Los Angeles is the thought of being able to hang out with you more.

H: Aw, thank you, I feel the same way.  Oops, already I live here.  Indianapolis is good though.  You're fine.

J: Alright, we're gonna answer a question.  This one comes from Katie, I'm just gonna read it to you, Hannah, and this--I'm just gonna prepare you, it's a tough one.  She writes, "Dear John and Hank, I am a college student and I currently live in a house with three other girls.  Here's my problem.  Two of my housemates are identical twins and I have no idea which one is which.  They look the same, sound the same, they have the same glasses, they are together most of the time, and I haven't yet encountered a situation where I needed to know who was who, but I feel like a terrible person for not knowing.  I feel like the time to ask this question would have been when I met them in August, and now it's November and the ship has sailed."

H: I mean, I don't think it's--first of all, I think that if you can't tell them apart, they probably already know, right?

J: Yeah.  

H: Like, if you--

J: Totally.

H: Yeah, they probably 100% know and they probably have gotten that their whole lives.  Oh, Katie, that's like a dilly of a pickle, but I feel like you probably just gotta pony up and be like, hey guys, is there an easy way to tell you two apart?

J: Right, like, I mean, isn't it kind of the twins' fault for wearing the same style of glasses?  I mean, that's just not nice.  

H: Yeah.

J: That's not being nice to the wider world, I feel like.  There's--you can have slightly different glasses.  You just gotta ask.  You just gotta be like, which of you is Melissa and which of you is Janet?  

H: In defense of the twins and all twins everywhere, it must be really hard when one of them gets like a really cool hairstyle, the other one, it's kind of like doing a test run for a look.

J: Right.

H: You know, if they dye their hair a certain color, you're like, oh man, that looks great, I gotta get on that.

J: Right, I guess that's true.  I don't know.  I feel like, well, I've never been a twin, so I don't wanna try to put myself in that position or to speak on behalf of twins, but I think in this situation, the key is just to go and be as honest as you can and be like, look, you guys have the same glasses, I've only known you for four months, by the way, like, I often don't know peoples' names the four months--

H: Just in general.

J: Yeah!  People even I'm really close to, like, I know, like you hang out a lot with like, Mamrie Hart and then there's another one who's very nice and she's friendly and she was in a Lowe's commercial and she's a lovely person but I have no idea what her name is.

H: Oh, man, and you've gotten by for years off of that, like, nobody's called you out on it.  

J: No, we've been in videos together and the whole time, I'm just like, it's so nice to see you, you're so great, I love your work, which is true, I just don't know her name.

H: I feel like we did, yeah, we did a really good job answering that, like--

J: We did.

H: Problem solved.

J: We killed it.  I mean, we're already off to a great start.  Let's answer another question.  This one comes from Victor who writes, "Dear John and Hank, Is it okay to laugh at a joke made by a total stranger that I happen to overhear or am I supposed to pretend I didn't hear it?

 (08:00) to (10:00)


What if it's a great joke?"  

H: Ooh.  Ooh.  I mean, I would say laugh!  Odds are, they probably wouldn't even notice, right?

J: Yeah.

H: Like, you could be laughing at something that's on your phone.

J: But don't you think a lot of the times that people make jokes in public spaces out loud, like, if I'm in a movie theater before the movie starts and somebody makes a joke, I usually laugh because I assume that they're making it partly for me.  

H: Yeah.  I will say that that is probably the case.  That's probably the case.

J: You know, like, usually, when I'm making a joke in a public space, I'm kind of hoping that everyone laughs at it and that like, people turn around and they're like, well, aren't you a genius?

H: Well, I think that that is a very unique and special trait, but one that is probably pretty common amongst those of us who like to really just share our thoughts and opinions constantly, you know?  Sometimes, I just get louder if I think I'm really driving home a great point and everybody should hear.

J: Yeah.

H: I only pause for applause, really.  I just wait for that.

J: Sarah often comments that when we are out buying clothes or something, I'm constantly like, telling jokes and trying to make her laugh but I'm really trying to make the salesperson laugh because I'm uncomfortable and I'm trying to make everyone else comfortable, and it's very much like that where I will not stop until there is a standing ovation.

H: Yeah.  Nothing like forced laughter to really just take the awkwardness out of a situation.  Good plan.  That's good.  

J: Oh, God, no, I'm the worst.  I'm so bad at shopping for clothes.  Every part of the shopping experience I make miserable.  

H: I would just get into conversations.  This is what happens to me.  When I go shopping or am taking a Lyft or an Uber or something like that, I always end up hearing the life story of everyone I encounter.  Like, it's been pointed out to me recently that I can't have an interaction with a person at a restaurant or a coffee shop without walking away from it with personal details about their life or their day.

 (10:00) to (12:00)


I don't know how this happens, but it's true.

J: But you do have kind of a gift for making people open up.  I feel that way about you, actually, like, I've probably cried more in front of you than in front of most of the people I know, although to be fair, I am something of a crier.  

H: I watched a soldiers coming home video today.

J: Oh boy.

H: Soldier Comes Home to Surprise Mother on Thanksgiving, and I--

J: Oh man, that's a rough one.

H: I--oh man, I just was like, they're so happy.  They're so happy to have these moments.

J: I--yeah, I mean, I--there are times when I need to cry, like when I watch a series of YouTube videos for the purpose of crying, but it is not difficult to coax the tears out of me.  I would say that--I used to be on this drug that prevented me from crying and it was a real bummer.  I real--I genuinely disliked it, like it was part of a treatment for my OCD, and now I'm on a drug that doesn't prevent me from crying and it's a huge improvement in the quality of my life, I think, because there are times when I really, like, I need to cry and I want to be able to cry.  I want to be able to feel the whole range of human emotion and oh G--I mean, these days, I honestly j--I mean, obviously, I don't wanna cry when I'm just like, overwhelmed with you know, sadness, but there are times when it can feel really cathartic.

H: Yeah, absolutely.  I mean, and physically it is, because I think that you release certain hormones through your tears, I mean, it's like, there are physically--there's benefits to crying.  So Victor, maybe instead of laughing at someone's joke, just sob.  

J: Yeah, how did we get to this part of the answer?  I don't--we're so bad--I'm so bad at podcasting.  I don't wanna throw you under the bus.  You're great, but I'm terrible.  Okay, do you wanna ask a question?

H: Yeah, I'd love to.  

J: Alright, go for it.

H: Ooh, actually, I kind of want to ask this one.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)


Let me know if this is too--I'm just curious.  Nicki writes and asks, "Dear Hank and John," this time Hannah and John, "Where's the line between the Far East and the Middle East?  Who decided where that line is?  And why does no one ever say the Near East?"  

J: Well, Nicki, these are all made up ideas.  

H: There's no line?

J: Well, one of the weird things about the way that we imagine the world, right, is even continents are kind of made up, like, Afro-Eurasia is really kind of a continent, definitely Eurasia is a continent, but we still make this distinction between Asia and Europe, and then what I think of as East Asia doesn't have much in common geographically with, for instance, Saudi Arabia.  It all just points to the fact that at its core, all of these ideas around geography go back to old colonial days.  Like, even the idea of the West and the East.

H: Right.

J: Like, West of what?  East of what?  You know?  So, I think it's good to be calling into question what these things mean and to think about these terms and their implications, because a lot of times, they're basically used as ways to describe what is 'other' or what is distant from "us".

H: Right, exactly.  It's kind of like remnants of a past self-absorption?

J: Yeah.

H: Does that work?

J: Totally, yeah.

H: Yeah.  

J: Yeah, I mean, I hope a past self-absorption, but I worry a little bit, well, I worry a lot that that self-absorption isn't totally past.  Like, there's still a lot of Eurocentrism.

H: Can I ask another one?

J: Yeah.

H: Meg asks, "Dear Hank and John, I'm currently dating a really wonderful girl and have been for a while.  We're both seniors in different high schools but only live about 20 minutes away from each other.  She's planning on moving to a different continent after graduation next fall, and I'm planning on going to university somewhere in Canada.  She said she doesn't think she can do long distance, but also doesn't want to break up right now. 

 (14:00) to (16:00)


How do I deal with being in a relationship that feels like it has an expiry date?" 

J: That's a great question, but I just wanna pause real quick to note that continents are at least to an extent a made up idea.  

H: So there you go.  I would also like to say love knows no bounds.

J: So that's a bit of good news for you, Meg.  On the--yeah, I actually have experience in a relationship like this.  Have you ever been in a relationship like this, Hannah?

H: My first girlfriend was exactly this relationship, yeah.  I--

J: So what happened?  Walk me through it and then I'll tell you how it went down for me.

H: Oh man.  So we started dating, it was my first girlfriend ever, I was, you know, totally in the closet.  It was my sophomore year of college and we started dating around January or February, something like that, and I was already scheduled to go to Japan for my semester abroad in August, so we blissfully were dating but little did I know that she thought of me leaving for Japan as kind of when we would just stop, whereas I thought we were in a relationship.

J: Right.

H: And so every time we talked about keeping in touch long-distance, these terms were really not well-defined and so I actually just ended up having like, my beating heart ripped from my chest.  It was horrible, because I didn't view it as something with an expiry date.  I just was like, yeah, that was bad.  Man.  I mean, I know what I would say to this kid, but I wanna hear what your experience with this was like.

J: So when I was in my mid-20s, I'd been dating a woman for a couple years, and she decided that she was gonna move to Italy where she was originally from, so she was going to move back to Italy and it was immediately clear that, like, since it was a semi-permanent move that that was going to be when we were going to break up, and it was definitely weird.  I mean, we communicated well about it and we knew--we had similar expectations going into it, but it got weird as we got closer to the date, for sure, because we were just like, so...guess we're still doing this, but at the same time, we're aware that we're not gonna be doing it forever.

 (16:00) to (18:00)


On the other hand, I mean, I'll just requote to you that Mary Oliver line, "to love what is mortal", you know, you have to "let it go, let it go" and it was difficult, but I also really valued those last few months of the relationship, not least because as it happens, she introduced me to Sarah.  

H: Oh, yay, that's so nice!  No way!

J: Yeah, right at the end of our relationship.  So, Sarah was a boxer and so was this young woman and they were sparring partners.

H: Like a physical boxer?

J: Yeah, like an actual boxer.  Like, golden glove stuff.

H: God, is it--how does Sarah get cooler and cooler every time--

J: I know.  I know.  I know.

H: Jesus. 

J: I'm super lucky.  So yeah, so she was a boxer and they were sparring partners and one day, my girlfriend at the time was talking about how she'd just gone to this wedding in Alabama and Sarah was like, I'm from Alabama, where's your boyfriend from?  And it came out that Sarah and I had actually gone to the same high school and so we met up--I mean, we didn't start dating for like, a year after this Italian breakup thing, but uh, but yeah, yeah, so sometimes, you never know, Meg.  You never know.  Life is weird.  

H: But you do know, I will say this, you know, A, you're in high school, so no--I'm gonna go ahead and say the majority of high school relationships don't last, spoiler alert.

J: Well, no relationships last.  They all end in death.  If they don't end before that.

H: They all in death.  Very true, guys.  Nope, they all end in death, that's true.  You know, born alone, die alone, let's not forget for even a second actually.  But I guess what I'm gonna say is that as you grow and mature in your relationships, Meg, you should notice that the majority of this paragraph is written about what she wants and what her plans are.  

 (18:00) to (20:00)


You should figure out what it is that you want, and whether or not you can handle the emotional weight of falling deeper and deeper in love with someone who's going to be leaving.  So you have to ask yourself, what do you want?  Do you want to bear the emotional weight of being in love with someone that's going to end up leaving or not?  But you know at the end of the day, it might also be a good test run.  You never know.  Work out those, like, communication kinks you're gonna have to work out in every relationship.  

J: Yeah, also, it's a--you know, life is very long and who knows?  You go to university on different continents, insofar as continents are a thing, and then you're 25 or you're 30 or you're 70 and you meet in the old folks home and you fall back in love.  Life is weird and I do think that there's--obviously there's an element of you have to plan for your future, you have to make commitments to people, you have to honor those commitments, but there's also an element in it of, you know, now being really the only guaranteed time you have, and so it's really--I think ultimately the question comes down to balancing that and, as you pointed out, understanding your needs and your wants and what's important to you as well as what's important to the person you love.

H: Yeah, really meditative.  You guys, since you already know that there might not be a future, you have no choice but to really just stay in the present.

J: Hannah, we have another question and this one comes from Hannah.  I don't know if it's you, but it's someone named Hannah.  "Dear John and Hank, I am a fan of many online creators.  I love their work and would like to support it.  The problem is that I am a broke college students."  This person doesn't sound like necessarily you, but who knows for sure?  "I'm a very broke college student.  I feel guilty about consuming content from these creators and not being able to support them, but spending money on supporting these creators would mean less money for me to feed myself and other things important to my life.  How can I deal with this guilt until I reach a point in my life where I am financially capable of supporting their work while still being able to support myself?"

H: Wow.  Hannah, oh my God.  First and foremost, as an online creator, I'm pretty sure, and you know, correct me if I'm wrong, John, but I'm pretty sure we create and share because that's what we love to do.  

 (20:00) to (22:00)


J: Yeah.

H: I love, I love to make things and put them out there on the internet and while the financial support that comes from selling merchandise, etc is great if it's available to those who have the means, there is absolutely no obligation on your behalf to do it if it's going to mean, you know, withdrawing from the only money you have to feed yourself.  I would strongly prefer you feed yourself.  

J: Totally.  I mean, one of the reasons that we make stuff in a way that can be freely distributed is so that it's available to people who can't afford to pay for it, right?  Like, that's one of the great benefits of YouTube.  It's on the reasons that Hank and I have worked really hard over the years to make sure as much stuff as possible that we make is available for free for everyone, because we understand that the vast majority of people can't afford to pay for it and, you know, we want you to take care of yourself way, way, way before you ever take care of us.  The only thing I would add to that, Hannah--

H: Yeah?

J: I don't know if you agree with this.

H: I'm ready.

J: But I just want to encourage this Hannah, who is not you, I wanna encourage this Hannah to remember us when she becomes a wildly successful billionaire.  

H: Yeah.  It's true.  That Hannah, please do remember us, the people that provided you with entertainment, but you know what, John?

J: What?

H: I also have something I would like to say to This Hannah who is not Me Hannah.

J: Okay.

H: You are not responsible for the needs of others and by putting yourself into their heads and causing your own guilt, that's not great, dude.  I do this a lot 'cause I'm a huge caretaker, I feel guilty.  I would say that guilt is like, my default emotion and because we are giving freely, you are free to accept, so try and remember that.

 (22:00) to (24:00)


That we are giving the amount, each person is giving the amount that they are choosing to give.

J: Right.

H: And you can't presume that they need more from you until they say it.

J: Yeah, I mean, frankly, I'm so grateful to anybody who takes my work into their lives and finds a use for it, finds a, you know, meaning in it.  That's it.  That's the exchange for me, and if somebody can afford to buy a t-shirt, that's great, but if they can't, that does not make them in any way less of a fan to my mind.

H: Yeah, absolutely.  Absolutely.  John, I have a question actually for you from me--

J: Sure, okay.

H: That I have been thinking about.  Here's my question to John from Hannah.  I say: Dear John and Hank who is not here, What's it like when people tattoo things to their body forever that is because of you or your work?  Like quotes that you've said or like, ideas that you've had?  Like, to know that it's meant so much to someone, like, that they put it on their bodies forever?

J: Well, not forever, because they're gonna die, but yes, I understand the question.

H: Right.  Right, right.  The entirety that their body exists.

J: Right.  So I used to have this joke that I used for a long time, because this started happening weirdly early, because even, you know, like, Looking for Alaska, my first novel, was not very commercially successful, but for whatever reason, a lot of the people who read it early on like really took to it and really responded to it very deeply, which was tremendously meaningful to me and fulfilling for me and I remember the first time, you know, somebody e-mailed me a picture of something that I'd written on their bodies, it was on their forearm and I was just like, oh my God.  So I used to have this joke where I would say, I think it's great as long as it's your second tattoo.

H: Oh, as long as it's your second tattoo.

J: Because I didn't wanna be responsible for somebody's first tattoo, but then I got this very wonderful and moving email from someone who was like, I tattoed something that you said onto my body as my first tattoo because it meant that much to me and uh, I don't love your joke about it being okay as long as it's my second tattoo, because it makes me feel like you're dismissing--

 (24:00) to (26:00)


H: Oh, yes.  Yeah, yeah, John.  That's you downplaying yourself.

J: Myself and my passion, so I now am just grateful, period, end of sentence.  I think it's amazing.  I don't think anybody should feel obligated to tattoo anything that I've said onto their bodies, but I think it's amazing, and I'm--it's just--

H: You know--

J: So many years ago, I did a book signing with Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight and I had like, maybe three to four fans in the audience and Stephenie had between like, five and six million, and a lot of the people who were at that event were wearing homemade t-shirts about Twilight and I just remember thinking that is the coolest thing I have ever seen and it sucks that I will never be that kind of author that people respond to like, so deeply and so passionately.

H: And that inspires them to create something on their own.

J: Yeah, right, and then the first time I saw somebody wearing a t-shirt inspired by one of my books that they'd made themselves, I just remember thinking like, oh my God, oh my God, it's happening.  That's just--that's one of the best feelings I've ever had in my professional life.

H: Yeah.  Yeah, it's true.  And, we, you know, people, even if it doesn't show up in the form of tattoos, like, we as humans impact each other every time we interact.

J: Totally.

H: You know?

J: Yeah.  

H: I was just curious about that.  I also kind of wanna ask this Nightmare Before Christmas one.

J: Sure, ask it.

H: Elyssa writes, "Dear Hank and John, Is the Nightmare Before Christmas a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie?

 (26:00) to (28:00)


Asking for a friend."  

J: It's a tough one.  

H: I've been thinking about it since I chose it.  

J: Well, what is it?

H: I'm gonna go ahead and say it's a Halloween movie.  

J: Yeah, I mean, it kind of is, right?  Like--

H: It's all about, like, where, it's, you know, first of all, the songs like "Here comes Halloween, here comes Halloween" like that's like, the big song from it.  Second of all, it ends with Jack like, accepting, oh, maybe it's a journey of self-acceptance, but it ends with him like, praising Halloween and the purpose of that holiday, you know, and even though it takes place like, over Christmastime, I would say that it's a Halloween movie to show that Halloween's got its benefits.

J: Well, here's the reason why I'm going to say it's a Halloween movie, and I think you're right, and I think that is a far better point than I'm about to make, but I'm going to say it's a Halloween movie because it was released to theaters on October 29, 1993.  

H: Oh my God.  How can you--you know, I can't type right now because I'm so worried about it ruining my VO.  Like--

J: I type--yeah, I'm typing the whole time--you don't think I had to look up that Mary Oliver quote?  You think I've got that stuff memorized?  It's not written on my ribs.  

H: Oh my God.  Well, you know, there's actually a second part to the--man, I don't wanna derail the podcast too much into John and Hannah catch up--

J: That's fine.

H: --I'm gonna get, after "to love what is mortal", I'm like, combining my other favorite Mary Oliver poem or one of my many favorites, which is the "someone I once loved gave me a box full of darkness.  It took me years to realize that this too was a gift," and so I always spent my whole life learning to live with my box full of darkness and realizing that it was a gift so I'm gonna get "to love--", but what has been hard for me is the--is happiness and attachment and relief and accepting that you love things even though you know you will lose them eventually, so I'm--

J: Right.

H: So I have "to love what is mortal" and then after it, I'm going to write, I'm going to add, "this too is a gift."

 (28:00) to (30:00)


J: That's great.  

H: Yeah.

J: That's great.  I mean, I never have tattoo ideas of that quality.  Like, the only tattoo ideas I have are like, I should get the AFC Wimbledon crest tattooed on my back, and like, that's not a good idea deep down.  Can I read you my favorite Mary Oliver poem since we're in Mary Oliver fangirl mode?

H: Yeah!  

J: Alright, it's from, I think the book's called A Thousand Mornings.  "I go down to the shore in the morning and depending on the hour, the waves are rolling in or moving out, and I say, oh, I am miserable.  What shall, what should I do?  And the sea says in its lovely voice, "Excuse me.  I have work to do.""  

H: Yeah.

J: She's so good.

H: She's so good.  She's so good!  She's so good.  It just, like, I live in a city, I live in Los Angeles, I don't have as much exposure to nature as I like, but I really love her way of writing and connecting with nature that--it's not personifying it fully, but in the way that she personifies it, she adds the depth of human feeling to it, you know, it's like, even with the waves--

J: Right.

H: With this moment, "what shall I--" you know, "what shall, what should I do?", the waves are just breathing.  It's like the Earth's form of like, a breath in and a breath out.

J: Right.

H: You know?

J: Right.  Yeah, and you can feel that in the rhythm or the meter or whatever of her poetry as well, like, in the rhythm of the lines, it's--she's just an astonishingly good poet.  Everybody should just read Mary Oliver books and Hannah Hart's book Buffering.

H: That's the--I can't help it, I just love Mary Oliver so much.  We should start a podcast called Poetry Porn: Hannah and John Talk about Poems: The Podcast.

 (30:00) to (32:00)


J: And it should really just be Mary Oliver--like, we should just start a Mary Oliver fan podcast, because I bet there isn't one.

H: Yeah!

J: You know, there are so many podcasts out there, but is there a Mary Oliver fan podcast?  Hold on, I'll Google it right now.  

H: I'm so ready.  I'm so ready for that.

J: There is not.  There is not.  There is not a podcast devoted entirely to Mary Oliver's work.  There are, of course, podcast episodes devoted to them, but I'm talking about a full-time weekly update on what Mary Oliver is up to this week.

H: Boom.  Boom.  Poem at a time, book at a time, her journey and prog--look, I'm such a nerd.  Don't get me started on this.  I'll keep going.  Like, I'll just be like, this is a great idea.  This is a great idea.  Should we answer more questions though?

J: Yeah, let's ask a couple more questions.  Alright, Hannah, this question comes from anonymous, who writes, "Dear John and Hank, Since I've turned 18, I've been getting more politically engaged.  My dad is very smart and he's helping me to understand things, but recently, he and I disagreed over something.   There have been a few instances in the last couple years of bakeries refusing to serve people of different ethnicities or sexual orientations from their own.  While I think this is disgusting, I disagree with my dad's opinion that it should be illegal and that legislation should be put in place to stop business owners from picking and choosing who they sell to.  I know that probably sounds horrible, but on an objective level, I feel like it shouldn't be the role of the government to tell a private business owner who they should or shouldn't serve.  Is my dad right or am I right?"  Anonymous, your dad is right.  Your dad--I think your dad is right, because it actually is the job of the government to tell private business owners who they should and should not serve, because if you don't do that, you end up in a situation where private business owners don't serve people who are already systemically disenfranchised so we saw this in the South during Jim Crow.  The problem wasn't just the legal public segregation.  The segregation of private businesses was also part of the reason why African-American people didn't have full equal rights under the law in the United States and so legislation was required in order to basically integrate private enterprises, which is important, because if we don't do that, we end up in a country where people don't functionally have equal protection under the law.  

 (32:00) to (34:00)


H: I mean, I think, yeah, I completely agree.  I think it goes to a question, it goes to a question of morality, which is something that I've been wondering about a lot lately, because if you believe it is wrong for someone to refuse to serve a couple that is homosexual or you know, not white, then how can you support someone's freedom to do so?  That's a question I have been wondering, because you know, in light of the recent election, I have been baffled by how many people don't feel responsible for their lack of action.  

J: I'm okay with people saying things that I deeply disagree with or even things that I find repulsive or hateful or offensive, and I don't think that that should be illegal, but that's very different from whether or not businesses have to provide services to all people.  I just ultimately don't buy the argument that it's okay because I think we've seen in American history over and over again that when private enterprise is allowed to discriminate, they do in ways that systemically disenfranchise people.

H: Upvote, I completely agree with you, John.  I think, I mean, I couldn't have put it better myself.

J: Alright, let's answer one more question before we get to the all-important news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.  Hannah, this is--I don't know how excited you are to find out the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon, but it's been a big week for both.

H: I'm pretty stoked, I'm ready.  

J: Just kidding, nothing ever happens on Mars.

H: Maybe it's just happening very slowly.

J: You know, that's Hank's position.  You're doing a good job being Hank.  

 (34:00) to (36:00)


H: Thank you, thank you, I try.  Victoria writes, "Dear Hank and John, I just finished a book that I needed to read for school a few minutes ago, and I started to wonder--when you finish a book, should you just slam it shut and move on to the next book or do you sit and reflect over how the book made you feel?"

J: So I have a young adult author friend who has a great story about this.  I won't name the friend, but the first time she ever saw somebody reading one of her books, like, in the wild, was at an airport, and she sat down, like, across the aisle from this person who was finishing a book that this author had written and she watched as the person read the last five pages and then like, closed the book contentedly, and then kind of like, stared into the middle distance thinking about it and she was just about to say, like, I wrote that book, when the reader stood up, walked to the trash can, and put the book in the trash.  

H: No!  Oh my God.  That's so funny.  The trash?!

J: So don't do that.

H: Who throws away a book?

J: Don't do that, Victoria.  Don't--don't--just--

H: Yeah, don't do that.

J: Just in case the author is watching, never throw a book away in public.

H: I mean, I just can't--I just don't even understand how people--wow.  That is--I can't think of anything--words.  I thought this was gonna be like, like, you know, they close the book, they stare off into the distance and they shed a single tear and that's when your friend knew like, she would--she--that writing was blahblahblah or something beautiful, not this trash ending.

J: Yeah, yeah, no.  Went to the trash.  Have you ever seen somebody reading one of your books in the wild?

H: I have not, but I have seen, everytime I go to an airport or a bookstore, I always get my book from wherever it is, you know, rusting in the back, and I pick it up, and I put it on the recommended like, top-sellers, like front table, and I think that that is--

J: Oh yeah.

H: Yeah, I just put it up there on the front.  

 (36:00) to (38:00)


I saw someone pick it up, flip through it, and put it down.  That's the closest I've ever been.

J: I've seen that a bunch of times with my books, yeah, where I'm like--and I wanna be like, that's a good one, you should get that one, but I never do.

H: Yeah, I know.  Well, I've got my--I have to have my face on the cover of mine so it's really hard for me to kind of like, slide into that (?~36:16) and be like, heyy, good book.

J: That's a great point.

H: But, no, to answer your question, Victoria, you know, for me, when I finish a book, when I finish a book, I do like to kind of shut it and like, look forward and just kind of like, bask in that feeling, that contentment of like, wow.  Wow.  That's good.

J: Yeah.

H: And it usually takes me, I don't know, it probably--it usually takes me a while.  I can't just pick up the next book if it was really a book that like, I wanted to digest or meditate on a little bit.  I don't often just move to the next book I'm reading, but if it's like a beach read or it's like, you know, you're at somebody's house and they've got these really, like, you know, just some kind of random book that's not that impactful, you can pretty much read one of those and then just move on to the next one, but for me, I definitely like to like, marinate in it.

J: Yeah, I don't think you have an obligation to like, have that period of reflection after you finish a book, but I do think it's kinda nice, like, I like that.  In fact, like, probably my favorite part of reading a book is that feeling of like, reading the last ten pages and usually, I'm sad that I'm gonna have to leave it, and then I like that feeling afterwards of just being in the wake of it, you know.  I remember when I read the E. Lockhart novel, We Were Liars, like, after I read that book, it was--I'd finished at like, 1:00 in the morning and I was like, I'm not gonna go to sleep for a couple hours, 'cause I'm gonna try to hold on to this feeling for a little while and I love that, I love that emotion, but I don't think that it's an obligation, and I do, sometimes I finish a book and I'm just like, yeah, that was good, done and done.  

H: Ba-dum-bum.  Yeah, done and done.  I once (?~38:00) the feeling of like, existential woe, like that profound sadness, to when you finish a series that you've been enjoying for a  really long time.

 (38:00) to (40:00)


J: Yeah.

H: And it's over and the story is completely complete.  Oh, this is an embarrassing anecdote.  John, do you remember the Thornbirds?

J: Very vaguely.

H: Very vaguely.  So basically, the Thornbirds is like this, it's a story about a family.  I don't know if it was a book or a series or what, but they made it into like, a mini-series and my best friend in like, middle school and I, marathoned it all one weekend and we watched the entire story of this family's kind of like, these generations and this life from childhood to death, and as soon as it ended, I burst into tears and I was like, that's it.  And my friend was like, what are you, what's wrong? And I was like, well, that's it.  That's it for them.  For all eternity.  

J: Right, right.

H: That's it forever.  Their story is over.  

J: Yeah, I've just witnessed not just one death, but like, the death of this entire family.  Right.  It is a weird, it is a weird thing to have to say goodbye to characters that you've cared about, especially if you've cared about them for more than one book.  It's--there is kind of a grieving process for me and I do think it's a little bit, I think it's a little bit of an echo or a little bit of a shadow of death or of loss and I think that's part of what I like about reading is that it feels like a somewhat safe place to go there emotionally.

H: Yeah.  Some people say our pets teach us how to love and lose, but for me, it is multi-volume young adult fantasy series.  This is fun.

J: On that note, we shall move on to the news from Mars and AFC Wimbledon.

 (40:00) to (42:00)


I'm gonna start with the news from Mars, which is that Elon Musk, who really wants to go to Mars before 2028.  Hannah, I don't know if you know this, but Hank and I have a deal that if humans do not get to Mars by 2028, I get to rename this podcast "Dear John and Hank" so I am hard opposed to human exploration of Mars before 2028.  I--it's one of the very few things that I feel extremely strongly about.  We need to be an Earth-only planet for at least the next 12 years.  Anyway, Elon Musk who has big plans to go to Mars but no chance of actually accomplishing them, he wants to get humans to Mars around 2025, and he says that it would cost humans the average person just $200,000 for a round trip to Mars, I mean, which is expensive compared to like, a trip to Paris, but is very inexpensive compared to, I don't know, what you would think that it would cost to go to Mars.  So, if you have $200,000 lying around and you want to almost certainly die, check out that opportunity.

H: Yeah, Jesus.  You know, like, this--it's the, I am so not a fan of the idea of consu--you know what's funny actually?  Hank and I were talking about this when we saw each other in Missoula.  We were talking about consumer-based or like, customer friendly space travel and I'm a huge--I'm a big--I'm a resounding no.  I'm like, uh-uh, nope, not until it's like, I mean, I don't know if I ever would do that, you know, do the $200,000 trip to Mars.

J: No.  No.  I wouldn't do it if you paid me $200,000, of course not.  Why--no.  What a stupid idea.

H: No.  And that Virgin Galactic thing?  Yeah.  

J: It's exactly like being in Marco Polo's time and thinking I'm going to trek across Eurasia.  Like, no.  

 (42:00) to (44:00)


No, I'm not.  I'm going to stay in my little French village and be a cobbler.  
H: I'm gonna be a happy, happy cobbler.  I don't know, though, I often sometimes think about the people that wanted to like, sail, you know, across the ocean and stuff like that, and I'm like, maybe they just had ADD, you know?  Because if I was like, sitting in my village and there was a big mountain in the distance, wouldn't I be like, you know, we should probably see what's on the other side of that mountain you guys.  Like, what do you guys think?  What's on the other side of that mountain?  Though, I would like to think that's who I am, but in reality, like, I don't zipline.  I'm not a brave person.  I like to be safe.

J: I'm not a risk-taker.  

H: Me neither.

J: I love--I think caution is the most underappreciated virtue.  

H: Yeah.

J: There--like, let us pause to give thanks for caution, which has protected so many of us from so many terrible outcomes.

H: You know, my mother always taught me that another word for fear is intelligence.

J: Well, in that case, I'm an incredibly smart person.  Alright, moving on to the news from AFC Wimbledon.  It's been a fascinating and difficult week for AFC Wimbledon.  Everything is fine, nothing is--everything--so, this is the third tier English soccer team sponsored by Nerdfighteria, Hannah, they wear DFTBA on their shorts, and they are currently in 7th place, which is just outside the play-off spots, but given the fact that they were expected to be in the very bottom of the table of the third tier of English soccer, this is still, things are still great.  However, they did tie their last two games, a nil-nil draw against (?~43:48) and then a 2-2 tie against Fleetwood, which was difficult because initially they were 1-nil down, but then eventually they were 2-1 up, and it looked like it was going to be a 1-nil down to 2-1 up situation but then Fleetwood tied the game in the last minute.

 (44:00) to (46:00)


That's happened to AFC Wimbledon, like, three or four times this season, where there's been a last minute goal against them that robbed them of some points, but vitally, by the time this podcast airs but not yet in the time that it's being recorded, AFC Wimbledon will be playing a 6th tier side in the FA Cup called (?~44:19) and should AFC Wimbledon win that game, they will then make it to the third round of the FA Cup, which is when all the fancy famous teams like Manchester United and Chelsea get involved and that could be a huge opportunity.

H: Wow.

J: So we're gonna root for them to win that game so that they can hopefully play like, Manchester United at Old Trafford and get half the proceeds from selling 70,000 tickets or whatever.  

H: Wow.

J: Yeah.  

H: Well, I will--

J: It's all--you know, you gotta be, like, financially savvy down there in the third tier.

H: You really do.  Also, of the words you'd said and the half I understood, good luck?  Go team!  I hope you win your game against (?~45:11).  

J: Thank you.  Thanks, I'm very excited.  

H: It's very exciting.

J: I'm very excited.

H: Maybe I should see--maybe I should sponsor a rugby team.  I just wish there was rugby in the states.  Like, professional rugby.  Why is there no rugby?  

J: We've got some pretty good--don't we have a really good national women's team?  

H: For rugby?  Let me see.  

J: Yeah.

H: Oh, I bet you're right.  

J: Just Google it.  I bet you could sponsor them, by the way.  

H: Yeah, well, I can't type right now.

J: I bet the US Women's National Rugby team is anxious for sponsorship.  

H: I'm gonna look that up.  I'm gonna look that up.

J: Well, we may have just given Hannah a new hobby.

H: Yes!

J: And I can tell you from my perspective, sponsoring a somewhat obscure sports team is probably the single most fulfilling thing that's ever happened to me.  I mean, other than my children and my lovely wife, of course.  It's just--it's brought incredible joy to my life.

 (46:00) to (47:54)


Yes, the US Women Rugby Eagles.  There's--you should abso--100%.

H: Wait, the Eagles are the same as the men's team.  So they're both the Eagles?

J: I don't know.  Right now, I am looking at the shorts of the National Rugby teams and neither the men nor the women have Hannah Hart's face on the back of their shorts and that seems like something that needs to be changed immediately.

H: Yeah, this is a missed opportunity, although I have to say that watching the Eagles play the New Zealand (?~46:34), who are like, the greatest team in the world, was pretty brutal.  But hey, you know what, these shorts look pretty bare.  You know?  

J: Hannah, thank you for podcasting with me.  It has been a great joy.

H: Absolutely.  Thank you for having me.

J: And thanks to everybody for listening.  You can e-mail us questions at hankandjohn@gmail.com.  Our podcast is edited by Nicholas Jenkins.  If you wanna follow me on Twitter, you can do so @johngreen and Hannah?

H: You can follow me across the entire internet @harto, h-a-r-t-o.

J: Oh, that's very good.  That's some solid self-promo.  Tyler Oakley himself couldn't have done it better.

H: It really helps.  Twitter, Insta, Snapchat, YouTube, they're all harto, it makes it so clean.

J: Yeah.  I have taken a different social media strategy which is having a different name on each of those social media platforms and also never using them.  

H: That's still a strategy, John.

J: It's still a strategy.  Um, Rosianna Halse Rojas helps out with the questions, Victoria Bongiorno runs our Patreon and social media accounts.  By the way, Patreon.com/DearHankandJohn, while we're plugging things.  Our theme music is by Gunnarolla, you should check him out on YouTube.  He's brilliant.  Thank you again for listening and as we say in my hometown, don't forget to be awesome.
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