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Uploaded:2011-09-20
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In which John talks about the realities of being dumped. He also continues his quest to take Swindon Town to the Premier League.
Hello and welcome to Hankgames with no Hank. It's your host, John Green. Sorry that there's no Hank here.

So today, we are of course the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers here still in League 1 but with only 6 matches left to play in the League 1 season down 6 points to Sheffield Wednesday, the leaders of League 1. And today we're playing Notts County. Notts County, our mortal enemies for the day. Up front you'll see we've got John Green and John Green, we've got Fat Lucas in the goal, and then some other players in the middle, who generally don't figure into proceedings very much.

Ok, today I'm going to talk about, it was suggested by drivingonwires, one of the most upvoted comments from my previous video was to talk about the writing of An Abundance of Katherines which of course-

Oh god oh god- Ohhh Spicer. Fortunately he was terrified of D. Lucas in goal so no problem.

One of the most upvoted comments was to talk about the writing of An Abundance of Katherines, which gives me the opportunity to talk about getting dumped. That's one of my favorite things to talk about because it's one of my areas of expertise. My areas of expertise including of course: conjoined twins, getting dumped, and uh- that's about it.

Alright so um- so yes I uh... I got dumped a lot when I was a young man.

Get that ball in the goal John Green! You embarrass me. You embarrass John Greens everywhere.

Um, I got dumped a lot- when I was a teenager, when I was in college, and then also-

Oh that was really not my best pass. 

Also, right when I was writing Looking for Alaska I got dumped a couple times pretty seriously. And, um, I was thinking a lot, in those days, about-

Wow. I almost gave up a goal there.

I was thinking a lot about breaking up and what happens and why you get dumped and why it is that there are kinda two sorts of people in the world, dumpers and dumpees. Like at the time I really did believe that like people were either essentially-

Oh no, oh no. I'm playing like a dumpee! Ugh.

At the time I believed that people were essentially either-

(2:12) [NTS - #9 L. Hughes 17'] Oh no! Oh no! L. Hughes! Longsford Hughes, with a goal. And Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers are down 1-nil. And suddenly. Oh. And look we can't -John Green can't even pass to John Green. This is an embarrassment, we've got to get focused here.

So anyway, I was obsessed with getting dumped. And that was really what initially made me want to write An Abundance of Katherines. I wanted to write a novel that would help me understand why some people get dumped over and over and over again and why we end up in these relationship patterns that extend beyond just one person and become like these-

Oh my God! I can't stop this guy Longsford. He's unstoppable. Ok, I'm going to calm down, and I'm going to score some goals. Because I have Bald John Green, the other team doesn't, that should be an adequate advantage. Necessary slide tackle- the best kind of slide tackle. And I've even recently mastered the Y button, so I should really- why can't you score Bald John Green? Is it the mustache? Does the size of your mustache screw up your center of gravity?

So also related, when I was in high school I developed this idea that romantic relationships were essentially very predictable like whenever my friends would get in these, uh, they'd have these "romantic tiffs"

Bald John Gr- I pressed the wrong button there. I had Bald John Green open for a goal and I pressed the wrong button and I'm incompetent and I hate myself.

So you get in these-oh no, oh no- you get in these, what happens is you start to feel this shame, and then it just becomes a self-repeating phenomenon which we're going through right now as a team, the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers. So I noticed that all relationships were really really predictable. Like you could pretty much tell as soon as two people started dating who was going to dump who in the end, like you could kind of tell based on who was better looking and who was more popular and more comfortable with themselves. You could just tell how it was going to end. And I used to sorta- this was sort of a parlor game for me, actually.

Oh D. Lucas! Fat Lucas, this is not like you. I need you to focus. We're in the 39th minute we're still down 1-nil and I'm beginning to become concerned. Fortunately I do have Fat John Green on my team- oh I mean Bald John Green. Oh this whole thing is just turning into a disaster.

Anyway I figured that you could come up with an algebraic equation that would basically predict in advance which of two people would break up with the other. So that was an old idea in my mind. Unfortunately I'm really bad at math so I was never able to like develop that idea until I made the acquaintance of Brotherhood 2.0 resident mathematician Daniel Biss.

Please score. (5:04) [SWI - #11 J. Green 45'] Yes Other John Green bringing it in! 1-1 tie! That's right! You hug him because you love him. You hug him because you love him. We're tied at the end of the first half. Ugh, thank goodness. Ok. Feeling a lot better, a lot more confident, going into the second half. I feel like we've controlled the Longsford, oh. And uh I feel like, you know, we kinda, Notts county, they had a little run there, and I lost my confidence as sometimes happens to dumpees, but now I'm getting it back. And in the second half I will be talking to you about what happened when I actually decided to write An Abundance of Katherines instead of just thinking about it.

So, 1-1 at half time for these Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers. This humiliating goal which really could not have gone worse from my perspective and then, yeah, and that didn't go well. I had a number of breakaways that I wasn't able to convert on. But finally Other John Green showed his true colors: that he is a Swindon Town Swoodilypooper through and through. And uh, achieved greatness at least for a moment. So now it falls to the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers to score a goal here. And, not to put pressure on myself, but essentially, if we don't win this game we are not going to win League 1, which will complicate our mission of moving forward into the Championship next year. I'm gonna try to use the Y button here. Y button? No it didn't work. That's unfortunate.

So uh, so I had this idea that I was going to write a book about a guy who gets dumped over and over again and then I had the idea that he should get dumped over and over again by girls who all have the same name, that name being Katherine, as a way of sort of, you know, exploring the phenomenon of repeating behavior even when you kind of know that it's a bad idea. So I had all those ideas.

I'm gonna try the Y button again. It worked better this time! (6:54) [SWI - #9 J. Green 54'] Oh no get-- yes yes yes it went in the goal! It went in the goal! What a beautiful goal. Oh look at Bald John Green he can't even control himself he's so excited. Let's look at that again. Because that was hideous. Look at that. Oh man oh oh oh goalie! The goalie apparently, he just, he made the decision to kick the ball into the net because he was mad at himself I guess? I don't know but anyway, I love the decision Burch, great decision. That's the kind of thing you never see out of Fat Lucas.

So when it came time to write the book though, I was no longer getting dumped because I was already dating Sarah when I started writing An Abundance of Katherines. So it was a little bit weird because I decided to write this book about, you know how relationships end and how um, you know dumpers and dumpees interact, and I had all of these, you know, complicated theories about it. And I also really wanted to write a funny book, particularly after writing Looking for Alaska I just- I was ready to write a comic novel. I love the genre of the comic novel, I think there are so many great comic novels in American history.

(8:01) [SWI - #11 J. Green 61'] And now it's a blowout, thanks to Other John Green. So Other John Green has two goals, Bald John Green has one goal. Other John Green is going to focus now, on getting his hat trick. And the people of Swindon rejoice!

So it was a little bit weird to be writing this like funny book about getting dumped when I was increasingly becoming aware that I was never going to get dumped again. But that gave me the perspective that I needed to write the novel I think, because when I first started writing the novel, all of my theories about dumpers and dumpees seemed completely legitimate to me, and then slowly I realized that they were comical and farcical and insane, and that the truth is, in every relationship there are two people, and at the end of that relationship, and all relationships do end- as Colin Singleton points out in An Abundance of Katherines relationships end in you know, break up, divorce or death- given that all relationships end, the relentless focus on forever as an idea is a really flawed focus. And I think once I realized that it made it a lot easier for me to be in a happy romantic relationship, but it also allowed my to change my viewpoint on the whole thing. It allowed me to make An Abundance of Katherines funny, which ultimately it is.

It's also the only novel I ever wrote that's written in third person. I did that because you know Colin, the main character of An Abundance of Katherines- by the way the vast majority of you haven't read An Abundance of Katherines so maybe I should tell you what it's about. It's about this child prodigy named Colin Singleton who's been dumped 19 times by girls named Katherine. And I found that- I found the- I wanted to write about a child prodigy just because I was fascinated by like- I mean, I feel like our generation, by our generation I mean the generation that grew up with computers and the internet and the children of baby boomers or- We were all told that we were very very special. And then we got to be older and we realized that we weren't very very special, and that was a difficult transition. I'm fascinated by that transition. I really um, I realize that I said "I'm fascinated by" a lot of times but that's why I write is because I'm fascinated by stuff, I'm interested in how to make sense of it.

Oh look at his beautiful, his beautiful mustache with his wet bald head. I love you so much Bald John Green. Um, so uh. They're doing some substitutions, apparently they're bringing on a Ravenclaw.

So I wanted to write all these things into one book, and I didn't think that was really even gonna be possible. 

Can he do it? No.

Um, I really didn't think it was even gonna be possible, but then I- the great thing about, I mean the great thing about writing Katherines for me was that I was able to write- just try to be funny. And I didn't have a lot of other priorities as a writer on that particular- with that particular novel. I just wanted it to be funny and sweet and I think it really like reflects that time of my life, which was a funny, sweet time of life when I was like, you know, learning to be a grown-up in much the same way that...

Oh no. Thank god for Fat Lucas.

Learning to be a grown-up in much the same way that Colin is, and also learning to be in a mature romantic relationship in much the same way that Colin is, although Colin is doing it at the age of, you know, 18, and I of course did it at the age of-

(11:30) [SWI - #11 J.Green 90'] Oh! He did it! Other John Green with a hat trick a beautiful hat trick and John Green hugs John Green and they celebrate together. It's moving. Let's look at that one more time. John Green stopped once but he will not be stopped twice. Brings it in with his beautiful, beautiful puffy-haired head.

So when I look back at Katherines what I mostly see is a novel that reflects, like really reflects, what I was when I wrote it. Which is more true of that novel than with anything else I ever wrote. So, the goals were scored by John Green, John Green, John Green, and John Green, and we came from behind we were 1-nil down, we win 4-1. Swindon Town continues its inexorable march to the Premier League. Next time, you will see us in an intense, intense game, another must-win game here at the end of the season for Swindon Town. Thank you for watching, I will not see you and you will not see me and I don't know the outro. Tell me what to talk about in the next video.

Best wishes!

[vs. Notts County W 4-1

SWI: #9 J. Green 54'; #11 J. Green 45', 61', 90'

NTS: #9 L. Hughes 17']