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Uploaded:2015-02-23
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In which John talks about the media's portrayal of YouTubers. The Wimbly Womblys play Aston Villa.

Hank's Essay: https://medium.com/message/holy-shit-i-interviewed-the-president-fa3e8fb44d16

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Hello and welcome to hankgames without Hank.  My name is John Green.  I'm the manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys who are in the premier league playing Aston Villa football club, who today are wearing the bright green of cowards and goalkeepers, while we wear the blue of victors and um... mm... I can't think of the right word.  What's the opposite of a coward, Meredith?  A hero.  Victors and heroes!  Thank you.  Thank you.  That's great.  That's really... you know what, that's great assistant management.  Really solid.  Um... sometimes people say, like, "Well, I don't understand, like, why do you need two people to run the team?"  Well, that's why.  You just heard it right there.  Um... I really, I, I, that was the word I was looking for, Meredith, for real.  Um...  Yep, so, uh, today I'm gonna talk about, uh, how YouTubers are portrayed in the media, but first I want to talk about Callum Kennedy's hair.  My God, it's so horrible!  It's one of the worst things I've ever seen in my entire life.  Um, John Green ne Bennett is our captain today, uh, he, uh, is going to be leading a

(1:00)team that is currently in eighth place behind only Spurs, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United.  Uh, Seb Brown's back in goal, where he belongs.  John Green and John Green up front.  We've got Mose Vestergaard and Francombstein, doctor not monster, uh, out on the wings today.  Uh, anchoring our midfield, Hell's Pells and Less Moore.  Uh, it's a strong sign, we need to win games like this, but it's gonna be a little bit difficult because Aston Villa, in their cowardliness, um, have chosen to be the exact same color as the grass.  That will make it difficult for us to tell, um, when, when it is a player that is an opponent and when it is just grass.  Um, so today I wanna talk about, uh, how YouTubers are portrayed in the media.  My brother wrote an amazing, amazing essay (link in the doobly-doo), uh, about this.  Um, a beautiful essay at, at Medium about, um, in the wake of his interview with the President, especially about the way that GloZell and, uh, Bethany were, um, portrayed by the media, and, and, and the, um, the, there, there was this,

(2:00)a bit of a talking point that, uh, you know, that Barack Obama had made time for these YouTubers but wouldn't make time for, um, person X or person Y, and that that was ridiculous because these weren't serious people, these are people who, uh, eat cereal out of a bathtub, and talk about beauty, and are just, you know, silliness.  It's one of the things that's interesting to me about this is that Hank and I, I mean, well, I-I should say, I should say me, I have almost, I, I have largely escaped, um, this, um, because, I think because I was a writer, my first book came out before, um, our first YouTube videos.  So like, I was, uh, in the minds of media people I was a writer first.  That said, even, even now, I mean, definitely, you know, my, my books are, are seen like, to some extent correctly, as being like, a pro-  Oh, off the post, and it was a beauty!  That could've been the greatest goal in the history of the Wimbly Womblys, but instead, it's just another time that we hit the post.

(3:00)Um, you remember when Deeney, uh, oh God, ensured that we went up to the premier league with that ridiculous outside the box bicycle kick, Meredith?  It's one of the greatest moments of my life.  I have two children, I love them both very much, and when they were born it was a very special moment, it was also a very very very special moment when Deeney, uh, made that ridiculous bicycle kick from outside the box and ensured his future as a Wimbly Wombly.  He was on the trading block before then, we were gonna transfer him.  I was done with that guy, and now I'm stuck with him for life, whether I like it or not.  Um, so, uh, yeah, I- I, I feel like, I mean, I, you know, maybe I get it a little bit, but like, I feel like I'm mostly, uh, sort of, uh, exempted from, from the way that people talk about, uh, YouTubers.  They, look, we're asking people whose lives and careers are threatened by YouTubers to, um, be cool and open-minded about YouTube, and that's asking a lot.  Um, so I think maybe

(4:00)that's the first problem, is that we've gotta remember that, like, you know, the mainstream media, uh, you know, cable networks, um, newspaper reporters, like, these, these people's careers are threatened by, um, by the growth of the Internet and by, um, you know, in-instead of, uh, institutions, um, rising to prominence, um, it's, you know, it's, it's individuals or small collectives, and, and that's a big change, and, um, there, there are things lost in that change, like, there are definitely things that are, that are gonna be worse about that change.  There, there are also things that are gonna be better and I think, um, you know, I think  in the end, like, it's a trade that I, I, I'm in favor of, but I'm biased too.  So, uh, I get the, uh, I get that a little bit.  Oh, it has to be and it is!  It's John Green.  He's big, he's tough, he has a ginger puff, other John Green, other John Green!  My favorite thing was that celebration, Meredith, you see that?  It was just two men who love each other, Bald John Green got on the back of his

(5:00)husband, Other John Green, whispered into his ear, uh, "That was a beautiful goal, I love you so much, thank you for taking care of J.J., our beautiful son."  It was great.  It was an amazing, amazing moment.  You know what, you know his full name is - John John.  Um, so, uh, yeah, I just, I, I, I, I understand it, but look, the, the mainstream media portrays YouTubers as idiots.  That's basically, and as, uh, they don't, they don't really understand that YouTube is anything other than cat videos.  Um, and uh, and that's fine, because that's kind of, in a, in a way it's good, because it's allowed us to, like, quietly ply our trade, uh, without interference from, from big corporations, like, uh, you know, the, the Wall Street Journal, um, is a really good newspaper, but it's never succeeded at making good Internet video.  Um, and that's kind of nice for me, because it's allowed me to do it instead.  Um, oh my God!  Two goals in si-, like, two minutes!  John Green, get on the- yes, kiss the ground!  Kiss the ground

(6:00)that you love!  Oh, he's saying, you know what he's saying right there, he's saying, "AFC Wimbledon, the real team, needs to be back in Wimbledon, back, uh, at Plough Lane, uh, so that they can kiss the ground and feel the connection, uh, to their historic, uh, land in the same way the Wimbly Womblys get to."  Um, right now AFC Wimbledon, um, is trying to, uh, rebuild a stadium that is where the stadium that was, um, Plough Lane, the stadium that was, um, originally their stadium for a hundred years before it was taken away from them and then eventually the team was moved to, uh, Milton Keynes.  Um, they're trying to get that rebuilt, so hopefully that'll happen for them.  Anyway, great first half from the Wimbly Womblys, despite the fact that, uh, Aston Villa is wearing the green of cowards and those who would like to disappear into the turf.  Um, we are defeating them.  So, that's a good start.  Um, I think, uh, I guess, like, my, my concern in all of it is that, i-is that if you aren't on YouTube, right?

(7:00)Like, you probably think that they're right.  That Glozell is a creator who primarily eats cereal out of a bathtub, instead of seeing it in its proper context, which is that, like, Glozell is a really interesting and complicated, uh, creator, who makes lots of different kinds of content.  Um, and, like, that, that inability to, to see the, uh, to, to allow for nuance, or to allow for, um, complexity is a lot of what I think is, is, is, is hurting the, um, the, the, is hurting media now, like, there's a hunger for, for news, uh, and for breaking news, and for the new new thing, but there's not, there doesn't seem to be much emphasis on context.  So, you don't know who Glozell Green is.  I'm gonna tell you in a sentence.  Well, no, you're not!  Like, you're not gonna tell me in a sentence.  You're gonna, you're gonna give me, uh, you know, one facet of the story, in a sense.  So, if you're

(8:00)gonna take the time to talk about Glozell, like, talk about her!  Don't make, um, you know, don't make these broad generalizations that don't hold up to scrutiny, because then you end up just kind of embarrassing yourself with the people who do know what they're talking about, do know something about that world, and like, and it just, yeah, it's, it, it, it's a great, that's, that to me, is where they really fall short.  I mean, CNN, MSNBC, FOX news, these people have twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to talk about, um, what matters, to talk about the news, talk about what's happening in the world.  And, they do a really, I would argue, a pretty darn good job of reporting, um, what's happening right now, and uncovering things that are happening right now.  But they, they, they do a terrible job at providing context.  So you don't know the meaning of those things that are happening right now, like, it's, you know, they, you, they do a good job of saying, "The President spoke to YouTube stars", but they don't tell you what YouTube stars mean.  And in many cases,

(9:00)they didn't tell you, in, in that particular thing, they didn't tell you what the freaking questions were about!  Um, and what I found most interesting about that, about that, um, that whole encounter between, with, with Hank and Bethany and, and Glozell and, and the President, was that the questions were about Boko Haram, and the questions were about, um, our, our, our evolving relationship with, with Cuba, and, um, and about drones and the way that, uh, technologies and particularly military technologies, uh, tend to be, tend to be, um, over-utilized, uh, when they first emerge, going back to, you know, the Gatling gun.  And, uh, those are really interesting questions that, that I, I'm not hearing in presidential press conferences with, with the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and like, instead of taking a cue from that, um, in many cases they, they, they tried to be dismissive of, um, of the people asking the questions, and that was, that was a little disappointing to me, I have to say.  Because, uh, yeah,

(10:00)because you can, you can do better, like, we know it's, we know people are interested in context, we know people are hungry f- I, I think people are hungrier for context than they are for news.  You can get news from anywhere, um, it's increasingly hard to find, find good ways to, to find out what the news means.  Um, you know, like, it- it's, it's easy to find out that Boko Haram did, had a suicide bombing, uh, yesterday; it's really really hard to find out who Boko Haram are, or where they operate, or, uh, or, what their level of influence is, um, whether they're, um, you know, uh, whether they enjoy popular support in, uh, the communities where, uh, they are, you know, they are, um, essentially functioning as, as the government.  Um, and that's the really important question, right?  I mean, those, those are the really, that's the stuff that you need to know to understand the world better.  And I don't think they do a good job with that.  So I think, uh, to me, this, this sort of, like, the way that the mainstream media portrays YouTubers in general is an outgrowth of that

(11:00)kind of inability to grapple with context.  And it's not limited to YouTube, right?  I mean, it's also, like, we always in the YA author world, like, we always feel that way when they write about young adult literature and, and I, I'm sure that in the world of, like, you know, electric cars people feel that way when they write about electric cars, like, it's, I, I, I think it's a general problem of not being able, um, to, to, to be serious, um, when it comes to, uh, you know, historical and political and economic context.  Um, and, you know, we, we see that in its, uh, but then there's also the element of, there's also the element of just generally dismissing youth culture, which goes back, I'm probably, two hundred fifty thousand years to the first human beings.  Um, but, you know, and it is, there's no question that, like, because most viewers of, uh, YouTube are under thirty, uh, and most people in media are over thirty, that they're like, "Well, these people must not know what they're talking about."  

(12:00)You know who does know what he's talking about, Other John Green.  Fantastic performance against the hidden green men of Aston Villa today.  Two nil to the good guys!  Thank you for your support!  What, this is, this season is turning out to be A-OK so far!  It looks like we're gonna stay in the premier league and more than that, it looks like we can start to dream of, of, of greater things!  Um, and I'll tell you what, guys, the, uh, the pleasure of football, whether you're talking about the pixelated kind or the other kind, is the pleasure of dreams.  Thank you for watching.  Best wishes.