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Last sync:2022-12-01 19:45
In which John considers the possibility of a public spectacle of fisticuffs with his brother Hank. Is it time to take the glasses off and put the gloves on?

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Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday and I have a question. Umm... "Should we rumble?" We've been brothers for 41 years and most of our relationship has been aggressively non-violent, like, when we disagree, which is not often, we usually don't even raise our voices let alone resort to fisticuffs. But there was just this YouTube boxing exhibition where a bunch of YouTubers boxed each other and, like, it generated quite a lot of revenue even though the quality of the actual boxing, and I want to put this gently, sub-professional. Now look Hank, I'm like 99% sure it's a terrible idea for you and me to box each other in a ring for a public spectacle that raises money to build stronger healthcare systems in impoverished communities, but there's like 1% of me, that's like, "Is is merely a bad idea, or is it a bad million dollar idea." Now I suppose I should confess that the only reason I'm even considering this is because I'm pretty sure I would win. Like as a boxer I have two major qualifications. One, while I have very little experience with actually, like, throwing punches, I did for many years review books about boxing for Booklist Magazine. So, I've read like over a 100 books about boxing, and as many of the school administrators who have recently banned my books can tell you, reading about it makes you both want to do it and good at it. So Hank, I think you and I probably have like similar overall boxing skills, but I can say things like switch to southpaw and jab jab hook and being able to say those things is basically, you know, basically being able to do them. Secondly, I am married to a boxer. When Sarah and I met, she was a very competitive boxer and I feel like she could train me. On the other hand when I told her about this she said, "That is the worst idea that I have ever heard and if you think I'm gonna help you, you're incorrect." The other thing that's whispering in my ear that maybe this isn't the worst idea I've ever had, is that labouring under the prospect of getting whopped by my brother in front of an audience, I think would make me extremely interested in and dedicated to personal fitness. I would have to sculpt this 44 year old flesh sack into a chiselled fighting machine, and Hank, you would have to do the same. And in the process, we could potentially extend our overall health spans provided we didn't have any serious injuries in the ring, which frankly, based on our punching power,  I think is unlikely. Now I suppose there is the prospect of having to actually fight my brother in a ring in front of an audience with the winner feeling good and the loser feeling bad and all that stuff, which is utterly unappealing to me. I don't want you to feel bad when I TKO you into the second round, but maybe you wouldn't feel sad. Maybe you'd feel motivated. Maybe you come back stronger and defeat me in the sequel just like happens in Rocky 2, retroactive spoiler alert. And then maybe millions of people would watch the trilogy fight on pay per view and we'd both be grizzled veterans trotting out for one last titled chance, just like 40 year old Bob Fitzsimmons who was known as the freckle wonder and who in 1903 withstood a 30 round boxing match to become the light heavyweight champion of the world, all of which I know from reading the book, Lanky Bob. Now of course there are also reasons why this is a terrible idea including one, I don't really want to have shirtless pictures of us available on the internet. Also, two, I think the public perception of us is, correctly, that we like each other and a boxing match might harm that image. Furthermore, three, I don't know that I want to lift up 'regulated violence' as the number one strategy for content creators to grow their platform of increase their revenue, and so I think ultimately Hank it doesn't make sense for us to become semi-professional pugilists. I mean, we could spend the next 9 months training to box each other, or we could spend that time writing books, and making educational videos, and raising money for Partners In Health and all that stuff, and I think that's probably the right call, which is a real shame because I could have been a contender. Hank, I'll see you on Friday.