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MLA Full: "The Balloon Boy Hoax." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 18 October 2009,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2009)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2009, October 18). The Balloon Boy Hoax [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2009)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "The Balloon Boy Hoax.", October 18, 2009, YouTube, 03:50,
In which John discusses what the Balloon Boy Hoax says about Us. And also notes that he's not surprised that the Today Show made Falcon Heene Puke, since it makes John Green puke as well.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning Hank, it's Sunday.

It's news day. I'm coming to you from a room that will hopefully someday be my bathroom, but is currently just another uninhabitable room in my house. (intro) So Hank, in your last couple of videos, which, by the way, have been great, you've been talking about why we think about the things we think about, and why we behave the way we behave, and how sometimes we're incentivised by corporations to act like jerks. I want to continue that conversation a little bit.

So the other day, the Yeti comes home from work and I'm crying. And she's like, what are you crying about, pansy? And I was like, "There's this boy in Colorado and he's not in a balloon!

He's in his attic! He's safe!" Now Hank, you may be thinking, given that you can choose to think about anything in the world, why on earth would you think about a flying saucer balloon flying over Colorado? And I'll tell you why.

I was thinking about it because I could root for something. I didn't have to think about the complexities of tribalism in Afghanistan, or health care policy, there was a boy, in a balloon, and I wanted him to live. But, as is usually the case with stories that makes sense, it turned out not to make any sense at all.

So Hank, what happened was this kid Falcon Heene (heen), although all the newscasters couldn't figure out how to pronounce his last name, so for the longest time they were calling him Falcon Heene (hiney). I'm just going to call him Falcon Heene (hiney). So the Heene family is into science, and y'know, science families have balloons and stuff, so 6 year old Falcon Heene climbs into this balloon, the balloon takes off, and then he is in what balloonists refer to as mortal danger.

Then, after hours, the balloon starts to descend, and this hero grabs the guide wire and is like dragged along by the balloon for the longest time, then pulls it to the ground. And then there's no kid in the balloon, so the question becomes, where is Falcon? By the way, that's about when I started crying, but then the story started to get a little weird.

Turns out the family's been on the show Wife Swap twice, and that they aren't into science as such, as they're into weird science. And not the kind of weird science where you make hot girls, but the kind of weird science where you think that Hilary Clinton is a reptilian. Seriously, Hank, the dad of this family thinks that Hilary Clinton is something called a reptilian, which is where you have like a reptilian nature, but you're able to do shape shifting, and he also thinks that a secret cabal of these shape shifting reptilians runs the world.

Now Hank, I know what comments I'm going to get, a lot of giant squids of anger who are like "BLAAAARGH DON'T MAKE FUN OF REPTILIANS THEY'LL COME FOR YOU!" But I'm just gonna come out and say it Hank, believing that there is a secret cabal of reptilian shape shifters who run the world, is stupid. So, a few hours later, they find Falcon Heene hiding in a box in his attic. ANd the sheriffs department assures us that it could not have been a hoax, but it turns out that it was a hoax, and the sheriff is going to be filing charges against Mr.

Heene within the next few days. Now Hank, I don't know what hoax evidence the police have, but let me when I knew it was a hoax. It was't when Falcon Heene turned to his dad and said, "You said we did this for a show", or even the next day, when Falcon Heene was forced to go on the Today Show and vomited.

Because who can blame him for that? I mean, I vomit sometimes just watching the Today Show. I knew it was a hoax when daddy Heene said, "I'm not selling anything, this is what we do all the time".

This is what we do all the time, he said. And look how many people watched it. And wouldn't that make great television.

He got on Wife Swap twice, he pitched a show to TLC that they passed on, but he couldn't stop wanting to be a famous television star Hank, so he faked the possible death of his son. And he thought he would get away with it, because like all narcissists, he thinks that he's a genius, and Hank, nerdfighters, here is my non-rhetorical question of the day for you: Given what we know about fame, given that we know it leads to divorce, and borderline personality disorder, and shaving your head for no reason, and general asshat-ery, why would people want to be famous? And more disturbingly, why will they sell out their values and the people they love in order to get attention from strangers?

By the way Hank, I'm not casting aspersions on others, I think that everyone struggles with this, including me. But I just don't get it. If we behave in the way we're incentivised to behave, what is the possible incentive for fame?

It's not money, lawyers make better money than the stars of TLC shows, what is it? Hank, you'll see me on Tuesday.