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In which John talks about his favorite television show, Homeland. The Swoodilypoopers take on Birmingham City.

Follow us on Twitter: @SwindonSwoodily
Hello and welcome to hankgames without Hank.  My name is John Green, theeese are the Swindontown Swoodilypoopers, and in a stunning turn of events: it's raining in England.  Who woulda thunk it?

We have 19th century poet, uh, William Wordsworth, starting for us today in midfield. Umm, we also--I, you know, I'm going out on a limb here and I'm starting Andy Rooney and Collins.  Umm, I don't know, I think that we got a chance with them.  I don't know, I-I just, I had a feeling.  I'm really trying to get Collins into the team.  I-I-I said some bad things about him last year, it hurt his feelings... he's never really recovered--his morale is bad, his form isn't great--but, like, the kid has a ton of potential, and I just, I want him to--I want him to love being a Swoodilypooper, so I'm gonna give him--I-I-I'm gonna give him a few more chances between now and uh the transfer window in January.  And then if he doesn't like it here, he can let the door his butt on the way out.

(Lineup on screen)

Umm, so, that--oh, we're starting Leroy Williamson and Collins.  'Cause I'm tryna mix up some striking partnerships to try to find what is the magic--you know, without Bald John Green, we've been--for lack of a better word--umm, a little bit impotent up front, so we're gonna work on that.

(Play commences)

Today, I'm going to talk about "Homeland," my favorite television program.  Uhh, this video is being recorded in the past, and of course, the future, umm, is--is bright and full of possibility, but also full of--full of potential terrible, terrible things.  Um, if any of those things have happened, I'm sorry about them.  I'm very sad about theeeee--I'm just going to make a guess here--theeeee...mmmm...Canadian tornado.  That was terrible.  I wish that that hadn't happened.  That whole Canadian tornado fiasco...just...reminds us all to be grateful for every day that we do have.  Umm, it's gonna be so awful if something really happens, Meredith!  Please make sure that nothing actually happens.  Okay, Meredith's on it.  She's gonna be looking out for--for weather and any terrorist-related activities and make sure that nothing bad happens.

Okay.  So, umm...I like this TV show, "Homeland," but it--I also find it, like, troubling in some ways?  Which is wh--which is what I wanna talk about.  So there's this show.  If you haven't seen it, it's umm, it's about a woman who works at the CIA, and she's extremely good at her job.  And one of the reasons that she's extremely good at her job is that she has bipolar disorder.  Umm, and uhh, and umm, a-a complicated relationship with a man who may or may not be a terrorist.  Umm, well...yeah.  So umm, th-th--no spoilers.  There are no spoilers involved in that summary of "Homeland." Umm---OH! OH, YOU GOTTA GET IT DOWN, JAMES COLLINS. Oh, SWEET HOLY JESUS. Umm, so it's a really compelling show.  It is incredibly exci--oh god. Ooh god.  Ooh, SHMERG.  We're gonna have to do that thing.  Martin Luther King scored for Birmingham City.  I mean, he is the greatest civil rights leader EVER, so it's hard to begrudge him in this great moment.  Still kind of pissed.

(Replay of M. King's goal)

God, it just--I didn't know he would be so fast.  Off the post and everything.  We gotta do that thing we do where we come from behind. Um, but instead of doing it with Other John Green, we've gotta do it with Collins. it's a really, really exciting show.  It's like early seasons of "24" where it's one of those shows that you just wanna watch, um, like, more or less constantly?  Umm, you wanna watch--like, I remember Sarah and I discovered it on, umm, like On Demand or whatever, and we watched an entire season in, like, 3 very excited days?  Umm, it's one of those shows. It's, it's--because, because it's about, you know, terrorism and the CIA and stuff and it really is--it's very well written, the dialogue is very strong, and then performances, particularly by Mandy Patinkin an-and Claire Danes, are extreeemely good.  Like, uh, it's rare--I-I-I--it's rare that I've seen as complicated a character as Claire Danes' character on, umm, on television.  Um, I think it's better than like, mm, better than like anything in Mad Men or anything like that. Which, to be fair, I've never liked.

Yeah, so I think it's a really good TV show. HOWEVER, it is, like a lot of TV shows these days, about violence and/or terrorism, um, which seems to be sort of a national obsession with us these days.  Nice run by Collins, nice run by Collins, nice run by Collins... NOT the best ball. Umm, uhh, and it, w--th-th-th-the side effect of this, I think, is that it makes us feel the, like, it makes us feel that criminals, uh, and um, basically I would argue that most terrorists are criminals. They aren't-- oh gosh. Aww, that was a great block. They aren't primarily state actors or even, you know, particularly well-funded people. It's a fine line between w-w-what's terrorism and what's criminality, but, um, I think, um, you know, a lot of them are just...yeah. A lot of them are also sort of wrapped up in criminal enterprises, particularly, um, the people who are said to be sort of Al Qaeda-affiliated in Africa.

Um, so, uh, I-I-I, that's part of what troubles me, that it-it-it-it gives that, this culture we all live in now where we're obsessed with--OH, Leroy Williamson, oh. W-we're obsessed with the, um, terrorism and violence and threats of violence in a disproportionate way. In a way that, you know, does not reflect the size of the actual threat to the social order. Umm, and I think, you know, a television show like Homeland is inevitably sort of going to further, further that fascination slash fear. Um, and that-that um, fear-driven, fear-based uhh, culture is what the news thrives on, but I think it's really, really bad for like, our overall ability to, like, set policy and then it ends up--phew! That was almost a goal. Resulting in al other kinds of, um, other things that are much more dangerous to the social order like neglecting, you know, really interesting but less sexy policy debates about healthcare and immigration and stuff like that.

Um, SO, that's my, um, yeah. So that's, that's my concern about Homeland, but it doesn't really effect my ability to enjoy the TV show that much. Um, however, there are a few moments when watching Homeland when I'm like, COME ON, no criminal mastermind or terrorist or whatever is nearly this brilliant. Um, the most notable being that there's this guy that everybody wants to catch and he's , like, a stunning genius.  Like, Hannibal-level genius.  Um, and you see this all the time in-in TV shows about-about crime.  There are, of course, famously many more murders, uh, every day on television than there are in-in the act--among actual living humans.  Umm, but you see that--you see this all the time, like--OH, what a--what a--what an interception!  Umm, that there's a huge--huge kind of, like, GAP between the rrrrr--oh boy.  The reality of-of, uh, crimi-criminal and terrorist, um, plotting and the, um, the way that we sort of imagine it.  Uhh, so for example, you watch a show like "CSI" and you think, like, "Man, criminals are brilliant!"  And then you watch a show like "The First 48," which actually, you know--which-which depicts actual, um, uh, police officers investigating actual murders, and you're like, "Man, criminals are stupid."  Because they'll be like, "Oh, there's a warrant out for my arrest.  Where should I go?  I know!  My house!"  Umm, and, uhh, it's the exact opposite of, like what you would expect.  ALMOST as if the people who commit crimes, by and large, are not sort of, like, well-educated people with excellent impulse-control, um, but instead people who, uh, you know, end up doing things that in all likelihood, they regret.  Or at least have some sort of mix feelings about--OH!  Collins!

(Lineup on screen)

That's it.  I really--I gave--oh, he's hurt.  Aww.  That explains...some things.  All right, we're making--we're making wholesale changes.  Actually, we're--we're just making one change.  We're bringing on John Green.  And then we're bringing on--well, we are making wholesale changes.  Umm...we're gonna bring on...Bostock we have anybody else who's appropriate for the situation?  I think Merr--is there a situation for which Merrick Maric is not appropriate?  Weeell, actually, maybe we want to bring in Groberts so we have someone on the wing.  Oh, I'm so bad at this game.  But I think I just made my substitutions, though, because I hit the wrong button.

(Play resumes)

So.  That's how you know you're talented.  Umm, yeah.  So, like, that--th-the difference between, um, I-I think that, like, furthers our fear because we think, like, not only are there these--all of these criminals out there.  All of these criminals out there are geniuses and they wish to destroy us and they have the capacity to do so and they have the nerve and they're evil.  Weeell, like, I mean, one of the things I like about "Homeland" is that the villains in "Homeland"are portrayed as complicated people with complicated, um, sort of experiences an-and feelings.  Um, and you know, you do see--you see them--for lac--for both the sort of, uhh, economic and political motivations for...the radicalization of the people in the show.  Um, that said--you know, so it's certainly much more complex than any other TV show, I think, about--about that topic.  Um, but in the end, for me, it's still a little bit lacking.  Like, there's still an element in it of are-you-freaking-kidding-me.  Um, and that's--I don't know.  It does--it does bug me to like the show that much and at the same time, feel like it isn't necessarily that helpful for the--O-OOH!  Get it!  GET IT!  Awww!  A bunch of COWARDS failing to give their all for ball!  They're gonna get this.  They're gonna get--that's a "context is everything" moment.  They are gonna get yelled at when we are back in the locker room because I think that showed a lack of courage.  YES, including by you, Other John Green.  I'm not afraid to--not afraid to tell you exactly what i think of your performance.  I think you could have given more courage there.  Umm, what--what the boys sometimes forget is that it isn't about money ultim--OH GOD.  He's off-sides.  It isn't about money ultimately, um, or anything else other than glory.  Uhh, we play in the pursuit of glory and honor.  Um, to honor the great city of Swindon, to honor the men we play with, to honor the men and women who, uh, work for the Swindontown Swoodilypoopers, and most of all, to honor the support of all our supporters.  Get it, get it!  TURN AROUND, shoot the ball, and score!  Other John Green!  Showing his courage and showing us that he can robot!  Now we gotta get a goal in the last 8 minutes to win this game.  I believe was can do it and I believe, to quote R. Kelly, that, "we can fly today," friends.  All right, come on!

Umm, so yeah, I don't know if you guys have an eq--this complicated a relationship with your favorite shows, uh, if your favorite shows are kind of, like, crime-y, uhh, investigator-y, mystery-novel-y shows.  But that's, that's my relationship with them.  Get in the box.  SCORE the goal!  Y-yes, we were fouled.  We were fouled.  It was--that was very rude.  It was a rude foul.  What I wanna do is I wanna just have ea nice, safe pass.  Because I can't shoot from there and I don't know anything about this...set pieces in this game--Leroy Williamson!  OH, too much of a first touch.  All right, 88th minute, 88th minute, Mionel Ritchie with the ball!  Mionel Ritchie with the CROSS, Mionel Ritchie--aww.  Oh, it could have been, but it wasn't.  It could have been, but it wasn't.  And again, I think, partly for lack of courage.  I don't want to be throwing anyone under the bus here, but I think if we'd really thrown ourselves at that--at that cross, good things could have happened.  There we go.  Will we have one last chance?  Probably not.  Probably not.  He Who Shall Not Be Named takes a--

(Whistle blows)

Ooooh, 1-1 draw!  That score line is familiar, best wishes.