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MLA Full: "I Ain't Even Here, Sergeant. I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 5 September 2023,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2023)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2023, September 5). I Ain't Even Here, Sergeant. I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2023)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "I Ain't Even Here, Sergeant. I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming.", September 5, 2023, YouTube, 03:59,
In which John attempts to document the experience of traveling between the real world and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday.

So there's this line in the movie Rushmore where a soldier walking through a jungle says, "I ain't even here, sergeant, I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming." And that's kind of become a metaphor in our family for whenever we're really into writing or making art or whatever because that's kind of what creative expression is to me. It's a way of escaping the body-type prison of myself and traveling to other places like Cheyenne, Wyoming. So yeah, full disclosure: I ain't even here right now, I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Like a couple nights ago, I said in my sleep, "Chapter 2 is not working," which is not by the way.

Oh wait, that reminds me. Remember a couple months ago when Nerdfighteria helped raise the alarm about Johnson & Johnson trying to extend the patent of their antibiotic bedaquiline? Well the Stop TB Partnership just announced that in most countries with high rates of tuberculosis, the price of bedaquiline will drop thanks to generic competition by over 50%, which is amazing news. I think ultimately what I find so fascinating about tuberculosis is that until quite recently, it was, as Charles Dickens put it, "The disease that wealth never warded off." Like for almost all of human history, kings died of tuberculosis, the richest man of the 19th century died of tuberculosis. And then rather suddenly, it became a disease that wealth almost always wards off, and so for a long time, in much of the world, we saw tuberculosis as a disease of civilization and wealth and privilege and success. And now, in so far as much of the rich world thinks about tuberculosis at all, it's seen as a disease of poverty and marginalization. And that's pretty weird. It's also a reminder that disease is not just a medical phenomenon, it's also a social one, like how we imagine diseases matters. So I've been in Cheyenne, Wyoming trying to figure out how that happened and how to tell the story of it, like, how did we end up in a world where in the 21st century, the deadliest infectious disease is curable.

That's never happened before. The 20th century's deadliest disease wasn't curable, neither was the 19th century's or the 18th century's. You could go all the way back through the centuries. It's literally unprecedented, and trying to understand that and figure out how to tell that story is very different from, like, making up a story in my mind, but it's also not that different. Because whether I'm writing fiction or an essay or a video script or whatever, what I'm really trying to do is, like, make sense of a world that does not really lend itself to sense. And that feeling of trying to, like, piece together various things until it makes a picture that makes sense to me is very fulfilling, but I don't actually think it's what I like about writing. I think ultimately deep down what I love most about writing, Hank, is that it's something to think about. It's a way of visiting, Cheyenne Wyoming, escaping myself and being able to worry about something else for a while. Like at 11 PM, when I would otherwise be going through my usual worries and mortifications, I can think about the story. I can get out of this flesh sack that is also a bacterial colony and visit Cheyenne, Wyoming.

But then eventually there does come a point where I'm not really here. I'm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. And like even when I'm dreaming, I'm dreaming of Cheyenne. And that can be a pretty intense experience, but it won't last that long. Like next week, I'm 100% sure that I won't be in Cheyenne, Wyoming all the time because one of the things that I've been working on will, like uh, be happening. But I'm not allowed to talk about that yet. I hate it when YouTubers are like, "Something's gonna happen, but then I can't talk about it because..." but I actually can't talk about it.

Gosh, what was the point of this video. Cheyenne, Wyoming is a metaphor, not a real place. Go to Cheyenne, Wyoming whenever you can, but don't stay there forever. Alright, that said, I'm going back to Cheyenne, Wyoming. But one more thing, Hank, I really like your beard. I think it's great that you look different now because, like, you are different now. You're moving through a profound and difficult experience, and you're looking good doing it man. Like I never thought I'd say this, but I'm excited to have a brother who might be able to go full Tom Selleck.

Hank, I'll see you on Friday.