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Uploaded:2013-08-09
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In which John answers the question of whether Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars is a manic pixie dream boy. The Swoodilypoopers play Middlesbrough.

Follow us on Twitter: @SwindonSwoodily
Hello, and welcome to Hank Games without Hank. In a stunning turn of events, it is raining in England. And as you can see, the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers are still seventh, but we're only five points out of first. So, nothing is impossible this early in the season.

Today I'm going to talk about whether Augustus Waters is a a Manic Pixie Dream Boy. Sorry, I keep burping. But you know what, that's part of the show. Whether Augustus Waters is a Manic Pixie Dream Boy.

But let me tell you about the starting line up first. We have Green Eggs and Foderingham, our ensign Wesley Crusher Foderingham in goal, of course. Bandalovski is out on the left. He-who-shall-not-be-named out on the right. We got a Judge and then of course, of course, of course, up front, John Green and Leroy Williamson, the striking partnership that uhm, oh wait no. I think I'm starting John Green and Andy Rooney again in an attempt to recreate the magic of the Southampton game.

So, uhm, I get asked this question a lot. I mean I think, you know, I think because I do, uhm you know, because all of my books are written by me, that a lot of people are always looking for similarities in them, or, or particularly people who sort of criticize my work, which I think is, uh, there's plenty to criticize about it.

Uhm it doesn't - it's not something that keeps me up at night or bothers me or anything. But um, a lot of people say like ' Oh, Augustus Waters is a manic pixie dream boy, he's just like the female version of one of, one of the characters from the other novels, like Alaska, or Margo, or whatever."

I don't exactly take exception to that, but I do disagree with it. I don't think that Gus is really very much like those characters at all. I mean certainly he starts out I think as, you know, as most romantic leads do, in not just novels by me but novels by most people, whether it's, I don't know, Jeffrey Eugenides or Jodi Picoult or whomever.

He starts out as a like very sort of improbably charming and precocious and quick on his feet - Oh! Speaking of quick on their feet, how about these Swoodilypoopers not being quick on their feet. Is it because we are wearing blue, the color of surrender and cowardice? I don't know. But I didn't want to wear red because red on red violence is a tragic, tragic thing. So, um, yeah I didn't um, you know like, I wanted him in the beginning to seem sort of very - Uh, that was coming.

[MID - #27 S. McDonald 19'] ...to seem cooler than cool, you know. To seem like cooler than is, than is possible um, and indeed he is cooler than is possible.

I think in a lot of ways Gus is one of those guys who like, the first time you meet him you're like "that guy's amazing" and then the second time you meet him you're like "that guy only has five funny stories about himself" and um, you know, I wanted to, I don't know. I wanted to capture someone like that because I find those people very interesting, those people who are sort of very performed in their, um, in their lives, like they have, you know. That they have those performative qualities but, you know, a lot of times I think their, their charisma is, you know, is somewhat superficial and certainly that's the case with-with Gus.

Um, and, you know, that's sort of the journey he makes from Augustus Waters to Gus Waters, from someone who is this sort of like - Oh! You just needed to turn my friend - larger than life character, who is like, you know, oh so handsome and oh so cool and oh so sure of himself to someone who is, you know, weak and, uh, frail and, um, you know just as vulnerable as any other human.

That is the novel to me, that's what the novel's about and so couldn't very well have that story unless I had the first part - Oh my gosh, you need better first touches - I couldn't have that story unless I had the first part of showing him as this, you know, cool, super cool guy. Um, but eventually of course you come to learn that he's much more complicated than that -Oh-oh-oh-oooh!

[SWI - #10 J. Green 35'] He's big, he's tough, he has a brilliant puff. Other John Green, Other John Green. Wasn't much the keeper could do about that. You could touch it with you hand but that will only redirect the direction it is going into the goal. He's gonna score. t's just whether he breaks your hand in the process. It's 1-1. The Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers are coming from behind against the borough that is in the middle. We can do this. Come on boys. 

Um... So I wanted, yeah I really wanted, um, - Oh god. That's a nice clearance - I wanted, I wanted you to see, you know, if you're gonna write a novel that argues that the real hero's journey is the journey from strength to weakness, you need to start from a place of great strength. Um, and in the manic pixie dream boy genre, um, th- I feel like the weakness of the character is never revealed and, um, and that he sort of like flits in and out of the life of the woman, um, and I really, I really tried hard to do the, kind of, the exact opposite of that in, uh, in The Fault in Our Stars. So um, you know, yes, he starts out idealized and romanticized but hopefully he, you know, together he and Hazel make a journey to a much more meaningful relationship, um, and I think you know, that's kinda like the point of the book. Um, so I couldn't- you can't chart that journey unless you start from that place of 'Oh, isn't this guy cool and handsome and amazing'.

Um, so yeah. That's what I was trying to do and I don't know if I succeeded or not but I know- Oh! I was ready to be like "But I know this, the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers are gonna succeed today against Middlesbrough and then *bleh*. No luck. Oh, I don't know what you guys are mad about, you're drawing against the - the massively famous Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers, one of the greatest teams in the history of the world.

So, yeah. I really, I mean- You know, there are lots of criticisms of The Fault in Our Stars that I think are really, like, totally legitimate as I've said many times before in Swoodilypooper videos and elsewhere. But the two that I think are just kind of stupid are the 'Augustus Waters is a Manic Pixie Dream Boy' criticism, which I just think is pretty- I just don't think it holds up very well. I just, like- I don't know. Books belong to their readers, they might be right, but I don't see that. That's the exact opposite of what I was trying to do and I think, like, for most readers, they've sort of felt like it was the exact- Oh! It has to be! And it is!

[SWI - #21 J. Bostock 52'] He scores when he wants, he scores when he waaaaannnttttssss. Mr Bostock, he scores when he wants. Look at that. Just right into the corner. I love his haircut too, there's nothing I don't like about that guy, he's emerged as a star in the post-Bald John Green Swoodilypooper era. And the Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers have come all the way back from 1-0 down to 2-1 up. Maric Maric! Maric Maric! Oh, he wanted it. He was determined and he was hard working but it came to nothing. Oh. It's because he doesn't own the means of production, not to sound like a Marxist. Actually, that sounds exactly like a Marxist. 

Yeah, okay. So, the other one that I find completely uncompelling- the other criticism of The Fault in Our Stars that I find completely uncompelling is that, uh, is that teenagers don't talk like that, as if, like, novels aren't allowed to use heightened language. Like, tragic novels can't use heightened language, as if like, like, uh. It's like if you're reading Romeo and Juliet and you're like: "Teenagers don't talk like that". Oh, no shit. I didn't know- Oh, sorry. I cursed. Um, no, you don't have to bleep it. I'm angry enough about it that you don't have to bleep it.

I just think it's the most ridiculous criticism. Like, Romeo and Juliet's first fourteen lines to each other are a freaking sonnet! No one's ever like: "Oh, teenagers don't talk in freaking sonnets to each other". Really?! I had no idea. It's like I didn't think of that. They're like: "I can tell this book was written by a 35 year old man" and I'm like: "Yeah, because you have access to the book cover". Of course you can say that.

But like, that's what- that's what tragic novels are. Like, there's no way to separate them from the way that they use heightened lang- Oh god. Get up. The way that they use heightened language to make you care and to make you invested and to create this, like- You know, I hate the word 'hyper-real' but I can't think of a better word- This hyper-real, you know, sense of relationship with the characters and stuff. And, like, I'm very grate-You know, like, look I'm very, to be clear, I'm very lucky and grateful that 3000 Amazon reviews are, you know, 80% 5 star reviews and like I'm very lucky and grateful that so many people have responded so generously to the book and, like, gotten exactly what I was doing or exactly what I was trying to do and read the book in the way that I dearly hoped it would be read. Like I never, ever imagined that so many people would read it so generously, at all. Like, I really didn't. But, then, of course you could focus on the people who don't, as is, I think, human nature. So, yeah. There you go.

Haha, I'm sorry. I feel bad about cursing. I do sometimes curse in real life. Meredith just laughed out loud. OH GOD! Anything but this! Great tackle! Heroic, game-saving tackle! Oh, who was that brilliant man? We may never know because I didn't have time to look down at the right side of the screen.

Here for the last ten minutes, I'm going to go ahead and do what professional managers do when they're up one goal with ten minutes remaining, which is that I'm going to bring on an entirely different team. I'm gonna bring on Gerry Coke, then I'm gonna have the mid-field anchored by our striker Leroy Williamson. What? I'm just doing it. Shush. And then I'm going to- I almost-I feel like we need a slightly different center. Oh, I'll bring on him. I'd feel- McShane hasn't been playing enough lately. And, we are a little tired in the defense, but I'm just gonna- I'm just gonna do these three quick changes.

I really- What-Yeah, let's just take our time. That's alright. You know, Judge is not a skinny man and that's something I like. I like that the Swoodilypoopers can have many- It's a reminder that your BMI does not- is not the only way of calculating whether or not you're fit. As I've become- I've been working out with a personal trainer, as I'm sure you guys have noticed. Oh god. Please anything but this. Oh. That guy is having a fantastic game. Oh. It's Silva E Silva E Silva. Go. Go Wordsworth! Go! You are an excellent poet! You can do it! You can do it! Gah, such a good cross! AND IT"S ANDY ROONEY!

[SWI - #17 A. Rooney 86'] Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney has a soul. Almost. I almost got there, I almost had that. It was just- I had everything except the soul.

Have you- There's a great song that a nerdfighter recorded that I recently came across called "Hank Green is not a Tenor" and it's just hilarious because it's true that in every one of Hank's songs, he has one note that he just cannot hit and he tries anyway. He writes the songs the way he wants to write them and he gives it his all and he doesn't get there. And there's something heroic about that- That's not a foul! That's not a- If you give me a yellow card for being good- Look, I disagree!. Gerry Coke made a fantastic tackle. Let's look at it again. Oh, look at me get the ball. Look at the ball move when I touched it before I touched the man.

Shmerg. This is completely illegitimate. If they score here, it's an illegitimate goal! I DISAGREE WITH THAT GOAL!

[MID - #10 N. Bailey 90'] Oh, you're going to try to- He tried to get the ball but he can't. He can't find it. He was trying to grab the ball to take it back, but he can't because they're losing and they want to try to score one more- And he finally got to it. Oh, he tried to get the ball but he was stopped by the net.

This is a fantastic game. The graphics, you know. Okay, we're just- Run it into the corner please, Wordsworth. Into the corner- That's- Gah! Yep, yep. Take it nice and slow. Okay. We had to just make sure that they don't score here in the 90th minute. It should be relatively straight forward but, you know, our defense...Not always that great. What? Is that the end of the game? Tell me it's the end of the game. Yes! Congratulations to the Swoodilypoopers. Come back from 1-0 down to win 3-2 with goals from a wide variety of Swood- This year is really the year of- that no star emerges. The team itself is the star. Thanks for watching. Best wishes.