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View count:16,646
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Duration:11:39
Uploaded:2012-08-17
Last sync:2018-11-16 13:30
In which John discusses plagiarism. The Swoodilypoopers play against Newcastle United.
Hello and welcome to Hank Games without Hank. My name is John Green. As you can see, we are here at the stadium of Newcastle United where we will be playing, sorry! I don't know what happened there. Newcastle United, in a stunning turn of events. By the way, speaking of turn of events, it's not raining in England!

You will notice that we are starting ten different players from the players we started in Europe at Seva. That's because the trip exhausted us and we need to rest those guys because we need to have a big game, to try and move forward in the Euro League.

So we're going to do our best against Newcastle today. I would really like to get a win. Our form has not been good in the Premier League and we kind of desperately need to get into the top four, as I previously noted. And yeah, we're not getting there right now. But it's gonna have to happen with these guys. They aren't our best players on paper but they are being given an opportunity to remind all of us that Swoodilypooper games are not played on paper. They are played by men and women, mostly men.

Ooh, with massive hearts! Like D McGoldrilocks!

(sings) He's big, he's red, he's found the perfect bed. D McGoldrilocks, D McGoldrilocks. He's big, he's red, he's found the perfect bed. D McGoldrilocks, D McGoldrilocks.

Yes! Yes! Beautiful header from D McGoldrilocks, and a fantastic cross from stone cold Cteve with a C Austen. Look, he may not share my world view, but he can curl one in from the corner. Look at that, it was perfect!

Alright, now we just gotta hold onto our lead and that is exactly what we are going to try to do.

So today I want to talk about plagiarism, because that's funny.
Um. You know there've been a bunch of cases of plagiarism in the news lately including Jonah Lehrer who made up some Bob Dylan quotes and has had his book, ironically about creativity, pulled off the shelves and has suffered sort of massive humiliation and been fired from his job and et cetera.

I feel bad for him, but he also knew- he also knew- he seemed to know entirely what he was doing. And you don't make up quotes from Bob Dylan and then defend yourself in a series of lies unless you are, you know, yeah. He embarrassed himself and in a way he embarrassed his profession.

That said, it's pretty complicated to me. Um. I'm a writer of fiction. I don't write journalism and if I did write journalism, I would make stuff up because that's the kind of writer I am and I would be unable to resist the urge to make stuff up, which is why, by the way, I don't write journalism. Because I know myself well enough to know that like, I would make stuff up.

David Foster Wallace has, since his death, famously been accused by some very good writers (who are extremely jealous of him, including Jonathan Franzen) of making stuff up. Actually I'm not sure it was Jonathan Franzen to be fair, but I know that some writers accused him of making stuff up and knowingly making stuff up in some of his non-fictional essays including one called "a supposedly fun thing I'll never do again", an absolutely hilarious essay about the pleasures and the disappointments. mainly the disappointments, of cruising. By which I mean like, going on those big, big cruise ships.

Putting a person like David foster Wallace on a cruise ship is a beautiful, beautiful thing to do, because it is hilarious. But they say that he made up some quotes and that like, he made up some conversations. And my response to that, like, is well of course he did. He did that because it was funnier that way and it was his way of getting to his point. Um. And- I mean, I felt a little bit the same way the whole James Frey, fry, whatever his name is, scandal in the wake of A Million Little Pieces.

I don't value facts very much as a novelist, and so as a novelist whenever I hear that these memoirists or non-fiction writers or whatever, are making stuff up, I always think like, well of course they are. It's so much easier. And also, you can come up with better facts if you make them up and you get to where you want to go faster and you can make your point more beautifully than if you have to deal with like, messy, actual quotations when people are saying things that aren't sentences and stuff.

Like, nothing in Swoodilypoopers videos is quotable, uh, because I'm constantly saying "um" and "like" and not finishing my sentences and celebrating goals by D McGoldrilocks when I should be, you know, using a verb or whatever, to make a sentence into a sentence. And all the sentences are run-ons like this one and et cetera. And I use phrases like "and et cetera." which means "and" and "et cetera".

So yeah. I mean, that's the whole pleasure of- to me that's the whole pleasure of fiction, is that it isn't real.

Who made the foul? Surely not. Surely stone cold Cteve with a C Austen! He may philander. He may drink, but he doesn't foul people in his, you know. That's ridiculous!

By the way, a lot of people criticize me for expressing my differences from stone cold Cteve with a C Austen. but I refuse to back down from that. Like, we are very different people. We have very different sets of values and like, I'm not gonna sit here and deny it. Like, he's- you know, I don't approve of the way that he lives his life. I don't think he values the right stuff and I- frankly I think it hurts our football team.

Oh no! Off the post! Oh, wow. That would've been a beautiful goal from Newcastle but instead, it's just like anything else. Not a goal. All it will be remembered for is NOT going in.

Alright, D McGoldrilocks encourages one size Fitz Hall, who's big and tall and short and small. Joleon Lescott is disappointed as he walks off-stage. Woody Guthrie, um, the greatest folk singer of all time, also playing for Newcastle United, leaves the pitch as well.

Great goal from D McGoldrilocks!

So all of this- all of this said, um, what struck me as so problem- I mean, so this is- so this is what's interesting to me. I am genuinely not bothered by David Foster Wallace making up quotations from people on a cruise ship, although admittedly he also did not use real names. and he said that he wasn't using real names, so that gives him a kind of... Like, in my mind at least, it gives him a kind of- it enters into a grey area. Versus making up quotes by Bob Dylan, who's an actual person, and you know... You don't want to make up quotes from an actual person because then that actual person will be like, well I didn't say that and that's sort of mean of you to say that I did say it".

Um. Okay, So, having noted all of this and, like, my personal lack of squeamishness of this stuff, my personal lack of squeamishness-

Oh no, oh no, oh no! Oh no! It's Ricardo Bunsen Berna, with a third degree burna.

My personal lack of squeamishness about all of this stuff stems from being a novelist instead of just being like, a person who like, counts on the media to inform me about the events of the day. And that is really, is a really important difference. But as a person who counts on the media to inform me about the events of the day, I want things to be accurate and one of the sort of- one of the sort of sad-

That's gotta be offside. Oh no, it's not offside and it's- Ahhh, crap, Andy Carroll! How come you never do that for Liverpool?! Dahhh! It's frustrating. It's frustrating. We really couldn't- once again we get out to an early lead and we give up a vital point in the second half! It's really, really frustrating. It's a really frustrating way to play the game and I'm getting really angry with myself.

So one of the unfortunate things about plagiarism is that it's used as a way of quote unquote "not trusting the media" or sensing that the media has a bias.

Particularly sort of, the major American news sources like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And they do, by the way, have a bias on their editorial pages, but I don't buy at all that any journalist... I mean journalists have personal biases but the vast majority of journalists... Um, they are obsessed with getting things right. And with being accurate and with reporting things in a way that will allow them to stand by their reporting. It is more important to them than the quality of their writing.

It is more important to them than anything. And like, I get really angry when small examples of non-fiction writers- when particular examples of non-fiction writers are taken as a generalization, or as an opportunity to generalize about non-fiction writers in ways that are completely unfair. It isn't fair to go and say anything else about New Yorker writers because of something that Jonah Lehrer did, or anything about New York Times writers because of something that Jason Blair did. I think that's the wrong way of thinking about the, um... Like, a committed fabulist will always be allowed to lie because it's easy to get away with.

What's impressive to me is the number of journalists who want to be accurate, not because they're afraid of getting caught, but because they believe in their work and its importance. And like, that- that is really cool and beautiful.

And so I think when we see plagiarism, what we should really do is celebrate how infrequent it is, in the scheme of things. How many people are-

It's gotta be! No! What happened to your head?! Urgh, it's frustrating. No! Oh, what was that defense?! No! Oh, thank God for Ricardo Bunsen Berna. All I can say is thank God. Ohhh, it's really frustrating to watch this. I know- I know that you guys aren't having fun either.

Um. We gave up a goal we didn't need to give up and we've almost given up three other goals. This has just been ridiculous. It's not Swoodilypooper football.

I know this is our B team and we should be happy with a draw, blah blah blah blah blah... Andy Carroll looks nothing like that, by the way. That guy looks like Marcel Balboa, from back in the uh- for those of you- for 90s fans of the American National soccer team. How about Marcelo Balboa references.

Alright, alright, alright, we gotta have one more chance here... Split the difference. Split the difference! Ohhh! I don't know any special moves... And then I- that was a foul. That was a foul. I got angry!

I got angry! One-one draw... A point, but it could have been three. As is so often the case.

Anyway, I continue to think that journalism is really amazing. How does that look like Andy Carroll? Alright! Best wishes.