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Last sync:2023-01-12 23:15
In which Henry learns some words, and John discusses a Sunday with family, the insufficiency of all maps (and all videos), and the awesome of nerdfighteria.

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A Bunny
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Good morning, Hank. It's Monday, September 12th. My posters have arrived! So yesterday I took a walk in the woods with Henry and the Yeti. Henry and I practiced words. John: Will you say tractor? Henry: Tractor. John: Can you say nerd? Henry: Nerd. John: Fighter? Henry: [mumbles] John: Pretty good. Can you say happy? Henry: Happy! So we walked down to the white river and for the longest time Henry just stood there and watched the water flow downstream. I think he was trying to figure it out. Like, what is this made out of? What does it do? Why does it always go in the same direction? Anyway, we stayed down there for a long time and then we went to a playground. For me, September 11th is always a good day to spend with family because I am always reminded on that day that we're only here for a little while. That we only have so long to play in the dirt and ask questions of rivers. Hank, it seems to me that one of the points of being alive is that we get to pay attention. We get to both participate in and observe this weird universe that is simultaneously, like, stunningly elegant and completely heartless. Clone: Just like all your ex-girlfriends. Oh come on, you can't just like zoom in, make a joke and vroom out. That's rude, okay? I am trying to make a moving point here, this is not a jokey-joke video. Go back to signing! So Hank, some nerdfighters were put off by your video on Friday. They felt like you didn't talk about 9/11 directly enough, or with enough seriousness. I definitely found your video much less offensive than say, Budweiser's 9/11 commercials, but there was something weird about it, and yesterday while I was walking in the woods with Henry and the Yeti, I kept thinking about it. And eventually I started thinking about maps. Like if you want to render the planet in two dimensions, you are forced to distort it. You have to pick north is up, or north is down. You have to squeeze the continents this way, or this way, or this way. All year long we've been talking about how the truth resists simplicity. Hank, I agree with everything you said about memory and 9/11 and terror, but like any map it was distorted and insufficient. So was my map last week about the Great Gatsby, but the 9/11 map is much more, like, emotionally and psychologically charged. But Hank, I want to make something clear to you and to Nerdfighteria. The maps that we make with our vlogbrothers videos will always be distorted and insufficient, but the great thing about Nerdfighteria is that Hank and I are not the only nerdfighters. There are thousands of us working together to build the best, most accurate maps we can collectively draw. What's interesting and important about online communities in general, and Nerdfighteria in particular, is that this community works to improve and enhance our maps through YouTube comments and on twitter and on Tumblr and at the Ning and in Your Pants when they aren't hacked, which, unfortunately they still are, sorry about that. We're working on it. And ideally together as a community we end up making better maps than any of us could make alone. We call each other to pay attention. In short, Nerdfighteria, we're in the business of reminding each other to be awesome, and I would argue that business is good. Hank, I will see-- Wait! I forgot about North Carolina! Mom's going to kill me if I don't mention North Carolina. Hank, next month I will be speaking and signing in Ashville, North Carolina as a fundraiser for my parents' hometown library. All the proceeds will go to the library. Tickets are ten bucks, there's more info in the dooblydoo. Okay, Hank. Now, I will see you on Wednesday.