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Uploaded:2013-11-18
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In which John talks about boredom and how to cope with it. The Wimbly Womblys play Exeter City.

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Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green and I am the manager of the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys. Today we're taking on Exeter City and I'm gonna talk to you about boredom and creativity and maybe a little bit about what I believe to be the meaning of life.

But first, let me introduce you to the Wimbly Womblys for the day. We're starting kind of, not our B-team because I don't like to label, um,  them that way. But didn't Sercombe used to be a Swoodilypooper? Anyway, he's an enemy now. Um, but, uh, we're starting a group of people, basically I wanted to give some new players a chance. I wanted to see, are there any extraordinary personalities that maybe we haven't met yet.

Are there any Wimbledon heroes, wait, somehow my, uh, my match changes didn't come through and we're starting all the same players. Dang it! (laughter) I'm the worst. Oh, no, we are starting, it's just um up top we've still got Other John Green. Ah, whatever, we'll leave him there. He is the best player on our team. Um, yeah, so we are starting some new players. Um because I wanna give some people a chance to shine. Maybe there's a hero out there that we just aren't acquainted with yet, um, because he's a 56 skill level and passes like that.

Alright, so, um, a number of people have requested that I talk about boredom and how not to be bored, um, which seems a strange thing to me. I thought boredom had sort of ended with the internet. That, uh, the age of boredom, which lasted for, you know, most of  post-industrial revolution human history, um, had, you know, had reached its abrupt and dramatic end with, um, oh get in! Um, with uh, all of this , you know, endless distraction that we have now with Angry Birds. Like if you're ang- if you're bored for even a moment it seems to me that now you can. uh, you can turn to your phone or whatever your device is, and you can be free from the tyranny of boredom.

I think like boredom is the thing that we as- what's, what's the issue? Aw, I'm sorry. I hope that you're not badly hurt. And I feel bad that you inexplicably shaved the top part of your head and you leave the rest of it. Just seems like an odd choice, but good on ya, I hope you're not hurt. Um, yeah that's our ball. Aww! That's not like us; we're not usually that sporting. Um, so, yeah, I mean, but I guess boredom is still a thing.

I think the reason that we fear boredom, I think like the reason that we fear it, maybe in some ways like in this like deep, deep, intense way that makes us, you know, pull out our phones to check Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and Angry Birds every three seconds that there isn't something else happening to us is, um, is because we are, you know, deeply afraid of that, that abyss. Um, so I would actually, you know, whatever lies behind and underneath boredom, whatever it is, uh, that we're afraid to look at, um, that boredom sort of like forces upon us or whatever. But I'm really fascinated by how like intensely-and I'm like this too- how intensely we fear boredom.

So my real advice to avoid boredom is to try to develop a, I guess, like a tolerance to it.  David Foster Wallace used to like to say that what lay on the other side of boredom was this intense, um,  intense, incredibly fulfilling awareness and sense of connection and, um, you know, just consciousness. Um, I don't know the extent to which that's true because I so rarely let myself become bored out of that, uh, out of that intense fear. But I think that, like, I do think that it's not such a bad or evil thing.

We definitely are not as good with this, uh, with this line-up. Oh by the way, we got, uh, we got Brownie in goal today, Seb Brown, the very same Seb Brown who saved, uh, saved two penalties  against Luton Town in 2011, to send AFC Wimbledon into the Football League. So, I thought I'd give him a chance in goal. So far he's performing well, but to be fair, um, none of the other teams ever get really, shots on goal against us, so that's helped us. A lot. Um, but I wasn't particularly impressed with Warner Chilcott's, um, display. Oh, that's a  beautiful pass! With Warner Chilcott's display. Get it!  

(singing) OOOOOH! YA YA YA YA BAMBA! YA YA YA YA BAMBA!  I DIDN'T WRITE THE REST OF THE WORDS! I didn't write the rest of the words, but what a beautiful goal! Ya ya Bamba! Ah, that's beautiful.

Sorry, Meredith, I can't help myself; I'm excited! Do you even know that song, Meredith? Oh, she does know the song. Um, ugh, I was just hoping he would score one goal all season, and then he scored one in his first start! That guy, he's gotta future with this club. Um, that was, oh, that's so exciting. Um, can you get to cross him? Oh, are we gonna have two?! Are we gonna have- No. No we're not, 'cause that was an epically bad header by, uh, Jacquart. Um, Jacquart. Jackoo, Jackar? I don't know.

Anyway, my advice when it comes to boredom is to kind of, like, take being bored as a good sign in some ways. It's a sign that you are, um, alive, and not completely a tool of the distractions which are trying to, uh, trying to, like, deaden you to the world.  But I think also, like, it was, this person was like, "I feel guilty about being bored and I feel like I should be doing more things."

So... I guess my other comment about that was that in order to really, uh, make decisions about what you should be doing with your day, whether it's being, you know, super productive in terms of, like, writing résumés or applying for colleges or, you know, doing your job to the best of your ability, or whatever. Um, I mean, you have to decide what the point of life is, um, or what you think the point of life is, and then, once you've decided that, I think a lot of that stuff sort of flows naturally from that awareness. Like a lot of it flows naturally from your decision about what you want your life to be.  So if you want your life to be, because- there's- you know- I don't know.

To me, it doesn't really matter if the meaning of life is constructed or derived,  like it doesn't matter if, um, you're trying to understand what God wants from you or you're trying to, like, construct meaning with a belief that there is no,there is no sort of, like, greater organizing principle of, you know, what meaning should be. All- Great pass. All that matters to me is what meaning I find when I get there. And so, you know, you have to find, like, what is it that really makes you feel alive and excited, and then is that something that's going to, in your opinion, make the world a better, more interesting place for you to live and for other people to live.

And if it is, then you're in, um, that's just not, that's not a good example of how to put your hand on someone's shoulder. Yayaya Bamba's hand just seems to float above Jacquart's shoulder. I almost, I mean I feel like we can't lose Jacquart just because of his name. There's something about it that's so beautiful. Um, so, yeah, I think it has to come from, like, a thought about what the point of being alive is, and that is a difficult thing to, like, I'm not saying that's an easy thing to, like, just settle upon. But I do think that there are lots of different approaches to that, you know, there's lot's of- Well, lets do Sheringham. Um, Green Eggs and Sheringham as we call him.

You know, once you have decided, 'I think the point of life is to make a lot of money' or 'I think the point of life is to try to help people', then what you should be doing with your day kind of flows naturally from that. And you don't have to, it's not like you have to decide one point. So, you just have to, sort of, organize your priorities. So if you think the point of life is helping people, but then you also understand that, like, part of the point of your life is enjoying yourself and relaxing or giving yourself time to be creative, or whatever. Terrible pass. Then that's, you know, that can be, you can incorporate that into your, into your life experience.

Um, so, I don't, I try not to be hard on myself for, for instance, watching soccer. I think that, yes, that time when I'm watching soccer would be better spent, on some level, making videos or, um, or volunteering, or being at a soup kitchen or something, but I also understand that, like, I need to do the stuff, to like do the stuff that relaxes me and makes me feel good, and, you know, allows me to kinda get my  energy back in order to do the other stuff that I like doing, and that I hope, you know, I hope is worthwhile work. So, I don't think you should be hard on yourself for being, um, like, human, or for, you know, having- OH, GET IN!- for having your first-world problems. Um, because they're still, you know, they're still real. Just because they're first-world problems...

Um, yeah, in general, I think the theme of all AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Wombly videos is: Don't be so hard on yourself. You're fine. But, at the same time, do motivate yourself a little bit. I, you know,  I struggled for a long time with self-motivation, and sometimes I still do, and I often feel like I'm not as productive as I should be, and I feel, like, guilty about my lack of productivity. But then if you actually, generally, I find that if you look back and say, "Well, what have I actually done in the last three months?", you'll find that you did a lot. And maybe it wasn't stuff that you got paid for, it wasn't stuff that tons of people saw, but you still, you know, you participated in stuff that mattered to you. You helped take care of your family, you worked, you did homework, whatever it is. Um, and so the question for me just becomes like, well, how can I do more of that stuff when it's the stuff that I need or want to do? How can I motivate myself to do more of it, and then how can I be, like, less hard on myself about the other stuff?

Oh! Speaking of being hard on yourself! You've got to get that on frame, sir. I think I was offside anyway, but that's, you know. Meredith, I don't want to criticize the AFC Wimbledon Wimbly Womblys' second team, but they don't have the kind of vision and offside awareness that I've come to expect from the teammates in life and in love, John Green and John Green. By the way, uh, Matt Smith, um, former and future time lord is starting for AFC Wimbledon, and I was really hoping that he was gonna score, but it looks like the only goal may come from Ya Bamba, which, admittedly, is still a victory, because what a great moment that was in Wimbly Wombly history.

We're early, you know, in the history of this team, but you've gotta be proud of where we've come so far, although we did, of course, lose to Tottenham, but we have not lost a game in the league, which is pretty amazing. Come on, get it, pass, pass, yes, to that guy! And then you get it on, Oh! Why can't you get the ball on frame?! That was a great opportunity! See, you just pass to that guy, he's in the box, one time! Mmmm. First touch- whoa. Look at Ryan Gosling's haircut; that is a disaster. Wow. Yikes. I don't wonder they substituted him out. I don't blame them; I don't wanna see that guy on the pitch.

Yeah, so, I guess that's my response to boredom. I don't have a, um, I certainly don't have that figured out, and I wish, I wish that I spent less time, um, on my devices trying to be , you know, trying to be entertained or distracted from whatever, uh, whatever deep abyss so terrifies me that I am unwilling to even glance at it. Uh, because that is, uh, like one of the hallmarks, the bad hallmarks of the Internet Age. I think there are a lot of good things; I love the way that the Internet has connected us, and made us into communities, and made it possible for us to, you know, Americans to watch AFC Wimbledon games, and, um, you know, all of that stuff that would've been impossible ten years ago. But, at the same time, there is some non-ideal stuff as well.

Keep that ball in bounds, sir. Good job. Good job, Mr. Smith. Oh, it was Matt Smith! Come on, come on, come on, get that ball. Get it to Mr. Smith. No! Aw, we just are not very good. Um, it's hard to complete passes, you know, it's just a lot of, a number of frustrations. But, can we get the ball through there?! Kind of?! Get in!!! Aww!! We've got a chance. In the 90th minute. I like, you know what, I like that we're still attacking in the 90th minute even though we're up one-nil. That shows me Wimbledon spirit! Off the post, and then the goalie almost lets it go in off his back! It would've been my favorite kind of goal: an own goal. But instead, I am hiding inside the net and then magically walking through it... to another Wimbledon victory. Sorry, Exeter City. Life is hard and full of disappointments.

Thank you for watching! Don't be afraid of being bored. Best wishes.