Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, GUESS WHAT?!? I went to the John and Hank Green event!!! I guess you already knew that because I called you right afterwards, but it was AWESOME.
As you most definitely already know, I’m a very geeky/nerdy person in terms of books and pop culture, so you would think by this point I would have gone to some sort of Convention, Conference, or Gathering.* But no, I have not, so I was a wee bit excited to go see John and Hank live (aka the vlogbrothers).
**Non-Maggie-Readers Aside: For those of you who don’t know who the vlogbrothers are, or what a nerdfighter is, where have you been? Oh, you don’t read YA and/or watch YouTube obsessively? Ok, ok, normal person. But, fyi, nerdfighters are notable enough to have their own Wikipedia article, which in internet terms means you’ve made the big time.**
On Sunday I moseyed on over to the Bagdad Theater. No, let’s be real, I scurried over as fast as I could and then freaked out when the Hawthorne Bridge decided that would be a good time to go up (damn you, City of Bridges). But no worries, I snagged a spot and had my first nerdfighter chat with my neighbor. It was a bit disconcerting to talk to a stranger who knew all the same inside jokes as me.
I feel bad for those who thought they were going to a book signing. This was no ordinary author event. This was the Tour de Nerdfighting!
John did read and discuss The Fault in Our Stars (which I’ll talk about in a bit). But the event also had Hank Sock puppet theater, costume changes, geeky music, and a question and answer session that ended in one or the other of the Greens being mildly electrocuted (that’s one way to ensure you don’t go over time!). It basically would be unintelligible to those not in on nerdfighteria.
I’ve never been in a 700-person theater where everyone knows all the inside jokes from a YouTube channel, laughs at all the references to Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and Sherlock, and sings along to songs about quantum physics and anglerfish. I’m all enthused about conventions/gatherings now. Emerald City Comicon? VidCon? San Diego ComicCon? So many options! (Sadly, so little money and so little time ).
John’s thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars were wonderful to hear and eerily reflective of your earlier post (smarty pants you). He spoke about heroes, and the heroism of tiny acts. In today’s society, a hero is thought of like a character in a first-person shooter video game: you fight, and kill, lots of people for a noble cause. You are Max Mayhem from The Price of Dawn. That is what Augustus believes in: that you need to do something grand for your life to have meaning. He is named Augustus as a reflection of this belief, while his nickname, Gus, refers to his more insecure and timid half. But this hero ideal is rarely achievable in today’s world. Now Hazel, her name (as an indeterminate color) represents her in-between state: in-between child and adult and in-between dying and not dying. Hazel’s approach to life is on the small and meaningful scale and it is those small acts of heroism that John was/is interested in writing about.
John also informed us we are all going to die (spoiler alert!). This inevitability means we need to think about how we spend our consciousness. How do we want to use our thoughts and brain power? By dissecting the latest break up on Jersey Shore? No. By inventing something that decreases world suck.
Of course this all sounded much much better in person, but that’s the gist.
John made a video about the tour performances (which you’ve probably already seen, but WATCH IT AGAIN because it’s WONDERFUL. Ah, fandom) that attempts to encapsulate the tour’s essence. What is particularly cool is that the longest clip, the singing of 500 miles, is from the Portland show!! w00t!
Though it was cool going to the show it was not nearly as fun without my fellow Nerdfighter Maggie. Next nerdfighter gathering we need to go together.
PS The program came with a letter customized for Portland and, among other things, a nerdfighter lexicon. Click to embiggen.
*There was that Star Trek convention in a Holiday Inn down by the airport when I was nine. I may or may not have bought a pint-sized Star Trek uniform. Let’s just not mention that.