John Green is an amazing individual who embodies the three purposes of this blog, that is, he is an example of what’s good, joyous, and funny in this world. He IS a cheering word – lots of words, really. He has been on my mind of late because he is on the cover of the current Mental Floss Magazine – my favorite print publication – and, as I’ve now learned, is more awesome than I realized.
I have known him as the highly entertaining narrator of funny and informative YouTube videos as shown in the photo at left where he is illustrating the word acnestis – a place that you can’t reach to scratch, like the part of your back between your shoulder blades – for the Mental Floss YouTube show, “48 Things You Didn’t Know Had Names.” (http://mentalfloss.com/article/52660/48-things-you-didnt-know-had-names)
But what I hadn’t realized is that he is also THE John Green who is the author of the
phenomenal, moving, ultimately-uplifting The Fault in Our Stars. Although labeled “young adult” fiction, that is far too limiting. According to Time Magazine’s Lev Grossman, The Fault in Our Stars “is a love story, one of the most genuine and moving ones in recent American fiction, but it’s also an existential tragedy of tremendous intelligence and courage and sadness.”
He was moved to write that book after working in a hospital where, at the tender age of 22, he counseled the grieving families of children who were dying of cancer. Perhaps also as part of that experience, he became co-creator with his brother Hank of Project for Awesome, which since 2007 has been held annually December 17 -18. During Project for Awesome, (See http://www.projectforawesome.com/about) thousands of people post videos about and advocating for charities that “decrease the overall level of world suck.” As a community, PFA promotes those videos and raises money for the charities. In 2012, the community raised over $400,000 and ten charities were granted $40,500 each.*
You can watch the livestream at http://youtube.com/vlogbrothers on December 17th and 18th. John Green notes: “We will be using a Google+ Hangout, which will allow us to welcome special guests to help host. Follow @realjohngreen and @hankgreen on Twitter for updates on the Livestream when we get closer to the date.” If you have questions that are not answered on the Project for Awesome website above, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not quite sure what it means to “decrease the level of suck in the world,” you can learn more at:
* Legally speaking, the Project for Awesome is a project of the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, Inc. a Montana based 501(c)3 charitable organization (more info below).
To read more about or purchase The Fault in Our Stars, click here.
To subscribe to Mental Floss magazine, go to www.Mental_Floss.com.