Taking over the world one nerd at a time

Nicole Aikens

John Green decreases ‘WorldSuck’ with best-selling novels and video blogs

John Green is a self-proclaimed nerd. He is also a son, a brother, a husband and the creator of “vlogs,” or video blogs. But above all, he is a well-known author.

John was raised in Florida, educated at a boarding school in Alabama and further educated at Kenyon College. It was in Ohio where Green began the process of creating his first award-winning novel, “Looking for Alaska.”

All about the moneymakers

John has a remarkable way of using wit and humor as a backbone for more serious issues that arise.

His novels, in chronological order, are “Looking for Alaska,” “An Abundance of Katherines” and “Paper Towns.” All three novels are coming-of-age stories where a slightly nerdy boy has an amazing girl in his life that he just can’t quite figure out.

Although the three novels look similar at face value, their plot lines take the reader into different directions, making for entirely different stories.

Both “Looking for Alaska” and “An Abundance of Katherines” have a long list of awards and accolades. “Looking for Alaska” won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2006, and “An Abundance of Katherines” was a Michael L. Printz Honor Book in 2007.

The latest Green novel

“‘Paper Towns’ is a book about a bunch of people who are constantly ‘misimagining’ each other because they’re thinking about one another as something more than a person,” John said at his book release party in New York City.

The book as a whole takes a look at all the ways people view other people and aspects of their own lives. John’s novel shows it is a terrible path to go down to look at a person as better or worse than they actually are. John tries to show that people are just people and that they should be looked at in their truest sense.

Not only is “Paper Towns” teaching lessons, but it is already receiving awards. The novel debuted at number five on the New York Times Best-Seller list for children’s chapter books. But although the novel is shelved in the young adult section, readers of all ages can enjoy the story and learn from it.

“Paper Towns” is an amazing book teaching equally as amazing lessons, but I cannot bring myself to give it five stars. If I had read it without reading “Looking for Alaska” then, by all means, it would be a five-star worthy book.

I’m a firm believer that really excellent pieces of art should change your life. “Paper Towns” would definitely have that potential for some people, but it just didn’t pull it off for me. That statement should not take anything away from the sheer brilliance of “Paper Towns,” but it should give perspective to how remarkable John’s writing truly is.

Two brothers, one vlog

At the beginning of 2007, John, along with his younger brother, Hank, began to create vlogs with a new one appearing every weekday on YouTube. They would do this for the duration of the year.

The videos were posted on their YouTube channel, and they called the project “Brotherhood 2.0.”

The brothers used the vlogging to talk to each other in a way that wasn’t ‘textual,’ like texting, e-mailing and IMing. In fact, the brothers Green ceased all text-based communication for the entire year.

At the end of Hank’s first vlog, which outlined the rules that they had to follow, he said, “Does that make us crazy? Probably.”

While “Brotherhood 2.0” may have made them crazy, it did something much greater – it made them famous.

Recently, the Vlog Brothers channel on YouTube surpassed Oprah Winfrey’s by almost 2,000 subscribers.

What is a ‘Nerdfighter?’

Nerdfighter is the name used for any one of the more than 45,000 people who subscribe to John and Hank’s videos on YouTube.

The definition, widely recognized by the Nerdfighting community, is as follows: A Nerdfighter is a person who, instead of being made of cells and organs, is ‘made of awesome.’ In its most literal sense, a Nerdfighter is a nerd who fights ‘WorldSuck,’ or things in the world that need improved.

One way they’ve accomplished this was by giving money to help a fellow Nerdfighter help children in Bangladesh.

While having fun is one of their goals, the main goal of the Nerdfighters and the Vlog Brothers is to fight for the most important thing in the world, which is simply making the world a better place. They do this by working to make the world have smaller amounts of suck.

Contact all correspondent Nicole Aikens at [email protected].