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Hank Green Explores the Dark Side of Internet Fame

THE FIRST NOVEL by using YouTube star Hank Green, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, is ready a young woman named April who turns into an internet celebrity after posting the video of a mysterious alien robotic. She quick discovers that being well-known has plenty of downsides—something Green and his buddies have discovered the hard way

I commenced to have notoriety in my overdue 20s or early 30s—just like the first time someone identified me in public become probable when I changed into 29 years vintage,” Green says in Episode 328 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “Whereas for quite a few my pals, this happened of their teens or early 20s, and it becomes kind of their first process, being a well-known character, without any of the infrastructures of everyday well-known-person life, due to the fact this was all so new, and that changed into tough.”

April quickly draws the ire of Peter Petrowski, an expert troll who accuses her of being in league with the alien invaders. Green notes that locking horns with those sorts of net “reporters”—who rant about information stories they haven’t read—is some other sad reality of net celebrity.

“When I first created that man or woman in 2014 or 2015, I changed into like, ‘I’m setting way an excessive amount of stank in this, he’s too evil,’” Green says. “And now I’m like, ‘He’s hackneyed and boring.’ So the arena caught up with that character.”

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Writing the e-book triggered Green to truly grapple with the dehumanizing nature of reputation. “When you reflect consideration on the fact that Brad Pitt poops, and you’re like, ‘That doesn’t seem right,’ that’s the extent of dehumanization you’re going for if you need repute,” he says. “You need people to be amazed that you poop. That is clearly weird, and also you shouldn’t want that.”

As the internet brings some stage of fame to more and more human beings, it’s critical to train ourselves approximately the poisonous factors of celeb subculture. Green says we want to boom our sympathy even for extremely effective figures like Elon Musk, even as at the equal time preserving them to positive standards.

“He desires to both be his effective self, his billionaire self, his extraordinarily influential self, however then while he says something nasty on Twitter, he’s like, ‘I’m just a person,’” Green says. “And I’m like, ‘No, the entirety approximately the rest of the approaches that you act imply which you need me to think of you no longer as simply a person, so why are you just someone simplest within the moments while you make errors? I need you to be a person all of the time, or none of the time.”

Listen to the whole interview with Hank Green in Episode 328 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And test out a few highlights from the discussion underneath.

Hank Green on Dune

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“I study Dune honestly carefully even as I wrote this ebook, and I also read some thriller novels absolutely cautiously whilst I wrote the book—Dune is not a thriller novel, although it does have some mysterious factors. But the thing I became absolutely centered on whilst analyzing Dune, that’s an ebook that I read as a younger individual, turned into how Paul had a responsibility, and even a future, to grow to be so effective and so deified, and how did Frank Herbert make it clear to me how lots Paul wasn’t simply conflicted approximately that, he despised it—he turned into fearful of it, he turned into destroyed by using it. There are a whole lot of memories approximately ‘the chosen one,’ however seeing how negatively impacted Paul was by it, that surely affected me, and I desired to recognize how [Herbert] did that, and how he made me so empathetic, however also brought me into—and made me want to be—that person.”

Hank Green on characters:

“I got very, very attached to those characters. It changed into very tough to do some of the things that needed to be performed to them. It’s a peculiar element to experience. I take into account reading J. K. Rowling saying she cried in the moments while she wrote the scenes wherein characters died, and I changed into like, ‘Eh, certainly? They’re just characters. You created them. You don’t have that emotional connection.’ And now I’m like, ‘What a dick I became. Yes, of a route you do.’ You’re as emotionally connected to those humans as absolutely everyone, and manifestly I cry while analyzing Harry Potter books. I completely cried at the same time as writing the book.”

Hank Green on Kim Stanley Robinson

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“So Saxifrage Russell, for humans who’ve to examine the Mars Trilogy—I don’t realize if the average individual might examine that individual as very sympathetic, and as a hero, but I did, and became just captivated with that individual. … I’m a big fan, or even studying it now, I’m like, ‘This could be very, thoroughly-accomplished and holds up extraordinarily properly.’ So I desired to be Sax—and what an apparent set of desires for an bold young man: One, I’m going to Neil Armstrong this shit and be on some other planet. Two, I need to now not die, and I want to be the person that did that for each person else. So with a purpose to come up with a few insight into me. I have not come to having a wholesome ego through being complimented by internet strangers, I became born that manner.”

I marvel about the way to mirror the systems of faith myself, as someone who is a huge fan of community, and the way will we gather, and how can we create norms, and how do we create taboos, in a global in which I am aware that there is no God. … I suppose there is a beauty to [religion], wherein it does get you to do matters which can be suitable for you which you wouldn’t otherwise do, like go to a building, cling out with your friends, and talk approximately the way to be a person. And I think there are things which are serving a number of those roles for people, and so I think truly that [Star Trek: The Next Generation] specifically, but also lots of technology fiction content—Dune is any other precise example—did offer me with accurate ways to assume myself and how to be a person.”