Influence, Airports, and the Nerdfighter Book Club


Good morning Hank, it’s Tuesday, it’s very
early because I have to go to New York this morning.
So here’s a funny thing that happened, Hank: Time Magazine named me one of the one hundred
most influential people in the world, so I’m going to New York to go to this party.
Now, I am aware – how do I say this without sounding ungrateful – I am aware that this
is an unearned honor. Like I can personally name several thousand people who are more
influential than I am who did not make the Time 100. There’s Liberian President, Ellen
Johnson Sirleaf, the actress and activist Laverne Cox, the artist Ai Weiwei.
Also every single morning French President Francois Hollande wakes up and thinks, “You
know, I think today I won’t use France’s nuclear arsenal to start a war that would end the
human species.” And that is an extremely influential decision.
But that noted, I am delighted and honored to have been included, and now I get to go
to this party with other people on the Time 100. Like, maybe Vladimir Putin and Kim Il
Sung. Probably not Kim Il Sung. However, if he is there, I promise I will take a selfie
with him and then I will make a citizen’s arrest for human rights violations.
One more thing about the Time 100 before I get to the actual topic of today’s video,
they called me a teen whisperer. Which made me think about what if I were an
actual teen whisperer. Like, “Hey teens, where are we gonna go to, like, take drugs and snapchat?”
But it’s true, Hank, I know what the teens love to talk about, Pulitzer Prize winning
non-fiction books about people living in a slum in Mumbai.
Alright, I have to go to the airport, but you should come with me.
Movie magic! So Hank, this summer in the Nerdfighter bookclub we’re reading Behind the Beautiful
Forevers by Katherine Boo, which is just a fascinating book.
But then at first I realized that I didn’t give you a due date, which is just terrible
teachering on my part; I apologize; so, uh, the movie The Fault In Our Stars comes out
on June 6th , things are gonna be a little crazy until then, so June 10th.
You must read this book by June 10th or else nothing is going to happen to you. Also, if
you’re the kind of student who wants extra credit, and let’s face it Nerdfighters, you
probably are, then I think it’s really interesting to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers – we
need an acronym for it, like TFIOS… BtBF. Yes, BtBF – Anyway, I think it’s really interesting
to read BtBF in the context of another book about Mumbai: Maximum City. So that’s your
extra credit assignment. Okay, so no spoilers but I want to talk about
a few things to kinda bear in mind while you’re reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers.
First, I think it’s really important to resist the urge to extrapolate, like this is a book
about a few people living in one community; it’s not a book about slums in general or
India in general. Also, luck. Hank, we like stories that make
sense. I mean that’s part of the reason we tell each other stories, part of the reason
why we read novels and watch movies, and we’re hardwired to like stories that make sense
because human memory itself is narrative, so there’s like a luck-eraser inside the human
mind that tells you that Z happened because of X and Y. But actually, Z happened because
of X and Y and lots of luck. Luck of birth and genetics and circumstance and some editor
at Time Magazine liking your book! So how does our view of the world change when
we incorporate luck into it instead of assuming that human life is like essentially a meritocracy?
Okay a couple other things. The idea of private property, that’s weird, how does land become
owned? Also water. It’s always worth paying attention to water. And lastly, when we talk
about global poverty we usually talk about people who live on the equivalent of less
than $1.25 a day. That’s the case for more than a billion people. But it’s not the case
for the people Katherine Boo writes about, who are living in Annawadi. The people living
in Annawadi live above the global poverty line and they’re participating and – and some
would say benefiting from – global capitalism. But of course what that actually means in
their lives turns out to be very complicated. And Hank, that’s the great thing about Behind
the Beautiful Forevers. Everything is complicated, governments, non-profit organizations, micro
finance, religious organizations, complicated, people, complicated – it’s so good!
Alright my flight is boarding so I gotta go. Hank, I’ll see you on Friday.
Global international poverty – Loudspeaker announcement: May I have your
attention please. J: You can have my attention. Speaker: Transportation security administration
mandates the removal of unattended – J: Does it REALLY?! I’ve never heard that

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100 thoughts on “Influence, Airports, and the Nerdfighter Book Club”

  1. maggie driscoll says:

    Can you do a video on tips for writing? Please? I would love to know your tips

  2. Allie Kay says:

    Will you please make a video explaining feminism? 

  3. Ben Allen says:

    happy Hanko de Mayo! I hope you didn't forget, John

  4. Ilikebuilding2 says:

    I love Indy national airport

  5. McKenzie Liebergen says:

    YAYYY! congrats on your award!!! I was wondering if you would maybe consider doing a video on feminism. It's an often misconstrued idea, and I think it's super important to clarify what it actually means, mostly to stop people who are totally feminists (cough Shailene Woodley cough) from saying they aren't because of its association with man-hating and bra-burning. Just a suggestion.

  6. jemyboy says:

    Voted as one of 100 most influencial people in the world!
    Just read the Times.
    congratulations John Green!

  7. Paul_ ina_ says:

    I know I shouldn't "spam" but, my best friend who is completely and utterly in love with TFIOS has a birthday coming up. I'm gathering videos and selfless from people to give to her an I would DIE if you would just say happy birthday to my Annie an aspiring writer and a true fan girl of all your work John. It would mean everything to me and her. :3 I hope you see this!

  8. Jess Catts says:


  9. Erika Ross says:


  10. Dustin DeBolt says:

    I cant believe you were included on that list. Thats amazing and you deserve recognition but holy cow..who makes that list lol?

  11. Bea Misa says:

    I can't stop replaying the "BTBV" part. Hahahahhaha! =)))))))))

  12. Dave's Cave says:

    I like the end where you turned into a silly father for a second. I bet you are a great parent John 🙂 Maybe you should do a vblog about marriage and family

  13. Dave's Cave says:

    The other day i took the Alaska  puzzle piece from my kids room and placed in in the freezer…. okay im done now.

  14. Daniel Campbell says:

    Don't let it change you bro. We love you just the way you are. 

  15. Sahil Bolar says:

    dat ending doe

  16. imicro beauchamp says:

    did you see how you were featured on good morning America? Good job john!!!

  17. Tori M says:

    You grapefruit. 

  18. Chili Shi says:

    Don't worry, I'm a grapefruit too.

  19. CarzyCoCoCake says:

    I love 'BTBF' ahahaha your hilarious 😀

  20. Sara Benitez says:

    You make me want to go to the Indianapolis IN Airport and just wait for you. 

  21. Spenser Price says:

    "I am such a grapefruit." There is no better self-deprecating phrase than this.

  22. Treymond says:

    Ok guys, I want to know, and please dont be mad, what is Nerdighteria(I hope I spelled that right)

  23. Kayla Rae says:

    I am a grapefruit XD

  24. Cassidy Dresher says:

    Will you ever do a book signing in Kansas? (Preferably somewhere around Augusta or Wichita.)

  25. Breanna Mattis says:

    "very important to pay attention to water" remembers the name Augustus Waters from tfios ahhhhhh

  26. Samone Isom says:

    Also, I read the tear-jerking article on TFIOS in Entertainment Weekly, and it was great! I'm so happy to know you cried so much during shooting. That means I'm super hopeful in the integrity of the film.

  27. victorianjenna says:

    "May I have your attention please."
    "You can have my attention." lol yes

  28. Taylor Maynard says:

    "Hey teens where do you want to go to like take drugs and snapchat?" IM CRYING OF LAUGHTER!

  29. Forcemaster2000 says:

    Congratulations! That's quite an honor, and don't think you don't deserve it, spending your life teaching other's is one of the greatest things anyone can do!

  30. Pandora Smith says:

    Hahah i can just imagine people thinking what a weirdo John is talking to himself at the airport! 🙂 

  31. Darby H says:

    Also, I've got a LOT of weird luck in my life. Most of it goes toward showing up just on time for things even though all other signs point to me being very very late.

    But once, nearly two feet of snow fell overnight and like any good Canadian student I had to rush to class in the morning. This means I didn't have enough time before I left to push the snow off the old, weary, canopy that was covering a remodelled 1967 Chevrolet, and my brand new car.
    So, that canopy collapsed. At least a full 24 hours of 1 foot of snow, and a half foot of packed ice caused the steel canopy to fracture right in the middle. So, what was the damage you ask? Well it looks like when the canopy collapsed one of the steel poles dropped a short distance and lightly booped my car on her nose. That's it. A little boop of a dent that you can only see from certain angles. And trust me when I say it's just a boop. I know of all 3 small marks that car has. None from me, by the way, unless you count the boop.

    Best worst luck ever.

  32. DoubleRainbow Tesseract says:

    aha the end x)

  33. Bouber says:

    1.Take selfie with Vladimir Putin
    3. Profit

  34. Kaitlin Elaine says:

    Take drugs and snapchat? 😂😂😂 Yes. This is why I love John Green.

  35. Osha Certified says:

    I'm finally going to be able to participate in the book club!! Yay! (But first I need to re-read TFioS before the 6th) I'll be doing all the reading after finals!

  36. JoSings98 says:

    Make a video about the college "Greek System"!

  37. Emily Marie says:

    its not fair that John knows everything about everything

  38. Sophie Jocelyn says:

    Congratulations on the Times list! I will have to download those books you mentioned, sounds interesting.

  39. Chloe B. says:

    I just started vlogbrothers, what can I say, I'm a teenager. Nerdfighter's Book club, do you sign up or something or just do it? Thanks

  40. Ana M says:

    John Green: Teen Whisperer, Recognized Influential Person, And Also Grapefruit

  41. Jethro Harrup says:

    Can I just listen to the audiobook instead?

  42. DJDofficial says:

    John Green… I love you #nohomo #noiamnotagainsthomosexuality

    Your Books are Amazing!

    I'm german so i read them in german first but now i started to read them one more time in english to have the "original Green feeling" 😀

  43. matt vt says:

    So John, I know you'll probably hate it a lot, but you should run for some office, as a mere responsibility to the country.

  44. Katastrophe MLG says:

    I am a Grapefruit…

  45. tigersaver8 says:

    Is it weird when the TFioS movie comes out on my 17th birthday then the book due date is my chorus conert? Creepy… o.O

  46. Jason Danklefsen says:

    Should have called this one "John gets salty with an airport robot."

  47. LadyShahdMD says:

    But my finales end June 9th 🙁

  48. Mehar Makkar says:

    Why isn't TFIOS releasing in India? :'( There is a huge fanbase here!

  49. Emma Hunter says:

    I enjoy your videos so so much John

  50. Sander Neeft says:

    You do have a lot of influence! I never cry about a book or movie till i read page 260 of TFIOS tonight… It fled a bit weird, because at first i cant explane why I was crying, but well you made up 3 characters that are philosoofs at high level but they all think different. You can really stand in someone els her/his shoes even if they dont realy excist. Thank you John Green.  *I'm sorry for my bad English and probably you wont read this but wel. I hope others do and think the same about it. 

  51. Marie Larkin says:

    "Hey teens where do we go to take drugs and do snapchat"

  52. King Purcival says:

    "I am a grapefruit."

  53. Jeff McArthur says:

    I would like to say something about this and forgive me if it's already been said.  While I respect John's modesty here and his willingness to recognize that others are very worthy of being on the top 100 list, I personally feel he and Hank belong there.  (I frankly believe they should have been put there together.)  The reason is because of how they have affected entertainment and education.  I worked in the film industry for 25 years, 15 of them in LA, and I could write a book on all the problems and misdirections of the film and television industry.  I was also involved in the first internet revolution in the late '90s and saw why that fell apart.

    The Vlog Brothers are exemplary as to why this internet revolution is succeeding, and creating a whole new face for entertainment and education.  They make their videos with a genuine care about how the effect the world and the people watching, not just how much money they'll make or how good they'll look, (which is at least 99 percent of all movie and television producer motivations.)

    I think the best example is in Hitler & Sex.  When approached by a network that would have paid him far more than Youtube, rather than doing what most people do out here, which is to assume the producers know best because they make a lot of money and follow everything they say, he made fun of their suggestions.  He made a whole video on how ridiculous the so-called television educational programming is, and how it's more about creating drama than disseminating information.  And then, historically, he ended it by saying, "I think I'll stick with Youtube."

    That one statement was a historical moment in entertainment.  For the first time we saw someone say they'd rather utilize Youtube as an end, rather than just a means to get to television.  THAT is why he deserves to be in the 100 most influential people list.

    And not to be outdone, Hank belongs there right along with him.  After all, this whole video show was his idea, and he continues to build upon that success with a multitude of shows both educational and entertaining.  They have been a HUGE part of reshaping how we see the world of entertainment, and I believe firmly that the Vlog Brothers will be one of those names that goes down in the history of entertainment, right along with Hitchcock, Spielberg, Jim Henson, The Marx Brothers, Lucille Ball, Bill Nye, Walt Disney, Johnny Carson, etc.

  54. magellan49 says:

    Do great people understand their influence and impact while they are doing what they do?

  55. Evea Trotter says:

    Where do I go to join the Nerdfighter Book Club? is it just something that is said in your videos or is there a site?

  56. Corey Bratusa says:

    What was happening on the right that he kept looking at?? Hmm…

  57. melissa smith says:

    Drugs and snapchat

  58. Cassie C says:

    I'm also 28 and found you well into my twenties… I am still a nerdfighter and I an whispered by you lol.

  59. lily infrem says:

    june 10th is my birthday…

  60. JungKookies Wife says:

    I love your book can't wait for the book

  61. Morgan Runyan says:

    John Green,
    I'm struggling to understand how you could believe that you aren't within the top one hundred most influential people in the world; that you're undeserving of that title. It's very Van Houten of you to believe that the words in your own books haven't had a tremendous affect on the millions that have read them. It's insulting to me to think that you don't believe your readers can be so moved and influenced by the people you have so flawlessly created. I am dumbfounded. Even your side characters have made me pause- literally stop to contemplate what they've said or thought. I'm not sure how often you've perused the books that stand next to yours in book stores, but none of them hold a candle to yours. They're cluttered with unnecessary adjectives, gadgets, and themes (admittedly all clever ploys to suck in the weak-minded reader). You don't lure readers to your words with vampires, sex or futuristic scifi. While your characters remain fictional, their thoughts and their fictitious lives leave marks (not scars) on your readers that unequivocally change them- for the better. I revel in the fact that your books have become so popular among teenagers. They're the ones that need to read them the most. I like to think that teenagers and young adults lose sight of their socially enforced world views and behaviors and that they too literally pause at your words to find their own, powerful meanings to them. That the garbage in this world falls away and they get to see the things around them that really mean something. I understand the point you were attempting to make: that there are much more influential people in this world than you. While I won't argue with you on much, I will argue with you on this. You are within my top one hundred most influential people in the world. I can assure you that I am not the only person who feels this way. At this moment in history, you ARE one of the most influential people in this world whether you want to be or not. You are shaping the ideas and passions of young people across the world. You do have that power. I'm excited to see what you choose to do with it.

  62. Tiffany Lopez says:

    Hey my birthday is on June 10th!!

  63. Lilo Stitch says:

    JUNE 10TH IS MY BIRTHDAY!! I'm turning 13!

  64. Jason Segall says:

    Just thought i'd say: a passage from behind the beautiful forevers was the comprehension task for the english language igcse that i just took

  65. Christy Parker says:

    I am confused about the Nerdfighter Book Club.  I don't see any link in the Doobley Doo.  Where to I go after June 10th to join the discussion?

  66. fiona walker says:

    When will the next question Tuesday be?

  67. Cam K says:

    I'm reading it right now. Its pretty good and it takes alot of paying attention to, its interesting seeing how other people.around the world live.

  68. Brian Nunez says:

    Behind the Beautiful Forever's acronym(BTBF) is pronounced in a way that sounds like either a middle-aged Russian guy pronouncing the name of some Russian village on the outskirts of Crimea(too soon?), or the sound of someone hitting against fire escapes while falling into a dumpster from the fifth floor of a New York Apartment(since fire escapes start on the third floor of all apartments)

  69. Connie Robinson says:

    "take drugs" = TFioS reference?

  70. Raymond Lucas says:

    they put you on the list so they can invite you to join their ruling class… a fraternity of self interest… glad to see questioning of the reasons though! throughout history only a few types are allowed to join, and most not even permanently (a knight wasn't a hereditary honor, for example)… influential intellectuals, strongmen, and beautiful women… all 3 of which help keep inbreeding issues at bay and solidify control across constituents.  standard policy is agree to join, or be shunned via their zeitgeist controlling structures, legal systems, or disappearance. 

    and of course you are extremely influential just by the growth of your type of movements…. a potential systemic force for change and instability to their control mechanisms.

    alas i ramble. DFTBA good sir!

  71. Jireh Estrada says:

    Yassssssss I'm going to watch tfios today ahhhh so excited tbh the book was supper good john green

  72. Maria McCann says:


  73. SongLouise says:

    I love that you mentioned Ai weiwei. Like the thing you wrote about Hazel and how there are two kind of favourite books. Ai weiwei is not the kind is not the kind of artist I want to enjoy silently by myself. I want the whole world to know about him, his art, what he has been through and his goal. Most of your viewers probably didn't pay that much attention to his name when you mentioned it, and I probably shouldn't be that surprised that you know his name, but I feel like I have to thank you. Hopefully at least a couple of people got curious about him, googled Ai weiwei and fell in love with his work and goal like I did. So thanks.

  74. Alexandra Mitchell says:

    Teen whisperer….bahaha

  75. Konthe wondercow says:

    If you believe in luck.

  76. Abbie Tweedle says:

    More Good Books?????

  77. Emilee MayersX says:

    Haha sorry, that was funny on the end!!

  78. Katy Didn't says:

    Grapefruits are good. 

  79. Amy Tanaka says:

    such a grapefruit.

  80. U.e Bold says:

    Your really awesome and really funny

  81. David Friedman says:


  82. Dat Boi says:

    Why does he keep on saying hank?

  83. Kara Middleton says:

    It's July 19. What's the current book?  Is this a one time thing?  I can't find it anywhere.  Thanks.

  84. Stephanie Crandall says:

    I was mildly concerned about your recommendation of "The Art of Fielding," as I read it. About the message it sent to your audience of mostly people the age of the book's young characters. (Specifically Guert and Owen's relationship, with their age difference and Affenlight's position of authority.) But then I felt like the ending changed everything.
    Also I really enjoyed the book. I kinda miss Henry, and feel like one of my friends is gone.

  85. Chamber Of The Wraith says:

    Seriously? Ai Weiwei, the same guy who smashed a Han Dynasty urn for 'art'? That's not art, that's vandalism. I didn't use 'destruction of history' like I was going to because I realize one can fix the urn (and probably has since then) but I feel that smashing a Han Dynasty urn is not art, nor would be burning down Ivan the Terrible's great library, or copies of TFIOS, or the LazBoy you wrote your novels in. Sound at all familiar? These are things that you value as either historical or creations of yours. I could burn my copy of TFIOS and say that I'm doing it for art and I'd be no different than Ai Weiwei smashing that urn. It's an act of disgraceful, insulting vandalism for 'art' and I'm sure you wouldn't like it if I burned any of those things, which I'm not going to, because I've at least got some respect for history.

  86. AY B says:

    Hey man, I just want to give my congratulations and express my weird sense of pride, that someone who I admire and whose blog  I follow, has achieved this amazing accolade. :)))

  87. Erica Rose says:

    Please check out my book The Truth In His Demise on Amazon. I would appreciate a read and review 🙂 It's my first book ever! 

  88. Marissa Oslick says:

    Apparently he is a grapefruit. 

  89. jordan goldbloom says:


  90. reallyeasy100 says:

    Finally started reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers… after months and MONTHS of it lying untouched in my Kindle. And now I'm just wondering WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!???

    Thanks for the recommendation, John. It would be awesome if you could give some more book suggestions?

  91. Georgi Paxton says:

    "It was early and I am a grapefruit."…THIS WILL BE MY NEW PHRASE, JOHN YOU ARE BRILLIANT

  92. Robert Laster says:

    I forgot the name of it, but I once found a website that claims (for a fee) they'll promote any self-published book through their public relations. I haven't tested them yet because I'm still writing book #3 of my 10 part fiction/fantasy series "A GODDESS AMONST US" by Robert Laster. First 2 full-length episodes are availible now via: the Amazon app. (shameless Plug). I just truly believe woman are gods. Their feminine principle is a piece of divinity that should be referenced and treasured. They truly are magical. My speechless main character (Michelle) and her hilarious boy'toying girlfriends will make this series a must-own. She's a Polynesian cutie that her modern world falls in love with. Dancing, flirting, girl power and jaw-dropping miracles wraps up my series. Major Motion Picture Potential from the first chapter.

  93. Yaning Wu says:

    I just realized that this video has the same amount of likes and dislikes as John's next video.

  94. Angie Wagner says:

    The Magic Words – Extra Credit

  95. Steven Jara says:

    Joining nerdfighters book club

  96. Renane Watson says:

    hi my name is Renae Watson. I recently publish an e-book on Amazon kindle entitled Comply. it's about a man who goes on a mission to rescue his family. $0.99, thank you.

  97. RMSmith 773 says:

    I am a grapefruit

  98. Elizabeth Neisen says:

    "I'm a grapefruit"

  99. Anne says:

    John, you really are in touch with us 'youngins' you have your priorities in order, first the selfie, and only then the citizen's arrest for human rights violations.

  100. Cameron Keenan says:

    Yeah, extra credit for the win !

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