Deserving of being on the YouTube Pantheon?
What criteria would someone need to pass in order to be have their place secured within the YouTube Pantheon? They would need to have been there from the very start, been visionaries, pushed boundaries and used their influence to do good in the world. We believe there are few creators more deserving than Hank and John Green.
From popularising the vlogging format in 2007, to starting the first YouTube convention in 2010 and organising the site’s largest charity live stream every year, how do you pick just 10 moments from their incredible careers? We tried out best; here are our 10 favourite moments from the vlogbrothers!
“You can see my eye, in my eye!”
Like Narcissus from Greek mythology falling in love with his own reflection, in 2007 we fell in love with the reflection of a young Hank Green! Enthralled by the novelty of seeing himself reflected on his glasses through his grainy webcam, we wonder whether Hank could see what this new Brotherhood 2.0 project he was setting up with John would become.
The premise of the channel could not be more wholesome. It started with two physically-distant brothers not satisfied with the cold words of instant messaging and email, deciding to instead close the distance by communicating through the new and quite intimate medium of “video blogs”. For the project, each brother would make weekly videos to each other, whilst also allowing the YouTube viewing public to join in on their adventures and have an intimate glimpse into their lives.
They would eventually become visionaries and titans on the platform. However, it’s always humbling to remember it all started with Hank staring at his own reflection!
Accio Deathly Hallows
Not being satisfied with merely pioneering the vlogging genre, in July of 2007, Hank would summon an entirely new genre of music called Wizard Rock. Although the genre had existed since 2002, Hank’s simple three and a half minute ditty about the yet-to-be-released seventh Harry Potter book, Accio Deathly Hallows, would apparate straight onto the front page of YouTube, introducing the genre to a whole new generation. Bands like the Ministry of Magic, The Parselmouths and even Tessa Violet would gain a huge audience from singing about Harry Potter.
What makes this entire event even more miraculous is that Hank correctly guessed that Harry was a Horcrux and that Hedwig would sadly pass away in the final Harry Potter book!
DFTBA – don’t forget to be awesome
What a fantastic slogan to live by!
By 2009, a huge community of people had come together to create a community called the Nerdfighters. An online community providing companionship to a group of displaced outsiders is already a worthwhile goal. However, Hank and John went even further, motivating them under the single goal to “reduce world suck”. In coming years, that mantra would manifest itself in many projects, most notably the annual Project for Awesome, a 48-hour live stream where YouTubers from all over the world come together to raise millions for charity.
This video was the moment that solidified this movement, and we couldn’t be prouder to call ourselves Nerdfighters! *Does Nerdfighter sign*
Pizzamas is an annual celebration in the Nerdfighter community, celebrating a picture of a moustached John. This will require some explaining.
During the reign of Blog TV, the two brothers would stream together, but because John was often quite busy, he would always eat his dinner while he streamed, leading to the association of John with food – especially pizza. In 2009, John made a video explaining the crisis in Pakistan, whilst shaving off his Movember facial hair, and just for a moment, he had a perfect, yet strangely unsettling, moustache. It was quickly screen-capped and placed on a picture of a pizza. John saw the creating and said, “I don’t know why I love that, but I want it on a shirt.” Soon, it would be the symbol for a bizarre annual celebration for Nerdfighters everywhere.
Those few seconds of moustached John have to be one of our favourite moments ever.
Education! Education! Education!
In addition to all the songs, challenges and memes about food, an aspect we very much admire about the vlogbrothers is their drive to educate their audience of world events in an easy to understand format.
John’s video about the Syrian Revolution was especially poignant. From watching the news alone, it would be easy to see the crisis as just waves of anonymous immigrants. John, however, opens our eyes to see why it’s happening, the context where it fits and the terrible human misery that results from the fallout.
From these videos, they would create CrashCourse, an educational YouTube channel that builds on the great work that started here.
We’re not quite sure why, but giraffes appear on four of the six most popular vlogbrothers videos. Is it because two of those thumbnails depict two of them intwined in a compromised position? Is it because the internet is fascinated by the relationship of giraffe mating and urine?
We’re not sure, but giraffes and Nerdfighters are now inseperatable.
John Green on Becoming YouTube
Benjamin Cook’s Becoming YouTube was a landmark moment in the British YouTube community, and John’s appearance in the sixth episode was a landmark within that.
The celebrated 13-episode web series was the legitimisation of the burgeoning British YouTube scene, a tour de force to show the greater world what a displaced group of mischiefs empowered by the internet could do! The episode with John builds upon this notion with his physical manifestation of the YouTube community with the convention VidCon, and all the other great projects the Nerdfighter community have helped manifest. John’s cameo was a symbolic union between the then quite separate British and American YouTube communities, and for that reason it has got to be one of our favourite vlogbrothers moments.
When one puff became three
With his nondescript checkered shirts and unassuming glasses, you might not think of John as a style icon at first sight, but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! This is because you would have missed John’s amazing gravity defying hair!
Affectionally referred to as his “Puff”, in 2008 it stood at a hair standing six and a half inches tall! Despite being in a different weather system from the rest of his body, John’s hair misadventures wouldn’t stop there. The following year, John attempted the infamous NaNoWriMo, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel within a mere month. The frantic excess of creative energy appeared to have manifested in two additional “Puffs” going on either side of his head.
This iconic look is still timeless more than a decade on!
“Crime is caused by systemic disenfranchisement, and poverty, and lack of access to job opportunities,” could be a confronting sentence, but is in fact even more surprising when it’s revealed as a lyric from a song! The talented Gregory Brothers are renowned for their comedic songs created by retiming and pitch adjustment of spoken content. The subject of this song came about when, to the utter contempt of Hank, John professed in a video, “I kinda hate Batman.”
In a video essay-like format, he questions how heroic Batman’s actions actually are. Is the financial investment into Batman really worth it? Yes, he fights crime quite heroically, but he always leaves Gotham city’s infrastructure in tatters, heavily straining the city’s tax revenues. He proposes that evil doesn’t actually exist and crime is, in fact, caused by disenfranchisement within the populous, poverty and unemployment. Would it be better to put money in to take on those problems, instead of building another Batmobile and repairing another bridge? Hank, instead, argues that Batman is a worthwhile hero, for he is the physical manifestation of our goals and desires.
Which one is right? While you decide, we’re going to play this undeniable bop once again!
John Green with Cara Delevingne
It makes our hearts swell with pride whenever someone we love achieves something great.
In 2015, John’s 2008 novel, Paper Towns, got adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster. Seeing the film was an amazing experience. Experiencing the work by the baby-faced John from the beginning of the article blossom onto the silver screen was surreal. On the vlogbrothers channel, this was encapsulated by a Q&A with actress and model, Cara Delevingne.
Seeing Brotherhood 2.0 grow into a platform that rubs shoulders with the largest names in the entertainment industry was stunning to see, and we believe there’s nobody as deserving as John and Hank.
So there you have it…
Just 10 moments of our favourite moments from the very long careers of Hank and John Green. There’s no doubt that we missed a lot, so you best be on the lookout for a part two of this article, which may or may not be released at some point in the future.
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