Brotherhood 2.0: February 9, 2007


[intro music] Good morning, Hank. It’s Friday,
February 9th, and it’s laundry day. You will note that we have the
world’s smallest washing machine, it’s the only washing machine-slash-dryer that was
ever designed exclusively for Lilliputians. Let’s see how many clothes it’ll fit! One shirt, one pair of boxers, one pair of pants,
two pairs of – wait what’s this? Oh, it’s The Naked and the Dead in my pants. Two socks, one pair of boxers,
aaaand it’s completely full. In fact, it’s kind of overstuffed. I might have to take out one of the socks. Hank, I talked to Brotherhood 2.0
resident mathematician Daniel Biss, and it turns out that there’s a huge gaping flaw in your
mathematical theorem about old people and dying and banjo concerts. The problem is this: a 70-year old may live
on average to be 83 years old, but that doesn’t mean that a 71-year-old is
just as likely to die as an 82-year-old. In fact, the vast majority of people are going to die
closer to 82 than they are to 71. If you want to see a person die at a banjo concert, the key is not to go to banjo concerts
that feature older people, the key is to go to longer banjo concerts. Like, 13-year-long banjo concerts. Hank, several Brotherhood 2.0 commenters have
been asking three questions about my new book: What’s it called, when is it going to come out,
and what’s it about? I am now happy to answer all of those questions, although I’m going to answer one of them with a long series of lies. The book is called “Paper Towns”, it will be
published in September of 2008, it’s about life in an orphanage in Imperial
Japan in the 17th century. It’s about the World Origami
Championship of 2004. It’s the story of a special
boy and his special dog. I don’t want to ruin it for you,
but the dog dies. It’s about an ambiguously-gendered child
growing up in a Greek-American family. It’s about Hamlet. It’s a historical novel in which I imagine the
teenage years of Emily Dickinson. It’s about a face… that is half in the dark. And half in the light. It’s about learning to come to terms with the fact that
even though sometimes you eat the exact number of points you’re supposed to eat,
you still don’t get less fat. It’s about how, when the last ding-dong of doom has
clanged and faded from the last rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there
will still be one more sound, that of man’s puny, inexhaustible voice, still talking. It’s about a girl named Becca who has
a very happy birthday. Hank, I’ll be watching you on Monday from
lovely Washington, D.C. See you then!

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