Paper Towns was condemned, as all of its author’s works, to smolder in the fires of neglect and obscurity and effective censorship due to… lack of free support from American press and schools.
Where do I even start to document the torrent of cyberbullying and misdirected parental fury that’s been levied towards the downtrodden rebel visionary Mr. Green? I could look at the incredulous reaction of Depew High School parents in 2008 to the news that Green’s Looking For Alaska would be “taught” to 11th graders in the government school’s English curriculum. Certain of these religious fascists objected to the explicit descriptions of oral sex and foul language contained in Green’s novel, particularly in light of the school’s (probably 100% symbolic) prohibition on students using obscenities. I too would sympathize with these parents, not because I think 16-year-olds shouldn’t read about sex or swear words under any circumstances, but because I think there’s something incredibly depressing about a taxpayer-funded, supposedly educational institution willfully, knowingly presenting twaddle to teenagers as great literature.* I agree with their petition even more in light of the petty hissy fit Green subsequently threw on his Youtube channel (more on that later), excoriating the parents for trying to tell other kids what they can read (for school credit), which, in point of fact, no one was trying to do. By Green’s purely libertarian, freedom-minded reasoning, the very state of being on the mandatory reading list at one time not only grants him an entitlement to stay on and consequently profit from that reading list for the rest of his career, but also irrevocably establishes his work as an incontrovertible, great American novel that all kids must be exposed to for their literary benefit.
One could argue that Green’s rigid attachment to every one of these networks is highly unusual, even childish behavior when practiced by a 37-year-old married author. In fact, some anonymous and completely irrelevant person did argue just that about a month ago, using the very online outlet embraced by Green to ridicule him for his systematic takeover of the internet. Quoth the eloquent tumblrer:
Nothing in this little rant was factually incorrect or unjustified, as John Green has in fact made a business of pandering to teenage girls and has cultivated a following that is undeniably similar to, if not indicative of a cult. Green’s army of self-professed nerdfighters, united under the banner of nerdfighteria, have their own hip vocabulary (decreasing worldsuck), study their own holy texts, celebrate their own (probably well-intentioned) holiday, think they’re “made entirely out of awesome”, and revere their leaders John and Hank, who made a gimmick of addressing Youtube video-logs (think Avatar) to each other so as to give people the impression that they knew the brothers on a personal level. The extent to which Green goes to convince girls that he’s their friend and fellow nerd-in-fighting can definitely be seen as creepy or unfitting of a grown-up father, and he shows no signs of relenting from that habit in the future.
This is an official poster tagline.
Stuff I missed the first time through
* John Green saying that his made-up cancer-stricken lovebirds parallel Anne Frank because she too “just died of illness like most people.”
* John Green ‘accidentally’ appropriating a 13-year-old Tumblr user’s adorable, deep quote, passing it off as a line from Paper Towns, and selling a crapton of merchandise based on the words to gullible nerd fighters.
* John Green denouncing the philosophy of Objectivism as “repugnant” and extolling his noncommercial, “idea-sharing, consciousness-expanding, storytelling business” as a ”persistent and direct opposition to the ideas put forth in Atlas Shrugged”. “We must strike down the insidious lie that a book is the creation of an individual soul laboring in isolation. We must strike it down because it threatens the overall quality and breadth of American literature… so f*** Ayn Rand and f*** any company that profits from peddling the lie of mere individualism. We built this together and we're going to keep building it together.”
No, John Green. &#^! you and your You Didn’t Build That mentality.