Sometimes you accidentally run across a group of people on the internet who hate your brother and you’re like “YOU DON’T KNOW THAT GUY WHAT ARE YOU THINKING YOU PRETENTIOUS GOOSEBUTT!” and then I have to remember that, like, people just have opinions and it’s fine to not like a “famous” person even if you don’t really know them.
Like, I FRIKKIN DESPISE NICKLEBACK. I don’t really even know why. I know I don’t like their music and their lead singer looks like a guy who used to beat me up in high school. And so I occasionally make jokes about how I don’t like that guy and how I wish he would die in a hole.
But I don’t actually want him to die in a hole and, if we hung out, we’d actually probably get along. And, of course, I’d never tell Chad to go die in a hole to his face. But then, by the nature of the internet, sometimes I (or John) run across people who dislike him just because he represents something that they’re rebelling against, or that they dislike people who like his books, or because he once said something that they didn’t like and that’s all they know about him. And I read those posts and people are so mean and it seems so real to me because I’m real and he’s real and he’s my brother and you can’t just listen to somebody say something mean about your brother and walk away.
Except I have to because it’s the only thing I can do because I’m a 35 year old man with a lot of internet power and if I said something to them about it, it wouldn’t just come with a ridiculous imbalance of power, it would also just be an inappropriate intrusion on someone’s weirdly public private life. And, anyway, it’s fine to build your identity in whatever way you want to do it, even if that’s defining yourself in opposition to my brother (or whatever construct you have in your mind that gets labeled “John Green”), who is in fact a very nice guy, but I understand that I’m not going to convince you of that.
So instead I just run to Tumblr to leave a long-ass text post and say, “WAAAAH, THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO DON’T LIKE MY BROTHER!!!”