you-wish-you-had-this-url asked:

I've been seeing a lot of people talk about Gus sounding really pretentious in the movie, do you think he sounds pretentious?

fishingboatproceeds answered:

I mean, that scene is word-for-word from the book, so don’t blame the movie! :) Yes, Gus is super pretentious at the start of the story. it’s a character flaw.

Gus wants to have a big and important and remembered life, and so he acts like he imagines people who have such lives act. So he’s, like, says-soliloquy-when-he-means-monologue pretentious, which is the most pretentious variety of pretension in all the world.

And then his performative, over-the-top, hyper-self-aware pretentiousness must fall away for him to really connect to Hazel, just as her fear of being a grenade must fall away. That’s what the novel is about. That is its plot.

Gus must make the opposite of the traditional heroic journey—he must start out strong and end up weak in order to reimagine what constitutes a rich and well-lived life.

Basically, a 20-second clip from the first five minutes of a movie is not the movie.

(Standard acknowledgement here that I might be wrong, that I am inevitably defensive of TFIOS, that it has many flaws, that there’s nothing wrong with critical discussion, and that a strong case could be made that I should not insert myself into these conversations at all.)


Anonymous asked:

you are a pretentious prick who is also a transphobic piece of trash, go to hell

fishingboatproceeds answered:

There is so much of this stuff in my ask box, and most of it not even anonymous, but I don’t want to call out any particular user because I know they’ll then get a lot of hateful asks and the cycle will just continue.

First off, there’s a comma splice in your ask. I just have to let you know that, on account of how I’m a pretentious prick.

I hope that I’m not transphobic. I’ve been public and vocal in my support for the rights of trans people for years, and I’ve tried over the years to amplify trans voices, from T Cooper to Stephen Ira Beatty, rather than pretending to be able to speak for them. 

Look, I am a person, and I am not a particularly good one. I am screwed up and make a lot of mistakes. But I am not a piece of trash. I would imagine that you are also screwed up and make a lot of mistakes, but you aren’t a piece of trash either.

But it is still hurtful—very hurtful—to hear people call me a piece of trash. It just makes me sad to hear, the way I think it would make most people sad to hear. The certainty and lack of nuance in that characterization reflects a broader lack of nuance in online discourse these days that just bums me out. 



I have to say that the single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people was that there is a common denominator in our human experience. Most of us, I tell ya, we don’t want to be divided. What we want—the common denominator that I found in every single interview—is that we want to be validated. We want to be understood.

I’ve done over 35,000 interviews in my career, and as soon as that camera shuts off everyone always turns to me and inevitably in their own way ask this question: “was that ok?”

I heard it from President Bush. I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. I’ve heard it from victims and perpetrators of crime. I even heard it from BE-YON-CÉ in all of her Beyoncé-ness. She finishes performing, hands me the microphone, and says “was that ok?” [x]