John Green: A different kind of publicity tour “Paper Towns” 


Remember the olden days? Those were the days when television, newspapers and magazines were the way to publicize events.  I found out yesterday that social media really has changed the way things are done.  To my pleasant surprise I found out kids still read actual books, admire authors, and have good manners. (At least the girls were terrific; since there were no boys I can’t really comment on the weaker sex.)

The author, John Green, “No Fault in their Stars”, was in Columbus, Ohio, to promote his new book and movie, ” Paper Towns.”   Columbus, was one of the selected cities for this worldwide tour. ( I am not really sure what this book is about since I’m a lot older than 17. It has something to do with teenage love, angst and independence.)  After the tour, I decided I’ll read the book and forget that I’m on medicare.

John Green with his former best selling book

John Green with his former best selling book

An author is treated like a rock star

I wasn’t aware of what I was getting into when I volunteered to usher for “Tour of Paper Towns.” As I approached the Palace, a uniquely restored theater, I noticed that the street was packed with young girls of all shapes and sizes,  holding signs , posters and books!

When I got into the Palace, I discovered that I was ushering for the ” Paper Towns Tour.” The girls were waiting to hear an author, see a movie clip, and meet actors. The signs and posters pertained to the movie.

Our job, as ushers, were to make sure every seat was filled in the theater when they led them in at 250 at a time. The doors opened, and I felt nervous.  What if they were rowdy, mouthe, and confrontational?  No such thing. They filed  into the theater, being led by a young  guy in charge of the event. (He intently marched the groups of girls into the theater.)

The girls politely followed directions and got into their seats. It was a piece of cake! They were all dressed nicely in their 21st century clothes; dresses are out of style with this young crowd.

As soon as many of them took their seats, out came the phones, and the thumbs furiously texting. It sure kept the audience quiet. I think they were texting each other too. (Why talk when you can text?)

Many of the girls told me the primary reason they were there was to hear the author. “He is a great writer, and I like his characters and books,” said one girl. After talking to several others, I found out they were  also there to see the actors and a clip from the movie.  Imagine that, an author is an idol of the female youth of America.

Selfies, cameras, and publicity 

A young woman, who is an internet star, came out wearing a white dress that had a cape attached to it. She told the girls to take out their cameras, take a selfie and #Paper Towns Tour.”  In a few seconds hundreds of girls publicized the book.

During the showing of the clip there were some  screams when they showed the actors during the clip, and when they came out on at stage. The biggest screams were for the author!

Nothing like my generation where they got hysterical and fainted for musical groups. This was a more restrained kind of screaming.

After the movie clip the actors came out and had a very personal, familiar question and answer session with the audience. One of the more famous actors was Cara Delevingne, an English model. The other actors I also didn’t know were: Nat Wolff, Halston Sage and Austin Abrams.

John Green has a website, http:// John Green. com, a Twitter and a Facebook account. He can do the job of a press agent all by himself. Once you get on his sites, you can hear what he’s saying to the kids. (See, I’m giving him unsolicited publicity). I found it interesting that this young author was formerly part of a ministry in Columbus, Ohio, that volunteered at Children’s Hospital , sounds like a good role model!

It seems like the social media has brought actors and their audience into a more personal and intimate relationship. They don’t seem to be as far removed as they used to be, but only if you have a smart phone, and are a member of social media.

 

 




Backwards Living: What happened to good taste?


Anything goes these days, but if you comment on it, you’re the bad guy. It seems to me that outrageous behavior has become acceptable. If you say it’s gauche or in bad taste people look at you like your crazy. It seems to me that good manners is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

I don’t even want to imagine what it’s like in the schools these days. I’m wondering if they’re giving the teachers detentions instead of the students. From my past experience, I know a shift in power was taking place about 10 years ago.

Everyone is casual and comfortable

Go to the theater any day of the week. It doesn’t matter how much people pay for tickets, they are never dressed up at all. They are dressed up for the ballet the same way as they are for a comedian.

Some people do look nicer than others, but it doesn’t seem like they took a lot of time to get ready. There still are some cute, fancy heels that go along with the jeans. Dresses for women seem to be out of style. Maybe that’s just goes with equality, but I do miss them.

I guess they are all “comfortable”, but I do miss the days when people looked really special for special events.

Maybe in a couple of decades we’ll all run around naked, and get rid of clothes altogether. It will be easier on the bank account. We will all be more comfortable, except in the winter! Maybe then we’ll wear a big easy blanket that we put over our heads.

Spoken language is on the decline
Language sure has changed too. Just watch a movie from the 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s, 50’s, or even early 60’s. If this was reflective of society, people spoke in a more courteous way. I do know language has definitely been on the decline in the last few decades. When you’re hearing it in all the media, of course, you’re not going to speak in a thoughtful way.

I’m not saying that life was good for minorities or people who were different in the good old days. I’m glad people are more accepting of differences.

I think one of the casualties of all this acceptance and tolerance is good taste. Just look at afternoon TV. Dr. Phil features the most immoral weird people, and how about the shows that center on finding “the real fathers” of children.

If you express your opinion about much of anything that is against the present norms, you’re looked at like you’re intolerant.

It seems like things have totally gotten backwards. Isn’t there a good balance somewhere?

What do you think?

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