Since no institution of higher or, for that matter, lower learning has asked me to give a commencement speech this year, I’ll share with you the speech I would’ve given to the graduating class of 2012 had I been invited.
It goes like this:
You’re doomed. (Wait for laughter to subside into tears.) But it’s not your fault. Or, at least, that’s what you’ll learn to tell yourselves. You were born into a world of unprecedented change and opportunity, you know, just like every generation before you (excepting those born in the 1340s who could only look forward to the plague). However, you’ve been deprived of the ability to live up to the clichés of optimism and progress because the years leading up to your prospective graduation were saturated with the notion that the world was going to end thanks to the ominously incomplete Mayan calendar, which runs out of dates this year.
The upshot to this is the fact that you probably took on more student loans than you should have, thinking the world would end before you had to pay them back. This also may account for the fact that you majored in a liberal arts discipline, which precludes you from ever earning enough to pay said loans back anyway. If the end were indeed nigh, well played, padawan. But as any archaeologist worth his bullwhip will tell you, Mesoamerican datebooks were notoriously shoddy. I mean why chisel into stone the entire calendar year for 2013 and beyond when a mere “Etc.” will do? Who knew the Mayan timekeepers were union guys? You didn’t and now you’re in debt – welcome to adulthood. Continue reading “Commencement Speech 2012”