Digging through the detritus at the ever thoughtful and sarcastic Iowahawk , I recently uncovered his never-to-be-delivered commencement speech. It begins, appropriately enough, with the following:
Welcome distinguished faculty, honored guests, and bankrupt parents. And above all, welcome to you – the eager and unemployable graduates of the Class of 2011.
Today represents the culmination of a long safari through the murky thickets of this impenetrable rain forest we call “higher education.” Just a few years ago you arrived for your freshman orientation, full of wide-eyed anticipation and existential dread, wondering if this place would eat you alive. Soon though – through luck, pluck, and enormous amounts of mind altering substances – you adapted to your new surroundings. You learned to communicate in the natives’ strange gibberish and follow their bizarre rituals. You learned which taboo words and thoughts to avoid, and how not provoke the cannibals. And finally, today, as you stumble out of that misty, bewildering glade and across this stage, you will receive the ultimate acknowledgement of your successful journey through the heart of darkness: a college diploma.
Eerily enough it echoes the sentiments brought forth on the air and in his book The Terrible Truth About Liberals by nationally syndicated Libertarian talk-show host Neal Boortz. Just as Iowahawk’s missive, this wakeup call for the entitlement generation is disguised as a commencement speech. Unfortunately it has never been delivered. The message however has.
I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It’s about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you’ll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I’m not here to impress the faculty and administration.
You may not like much of what I have to say, and that’s fine. This isn’t the first time you’re not going to like what someone has to say … your bosses, for instance. Things change today. There will be a lot less pandering to your every whim, and a lot more demands for performance. You will remember what I had to say though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, of course, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees … or as college professors.
With graduation approaching for another crop, I urge you to go read both of these. Share the lessons and warnings with any graduate you can get to listen. Even better, if you still have children in school, inoculate them now against what is coming their way.