Good afternoon, class of 2017 and thank you for that tepid welcome.
As you know, the originally scheduled commencement speaker was hanged in effigy last weekend due to his public support for separate humans-only bathrooms and has fled to an undisclosed location. And the substitute speaker has withdrawn as a result of his body slamming of the Dean of the School of Journalism. Or was it the dean who body-slammed him? They both swear the other one was asking for it, and both are pressing charges.
By the way, journo majors, I’m told that the administration has offered Bruno Sammartino an adjunct professor position to teach a course in interview tactics, so you underclassmen better practice your “piledrivers” this Summer!
Whoops, I see some of you are walking out. Is it because of the word, “underclassmen”? Would you come back if I changed it to “underclass-persons”? No?
What’s that?, it was the word “under” that offended some of you? Implying privilege on the part of upper classes?
And the ones filing out the side door, did the word “class” offend you? Oh, you’re just going to the bathroom? Careful, I think there’s a wolverine in the last stall..
Alright, then, here’s an idea, why don’t all the offended people just get the hell out. That should leave a sufficient number of graduates either sleeping or playing with their phones. Or maybe some of you are still drunk from last night’s party on the quad. Whatever your condition, you are the people the Idler wants to talk to,
As a columnist for one of America’s great regional weekly papers, I believe I can say without fear of contradiction that I am glad you occupied the administration building and staged all the wacky demonstrations you could while you had the chance. It was pretty entertaining and, heck, for the tuition money you were paying they should have given you each a building to occupy. Six figures in student loans would’ve bought you some serious real estate even in some of the leafier suburbs.
Way back in the Idler’s day we had demonstrations too. Most of them had to do with the war in Vietnam which everybody was okay with at first but then eventually didn’t like at all. Over at Kent State student demonstrators and bystanders were shot and killed in what turned out to be a big National Guard screwup. If you were inclined to be a protester, that sort of got your attention. In 1970 they decided to start drafting college students. That got our attention too. That’s probably why we never got around to having guys use the ladies room or calling everybody racists. On the bright side, most of us only owed a couple grand not counting bar tabs.
Then we graduated.
What the Idler is getting at here is that now that you’ve graduated nobody will care very much about your devotion to the cause of differently-abled transsexual eskimos. You know how deeply touched you are by the plight of dyslexic Estonian refugees or that apocalyptic environmental cause? Good for you, and they probably appreciate your enthusiasm, but you won’t be able to do much about it until you get a job. And once you have a job you won’t have time to demonstrate. Then, whatever’s left of your paycheck after your student loan payment, taxes, rent, utilities, food and car payment can go to, whoa, wait, you better shoot Mom & Dad a few bucks for that job interview outfit they bought you. Have we budgeted for beer? Whatever’s left now will have to save the whales.
Shocking, huh? And all these years, whenever anyone would ask you what you did you could answer that you’re a student. Once you take off that funny hat, you know what the answer will be? Probably “unemployed.” If it weren’t for those old people sitting behind you, the answer would be “homeless.” But hey, that’s why they call it “commencement.” The search for employment and the repayment of debts will now commence!
What about the people who walked out, you ask? They’re in worse shape than you. They’re probably going to law school.
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