2015 University Commencement Speech


Good morning to all the assembled liberal arts and world history majors. Good morning to all you ultimate Frisbee captains, amateur porn stars, and Delta Gamma girls with vodka-soaked tampons inserted. A putrid commingling of Smirnoff and 151 is tickling my nostrils. Christ, you kids really went for it last night. Look up; notice that birds are dropping dead from the fumes coming out of your pores.

Anyway, I’ll cut right to it and say: you are fucked. You are fucked because the world pays you for what it can get from you, and unless it decides today to start paying your mortgage in exchange for six-page analyses of T.S. Elliot poems, you are very much fucked. So truly, completely, brutally fucked. You will have a life-long limp from this fucking. That is, if you don’t have a dad in the stands with a yacht tan and ostrich-skin loafers. If that guy in the baby-blue polo is not your dad, then you are incredibly fucked. I know this because I am exactly like you. I have a BA, as you now do, and I am not special in any way. Just like you. The only reason you should listen to me is because I’ve been doing hard time in the trenches of Life since my own commencement. I’ve seen what is beyond the ridge and can tell you that all these pretty lies you’ve been hearing on replay will not be of service to you out in the wild.

I’m here because it’s just goddamn cruel to put Jim Carrey or Tagg Romney or whoeverthefuck up on this stage and tell you can be a billionaire and invent the first hovercraft in your garage if you just, you know, decide to. They can comfortably tell you this because they got lucky. Because one thing worked for one guy one time in one field. It’s quite the brutal deception for them to encourage you to shatter the mold, man, and quit your job and live off credit and start your own tattoo parlor in Midtown Manhattan. Tell you that you’ll ink Mandarin characters on asses forever and make stacks off it because one thing worked for one guy one time in one field. It’s like you’re a giant herd of cats and they’re using a laser pointer to lure you into a wood chipper at a full sprint.

I mean, yes, dreams do technically come true, in the same way that sometimes human beings spontaneously combust, but for the most part the universe is in the denial business. For every dude that wins an Oscar there are one million attractive hobos dumpster diving behind a Whole Foods in Orange County. If you somehow think that those are decent odds, recall that it takes six full days to count to a million and each one of those numbers represents one of your competitors and you have to work harder and also be luckier than all the rest of them.

Someday someone will create a Flinstones vitamin that cures all cancer and they will be rolling forever in lab coat groupie pussy, and someone else will invent affordable time travel but neither of those people will be you and you know it, because you are a clone. You majored in marketing and eat Chipotle six times a week and wear snapbacks and so does everyone you know. If you were special enough to be on Wikipedia you would have an inkling of that by now, and people would already be talking about you. But they aren’t, because you are unremarkable, and that’s not going to change just because you heard something motivational today. The inspirational speech from your high school graduation four years ago didn’t take root, so why would this one.

So here’s what you do. Be still and know that you are fucked. Take solace in this truth. Leverage your soul for some cubicle cash so you don’t have to covertly check the Bank of America smartphone app every time the bartender runs your card. Relax. I don’t matter, you don’t matter, our lives don’t matter and nothing matters, we’re all just hostages to the hard arc of history. Relax, you will die hungry in a gutter because Ruby Tuesday will be staffed by androids in twenty years.

That’s all I have today.

Thank you to the Dean for inviting me to speak on this fine morning. Good luck to you, the class of 2015, and all the best in your future endeavors. Oh and did I mention that you are fucked.

fredcolton.com

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14 thoughts on “2015 University Commencement Speech

  1. As a liberal arts graduate, I live this so hard. I wanna get hammered on Mad Dog with this speech, and have a nice anger bang, maybe cry a little.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The worst kept secret in my house is we want our daughter to go into engineering. My father in law is, some wildly impressive title, so he’s on board. Basically, we want the kid as far from liberal arts as possible.

        Like

    1. I don’t think so. I read a study on TIME or whatever saying that we all sort of sense we’re doomed but can’t process it in the now, so we don’t make any changes.

      Like

  2. No one in their right mind would ask Fred Colton to make a commencement speech. As everyone stands stunned and the Dean lunges to unplug the microphone, I stand slow-clapping at the back of the hall.

    Liked by 1 person

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