Commencement Address 2042
It’s so funny that you guys asked me to give this speech to the graduating class of 2042 because I totally anticipated that this would happen. I even wrote a blog post about it in 2012. Can you believe that?! I know. Remember blogs? Anyway…
So you’re graduating college. I think that’s great. Congrats, you guys! Are you excited to get on with the next period of your lives? You should be. A few pieces of advice, from somebody who is fifty-seven years old and has accomplished, like, so much. Your early to mid twenties are a horrible, nightmarish time. Don’t be surprised when it sucks! It sucks really bad. You aren’t sure who you are or what you want to do, and coupled with an intense sense of entitlement and a document that says you went to college, that is kind of a recipe for disaster. Sorry! It’s true. You will get a job that is below you. You will date gross people you don’t like for awhile. Maybe a long while. Nobody is in your house taking care of you and nobody cares about your stupid problems. Also, traffic is somehow still bad, here in the year 2042, even though we have flying cars. Wasn’t the goal of the flying cars to help alleviate traffic? Why didn’t that work? Now there’s just traffic in the sky. Traffic! (Shakes fist at sky.) What I’m saying is, life is hard sometimes. But you have to persevere.
When I was finishing college I had an acting teacher who told us that we should try to find a way to be joyful about auditioning. He said we’d spend most of our time as actors auditioning for things rather than acting in anything real. So we might as well find a way to like it. And I was like “pshaw, no way, I hate auditioning, but I’ll only have to do it a couple times and then I’ll get cast in something and everything will be great.” Nope! I auditioned for six months after college, got nothing, not even a callback, and quit acting for four years. Do you know why I did that? Because of my sense of entitlement and my college degree and not wanting to accept a job that was below me. My philosophy was that I had spent too much money on college to accept acting jobs that didn’t pay. Hahahahaha, isn’t that funny? It’s so funny to me now. Everybody starts at the bottom and climbing the ladder takes years longer than anyone could have ever anticipated. And you’ll be forced to accept this new, smaller idea of yourself. The more ready you are to accept that you’re a piece of shit like everybody else, the more likely you’ll be to stop being a piece of shit. That’s called irony. Maybe. You’d think that by the time I was fifty-seven years old I would have figured out what irony is, but I’m still a little unsure and I’m also super nervous about misusing it because of BNF’s. That’s Brain News Feeds for those of us in the over-forty set. Since I’m super famous and accomplished people are always sending BNF’s about me and how I misuse words sometimes and you know what? I make mistakes sometimes. I’m not a machine. No offense to the robots that live among us. What up robots?! (Pause for robot applause.) You feeling good? Good!
So, before you guys were born there was a big hubbub about giving equal marriage rights to gay people. Before that, there was a big hubbub about letting black students go to college with white students. Before that, women weren’t allowed to vote. Before that, we stole human beings from their homes and forced them to work for us. We’ve come a long way, but let’s not forget that our ancestors did this shit. Let us not assume that anything goes without saying. If you want to insist on limiting the rights of a segment of the population, your name will go down in history connected with bigotry and small-mindedness. Don’t be categorized with racists and sexists and homophobes. This is an enlightened time and you all are lucky to have been born late enough that most of the work has been done. But be careful! Something else might come up! Don’t be a jerk!
I don’t know, you guys, almost everybody goes to college now because you can’t get a job anywhere without at least a bachelor’s degree, so I mean, congratulations for living long enough to get to the end of college, I guess is the main thing. And I guess one more piece of advice I can give you is that the best thing you can do in the world is not worry too much about getting ahead and mostly just worry about being happy with yourself and your choices. A nice thing about the huge floods that came with global warming is all these great boat houses, so find yourself a nice boat house and live there with your favorite person. Maybe get a pet or some functional animals like bees or chickens. Get outside sometimes. BNF a book every once in awhile. Drink more water and don’t do drugs and don’t wash your hair every day, it dries it out. Ladies, don’t over pluck your eyebrows. Gentlemen, I can’t fathom how cargo shorts are still a thing, but GET RID OF THEM, THEY ARE REPULSIVE.
Anyway, congratulations, kiddos. Now who wants to buy me a shot?! (Drops mic.)