Friday, May 16, 2014

Pomp and Happenstance [May 16]

Seeing that many of you will be attending school commencements at this time of year (and some may actually be be graduating!), you will have to sit through speeches about as as interesting as the formation of a glacier. Herewith, a quick and handy guide to translating the myriad clich├ęs (usually from b-list "captains" of industry) to which you will be exposed.

What speaker is saying In AceSpeak
"... as you take this big step forward" You are about to find out how much real life truly bites the weenie.
"Follow your dreams." Dreams aren't squat without passion. If you had followed your passion, you would have been a dance major.
"Doors will open for you." More likely, doors will hit you in the ass so fast, your head will spin.
"Remember what you learned here..." You didn't learn shit between rolling fatties and tapping kegs.
"New careers, new vistas await you." More like new gray cubicles. The mega-corp who hired you needs to keep you down. They're counting on 60% becoming disillusioned ... or pregnant.
"Learn from those who have gone before you." These people are called "bosses." They will do everything they can to protect their jobs.
"Do not compromise your principles in your strive for excellence." You will have to answer to The Man. Every day. If you get too excellent too fast, he will place his foot on your glottal area. Hard. He is hoping for your failure.
"The friends you made here, you will hold for life." Ok, you might meet some buddies for occasional beers. By the fifth-year reunion, you will be ashamed of your salary and have no desire to see said "friends."
"Although you are graduating, you will always be part of [name of school]." The only contact you will have from this institution is reams of junk mail. Every letter will ask for money.
"Never forget to thank the parents who sent you here." These are ex-hippies who actually think that all this tuition will someday make you rich. Fat chance. You will paying off loans until 2050.
"Let your creative juices flow." Most likely, these will be used to create posters for your kid's kindergarten play, "Annie Get Your Pillow."
"If you're good at what you do, the riches will come. And wealth is more than money." This speaker is lying through his teeth. Whoppers. He's got two mortgages, alimony, three kids in school and can't wait until this check clears, because his new "partner" Trixie wants a Piaget.
"And in closing ..." It's 98 degrees and I'm out of here. Go get mildly drunk with your parents; it's your last chance.
And to repeat my own succinct commencement address from last year: Go make something.

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