Alright, that's it. Rant time.
Mine was the first class to graduate college after September 11th, and ever since then, the hand-wringing thoughtful intellectual liberals who dish out the graduation speeches at colleges these days have been bumming the shit out of us. They use commencement addresses as sounding-boards for their general grievences with a fucked-up administration and the problems of our democracy, almost refusing to acknowledge that they're the ones in power now and maybe it's not the best plan to leave it up to a bunch of 22-year-olds to solve the current crises.
I think it's typical liberal Boomerism to be all, "Ah, lament lament, the world has forsaken stuff, and you, Dear Graduates, inherit this broken shadow of a society/planet/democracy/whatever, here are some examples, lament lament, anywho, good luck, p.s. buy my book." True narcisism robs anyone of his ability to inspire others, or even see the world as having a future without him. And sometimes I'm afraid that's what I see and hear with the Boomer "sky is falling" cries.
It seems like every time one of these guys says we're doomed (Doomed!), what they really mean is that THEY'RE doomed. They're gonna die, it's true. And for some reason they really feel that it's their job to deliver sobering messages to the youngsters of today, whose high school friends and siblings and maybe even selves have actually been off fighting these wars and who have lived so immersed in media that they can't possibly be missing it. Do they think so little of us? Or so little of themselves and their own agency?
On graduation day, I think, we have a right not to be bummed out. We, the Echo-boom kids, armed with our B.A.'s and blogs, have a right to hope for our future.
Having some guy at the height of his career show up and say, "Well, we're fucked, and I don't know how we got here, and we're probably not getting out," doesn't inspire echoes of "Pomp and Circmustance," except perhaps in so far as they are the pomp, and we're the assholes left holding the circumstance.