The Editor's Mess

June 7, 2012. Meadow's Alma Mater, Ravenswood, Connecticut

Can't be bothered to make a new graphic.Thank you, Chancellor Banks for that wonderful introduction.  Only rarely have I been called both a visionary and a genius so soon after sex, and my ego thanks you.  Dean McDonald, thank you as well for inviting me back to my alma mater -- at an embarassingly increased honorarium -- to deliver this commencement address before another gaggle of wide-eyed ingénues about to drunkenly stagger into the jobless wastelands.  We'll cover that in a few minutes.

First, let us reflect upon the last four years at this crotch-grabbingly expensive institution, that remains much less well-endowed than I am, as Chancellor Banks can attest.  It started back in September 2008, and what a fantastic month that was in American economic history.  You'd have to study the Great Depression's WikiPedia page to find a worse time to be racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt to finance an education that will place you only a slim paygrade above the most slack-jawed yokel with a fresh H-1B work visa.

Yet against all good judgement, you took the plunge mere days following the Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Fannie Mae, which sounds like your great grandmother's stripper name, along with Freddie controlled most of the real estate in America.  Predictably, panic ensued, much like what happened when you realized that the girl you hooked up with after the freshman mixer was Dean McDonald's neice. 

But probably less panicked than you were a week later when you realized those burning red pimples all over "Little Bill" weren't heat rash.

Suffices to say the economy of the United States all but collapsed before you knew your way around campus, including, unfortunately where the free condoms were.  Granted a lot of that was related to bath salts and bong use, but also because things were falling apart quickly.  Things falling apart would turn out to be a recurring theme during your time here at Yalvard.

By the time 2009 reared its powerfully ugly gob, your legendary Nobel prize winning professor of economics Dr. Charles H. Drasser II -- the bellwether of conservative politics and posterboy of Reaganomics -- had been indicted on 41 counts of soliciting sex from male prostitutes in a four state area.  This sent a powerful chill through conservative circles, all but ending Dr. Drasser's "Traditional Biblical Values" campaign so admired by talk-show hosts across the nation, not to mention destroying the brisk little cottage industry the L.G.B.T. community had created based on hating this guy.

Yeah, I think I wanna be a king.I just found out the other day that Queen Elizabeth has a husband!  I never knew that. The other weird thing was that he's not the King. I thought that was pretty much mandatory: if you marry a Queen, you get to be a King, or at least a full partner in a drag club. 

That was a "Birdcage" joke.

I want to be a King.  Not a King like that creepy Burger King guy, but a real King.  It seems like a pretty good job.  First off, I'd be a billionaire and that's cool. Plus my face would be on the money, which would make it easy for everyone to recognize me.  On the downside, I couldn't slouch in public or be rude, and I'd have to smile politely to everyone I meet in a way that makes it obvious I don't like them.  That would suck.  Still, being King is mostly about showing up places and waving, and I can do that for a billion bucks.  Having to put on pants to get the mail is a small tradeoff.

Still, being King in the 21st Century wouldn't be nearly as fun as it used to be.  For instance, I couldn't just have someone beheaded anymore and that would suck.  I mean, I'd totally take the job if I could be rude to people and behead my enemies.  Otherwise, why bother with it in the first place?

It's that time of year again where we gather family close, rip open a fresh carton of egg nog and huddle around the cool LED glow of our boob-tubes to watch some classic holiday entertainment.  It's the one time of the year where you know, absolutely, that good, wholesome, worthwhile sentiments will rule over crass cynicism and self-interested greed, at least until the third act.

Or do you?  Do you even KNOW what's in that egg nog?  Could those very same holiday classics hide a deeper, darker, secret message that you never realized was there all the time?  Strap on your mulled-wine goggles, take a look at these holiday classics and then decide for yourself.

June 7, 2011. Meadow's Alma Mater, Ravenswood, Connecticut

Yalvard commencement address.  Womans picture, Flickr/jameskm03.Thank you, Chancellor Banks, and may I say you have an even lovelier posterior in the daylight. Dean McDonald, regents, faculty, dear students, and friends, including new friends from last night. I have the check right here for the damages Delta Phi Gamma, stop by my hotel room later as agreed.

Commencement. WikiPedia calls commencement "the ceremony at which students receive academic degrees." It's also the name of an album by the rock band "Deadsy," it turns out, which proves, once again why I love the Internet. Never before have so many been able to be sidetracked so easily. Still, Groupon made me a fortune so who's complaining.

[inset pos=left]Now you can Tweet your junk everywhere and it's perfectly legal.[/inset]Commencement. It's a time of transition, to be sure. Transition is also an operation of a finite-state machine, in case you were wondering. But in this case, we're talking about a transition from one reality to another. A reality in which you are surrounded by your peers, many of whom are holding and are chronic insomniacs; a reality in which powerfully fun drugs are a campus call away, as I confirmed myself only last night. Jesse, you have a future in logistics, and I'm a man of my word. I'm calling Fred Smith over at FedEx as soon as I leave here, I hope you can start Monday.

The rest of you, however, won't be nearly as lucky as Jesse. I remember graduating from Yalvard myself, too many years ago now, smack into one of the worst job markets in a decade. It was a tough, tough ride. But that was nothing compared to what you're about to face, thank god for that. You guys are pretty screwed.

Yet, there is hope. When I graduated, the prospect of tweeting your junk to coeds across the country was an unthinkable reality. The Internet and Twitter had yet to evolve. If you wanted to send lewd pix of yourself to anonymous coeds, you had very few options. Sure you could mail them, but that made it a federal crime. Now you can Tweet your junk everywhere and it's perfectly legal. Yes, you'll lose your job, but nothing associated with your junk is free, trust me on that.

Chances are, you haven't heard that the Supreme Court this year overturned an old ban on corporations spending money to influence elections. They did, you can Google it. It's out there. If you really, really want to, you can read it for yourself right from the horse's mouth, or opposite orifice depending on your stance I guess. It's 183 pages of creamy lawyerly goodness. It came out of that big building in D.C. with the pretty columns outside that's bursting with lawyers. No, that's the Congress, I meant the other one. Hell, it's on Mapquest.

Now the Supreme Court rules on lots of stuff nobody cares about. For instance, I'll bet you didn't care at all about their ruling in "Conkright v. Frommert" either. This had something to do with pension plans and how the accountants at Xerox figured them out. The court wisely decided that "people make mistakes," and that "most of the factual details [were] unnecessary" to their decision. They decided a bunch of other stuff too, but none of it was funny so I sort of spaced out and got another beer.


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