I’m going to use certain nasty words because it’s the 21st century, and the most important people in this room are those in the shitty polyester gowns and stupid looking hats. And they understand and use those words. Those words resonate with them.
They are also grist for the mill. And those of us who once sat where they sit now want what is best for them. We want them to emerge from those sacks of flour to somehow reverse engineer themselves and become flowers turning towards the sun. Because that’s what we wanted to be. We wanted to be free but with purpose. And we failed. So many of us failed. But it won’t all be for naught, if somehow those ruts that we created, with our razor sharp regrets discing through time in our wake, somehow makes their path easier to travel.
To the graduates… There has never been a generation more pre-programmed to consume more than you.
You are fucked.
Listen to me.
You’re fucked unless you keep a lookout.
Keep a lookout for your life.
We’ve never lived in a more amazing time. Disease has become comparatively manageable. Poverty is decreasing. Violence is perhaps, hopefully, having it’s last eruption of rage.
Yet here we are.
You’re all fucked. Even those who have won, by utter chance, the socio-economic lottery, and thus have a totally unfair head start. Even you. You’re fucked too.
Amazon listens to your conversations. Facebook knows your preferences, from macro to nano. Apple has you convinced it’s a cultural saint. Google produces nothing, yet knows everything you don’t.
I’m not saying these companies aren’t in a small part creating the incredible, brilliant world that we live in. What I am saying is that if you surrender to convenience, you become useless.
Stagnation is no longer a condemnation to death. It is now, when utilized properly, a base to slingshot into opportunity.
Go cure a disease. Write a book. Make someone laugh.
Love. A person, a passion, a project.
Forward. That’s the word. That’s the idea. Because everyone else right now is happy where they are. Or at least acquiescent. The slow drip of convenience is making them drowsy. They are drifting off, drugged under the power of ease.
Overcoming the friction to escape the comfortable, commercialized, mathematically perpetuated tedium that is the 21st century digitized life, is worth it.
More than you could ever believe.
And to the 95% of you who right now are full of contempt, or apathy, or hubris…
May the hum of the hive overwhelm your eventual deep cry to break free.
Because you’re fucked.