This post is an extended version of a reply sent on another item in Open Salon. I got ambitious. Perhaps I shouldn't have. Ah, well...
Hello, Grads of 2012.(long pause)
I have simply waited a few seconds, staring at you with no emotion on my face, while you finish that moronic cheering. Yes, this is supposed to be your moment. You finished college. This is supposed to be a big party for you.
In fact, it is the last party you will ever have. And that's true in several senses. But, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself.
In a traditional college graduation speech, the speaker provides you a joke or two, followed by some Doctor Phil wisdom about how to conduct your life from this point on, and then provides a verbal pat on the back just before you receive your diplomas.
Well, I can only suppose this is what happens. You see, the only graduation ceremony I ever attended was in high school. Thanks to peculiarities of my academic career, I accumulated enough credits to graduate college in December. I never went back to attend the graduation ceremony in June, even though I was still searching for my first job at that point.
What would be the point? Look at what you're wearing. Robes and a mortar hat, for which you paid stupid money. Especially stupid, because you're going to throw the hat into the air, and lose it forever. Or pick up someone else's hat that won't fit you. Like that matters, because you will realize you'll look stupid wearing it at any time in the future.
I wouldn't be going to a ceremony to please my parents, who paid a lot of money for me to do this. They weren't superficial people. My parents, neither of whom went to college, sacrificed and saved all their lives just so they could get me a diploma. The first member of my family to graduate, by the way. My older sister was refused college - Dad felt women didn't need to work, they needed to marry and get pregnant. And my older brother turned out to be a lout who failed at college, went into the Navy, failed at that too, and got a civilian job where he got caught stealing, and...well, that's a story you don't need to hear.
In fact, that's a story I hope I can help you avoid. But that's later advice.
Right now, you need to hear the joke. Three missionaries, who just graduated from college, were sent to a primitive tribe. The tribe immediately was offended that these white fools were advocating advice that violated the tenets of their god, Limbaugh.
Okay, you laughed too early. That's not the funny part. Let me continue.
The men are bound in rope and the first one is told, "Death or Oooga Booga?"
The first missionary says, "Anything is better than death. Oooga Booga."
The chief nods. The man is grabbed, his pants are cut off with the sharp knives of the natives, and he is anally raped by several men, in sequence. He is left crying and moaning on the ground.
The chief asks the second missionary, "Death or Oooga Booga?"
He says, "Perhaps you don't understand this, but I'm gay. I've done this a lot. I can handle this. Oooga Booga."
The second missionary gets the same treatment. But he, too, ends up in pain. Remember, these are native people, who do not have the small, limited sexual anatomy of white American men. He presumed too much.
Before the chief can ask the final misisonary the question, the man squares his jaw. "I choose death."
The chief nods, and turns to his men. "Death...by Oooga Booga!"
The third missionary said, "I thought so," pulled out the pistol he'd had in his pocket all along, and kills himself with a head shot.
The chief frowns. "All right, Oooga Booga. But it won't be any fun."
You didn't laugh as much as you should have. Which is perfectly understandable. In your own way, you've lived that joke, every one of you. And if you think you haven't, you're just postponed it.
Now it's time for the worldly advice.
Guys, did you see The Cabin in the Woods? That was the horror movie done by Joss Whedon. It was a slasher film, but it had the temerity to reveal the dark despair that underlies every slasher film. It pissed off horror fans, because it held a mirror up to their pretensions. Which, in case you haven't guessed, is what I'm here to do for you.
At any rate, the teens aren't killed the way they're supposed to be killed. They're supposed to die in a certain way, because a team of government technicians must make sure they die that way. They must die because the Elder Gods - the monstrous creatures that are the real gods of existence - will rise up and slaughter all of mankind if they don't.
Stop protesting, you over there with the Jesus T-shirt under your robes. You know this is more likely the case than the fiction written on your shirt.
Anyway, the Elder Gods start escaping and killing the technicians. One woman sees her colleagues die in various horrible ways. She decides there's nothing she can do, she resolutely reaches for a silver revolver, and blows out her own brains.
What does this have to do with you? It's simple. I'm here to advise you to be that woman.
Think about your lives to this point. Right now you have accumulated debt you will never pay off It's an enormous boulder on your back. But you signed up for it because you've been assured you will be able to pay off with the high-paying job you'll surely get when you walk out of here with your diploma.
Except there are no jobs out there. None. Practically all businesses are run by the One Percent - maybe you heard about them, when you weren't sucking on a bong or watching porn. They don't want you to get a job or pay off your debt quickly.
Those skills you paid so much to gain are possessed by people in India, who understand that they must live and die as drones, and thus have learned those skills in a greater degree than you. And they know they're destined to be paid pennies per hour. And they're willing to accept that pay. And the One Percent is delighted to pay them, rather than pay you a living wage.
You'll never receive a job that pays a living wage in the United States. You might be able to move to India and learn to speak with an accent, and accept those pennies-per-hour positions. But you're white people entering the world outside the United States, a world that knows you and hates you as oppressors, and you will find you're offered two choices - Death or Oooga Booga.
But let's be optimistic. Let's say you land and manage to keep what is commonly called a McJob. McDonald's Corporation doesn't like that term, but they're stuck with it. Let's say you live with your parents and manage to maintain shelter, food and a little payment for your immense loan.
That means you're going to be in America. This is a country that is run by Republicans. Even with a Democratic President - a President the One Percent want to see hung from a tree on the White House Lawn for the crime of being black - the Republicans run everything. Look at how the Republicans have stopped everything President Obama, and most sane people, have tried to legislate to improve things.
The Republicans don't want to improve things. They want you to die. Just like the Elder Gods in The Cabin in the Woods. Your death means their wealth. And at the end of your life - which will be sooner than you think - they will rip your guts out and eat them, while you stare in horror and everything goes black.
Listen to the Republicans. Take away their phony statements about Jesus and Freedom and America. See what they do in real life, and what they really believe. You know what I've said is true.
I'm recommending you pick up the silver pistol, right now, and avoid all the pain the only possible way.
The Pat On The Back
You may think I'm being depressing, telling you to kill yourself. Telling you that you shouldn't have been born, that you should have never been concieved, or should have been aborted before birth. Abortion and birth control are things the One Percent have done their best to stop. Those would mean less food for them.
This is realism, kids. If you don't know it now, you'll know it after the first thousand rejected resumes. Doctor Phil and his many other media philosophers will deny this, and offer success stories and travelling-minstrel Miracle Shows. But remember, they're also the One Percent, or some of the few people the One Percent still pay in America. Call them Food Service Employees for the Elder Gods. They get the best seat at the banquet that a normal person can have. They will be eaten last.
By suiciding right now, you can get the only two forms of satisfaction you can have in this life. You will deny the One Percent the pleasure of destroying you slowly. And you will be punishing the people who were foolish enough to have the same hope, your parents. When you die, your immense college debt won't be forgiven. It'll be passed on to them. That's appropriate revenge for their own stupidity, their belief in a country and a political process that shoves people like you into the maws of the Elder Gods.
Look, we're all going to die. You can choose to die by sustaining a group of monsters who will extend your suffering to many future generations, or you can deny them.
Because you're like the three missionaries. You can make a stupid choice, you can pretend that you're tough enough to withstand the Elder Gods, or you can choose the inevitable and end it soon. It always ends in Oooga Booga, but you don't have to make it fun for them.
I take my leave of you now. If you didn't bring your own pistols - and given that this is a Southern university, I find that unlikely - there's someone from the Harris and Klebold Institute who will be glad to oblige you, right after you pick up that worthless piece of sheepskin. Thanks, I'm out of here. Ave Atque Vale.