As we hit the end of May, there’s a whole bunch of graduating going on. High school kids, college kids, heck, I even read about a nursery school graduation from one of my Facebook friends on Thursday (What, exactly, do you have to do to NOT graduate from nursery school? Eat the paint they want you to draw with?)
My favorite part of graduation season is reading some of the terrific speeches famous people give at colleges. Sure, some of them are hokey and filled with cliches, but many of them are beautiful elegys to the possibilities of the world. They inspire me, and probably thousands of others.
The great Peter King of Sports Illustrated is also a fan of grad speeches, and has made a tradition of reprinting some of the best each year in his SI.com column. Here’s a link to this year’s highlights, but I’ve picked out a passage from Ted Koppel’s speech at the University of Massachusetts that I particularly liked. I feel the same way, Ted.
. One day, most Americans will point at us in the news media and say: “Why didn’t you tell us? Why did you encourage all that bile and venom? Why did you feed us all that trivial crap, when so many terrible things were converging? And no one will be happy with the answer. Least of all, those of us who offer it. “What we gave you,” we will say, “is what you wanted.”
At this critical juncture in your lives, then, let me urge you — no, let me implore you to want more. More substance, more real information about important issues, more fairness, more objectivity, more tolerance for views that differ from your own. You have a truly magical array of media at your disposal. Use them well.
**I love it when some of the world’s thorniest problems get solved. World peace? Nah, that’s still pretty far off. Hunger? Nope, lots of people still need food.
I’m talking about an eternal issue that’s plagued all of us: Trying to get ketchup to come out of a bottle when it just won’t come out.
Fortunately some scientists at MIT (and really, it’s not like they have anything better to work on) have invented a brand-new, totally kick-ass ketchup bottle, that will solve our woes. Watch the video above.
Excellent news, and well-done, MIT!
**Finally, some may say this is hubris, but I say it’s genius. A dude named David Coppini has created a business card destined to catch the attention of women he just met. (9:30 a.m. update: I have been clued in my two smart, much more “with-it” women in my life, my beautiful fiance and my smart friend Amanda who works with teenagers, that this is actually a song. And a pretty huge one at that. Just shows you that I wasn’t lying when I’ve told you I know NOTHING about current music).
Check this out:
I love it; I give him full marks for originality. I hope he gets a bunch of dates from it.
Of course, maybe women would be a little skeeved out by it. I have no idea what they think, something I realize more and more as I get older.