As conservative as this P.J. O'Rourke "commencement speech" is, it is still pretty funny. In the spirit of creating conversation, and because graduation is right around the corner, check it out.
I found this part particularly challenging. O'Rourke advises our generation to refrain from idealism:
Don't chain yourself to a redwood tree. Instead, be a corporate lawyer and make $500,000 a year. No matter how much you cheat the IRS, you'll still end up paying $100,000 in property, sales and excise taxes. That's $100,000 to schools, sewers, roads, firefighters and police. You'll be doing good for society. Does chaining yourself to a redwood tree do society $100,000 worth of good?
Idealists are also bullies. The idealist says, "I care more about the redwood trees than you do. I care so much I can't eat. I can't sleep. It broke up my marriage. And because I care more than you do, I'm a better person. And because I'm the better person, I have the right to boss you around."
Does anyone care to parse words?
P.S. I wish the Bruin Republicans were half as witty as O'Rourke.
P.S.S. I don't actually agree with Rourke; I think he's about half-right. I definitely agree with his characterization of his generation, though.