In praise of sitting quietly and listening thoughtfully to bad people

Even the liberal New York Times…

It’s commencement season, cellphones off please, no texts or tweets. Even with a hangover from debt, alcohol or regret, grads across the land may be lucky enough to hear something on the Big Day that actually stays with them.

Oh Timothy Egan we do love smarm.

This year, there’s the remarkable life story of the African-American scholar who grew up in the segregated South and rose to become secretary of state. Didn’t hear that one? Nobody did. Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to give the 248th anniversary commencement address at Rutgers University this coming Sunday. She canceled after a small knot of protesters pressured the university. It’s no contest who showed more class.

A psychopath who is here to stay and they call her…Condie. Slaughter a hundred thousand civilians and Timothy pegs you for Princess Grace. Complain about her presence to the people who just charged you a hundred grand for the ceremony and Timothy thinks you’re a brat. Well you’re all adults now so you have do whatever Mister Op-Ed says. Sit down shut up and listen thoughtfully to a few Tales From The Abattoir.

But if every speaker has to pass a test for benign mediocrity and politically correct sensitivity, commencement stages will be home to nothing but milquetoasts…

Give me a brisk, strong, witty defense of something I disagree with over a tired replay of platitudes. It matters little if the speaker is a convict or a seminarian, a statesman or a comedian.

If you’re going to bar war criminals from speaking at graduation it won’t be nearly as much fun. And then what sort of people will be left to give the address? Losers? Wimps? No thank you ma’am. Timothy would prefer to sit in the hot sun and listen to Ted Bundy offer a sparkling defense of serial homicide. Oh Yeah Bullshit. And if anyone isn’t already aware that Condoleezza is a lifelong coward, as if she might go to Rutgers to defend her corpse-riddled career, they’re nuts. Rather he’s nuts. And how shamefully easy it is to lose your Pulitzer Prize on the turnip truck.

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