Wednesday, May 24, 2006

For the class of 2006

The back page of the Weekly Standard is always a parody of some recent news item. You have to be a subscriber to read it on line, but this week the jumping off point is Jodie Foster's commencement speech at Penn. Foster quoted the chorus from Eminem's song "Lose Yourself." I guess that the portion she repeated is the following:

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

I have to assume she left the "yo" in there.

The parody is a commencement address given by someone identified as head of the Citizens Multicultural Consumer Interfaith Initiative of Massachusetts, He touches all the necessary parts of the commencement speech.

There is the introduction:

"Please allow me to introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste. I have been around for a long, long year and have stolen many a man's soul and faith. I watched with glee while your kings and queens fought for ten decades for the gods they made. I shouted out, "Who killed the Kennedys?" when, after all, it was you and me."

Then the invocation of the college experience:

"That weekend at college did not turn out as you had planned. The things that pass for knowledge I cannot understand."

And invocation of the lost innocence that often accompanies it:

"When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle - beautiful, magical. And all the birds in the trees, they would be singing so happily, joyfully, playfully, watching me. But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensical, logical, responsible, practical. And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, clinical, intellectual, cynical."

But the future is bright:

"This is the day of the expanding man. That shape is my shape, there, - where I used to stand."

And the graduates are left with a bit of advice:

"Play that funky music, white boy. Play that funky music, right. Play that funky music, white boy. Lay down that boogie and play that funky music until you die."


In the unlikely event you don't know, he channels the Rolling Stones ("Sympathy for the Devil"); Steely Dan ("Reelin' in the Years" and "Deacon Blues"), Supertramp ("Logical Song") and egregious KC and the Sunshine Band ("Play that Funky Music, White Boy") and others.

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