29 Comments

  1. Congrats to your nephew!

    Chicago will have an online celebration for all high school seniors (not just public schools), featuring Oprah.

  2. Congrats indeed.

    Question: why is the Class of 2015 guy cleaning hats out of the trees, while a nearby person’s pinnie reads “Class of 2016”? Or is this a crack about the employment prospects of a college grad these days?

  3. …and it’s a crack about employment prospects. Pretty cynical and insulting on more than one level including how landscaping/groundskeeping isn’t a “real” job.

  4. TBF, groundskeeping is a “real” job, but not one for which a college education is useful or necessary. If you get a college degree, you’re probably didn’t get it to become a groundskeeper, and if that’s the long-term job you end up with, you’ve wasted a lot of money.

  5. Did you notice the guy with the robe and diploma looking over at the “class of 2015” guy?

  6. Late period Charles Addams cartoon: A banner at an old-style college reads “WELCOME CLASS OF 54”. Gathered under it are a bunch of scruffy bums, all wearing ’54 buttons. One says to another, “I thought it was me, but maybe the school’s no damn good.”

    Slightly more nuanced, a scene in “Fame”, where the previous year’s glittering Most Likely to Succeed is the waiter for the underclassmen who worshipped him. Before that, a song in the Broadway musical “Wonderful Town”. A magazine editor, working through the slush pile, sings of prodigies and cum laude graduates who come to New York and fizzle.

    Graduations are celebrated as milestones of achievement, but the pomp and ceremony usually carries the assumption of future glory, or at the very least material success. Also the faint illusion that the glory of the moment is the new normal. Here we see that official adulthood actually means responsibility and practical employment, not contemplation of ideals. Somebody has to clean up after that grand gesture of casting hats into the sky. And why shouldn’t it be somebody who cast his own hat on that same lawn?

    One can equate a graduation with a lavish wedding, which tends to celebrate fairy tale romance over than a commitment to domesticity and everything that goes with it (cue cartoon of begowned bride confronted with the groom’s sloppy home. Also unironic ads of begowned brides cooing over implements of domestic labor).

    A 40s New Yorker cartoon covered both. A speaker addresses an all-male class on the challenges of the real world beyond these ivied halls. The audience consists mostly of young wives, wrangling infants and toddlers. Or consider the silent comedies “The Freshman” (Harold Lloyd) and “College” (Buster Keaton) …

    Time to put on the mask and walk a deserted street.

  7. Late period Charles Addams cartoon: A banner at an old-style college reads “WELCOME CLASS OF 54”. Gathered under it are a bunch of scruffy bums, all wearing ’54 buttons. One says to another, “I thought it was me, but maybe the school’s no damn good.”

    A few years after our high school graduation, somebody Xeroxed this and mailed it around.

  8. Mitch4, Seriously? Oprah? The anti-science promoter of quacks and charlatans?

    Maybe they’re just trying to prove (again) that money talks.

  9. I don’t have TikTok as an app or browser add-in, either — I think is supposed to coerce the browser into just showing a video. But here is a capture still:

    NB: Oprah did not come up in this pre-announcement. But check the news, that’s the story!

  10. Chak, I’m pro-science, but I would like to have Oprah as my graduation speaker. Maybe I’d get a free car!

  11. ‘Slightly more nuanced, a scene in “Fame”, where the previous year’s glittering Most Likely to Succeed is the waiter for the underclassmen who worshipped him.’

    I considered that extremely UNsubtle. He was scouted and left high school to be a star. When it didn’t work out, he didn’t even have a high school diploma to help him get a better job than waiter (not that there’s anything wrong with being a waiter).

  12. @WW: So Oprah decides to give you a car, and suddenly you owe Uncle Sam $10,000 — no thanks!

    (I had some friends who weren’t too happy when instead of a bonus, their company decided to give everyone a digital camera back in ’98 or so — so, not only do they get a useless thing (for them, and frankly, a ’98 digital camera was pretty useless), they had to pay tax for the value of the camera, which basically had to come out of their pocket, because it was pretty difficult to sell a brand-new-fangled-over-priced digital camera back then… The company did not make many friends that year…)

  13. larK: I’m pretty sure that I can easily sell a new car for substantially higher than the tax on it. While a car loses a lot of its value when it’s driven off the lot, even the maximum U.S. tax bracket (which I’m not in anyway) is only 37%, and the car isn’t going to lose 63% of its value.

    Of course, Oprah may have a challenge sneaking into the homes of quarantined students to hide the keys under their chairs.

  14. Reminds me of an old Tank McNamara comic strip. This one takes place at ESU (Enormous State University), one of the top sports colleges.
    A student is sitting around the student lounge with friends, while a janitor is sweeping up.
    Student: “I don’t have to study. When the scouts see how I play, I’ll be picked up for sure.”
    Janitor: “You have to study.”
    Student: “A janitor! Telling me what to do.”
    Janitor: “A three-time ESU letterman, telling you what to do.”

  15. Oprah has inevitably caused the deaths of many people by promoting medical charlatans and sincere quacks. She got Dr. “I invite a wizard to cast spells in my operating room” Oz his start as a media star. Fck her.

    (Lisa Oz is a “reiki master,” a type of wizard.)

  16. @WW: I’d rather Oprah just gave me the cash. But yeah, gift horse and all that…

  17. @Carl Fink,

    I agree completely. Who knows how many children died because she promoted Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccing.

  18. Congratulations to your nephew!!

    Robert’s older niece is suppose to graduate high school this year. Have not heard anything about it yet. Then again, maybe she is not graduating – never did get to her take her failed Physics Regents exam over.

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