The Atlantic

A Commencement Address Too Honest to Deliver in Person

I couldn’t say these things during a traditional ceremony, but these aren’t traditional times.
Source: The Atlantic

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of commencement addresses commissioned by The Atlantic for students who will not be able to attend their graduations because of the pandemic. Find the collection here.

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET on May 18, 2020.

You bastards stood me up!

You invited me to give this commencement address months ago. You never told me it was canceled. So I drove across the country, got up early this morning, put this scratchy graduation gown over my Ramones T-shirt, and now I find myself standing in an empty stadium with a Very Important Speech in my hands!

The speech I was intending to give fully lives up to the extremely mediocre norms of this genre. You invited me because I’m a person who has achieved some career success, and so you wanted me to give a speech about why career success doesn’t matter. You wanted me to open with some heartwarming jokes I stole from Ellen, and to drop the names of some obscure bands to

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