Congrats Grads, Welcome To The Club

That time of year has come when American colleges and universities flush out a new flood of graduates, young men and women who have garnered the skills of binge drinking, casual sex, procrastination, and hit-and-miss obeisance to arbitrary deadlines and the performance of often meaningless tasks. If you took full advantage of the college experience, and if your need to belong was strong enough, you degraded yourself in a fraternity or sorority ritual intended to strip you of all human dignity, a night of self- mortification designed to ensure that you were an unquestioning team player no matter what might be asked of you.

Academically, you’ve created a paper trail that does little to describe your intelligence or the work you’ve done, though it does indicate you did it to the satisfaction of professors paid to report on that work, and on your willingness to do it punctually and with due deference to authority.

And now you’re about to join the wonderful world of adults, a world structured in such a way that you’re leaving college with a massive debt, a world in which those at the top have all the money, pull all the strings, control most of the politicians, and are even now determining how many of you will have jobs, and how much those jobs will pay.

There aren’t a lot of jobs out there, as is nearly always the case at this time of year. It works best for powerful people when jobs are scarce and workers are willing to fight amongst themselves over work, so job surpluses only come along when the wealthy haven’t planned ahead properly.

Welcome to the doggy buffet, where all the dogs eat other dogs, and god help you if you’re a Chihuahua. If you graduated from a state university with a pedestrian degree, you may not be a Chihuahua, exactly, but you’re still a pretty small mutt.

From here on out, how you’ll fare is largely a matter of who you know. Or luck. Once your ass kissing skills have been turned up to 10, and your willingness to move to wherever the jobs might be has been exhausted, you’re pretty much at the mercy of the fates. And the oligarchs, and the politicians who are directed by the oligarchs to ensure that things never get too easy for the likes of pups like you.

Party hearty, young dudes and dudettes, cuz PlaySkool is out and real life is now knocking at your door carrying a big bill. You’ve got the start on a drinking problem, a big student loan, and a slip of paper signed by a college president who makes more money than you’re ever likely to see. The corporate culture owns your ass, the world is warming up faster than right wingers can deny that man-made climate change is real, the U.S. Supreme Court says money is speech, and the gap between rich and poor is larger than ever. No need to thank us. Onward to meet your destiny. Good luck to you all; you’re going to need it.

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Comments

  1. emiliano says:

    Jaime,

    You should totally be a commencement speech ghost writer! Pretty salty-hilarious pessithruthimistic, man. Well done. Last week, too, by the way. e.

  2. Murray Suid says:

    Jaime, humor aside, I wonder if the problem of college-tuition debt will prove to be a passing phenomenon. There’s already talk about creating 3-year degree programs and also using affordable community colleges for the basics. Plus there are free online courses in almost every subject.

    In other words, while recent graduates have been screwed, their unhappy experience may lead to long-needed reforms. What do you think?

    Similarly, because a major cause of global warming likely is over-population, there is the possibility that population will shrink, and that would not only solve the climate change but also many other problems such as bad air and famine.

    I might seem like I’m a Polyanna, but I recall that things were fairly dreary when I was young, e.g., the threat of nuclear war, the real war in Vietnam, the collapse of many once-great urban centers, then AIDS.

    Bad news isn’t new news. It’s always with us. And human beings, time and again, have moved on. This isn’t to deny the horrors, but only to pay attention to the resiliency of our less-than-perfect species.

  3. Murray Suid says:

    I mean to thank you for making me stop, wonder, and think. You do it week after week, which is probably why so many people read your columns.

  4. Lee Roader says:

    WE WILL PARTY HEARTY! THE OLD CROCK GOT FIRED!
    WOOO HOOOOO!

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