Pompous & Circumstantial

January17/ 2000

 We continue our tradition of BobLee’s annual straight talk to the graduating classes of America’s “institutions of higher learning”.  To the 98% of you who heard a flaming constipated anarchist give your commencement address, much of this will be shocking.  … habla straight talk.  “Life” isn’t “political” it’s showing up and justifying your existence … that’s just “the way it really is” like it or not. (and a Derm Mess update)

Before Mr Swagger gets “wound up”, how many of you recent graduates had “helicopter parents” in college?  (parents who “hovered” over you during colleges via cellphones and e-mail) Many of you did whether you admit it or not.  Here’s a very scary true story … from one of the most respected Medical Schools in the area.

Two weeks ago first year med students had their year-end exams.  Within 30 minutes after the exams were turned in, the professor began receiving angry e-mails and phone calls from students’ parents that “the test was TOO HARD and therefore UNFAIR!”  The professor had not even looked at the exams much less graded them and the “MED” students were whining to mommy and daddy that “it was UNFAIR!”  And the parents in turn whined to the professor.

Assuming medical schools choose the “best and the brightest” this does not bode well for the maturity level of today’s college graduates AT ALL.  I told the professor, I would automatically flunk any student who’s mommy and daddy were still changing his/her diapers at this stage of life.


   Graduating Seniors … I do hope you learned “something” in college besides how to mix “PJ” and how to mask the smell of “pot smoke”.  As useful as those skills might have been over the last four years, the “cold & cruel” will demand more from you … and pretty quickly.

Today you are the kings and queens of your domains, applauded by parents, grandparents, fellow graduates, yourself and enterprising entrepreneurs selling graduation memorabilia.   Enjoy it, wallow in it, for tomorrow you enter that mythical life stage referred to as “WHEN YOU GROW UP”.

The myth is that such a time and place actually exists.  Like everything else you have been told up until now, fully half of whatever you hear is unadulterated bunk.  If you attended a Liberal Arts School the “irrelevant bunk” ratchets up to 83%.  96% if your college waived the swimming test. The challenge for you is determining which half.

Reality Slap … you competed against 100s in high school … against 1,000s here in college. Now you will compete with 1,000,000s not only here in America but all around the world.  If you are used to and expect to be “the prettiest, the smartest, the fastest, the strongest, the best” the best way to do that is to run back home and go to work for “Daddy’s company” … an option not to be discounted if available …

If you grew up in a traditional semi-nuclear family (admittedly that includes fewer of you than ever before in our nation’s history) you are used to being the apple of somebody’s eye.  You have always been “special”.  Even on this campus you have been mesmerized that only “the best and the brightest” matriculate “here”.  That same elitist mantra is preached on EVERY college campus.  Heck, Hadji is being told that at The University of Calcutta right now.

Since the age of three you have maintained that much of what you had to do, or could not, “do” was “not fair”.  Going to bed at 8 PM, “eating your vegetables”, and Saturday morning classes is going to ratchet up really quickly to production quotas,  The IRS, Alzheimer’s, and “superficial BSers” getting promotions you deserve.

All of 2006’s crop of “the best and the brightest” get summarily dumped into the adult work force.  A lot of you “eye apples” are going to be scrambling for a limited number of brass rings.  The ratio of brass rings to “eye apples” is forever out of synch. A year from now, and every year thereafter, a new crop of “eye apples” will be “competing” for “your” brass ring.

Since you were toddlers, obnoxious relatives and strangers in malls have asked you “what do you want to be when you grow up?”.  Starting tomorrow that changes to “and what do you do for a living?”  You don’t need a legitimate answer to that rhetorical question.  Fake it like most of us do, but you do need to work on your answer.  “Consultant” and “considering a lot of options” are popular deflecting responses.

If you “go into sales” and if you fail to sell very much you will not have that job very long.  You will need some philosophical yadda yadda to tell your friends when you are no longer at “that great job” you bragged about six months earlier.  “The sales manager was a jackass” will work the first couple of times you get fired for not producing then you’ll need a back-up excuse.  Try holding “a silent vigil”.

Yes, you had professors in college who produced nothing but hot air and kept their jobs.  Get a college teaching gig if you can … can’t be fired and you look up coed’s skirts all day assuming you actually teach a class.

You have heard the philosophical quandary “Why do Bad Things happen to Good People?” That worries you because you consider yourself “a good person”.  We will deal with that illusion in a moment.

I am unable to tell you “why babies die”, or “why nuns get hit by Mack Trucks”..  I also don’t understand “how MapQuest works”, “why Oprah is so popular”, or “why anyone would order much less eat a giant triple bacon monster burger at Hardees’”.   The plight of “Good People” will not cause you as much concern as it’s reverse quandary “Why do Good Things happen to Bad People?” 

When I said “Bad People” you immediately thought of Adolph Hitler.  Every one does. Running close behind Adolph in New Millenium polls are Joseph Stalin, Hillary Clinton, Donald Rumsfeld, Mike Krzyzewski, and Chuck Amato.  If you truly waste your “Bad People” vote on a sports coach, you are in for such a shock in “real life” that your chance of surviving corporate America or marriage are even worse than Mike Nifong getting invited to a BB game in Cameron.

A word about the actual importance of “sports” in the real world.  On a scale of 1-10 with one being totally insignificant … “the outcome of a game” is a “minus 46” unless you are a coach, player or sports bookie.

Here’s the BEST JOB EVER … get a job at a college that your daddy owns and spend your days at silent vigils and your nights on a sports message board … the recipe for “human cottage cheese” … go for it.

One does not have to mastermind the annihilation of 6,000,000 Jews to be “a Bad Person”.  Look up and down the row you are sitting on.  Now lean in real close so I can whisper a secret to you.  “There are “bad people” on that row with you.”  Say it ain’t so BobLee!  Alas, it is.

You WILL be victimized by “a bad person” at some point but no one will care, except mommy and daddy … and NOBODY cares what they think about you any more.  PULEEEZE don’t have daddy call your boss demanding you be allowed to come in at noon “because you aren’t a morning person”.  Trust me, don’t do it.

It’s guaranteed that in the years to come you will have “a bad person” as a “boss” or supervisor.  You will have “bad people” as co-workers … as clients … as neighbors … as business partners … sitting behind you at a movie theater … and all around you in heavy traffic.  I would include “as spouses” but I’ve scared you too much already with this.  Those “bad people” will win various competitions with you and you will see them enjoy the fruits of their “bad person behavior”.  You may even be the “bad person” someone else encounters.  Maybe you’ll be lucky and the “good people” you victimize will hold silent vigils to protest your evilness.

Rationalize that “they will get their comeuppence one of these days”.  That is another myth about “life”.  There simply are not enough “comeuppences” to handle all the “bad people” in society.  That is why many of us chose to believe in “the eternal firey depths of Hell”.  That obnoxious neighbor playing his stereo at 3 AM and that gross guy who didn’t wash his hands before grabbing the door knob in the public restroom will end up there.  Thinking otherwise really messes up your mind.

You think you have “common sense” aplenty AND a “great sense of humor”.  In addition you, in your estimation, are “a good person” and are (TAA DA!) “a people person”.  Congrats, those self-assumed qualities will get you hired as a telemarketer or as a busboy at Applebee’s.  40 years from now you can look forward to being a Wal-Mart greeter at the first Wal-Mart Galactic Superstore on Neptune.

If asked to grade the other students on your dorm floor or your fraternity or sorority mates you would not score all of them so high on “common sense”, “sense of humor”, or overall affability.  Guess what, they scored you lower than you would like to believe too.  Out there in the “real world” the grading is even tougher and non-stop. “Daddy’s company” is not real world … hide there if at all possible.

As to “what you want to be”, don’t fret about that one UNLESS you think you actually do know; then be worried. Your current view of any occupation is so idealized as to be unrecognizable five years from now.  You might spend your entire life searching for “your niche” and learn 50 years from now that “itinerate job changer” was your true calling.

“Succeeding” mostly involves mundane every day issues that your pointy-headed professors never bothered to mention. It ain’t about “theory” it’s about RESULTS. Did you take Show Up Every Day 101 or Nose To Grindstone 102?  I didn’t think so. Professors don’t know “jack” about how the real world works.  I repeat … GET A COLLEGE TEACHING GIG!

Those personality tests you took as freshmen four years ago …  you tried to fool’em by checking all the positive qualities so you could get into the popular majors. You should have checked “Forest Ranger” as you will learn at or about your 40th birthday.

Speaking of “forests”, many of you have student memberships in The Sierra Club and P.E.T.A. and such trendy student “activists” organizations.  When those organizations try to get you to upgrade and become a regular member at several hundred dollars a year, 99% of you will toss their materials in the trash with those 72 “You have been pre-approved” credit card applications you will be getting daily from now on.  Go forth and “change the world” will become go forth, pay the mortgage and what’s for dinner.  CLUE: The world will “change” with/without your involvement.  Ask your Daddy and his Daddy. 

In closing, if you remember nothing else from these remarks, remember this.    What happens to you ‘tween this diploma and “death” is “UP TO YOU”.  You will at various junctures try to assign that responsibility to your parents, your boss, your spouse, the government (especially Republican politicians), God, and a combination of those aforementioned “bad people”.  The sooner you accept accountability for your ever-evolving life circumstances the better you will appreciate them and actually exert some slight control over them.  

There will be times when you should “go along to get along” and times to “stand up for what’s right”.  Just do “rock, paper, scissors”.  You will likely get those times mixed up like the rest of us usually do.

Collect all the bromides, homilies, and Far Side cartoons you can.  Stick them on your bathroom mirror, your desk, your dashboard, and certainly on your refrigerator with magnets provided by your local pizza delivery service.  The one about “Life is a Journey, Not A Destination” is probably your best choice along with The Serenity Prayer.

Definitely get a DVD copy of “Office Space” since every one of you will likely serve a sentence of some indeterminable length as a “Dilbert” in such a stiflingly depressing environment … and remember the sage advice of New Age philosopher Jennifer Anniston … “everyone is responsible for their own flair.” 


“Crazy Negro Woman” Enters Derm Mess

   Mikey Nifong indicted Duke Laxer #3 on Monday.  This is the one that Ho #1 said “had a mustache” except, of course, he has never “had a mustache”.  Mikey apparently made a deal with Black Derm to totally ignore facts not leading to “lynching those rich white boys”.

   Today’s press conference officially began The Race To Get On Oprah between Ho #2 (aka Kim The Embezzler) and “A Truly Crazy Colored Woman” named Victoria Peterson.  We met Vicky at Malik Shabazz’ recent Rant.  Vicky and Jackie Wagstaff played “Dawn” to Malik’s Tony Orlando.

   Vicky and Kim both know Oprah will select only one “nutty Negro” to come on her show.  Kim has an advantage since she is Ho #2 and was actually there and, of course, saw nothing but sure wishes she had.  Vicky’s advantage is her amazing likeness to Sapphire and Fred Sanford’s sister Esther.  She tried her nutty best to hijack Joe Cheshire’s press conference, but Joe outsmarted her (duh!).  We WILL see (and hear!) Victoria Peterson again.  

   Her basic MO is to use 3-4 multi-syllabic “legal words” in her rant.  She will, of course, both mispronounce and misuse these terms but no one can say anything because she is protected under the Federal Crazy Negro Protection Act (FCNPA) … also known as the Cynthia McKinney, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee Act (CMcMWSJLA).  The drive-by media is not allowed to point out her ignorance but we as the general public can laugh like hell.


 Swagger’s Stumper

Correctly ID the states that are blessed to have 

Cynthia, Maxine, and Sheila 

as their Congressional Embarrassments.  


   Roger Moore played Beau Maverick and Simon Templar before getting the 007 gig.

   Reader Chris reports that Saint Paul’s College has an “aquaculture” department … maybe Mr Amphibious could indeed get his degree there!

   “24” ends next week … too bad “The Derm Mess” couldn’t end soon too … alas, it will live on and on and on.  I knew Aaron Pearce would come back to protect Crazy Martha.

   In case you were wondering … BobLee is VERY disappointed in how Pres Bush is (not) handling the Immigrations Issue … inexcusable lack of leadership.

Want to e-mail BobLee?

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