Thursday, 15 September 2011

The final depressing word to freshly-minted graduates

Here's an extract from Arthur Sulzberger's graduation address to students at the State University of New York, in 2006.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, whether it's the rights of immigrants to start a new life, or the rights of gays to marry, or the rights of women to choose. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drove policy and environmentalists still have to fight relentlessly for every gain. You weren't but you are. And for that, I'm sorry. 

Still, lessons from history, eh? It's so much better now. I mean yes, we're in the depths of the worse recession since 1929. And OK, Japan is a sea of radioactivity. It's true that we're ruled by  a cabal of hereditary multimillionaires who've dismantled welfare, healthcare and higher education in under a year, but at least we've all got iPhones. Right? Right!

(The quotation is from Brooke Gladstone's The Influencing Machine, illustrated by Josh Neufeld).

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