The Man Repeller 2014 Commencement Speech

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by The Writers
May 16, 2014
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To the graduating class of 2014: fuck shit up.

Mary Schmich famously told the class of ’97 to wear sunscreen. David Foster Wallace, in 2005, reminded the graduating class at Kenyon College that “this is water.” George Saunders shared his regrets last year with Syracuse University in a commencement speech that underscored kindness and in 2014, Amelia and myself have this to say:

Go rogue.

To the graduating class of 2014, may we just say we can’t believe it’s 2014. We thought we’d have exploded by now, just like everyone predicted. It’s a wonder that we haven’t. But this also comes to show that contrary to predictions and that which makes them predictable, you can’t predict the future. But you can dict the pre.

We bet that whoever gave your actual graduation speech said that some of you are about to become doctors, or lawyers or business executives/weed dealers. But the truth is that if you’re reading Man Repeller you’re going to go on to become so much more: a painter who can’t actually paint, an athlete who hates exercise, or a writer whose vocabulary spans only five words. Conversely, you might become a plant even though you’re human, a carnivore even though you’re a vegetarian, or a juggler who’s afraid of balls.

Graduation speeches have historically suggested that you go above and beyond your limits. That you see yourself as better than you currently are. That you try to make yourself a more extreme and valuable version of the person you’ve spent your parent’s life savings becoming. That graduating college connotes the beginning of a new chapter, a wider future, a new life.

But frankly speaking, nothing changes.

As it shouldn’t.

Instead of coming home and ignoring your homework, you’ll go to your office and ignore e-mails.

You may be compelled to get a job — don’t. Street performing is more fun.

Or you may be compelled to take a gap year for travel to find yourself…which is fine, but if you’d just look in the mirror you’d see you’ve been found.

Remember, wherever you go, there you are. Literally. So stop looking.

We know you won’t technically be in college anymore, but hang around the campus anyway. Marvel in the glory days of yonder. Put the Super in Super Senior, and be that really creepy older person at freshman parties. The kind who makes people say, “Hey, you don’t go here anymore. Stop drinking our beer.”

Then remind them that they’re underage and you’re 35, so technically, you’re confiscating the beer.

Eat with your mouth full. Flip people off. Pinch butts in elevator.

Steal candy from babies.

Steal candy from grandmas.

Steal candy from candy shops and then throw it up on the carpet like a cat.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, say it. Then tweet it, screen shot-it, Instagram it at the person you’re referring to and then, like your own post.

Shave the hair off your best friend’s head while she’s sleeping.

Shave the eyebrows off your man friend while he’s sleeping.

Gather the hair from both of those people and then lacquer it to the floor of your enemy’s bathtub.

Go vintage shopping and loudly shout, “It smells old in here.”

Dick around.

Literally.

Imagine what dicking around would “literally” look like.

Then try it.

In public.

Seize the day. Don’t wear sunscreen. That shit makes you greasy. Get a tan, get freckles, get wrinkles. Forget regret. Sing Rent loudly. Do worry about kindness, but if a fish asks you what water is, stare at him blankly.

Then eat him.

And through a mouthful of salmon, claim YOLO.

When someone hands you a card that says, “I hope you dance,” look at the giver square in the face and growl, “I won’t.” And someone will give you that card, you know. That and the book about all those rhyming places you’ll go.

The fact of the matter is, though, you’re not going anywhere.

Except rogue.

REPLIES
  • GapToothedGirl

    A difficult choice, but definitely I’ll try some of your advice LOL
    xox, Gap.
    http://www.gaptoothedgirl.com

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    hahaha ohhhh my god…guys?

    I ate a goldfish once.

  • Ashley

    Dicking around. It’s the new insta-sensation and will beat planking by, well, six inches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boyfriendsandblazers Boyfriendsandblazers

    Im obnoxiously laughing in my office right now. the good news is that I have been an avid reader of Manrepeller and I am not a anorexic chef.

  • Rebeka Osborne

    I’m a lawyer who reads Man Repeller while ignoring e-mails. Judge away. That’s not my point, though. Dicking around. I’d like for this to become some sort of internet sensation. I want my news feed blowing up with people literally dicking around.

  • Mari Bardaji

    *dicks around*

  • ilze

    you’re my favorite idiots of all time

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    My mom would like this. If I send this to her she would start singing. She doesn’t want to see the bill for next year and has been trying to convince me that I am placing too much emphasis on college, which is ironic because she worked her butt off in high school and went to Princeton which was her college of choice.

    Maybe it’s just because she’s come out the other side of it all, yet one can’t fault anyone for having the same collegiate desires that so many others once did.

    You guys are hilarious, and maybe I’ll go rogue at my high school graduation next month and run across the field with salmon in my mouth, flipping the bird to all classmates I can’t wait to never see again. SEE YOU PEEPS AT OUR 25th ANNIVERSARY HIGH SCHOOL REUNION….NOT! xoxox

  • tonikali

    I’m always dicking around the internet. It’s time to take it to the next level.

  • 2014 Graduate

    As a graduate reading for a saturday morning exam this made me look at the exam with a lighter heart! Thank you for making me stress less about having zero plans for after graduation except for now docking around for at least 4 months! You rock man repeller!

    • Amelia Diamond

      you rock too. you’ll be better than fine, i promise.

  • Aubrey Green

    I am laughing out loud at my desk right now. My sister is graduating High School next Tuesday – the rules are slightly different, but I might have to print this out and give it to her.

    “imagine what dicking around would “literally” look like..” hahaha, oh, man….

  • stephanie

    “And through a mouthful of salmon, claim YOLO.”

    …and that’s when I broke the office silence with laughter. Thanks for the Friday boost!

  • stefy
  • RCagz

    *secretly hopes this will be the speech I get in July when I graduate from University*

  • Kaleigh Fasanella

    so classic

  • Renna

    love this!! go rogue! please check out my blog!! rmadelyn.blogpsot.com thanks

  • http://cityhabit.wordpress.com Modupe Oloruntoba

    *Starts reading*
    *hears imaginary epic background music*
    *starts feeling hella mushy*
    *starts welling up*
    *finishes reading*
    *STANDS AND CLAPS*

    Best Grad Speech. EVER.

  • Tracy

    This is too funny! Love your posts!

    http://fashion-soup.com/

  • Tonya

    I love all this advice. Thank you! I want even more as I forward this to everyone I’ve ever met. What does Charbarbar have to say?

  • Hudson Berry

    Two thumbs way up

  • http://foxyoxiesupernova.com Oksana Radionova

    Reading this was oddly liberating. I imagine that actually doing this will be even more magical)))

    XOXO, Oksana
    http://foxyoxiesupernova.com

  • therealdp

    you guys are really weird and who gave you those outfits?

    • Amelia Diamond

      eric diamond OBVIOUSLY.

  • Margie bijou

    You aren’t the same.you’re 200k poorer or you owe it back for loans so technically you are poorer than when you started.

  • M

    what is exactly “dicking around” cause i’d like to some of this shit if i werent already unconsiousnely doing so

  • Jamie

    solid speech – love this :)

    xo,
    Jamie
    http://inspirationlush.com/

  • http://themochileradiaries.com Leah Kate

    I’m still trying to master the art of “liking” my own posts ironically. What if people think I’m serious? What if I am serious? Maybe “liking” them when I actually like them is more ironic than “liking” them ironically. I just blew my own mind.

  • Kirstyn Scott

    As a graduate of this class, we needed to hear this more than most people know. People, including myself, almost went crazy trying to prove ourselves at my university. It’s obviously time to sing “Out Tonight” with someone’s pet in my mouth.

  • Elizabeth Locke

    I´m dying laughing. I can´t even pick a favorite line….

  • Gabriela

    LOVED IT! This is by far the graduation speech i haved liked the most. Keep the good work!

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