Sunday, May 13, 2007

USC Graduation Ceremony Flops

I had the opportunity to go to the graduation ceremony at the University of Southern California (USC) on Friday. Ted Koppel delivered the commencement address full of the kind of cheep politics, left wing pandering and standard Bush bashing that one would expect from Rosie O’Donnell; “This Administration is corrupt, incompetent, etc….” or something to that effect. He then went on to try to be hip with multiple references to "smoking weed". Wow Ted, you are cutting edge cool. (the "deep" part of his speach was that even though Bush is an idiot and smoking weed is cool, the US is still a great country. Wow Ted you are cool... and deep!) Not exactly the kind of soaring inspiration that most students were hoping for. Koppel personifies the kind of old “journalism” that is thankfully disappearing; a hard core lefty who dresses up in “objective” drag. Thankfully, somewhere in the middle of his pot-smoking-Bush-bashing speech, a plane began to circle above towing a gigantic sign congratulating student David Stein for graduating, drowning out the rest of Koppel’s remarks and probably seriously embarrassing poor Stein, a communications major.

Clint Eastwood was also on hand to receive an Honorary Doctorate “for his creation of endearing characters such as Dirty Harry”. I kid you not. Of course Eastwood deserves to be honored for much more than that, but that’s how he was introduced, probably to his dismay. Upon receiving his Honorary Doctorate, students yelled “SPEECH…SPEECH!” But Eastwood refused to oblige and simply sat back down without a word.

All in all, the USC graduates did not get the kind of inspiring ceremony they so richly deserved from those old "celebrity" guest speakers, but they more than made up for it with youthful spirit among themselves, and the USC student brass band performed killer numbers, including Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' which put the weak VIP guests to shame.

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