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Rampant excitement for commencement speaker

Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In case you haven’t heard, this year’s commencement speaker will be the Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, of Church fame.

Now, I’m sure the Cardinal is a decent guy. I’m sure he’s done something sometime that someone thought was real nice. Bet he mumbles a good hymn. But there’ll be plenty of homilies from priests over graduation weekend. Do we need to replace the commencement speech with another?

Commencement is our last chance to hear someone tell us important lies about the real world before we’re jettisoned into it, screaming and crying and, in all likelihood, drinking. So we’ll have the Cardinal.

But the Class of 2008 chose a different commencement speaker. A speaker with vision, who speaks from the gut, where the important decisions are made, like whether to blow all your flexpoints on Subway or Burger King. That speaker, of course, was Stephen Colbert. I know I’d pay for his appearance. He’s a good looking gentleman.

But apparently Our Lady disagreed. Presumably, she was offended by his notoriety, sense of humor, and relevance. These qualities are not in line with the mission of the University, it would seem. The University got so mad at Stephen she isn’t even commenting on him! Oh snap! But what can we, the lowly class of 2008, do? I think the answer is obvious.

But first, let’s consider what we shouldn’t do. Boycotting commencement is out of the question – who would give up the chance to stand up with hundreds of strangers then sit back down? Likewise, ignoring the Cardinal is out; no one will listen anyway, so it’s not an act of defiance to do so.

I say the best revenge is to live well. Which is to say, the best revenge is to listen attentively and nod and smile and elbow neighbors and, in general, express a zealous enthusiasm for the Cardinal’s speech (I believe the topic will be “The Kids These Days Don’t Know What Religion Is, Why Don’t You Go to Church More Often?”).

I’d suggest taking the following additional steps: Archies: forget that tiny cardboard version of the Basilica! Build one of those pointy cardinal hats on your mortarboard and write “McCarrick is my Hero!” or “We Love McCarrick!” or “Stephen Colb-who?” on it.

Arts and Letters: I’m just saying, no one cares what you wear under that gown. Why not dress up like your favorite childhood hero, Cardinal Theodore “The Best” McCarrick?

Business: You’ll be too busy wondering where your soul went to listen to McCarrick anyway. I pity you, even though I envy your Scrooge McDuck-like piles of money.

So, in sum: here comes McCarrick! Get ready to get really inappropriately excited about something no one wanted anyway!

And hey, Notre Dame Our Mother: maybe next time around you could put one of those giant golden arms down in your $6 billion pocket and fork over the cash for a real speaker.

Chad Lavimoniere


off campus

Apr. 2