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(scifi): Commencement speech

There was Suncreen, then Star Wars, now....

So James Earl Jones is Vassar College's Commencement speaker for this year.
   Oddly, this event coincides with the release of the much awaited
"Phantom Menace" and the unexpected popularity of Baz Luhrmann's "Sunscreen
Song" (which, if you have had your head under a rock, is a spoken
graduation address set to music that is constantly playing on many radio
stations).  And so, I only wonder what would Mr. Jones' address be like?...

Everybody's Free (To Embrace The Dark Side)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Vassar College class of '99...embrace the Dark
Side.  If I could offer you only one tip for the future, The Dark Side
would be it. The long-term benefits of The Dark Side have been proved by
the Dark Lords of The Sith, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more
reliable than my own meandering cruelty and conquests.

I will dispense this advice now...

Enjoy the power and beauty of your planet. Oh, never mind, you will never
understand the power and the beauty of your planet until after the Empire
has destroyed it in a futile attempt to find the Rebel Base.

But trust me, in twenty years, you will look back at photos of your home
and recall, in away you can't grasp now, how blissfully ignorant you were,
and how fabulous your planet really looked before it was a pile of burning
space rubble. Your planet is not as dull as you imagine.

Don't worry about the Rebellion - or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to make the Kessel run in a landspeeder. The real
troubles in your life are apt to be  things that never crossed your twisted
mind. The kind that fire a direct hit into your reactor core at 4 PM on
some idle Tuesday.  Do in one Death Star officer every day.


Don't disobey the Emperor's orders; don't put up with people who disobey


Don't waste your time on Stormtroopers.  They can't hit the broad side of a

The battle is long and in the end, it's only with yourself. And your idiot

Remember the prophecies of the Emperor; ignore the whinings of your bratty
upstart farmboy of a son. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old light saber, but change your costume slightly with every sequel.


Don't feel guilty if you have no misgivings about joining the Dark Side.
The most interesting people I know didn't have any respect at 22 for their
victim's lives.  Some of the most interesting 40-year olds I know still don't.

Have plenty of minions.

Be kind to your right hand, you'll miss it when it's gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.  Maybe your son will join you, maybe
he won't. Maybe you'll convince your daughter to become a dark Jedi and
assist you in your campaign of hatred and destruction; maybe she'll become
a rebel leader and marry a scruffy-looking nerf herder.

Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself
either.  Your destiny is half chance.  So is everybody else's.

Enjoy the Force. Exploit it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or
what other people think of your sorcerer's ways." The ability to destroy a
planet is insignificant next to its power.

Kill. Even if you have no one to kill but a meaningless extra.

Listen to what the Emperor has forseen, even if you don't follow his

Do not take your mask off, it will only make you feel ugly. And vulnerable.

Get to know your parents. You'll never know when they'll turn out to be
your arch enemies.

Be nice to your siblings.  They are your best link to your Jedi lineage and
the ones most likely to become Jedi in the future.

Understand that lackeys come and go. But with a precious few, you should
keep from crushing their tracheas.  Work hard to bridge the gaps in
geography and lifestyle, for as the more desperate you become, the more you
will need to send bounty hunters to do your dirty work for you.

Live on Dagobah once, but leave before you get foot rot.

Live on Tattooine once, but leave before you get heat stroke.

Travel.  Preferably in your own custom TIE Fighter.

Accept certain inalienable truths: rebellions will rise, the Imperial
Senate will have to be disbanded, you too will get old.  And when you do,
you'll fantasize that when you were young, rebels were easily crushed, the
Imperial Senate was subservient, and citizens respected their Emperor.

Respect your Emperor.

Don't expect your son to rule the galaxy with you. Maybe he'll give in to
his anger, maybe he'll strike you down, but  you'll never know when he'll
whine pleadingly and you'll find yourself turning to the Light Side and
saving his sorry butt.

Don't strike down your old Jedi Master, or he will become more powerful
than you could possibly imagine.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it,
or I'll crush your throat. Advice is a form of nostalgia.  Dispensing it is
a way of fishing your humanity from the depths of sin, wiping it off,
putting black body armor over the ugly parts and redeeming it for more than
its worth.

But trust me on the Dark Side.

Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the
result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters,
petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others.
This is my contribution to the survival of the online community.