CARL: This is Carl Drake, play-by-play commentator for NBS Broadcasting, coming at you live from the speaker’s podium at this beautiful commencement ceremony.
TOM: That’s right, Carl. This is Tom Hicks, color commentator for NBS Broadcasting, and it’s my honor to be the keynote speaker for this graduation along with my partner Carl.
CARL: Interesting that they chose to have both of us share the podium and a single speaking slot.
TOM: That’s right, Carl. People seem to assume that we’re some sort of composite organism like the podracer announcer from that godawful Star Wars movie rather than individuals with their own feelings and spouses and debts, figuring that we can split a podium and an honorarium.
CARL: And isn’t that really what brings us here today? You young people out there in the crowd are about to split, to take off those ridiculous wizard robes and move back in with your parents while you try to find the one place in the world that’s hiring art historians.
TOM: That’s right, Carl. I for one remember graduating from this university with a degree in broadcast journalism and looking forward to my first day as an anchor. Two months at KSUL filling in while Jennifer Chatham was on maternity leave for slave labor wages was enough to disabuse me of that notion.
CARL So let me send you forth today with this message: It’s okay to fail. Fail early, and fail often. Why, I bet that out of the three thousand of you before us less than half of you will find jobs in your major, fewer still if we cut out the business majors that will be handed family businesses to suander on a silver platter.
TOM: That’s right, Carl. Only by failing miserably at what you thought you wanted to do an you find a niche where your skills and qualifications will allow you work you can live with every day without the overwhelming urge to soul-kiss a Walther.
CARL For Tom and me, that’s sportscasting–using his broadcasting degree and my PhD in 19th-century British literature to form words that most people ignore in favor of live footage of men irreperably damaging their central nervous systems by using the human spinal column as a battering ram.
TOM: That’s right, Carl. I would go so far as to say that someone who has never failed is the true failure. It’s very meta, if you think about it.
CARL: So Tom and I charge you thusly: go forth and fail often and spectaculy. Try not to get anyone killed in the process. And eventually, with a little luck and a little skill, you may find yourself a vocation you can live with.
TOM: That’s right, Carl. A vocation that allows your tiny alma mater to invite you back as an ersatz commencement speaker after the preferred candidate backs out due to the passage of a bill by your idiot state legislature declaring that Muslims are banned from bathrooms statewide.