This is one of the finest commencement speeches I have ever read, it's by David Foster Wallace (one of my favorite writers). And because I know the term "commencement speech" isn't likely to inspire excited curiosity, here are a couple of choice excerpts to whet your appetite:
One of my favorite social critics is Bill Watterson, the artist/writer of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, which is of course the greatest comic strip ever in the history of comics. One of the great aspects of C&H is that, in addition to being fun, silly humor, many strips contain not-so-subtle social criticisms.
I present the dialogue from one here for your reflection:
The following is the inscription over the Buddha's ashes:
You are the refuge,
There is no place to take shelter but yourself.
I've been thinking about recontextualization lately--how removing something from its usual context and putting it into another can reveal a whole lot about that thing. A couple of musical examples:
There is an interesting article in the 8/21/05 Sunday NYTimes, called "New Overtures at the Symphony". It discusses some of the ways that America's major symphonies are trying to bring in audiences. As I've been on a soapbox about, this art form is in crisis, in more ways than just attendance. From the article: