More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence which could easily be misinterpreted as pessimism.
☛ The New York Times: “My Speech To the Graduates” by Woody Allen, August 10, 1979, page A25 (restricted access).
Woody Allen fictional “speech to the graduates” can be access at a variety of online sites (here, PDF). It was also reproduced in a collection of comic writing titled The Insanity Defense. The Complete Prose (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2007, pp. 261-265): Random House, Google books (no preview), Amazon.com.
I was reminded of this “speech to the graduates” when a couple of commencement addresses “made the headlines” lately (meaning they were widely re-blogged all over the Internet):
It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It’s not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention.
Browse more entries about Woody Allen.
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