Thursday, May 20, 2010

An expert at “putting things over on people”

OK, now I’m just bitter. I got some deadly dull Republican Congressman at my commencement and, so far, the class of 2010 has got to listen to Rachel Maddow and now Meryl Streep while sitting in billowy robes and mortar boards. I guess what I get for not attending a women’s college, or spending what amounts to the mortgage on a not-too-modest starter home for my college education. But, man, now I see how that $160,000 was worth it, because MERYL FUCKING STREEP. Deep envious sigh. So you have my undying jealously, Barnard College class of 2010. And now, because (like I said) I’m bitter, let me make you a little jealous. I don’t have any more college debt. Neener-neener.

But back to Meryl, how is it possible for her to be any cooler? Funny, warm, insightful, humble, heartfelt. I mean, who else could sum up a career as extraordinary as hers by saying:
“My success has depending wholly on my putting things over on people, so I’m not sure that parents think I’m that great a role model anyway. I am however an expert in pretending to be an expert in various areas. Just randomly, like everything else in this speech, I am an expert in kissing ... river rafting, miming the effects of radiation poisoning, knowing which shoes go with which bag, coffee plantationing, Polish, German, French, I-talian – that’s Iowa-talian, from “the Bridges of Madison Country,” bit of a brogue, bit of the Bronx – Aramaic, Yiddish, Irish clog dancing, cooking, singing, horse riding, knitting, playing the violin and simulating steamy sexual encounters. These are some of the areas in which I have pretended quite [successfully to be proficient in] ... as have many women here, I’m sure.”

Her speech, extoled the benefits of going to a women’s college, changes in men’s attitudes toward her (and all women), and women’s achievements. It’s actually quite astute. But then, it’s Meryl Streep. What else would you expect? Damn, here comes that jealousy again.

p.s. I know four whole videos seems long, but trust me, they will fly by and you will wish there were another four to watch. Deep envious sigh, again. Thanks to Anonymous 10:01 for the full video link, which is now posted. Those 28 minutes and 8 seconds will fly by, trust me.
p.p.s. Hat tip, The Linster & Anna for digging up this tremendous find in the first place.


Cynthia said...

Oh, I am so jealous of these innocent graduates who would be forever ruined by our Meryl Streep. You won't be satisfied with others who cannnot come up to her standard. No one at my graduation ceremony was as excited as those young ones; our reaction to the speaker was simply 'Who is the guy?' and some even dozed off during the entire lecture. It was summertime so it's the hell of one hour listening to his one-hour lecture.

Anonymous said...

Well, I already told you about Malcolm Forbes' message of social callousness at my commencement the other day, so, you know, I with you.

stomps said...

Yeah, I got Hamid Karzai. And still have loan debt! Thanks be to youtube, but, videos aside, bitter and jealous sounds about right to me, too!

Not exactly a genius myself said...

I love Streep but she isn't all that smart.

I've seen a few interviews with her and was very disappointed. She seems dumb (so my impression). Oh well, at least she turns in some great performances!

dc said...


Rachel Maddow, and now Meryl Streep.

Already a banner year for commencement speeches.

Anonymous said...

Meryl Streep not smart? Are you kidding? She went to Vassar, Dartmouth and has a masters in fine arts from Yale. If you listen to her interviews she's one of the most thoughtful and well spoken people on the planet. Half the things she says you just want to needlepoint on a pillow, they're that great.

I suppose if you haven't seen enough of her she could come across as a bit ditzy, but it's really an act. She does it to make people feel comfortable around her and to give the impression that she doesn't think she's better than everyone else.

A smart, classy lady.

Anonymous said...


it's long.
today's too hot weather so difficult to focus
whatever it is.

meryl looks funny though.

but thanks for the posting,

I wached first, second, and third one,
think myself that's why
I like to be designer than actor.
I chose very good one for my life!

actor is great, just not for me.

p.s. if you like to learn something or
be kind of learning evironment and
have time...I think going to school
is not that bad idea.

generally people feel very negative to pay for
schools, but somehow still schools are exist.

you're one of few people who I never get envy
whatever succeed, I'm happy when you do that,
so go for it!

this is the way how I express my love~
o~ :)

nika said...

Thanks for this, Ms. Snarker. I heart Meryl in a serious way, and this was lovely.

Anonymous said...

you can also see the entire speech from

hopshackles said...

Anon @ 3:13pm (how's that for a time): "Half the things she says you just want to needlepoint on a pillow, they're that great."

Best comment ever.

Megan said...

My own college commencement was really boring - the president of the college spoke. But so far, the graduations of my grad school experience have been Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper...I can't wait to graduate and see who speaks at my own!

Shel said...

Tina Fey 2008 Commencement Speech:

Your friend, Rusty said...

I got Bill Moyers; he talked about his series with Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth) and working in the Johnson White House. He was fascinating and humble — a most excellent combination.

mars said...

that was so simple, and heartfelt and sweet. thanks lady, she always moves me.

Janet said...

And here she is imitating Virginia Woolf. Clever woman.