Which brings me to Professor Maddow. Rachel was the commencement speaker at Smith College (I know, I know, so gay) last weekend. There she delivered a very good, surprisingly pointed speech cautioning against our national obsession with fame and personal triumph. It’s quite a thing to say to the Facebook/Twitter/YouTube generation where even something as mundane as lunch is turned into a public spectacle. But it’s the message she chose to give and once completely consistent with her ideology that government, and people, can do great things to help society when we realize that “personal triumphs are overrated.” Instead we should shoot for “durable achievement to be proud of for life.” You know, stuff you’ll want to tell your grandkids.
Of course Maddow being Maddow, she weaved in some wonderfully wonky history tidbits including the story of wacky Temperance activist Carrie Nation, the AMC Gremlin and KFC Double Down. All in all, it was very memorable and more than that an important message. I don’t think anyone will turn it into a hit song, but I think I could happily hum “Do not for the fame, but for the glory – learn the difference.” to myself in the shower.
p.s. I have it on good authority that Rachel gave out many hugs and smiles afterward. Talk about your glory.