Speaker Rocked. Blog Rolled.


Background: Stuart Weiss, class of 1980, founder and owner of Studio City, the largest television marketing agency  in the U.S., was our commencement speaker.
His presentation was unorthodox, mildly outrageous, insightful and entertaining. He opened with “Fire Burning” and talked our president into dancing with him on stage. He was mischievously irreverent.
The graduating seniors loved him. Parents loved him. Even the platform party, surprised at first,  quickly got into the goove and took it all in good humor.
Weiss settled into seriousness a couple times but didn’t overdo it.
He ended with a song and quote from will.i.am and the  class gave him a standing ovation.
So I decided to write a blog about it and take an unorthodox point of view. I gave hints along my satirical route that I loved Weiss’ daring and lively approach and tried to make it clear that it was probably one of the best commencement speeches of 2010.
The posting garnered hundreds of views and, alas, at least a couple readers took me writing literally. They politely chastised me for not understanding what a great job he did.
Anyone who blogs knows that someone has to be moved one way or the other to take the initiative to respond, so I’m figuring that many others didn’t understand what I was doing or skimmed the post and also took it at face value.

It made me wonder if we’re all moving so fast anymore that tongue-in-cheek is a thing of the past.  Fellow bloggers and writers, what do you think?

Here’s the video of the speech.  It’s 22 minutes but the first five minutes will give you a good idea of the flavor of Weiss’ unique text and over-the-top delivery.

Here’s the post, which takes about three minutes to read.

I’d love your opinion.

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12 responses to “Speaker Rocked. Blog Rolled.

  1. Dennis, it’s plain to me as I re-read your blog post that you were not disparaging the commencement speech in any way. In fact you were praising it. And I’m sure the vast majority of readers knew that. Some people are very literal processors of information, I guess.

  2. Joanne Hindman

    Dennis, tongue-in-cheek writing is still alive and understood. Just depends on your audience and how well you execute it, imo. Your post’s humor seems pretty obvious to me, but, first, I’m an old fogie who’s read a lot, and, second, I like to think I understand all kinds of writing (English and music, MSC ’80 and classmate of your commencement speaker). Don’t forget how outraged people were about the Orson Wells reading of “War of the Worlds” or Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.”

  3. Dennis Miller

    Dick, Joanne, thanks. It’s always good to have feedback from other pros in the field. I appreciate your thoughts.

  4. Dennis – I didn’t take the time to watch the video, but I think your blog struck the right tone. Also, judging from the tenor of your previous posts on that blog, it’s apparent that you take a conversational, unrigid approach to discussing campus life and happenings. Nice work.

  5. Dennis Miller

    Thanks, Andy. I appreciate you taking the time to check it out and share your thoughts.

  6. “Don’t forget how outraged people were about the Orson Wells reading of “War of the Worlds” or Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.””” no ?

  7. have their eyes firmly on the one dollar gain today, even if ends up costing two dollars tomorrow,“Don’t forget how outraged peopl

    http://www.guzelsozlerehberi.com

  8. Weiss is a very educated person, he was even a cum laude in UCLA so it was unexpected of him to give that kind of speech to the younger generation but it was obviously well liked by the students. Even made a school history for having the school president danced on stage! Truly a great influential man! I love him! Thanks for sharing this Dennis. Keep it up!
    Sherman Unkefer

  9. having the school president danced on stage! Truly a great influential man! I love him! Thanks for sharing this Dennis. Keep it up!

  10. a sociology professor at East Stroudsburg University decided to vent her frustrations with some students on her Facebook. At one point she asked: “Does anyone know where to find a

  11. by the students. Even made a school history for having the school president danced on stage! Truly a great influential man! I love him! Thanks for sharing this

  12. Transfer to large bowl and let the grain cool a bit. Mix in chick peas, red pepper, cranberries, walnuts and parsley. Chill before serving. Stays good in

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