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.