Editorial: Nation, chill

From statepress.com (Arizona State University):

It’s May 2010. You’re a senior and you’ve just completed your last final. You’re ready to graduate, but is it worth it to sit in the hot sun, listening to a commencement speaker tell you about your college triumphs and tribulations?

If the speaker is Stephen Colbert, heck yes.

After spending endless semesters listening to professors lecture for hours on end, it’s not a surprise that many graduates usually choose to forego the general commencement ceremony.

This trend was turned around last year when approximately 70,000 people filled Sun Devil Stadium in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s commencement address. This probably does not come as a big surprise — he is, after all, the president of the United States.

So, who better to be the follow-up to the leader of the free world than the supreme leader of the Colbert Nation?

After a couple of opinion columns on the subject, The State Press has received more letters to the editor this semester about the potential Colbert commencement speech than any (dare we say it) real issue, so we have decided to put our Word in.

We thought about it, and deduced that there is probably nothing that will get just-graduated college students out of bed and to a commencement ceremony better than Colbert……

Other than Colbert, those are the only people in our minds who could garner attendance to even remotely challenge that of the president.

The ceremony is meant to honor the graduates, but how is that effective if nobody — including the students — shows up?

Colbert is a comic on his TV show, “The Colbert Report,” and yes, audiences generally watch the show to chuckle. But, though a humorist, Colbert is more than just laughs. Before he can make fun of the news, he has to know it.

In 2006, he spoke at the graduation of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. The speech was rife with humor but full of sound advice too.

This summer, he traveled overseas to host a show in an Iraqi palace full of U.S. troops. Was he mocking the troops? We think not.

We are unconvinced that Colbert will give less than congratulations to ASU graduates, even if he veils the sentiment with jokes and sarcasm.