Jon Lovett, a speechwriter for President Obama, addressed the graduates of Pitzer College on “fighting the culture of bullshit.”
What follows is a brief selection from a fuller partial transcript of his commencement address provided through The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/05/life-lessons-in-fightingthe-culture-of-bullshit/276030/.
One of the greatest threats we face is, simply put, bullshit. We are drowning it. We are drowning in partisan rhetoric that is just true enough not to be a lie; in industry-sponsored research; in social media’s imitation of human connection; in legalese and corporate double-speak. It infects every facet of public life, corrupting our discourse, wrecking our trust in major institutions, lowering our standards for the truth, making it harder to achieve anything.
And it wends its way into our private lives as well, changing even how we interact with one another: the way casual acquaintances will say “I love you”; the way we describe whatever thing as “the best thing ever”; the way we are blurring the lines between friends and strangers. And we know that. There have been books written about the proliferation of malarkey, empty talk, baloney, claptrap, hot air, balderdash, bunk. One book was aptly named “Your Call is Important to Us.”
But this is not only a challenge to our society; it’s a challenge we all face as individuals. Life tests our willingness, in ways large and small, to tell the truth. And I believe that so much of your future and our collective future depends on your doing so. So I’m going to give you three honest, practical lessons about cutting the BS. . . .