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Sense and the City: Lessons for grads from The Graduate

"Plastics"

Attending a college graduation party the other day got me thinking about graduates in general, and of course, The Graduate, the 1967 classic best known for its proto-cougar storyline. And that got me thinking about what kind of advice I’d give to new graduates:

Remember The Graduate? The 1967 film where Dustin Hoffman played young Benjamin, just graduated from college, who, during a party at his folks’ home, is given a one-word bit of advice from a guest: “plastics.” As in, pursue a career in plastics, in order to make it big in the world.

And if the graduate had followed that advice? Sure, maybe he and his stolen bride would have ridden that bus off into a future of financial security. But the flip side would have been that Benjamin ended up an old man whose grandkids would blame him for the giant swaths of plastic bottles and six-pack rings that pollute our oceans.

I thought of The Graduate last week when I heard the story of 24-year-old Victoria Ann Brill, who has filed as a write-in candidate for the Sarasota County Supervisors of Elections race between two Republican contenders — incumbent Kathy Dent and Sarasota County Commissioner Jon Thaxton. Victoria’s not in it to win it — she just wanted to close the primary so that non-Republicans wouldn’t be able to vote.

Somebody older than her undoubtedly also gave Brill a one-word bit of advice: “loopholes.” As in, take advantage of loopholes whenever you can to help yourself — or your politically minded friends and family — manipulate the means to an end. Legal or not, exploiting a loophole, especially when it affects the rights of others, is not exactly something to be proud of. As if, with apologies to Thoreau, you can manipulate voters’ rights without injuring democracy.

Read the rest of this week’s Sense and the City over at the Ticket website.

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Posted on June 7th, 2012Comments RSS Feed
2 Responses to Sense and the City: Lessons for grads from The Graduate
  1. M.C…. great story and one I personaly felt the need to reply.. While I cannot think of what to tell today’s graduates… a song however came to mind… I think it to fit the bill…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PK2R0IwCiY

    Reply
  2. Hey, thanks for reading and sharing the time of your life!

    Reply

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