The 10 Most Disappointing Developments in My Lifetime, Pt. Six

This is about as hard-hitting a commencement speech can get and not be an outright downer.

I’ll wait while you check it out …


Okay, the final point I want to emphasize in what may be the initial go-round for my disappointments is that I think what Markowitz brings up in about the eighth paragraph is tragically true: 10. Young people have gradually but by now undeniably lowered their expectations about America’s future. The culture implied by the best aspirations of my youth are no more going to come about than the tomorrow of flying cars and cities in space. But it matters in a different, more fundamental, way that it won’t.

Diminished expectations are a step on the way to surrender to a diminished life. And as Markowitz notes, they are an indispensable aid to being quelled and controlled. So I’d like to pause for now with a salute to all ordinary people who are non-compliant, who insist on more joy and fulfillment by any means we can invent to surpass the present morass of fear, ignoring and distrust.


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