Monday, June 25, 2007

Gioia to graduates: 'Trade easy pleasures for more complex and challenging ones'

Poet, NEA Chair, and former VP of General Foods Dana Gioia's commencement speech at Stanford talks about his father, the value of arts education, the dumbing down of culture, and of not being famous enough.
For the last few years you have had the privilege of being at one of the world's greatest universities—not only studying, but being a part of a community that takes arts and ideas seriously. Even if you spent most of your free time watching Grey's Anatomy, playing Guitar Hero, or Facebooking your friends, those important endeavors were balanced by courses and conversations about literature, politics, technology, and ideas.

Distinguished graduates, your support system is about to end. And you now face the choice of whether you want to be a passive consumer or an active citizen. Do you want to watch the world on a screen or live in it so meaningfully that you change it?

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