Not so funny: Stephen Colbert tells college graduates they owe the Chinese

Stephen Colbert Time magazine UVA graduationIn the midst of a hilarious address to the 2013 graduating class at the University of Virginia, comedian Stephen Colbert had a serious message for the eager crowd: if you owe anything, it’s to the Chinese.

The Comedy Central host told the crowd that they do not owe the previous generation anything because “… thanks to us, you owe it to the Chinese.” The “Colbert Report” host was the keynote speaker at the valedictory exercises in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend for the “Wahoo” graduates and their parents.

Speaking on behalf of his own generation, Colbert said, “And don’t worry if we don’t approve of your choices. In our benign self-absorption, I believe we have given you a gift! A particular form of independence, because you do not owe the previous generation anything. Thanks to us, you owe it to the Chinese.”

The grim reminder that China owns nearly $1 trillion of United States Treasury debt is the sagest advice Colbert gave the millennials facing a bleak job market and a slow economy.  Perhaps he should have encouraged them to further their education pursuing lessons in speaking Mandarin.

But he spoke the language of the graduates by lamenting their self-absorbed attitudes stating, “tweeting your Vines, hashtagging your Spotifys and Snapchatting your YOLOs — your generation needs everything to be about you. And that’s very upsetting to us baby boomers because self-absorption is kind of our thing.”

“We’re the original ‘me’ generation” he said, referring to the recent TIME magazine cover declaring the millennial generation the “me me me” generation. “We made the last 50 years all about us. We took all the money. We soaked up all the government services and we deep fried nearly everything in the ocean. It may seem that’s all that’s left for you is unpaid internships, Monday to Tuesday  mail delivery and thanks to global warming, soon ‘semester at sea’ means sailing the coast of Ohio.”

“But while we may be leaving you with an economy with fewer job opportunities for the new graduate to slip into, while traditional paths may seem harder to find, that also means that you may learn sooner than most generations the hard lesson that you must always make the path for yourself.”

More of Colbert’s address can be heard here.

Comments

Polititainment

Colbert's embargo on the Vatican

Colbert had to chide his audience Wednesday night for getting excited about making “Cuba more libre.”

Megyn Kelly on 'The Interview'

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly told Jimmy Kimmel she found Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” after threats of a terrorist attack "deeply troubling.”

Romney's suggestion for 'The Interview'

Mitt Romney has an idea to turn "The Interview" movie fiasco into a win for everybody.

Sony cancels 'The Interview'

NEW YORK (AP) — Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview."

'The Interview' to drop in North Korea

Human rights groups are set to drop DVDs of "The Interview" into North Korea via hydrogen balloons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

White House

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]
Obama administration extends Pell grants to juvenile offenders
The Obama administration has set out new guidelines that allow for students sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities to be eligible for federal Pell grants. The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice sent out a joint release Monday that clarified an earlier law. Congress in 1994 prohibited inmates at federal and state prisons from receiving Pell Grants […]
White House denies report that it wants to delay release of CIA torture report

The White House is insisting it wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report on CIA torture practices, despite a report that Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to scuttle it.

Kate visits NYC kids; Prince William joins Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Prince William's wife, Kate, wrapped Christmas gifts, helped preschoolers decorate picture frames and left an impression of a down-to-earth royal as she toured a child development center Monday with New York City's first lady.

The surprising opponents and backers of Obama’s net neutrality plan

Ted Cruz vs. Justice Scalia, and Obama vs. Jesse Jackson and the NAACP: The fight in Washington over "net neutrality” and has drawn up some strange battle lines.

Congress

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!

Senate Confirms Pro-Gun Control Surgeon General
NATIONAL JOURNAL — The Senate narrowly confirmed a new surgeon general whose nomination was delayed for months in a fight over his comments alleging that guns are a public health issue. The confirmation represents a victory for gun-control advocates, even as recent polling has shown Americans moving in the other direction toward gun-rights protections. The […]
Congress gave DOD $3 billion in extra funds

Christmas came early for the Pentagon (and Lockheed Martin.)

Rand Paul's bill to repeal Obama's exec order

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has filed a bill to overturn President Obama’s executive action on immigration.