Welcome, parents, faculty, alumni, distinguished guests, corrupt city councilman, Turkish arms dealers, kung fu street toughs, intergalactic robots, and members of the Class of 2009.
You know, if you’d told me twenty years ago that one day I’d be standing here on this stage giving the commencement address at my alma mater, I would have said, “You must be from the future…tell me who sent you. Was it Reknar!?!?” You probably would have spit in my face, and I would have pistol-whipped you. Yet, here we are.
As you move out into the world, or outer space, or some alternate fourth dimension involving jumpsuits and holograms, you will face challenges. These challenges will mostly come from people who think they can destroy the world or corrupt your city. But Schwarzenegger U has prepared you to say to them, “Think again,” which they won’t be able to help but do, because, let’s face it: it’s hard to not think, especially on command.
After you’ve forced them to think (again), they’ll often remember that they have a hostage, and it’s usually someone you care about. “Don’t hurt the girl,” you might say, and they won’t. Challenges, people. Challenges.
You’ll have to be careful, though, because those ruthless outlaws, be they Russian, Middle Eastern or space alien, will have henchmen, or, in some cases, sexy henchwomen, tortured by your animal magnetism into tipping off their boss’s location before plummeting to their deaths from a helicopter, or getting sucked out of the hatch of the space station. And at some point, you’re going to have to go toe-to-toe with the largest of those henchmen. But this is where you can apply the lessons you’ve learned here at Schwarzenegger U. Remember that this particular henchman will usually get the best of you for a while, and he’ll tell you that you just don’t know when to quit, do you? But stick with it, because you’ll eventually turn the tide and knock him out, or, in R-rated scenes, kill him. “I’m getting too old for this,” you will say, though your prowess in combat (and, let’s be honest, the bedroom) suggests otherwise.
I remember the first job I took out of SU: Special Black Ops X-Force Renegade Commando for the Inter-Stellar CIA. Almost immediately, I faced challenges, often in the form of an overbearing captain, or explosions. “This isn’t in my job description,” I used to say in complaints to Human Resources. But I overcame those challenges, often with the help of a wisecracking sidekick or the agonizing memory of a deceased fiancée. And today, as I stand here in Willis-Seagal Auditorium looking out at the Class of 2009, I know that you are well-equipped to handle whatever life or Ortega, the Nicaraguan drug lord, throws your way, and —
I’m sorry, folks, I hate to interrupt my remarks like this, but I’ve just been told that I don’t have much time. In the interest of full disclosure, I was pulled off of a secret mission to the Malaysian jungle in the year 2542 to give this commencement address, and I’ve just been informed by my second-in-command that we’ve got company, and that the fate of the Gorkon-Zeptor Interplanetary Union depends upon my timely return.
So, in closing, I’d like to offer a quote that seems particularly pertinent to today’s ceremonies. The quote comes from Professor Doan Klocket — an alumnus of this fine institution, the Vin Diesel Distinguished Professor of Train-Top Knife Fights, and the man who taught me how to defuse a bomb strapped to the wing of a 747, mid-flight. Said Professor Klocket: “The only thing I’m negotiating, Mikhailovich, is the price of the flowers I’ll be sending to your funeral!” These words are as true today as they were in Doan’s Day, which, incidentally, was the title of Professor Klocket’s last movie.
Congratulations, Class of 2009, and Godspeed. I’ll see you in Hell.