THE BLOG
05/22/2006 03:02 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What Jean Rohe meant to say!


WHY I (REALLY) SPOKE UP!

When I was selected as a student speaker for the New School commencement about two months ago I had no idea that I'd end up on CNN and in Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times, among other places, when it was all over. I was expecting 60 Minutes. And a guest spot on the Daily Show.

But I'll take what I can get. Because let's face it: I was pretty fearless. I mean, it takes a lot of courage to criticize a Republican conservative right in front of an audience of Democrats, academics, liberals, and radical vegans. I call that "speaking truth to power!" John McCain being the power. Me being the truth. As a woman, I feel my courage was at least as great as those who are murdering women and children and causing havoc in Iraq and Afghanistan and New Orleans.

For example, I actually said this: "Preemptive war is dangerous!" Who but me could say that kind of stuff among a group of people who rabidly agree with everything I say?

That takes real guts.

That's why I am now writing for the Huffington Post! Because writing for the Huffington Post is dangerous, too. And I know that all of you who also write for the Huffington Post will agree with that! That makes me feel good about myself, and good about you. We are now all feeling good. And feeling good is good! Just like war is dangerous!

But don't get me wrong. I hate war! It is dangerous!

You may wonder if I have feelings, just because I am so courageous. Well, the answer is yes! I have feelings! You might even call them strong feelings. I also love playing music! I love playing music, even in a time of war, which is dangerous. The war. Not the music. The music is just brave.

Forgive me if my writing is a little scattered. What I am really hoping for is a book deal, not this unpaid internship crap at Moveon.org.

As I was saying, since the speech I have been telling people that I had hoped to talk about social responsibility. And I did. It worked! My social life has never been better, and I take full responsibility for that. It was like taking candy from a baby. Candy from a baby in a time of war. Which is dangerous. Especially if the baby has teeth.

Also, did I mention that my grandfather has Alzheimer's? He does. I wanted to talk about that. Yeah, that would have been cool. But I didn't. I'd rather just it mention here, because I care. I also wanted to talk about preschoolers. I was going to bring all the children on stage with me. All of them, in diapers! And armbands. Little armbands. That's dangerous!

That reminds me. I love armbands. Many of my friends have also gone to graduation ceremonies. I went with them. I noticed that everybody is outraged! Outrage is dangerous, but it really feels good! Then...I thought armbands! I love armbands. All great left-wing movements, like that German one, have had armbands, as you probably know. I wanted an armband. Armbands are dangerous! Plus, they look very cool.

As I rehearsed my spontaneous yet dangerous act of outrage, I was in a terrible state of anxiety. I watched a whole season of West Wing and Erin Brockovich - twice. The cool thing is when someone is about to make a speech and then he or she stops, crumples up the paper, and decides to wing it. Because of the outrage. So that was my move. I just didn't bring any paper. Because wasting paper at a time of global warming is dangerous! Also wrong.

When I met John McCain, he didn't even make eye contact with me. He is a well-known coward. So I figured I didn't owe him anything. He's just some war hero anyway. I'm the real hero today. Eventually I spoke, and everyone loved it. I felt really brave! And dangerous, in a good way!

I felt bad for McCain. But not really. I mean, he didn't even bring up Darfur which I am bringing up now - because a friend of mine said it would be cool if I did. So, like, what's going on in Darfur sucks. Or maybe wearing Darfur sucks. Anyway it wasn't McCain fault that he got invited into a pit of very well-educated vipers, and it really wasn't my fault that I did what I had to do in the situation. We are all prisoners of fate! Which is like being a prisoner of war. Yet we both survived it!

Besides, what did he expect? Campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination at the New School is like trying to catch fish in a swimming pool. It was just totally out of place. Me doing my speech well, it was the opposite: it was like shooting morbidly obese Republicans in a hot tub with a Howitzer, although I realize the violence used in that imagery is sickening. But in this case, it's totally acceptable.

Enough said.

Yeah, just kidding. I can't shut up. I feel obligated to respond to one thing that McCain
told the New York Times. "I feel sorry for people living in a dull world where they can't listen to the
views of others," he said. This is just preposterous. Yes, McCain was undoubtedly shouted-out and heckled by people. But that's because, you know, he was speaking to people who disagreed with him. Not like me. I'd never do that sort of thing.

That's dangerous!

I chose to be in New York for four years of higher education for the very reason that we would be challenged to listen to opposing viewpoints, especially the ones that agree with mine. That's why I read Maureen Dowd. Also, she's a woman! I've gotten very good at listening to the views of others and learning how to also make my own views heard. I do this by heckling people I don't agree with.
That's why I recited a speech that was swallowed whole by a lazy and like-minded mob who wish, for once in their unexciting lives, they could all be me.

I think we must remember that as big as this moment may seem to me today, I will still have to say
something humble. Maybe like, "democracy is swiftly eroding under the pressure of the right wing..." eh, who am I kidding! Really, it's all about me. And I'm very premeditated.

Which means I'm dangerous!