We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This was such a dreadful little book that I sent it back the same day I received it. Its only redeeming quality is that it's mercifully short. It really bothers me that there are people in the world who gave it five stars.
I was asked to give one commencement speech. It was about 10 years ago and it was for a homeschool collective. I had taught 3 of the 4 graduates and knew them to be outstanding young people.
My message was as much for their families as for them. I told them that although the world is telling them that they are bad people for taking their kids out of the public school system, we need more people like them, not less. Responsible, self-sufficient and dependable people are rare and to be cherished. So resist the calls to be part of the dumbed-down masses. Keep on doing it right. We need your values more now than ever. While most commencement speakers tell graduates how they are going to go into the world and be stunning successes, I reminded them that the world is a nasty place and that we all struggle to get ahead. Just don't give up if you are doing the right thing.
I haven't read Hiassen's graduation speech, but I have read a couple of his novels. They are funny in places, but not funny enough to consistently overlook the vicious contempt he has for middle class men like me.