This makes JK Rowling the most uniquely qualified person on the face of the earth to speak at Harvard University’s spring commencement yesterday. For only JK Rowling can fill those students’ young hearts with the hope that they too can one day rip off the Narnia books and make a sodding fortune out of it.
In her spring commencement speech, JK Rowling told the Harvard students not to fear failure, that they should never let go of their imagination and that real strength of character comes through adversity – proof that if her money ever runs out, JK Rowling has a lucrative future writing inserts for those horrible aspirational greetings cards that only creepy friendless wimps buy.
You know what the most insufferable invention of all time is? Spring commencement, that’s what. A ghastly self-congratulatory aren’t-we-great parade of ‘cherish the moment and be all you can be’ oversincerity that people apparently manage to sit through without vomiting, spring commencement is essentially the last shove that university students get before they forge long-lasting careers for themselves as the sad-eyed people who stand in town holding signs for Subway sandwiches in the rain. It’s dreadful.
But it’s not entirely worthless, because occasionally famous people get to dust off their Big Book Of Mawkish Catch-All Sentiments and indirectly explain exactly how rich and successful they are to the outgoing students. This year at Harvard, it was Harry Potter creator JK Rowling’s turn to do exactly that.
And JK Rowling really had her work cut out for her, because she knew only too well that the sheer scale of deprivation among Harvard students has rendered them completely hopeless – several of them won’t be given flashy-sounding but meaningless vice president jobs in their fathers’ corporations for up to 18 months, and it breaks our heart to report that a handful of them don’t even own yachts yet.
So yesterday in her spring commencement speech, JK Rowling dug deep and basically went through the lyrics of The Greatest Love Of All, changing all the words with a thesaurus to make it sound cleverer. The Associated Press reports:
“We do not need magic to transform our world,” she said. “We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already; we have the power to imagine better.” Imagination gives one the ability to empathize with others, she said. “Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation,” Rowling said. “In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity; it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”
“But don’t your imagination to write children’s book about wizards,” JK Rowling added, “because that’s my turf and I’ll sue your bollocks off if any of you little fuckers try it.”
Honestly, those Harvard students get it all handed to them on a plate. In the space of one year they’ve had talks by both Paris Hilton and JK Rowling – and the knowledge gained by those two speakers means that they’re now perfectly primed to grow up and become the next generation of global leaders.
Well, that or they’ll suck a bunch of men off and then make a rubbish-sounding theme park about it. One or the other.