Recently, I ranked some virtual commencement speeches given by celebrities to the class of 2020 as they miss out on their traditional commencements during quarantine. Then, on Sunday, Youtube hosted (another) online commencement, “Dear Class of 2020”, for the class of 2020 which brings us a whole new crop of commencement speeches to rank. Naturally, I am now going to rank the YouTube “Dear Class of 2020” commencement speeches on a completely arbitrary scale so that you don’t have to sit through the whole four-plus hours when all you really care about are Beyoncé and BTS.
Keeping up the family tradition of giving uplifting speeches, former FLOTUS Michelle Obama discusses the systemic racism people are protesting right now and encourages graduates to channel their anger and follow through on their anger with action (and voting, PLEASE VOTE, young’uns, we need you). This is honestly a great speech, and exactly the kind unifying rhetoric we need right now. Trump is supposed to address the nation this week, but it would be amazing if every network just played this speech instead.
Power ranking: 15/10 FLOTUSes
I have been wondering something for two months now—where do we think Colin Jost is quarantining? Do we think he’s with ScarJo? She’s a five-time host of SNL and yet did not appear on their “SNL at home” broadcasts. I know she is one of the more private celebrities, but she is an SNL darling engaged to an SNL head writer. Does no one else find it odd that she didn’t pop up on an SNL Zoom? I’m just saying, if we find out that ScarJost is done after quarantine, I won’t be surprised.
Power ranking: Three-day-old school newspaper left out in the rain
We talk a lot about how Beyoncé doesn’t talk that much, but when she does speak, she SPEAKS. Beyonce’s speech is, like Michelle Obama’s, powerful and uplifting. She also addresses the purpose of her art, to “pull down the veil of appeasement” to those uncomfortable with seeing overtly Black art in typically white spaces (like mainstream pop music), which is a stunningly succinct way to explain the last decade of her career. This is a very good commencement speech, but also, I can’t wait for her inevitable, self-curated retrospective and to hear in her own words her thoughts and intentions in her creative process.
Power ranking: My computer is spell-checking “Beyoncé”, which is as it should be
Megan Thee Stallion
There were musical performances interspersed throughout the virtual graduation ceremony, one stand-out being Megan Thee Stallion doing a medley of her songs from home, including “Hot Girl Summer”, “Big Ole Freak”, and “Savage”. I assume she directed this video as she did the video for “Captain Hook” earlier this year, and we should definitely be paying attention to Megan Thee Auteur, too. This medley is an excellent entry on the playlist for all the block parties we won’t be having this summer.
Power ranking: Graduation party vibes
Last week, Lainey wrote about how BTS and K-pop stans have been SHOWING UP for Black Lives Matter and activists during the protests happening in America and around the world. On Saturday, BTS and their label, Bit Hit Entertainment, donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter, joining their fans in expressing solidarity with the BLM movement and activists. I don’t know their music very well, but I have decided that Jungkook is my favorite because I could listen to his voice all day. That is a rainy day, “stay in bed” voice, if you know what I mean. Call me when the solo mixtape drops.
Power ranking: They’re the biggest f-cking band in the world, what else do you want.