I was actually reading an article recently that was a bit critical of having celebrities delivering commencement addresses instead of weightier, more scholarly people. The idea was that the scholars could give wise council and practical advice, but all you’d get from celebrities would be jokes and vapid pronouncements. I don’t care one way or the other, but in this case, Principal Nate’s request surprises me.
What’s Mason done that would make him an attractive candidate? He’s an actor who is apparently frightened of speaking before a group of high school kids–and I’m thinking he’s frightened for a damned good reason. His only known credit in the strip (and the one he himself immediately names) is Dino Deer, which sounds like something the SyFy channel would reject without hesitation. True, he is in the new Starbuck Jones movie (I knew we were getting back to that) but that hasn’t even wrapped yet so there’s no telling if it will add to his luster (ie, Guardians of the Galaxy) or become a millstone (ie, Green Lantern).
His one inexplicable accomplishment is that everyone in Westview is infatuated with him–for no real discernible reason, other than he’s better looking than any other male in town. All the women at Les’ house were practically fainting when he was staying there–this for a guy who was in Dino Deer. I’m trying to think of a real-life actor who is similarly beloved at large, despite having only mediocre films under his belt.
But this is apparently just what Principal Nate is looking for–a handsome man who has some mad money, but is otherwise unaccomplished. (I’m starting to be convinced that Mason was born into wealth, and his acting is more of a hobby than a profession.) I guess this will prepare the students for the life of mediocrity that awaits them in Westview (without the “handsome” part of course, and with the “mad money” being unlikely) but it seems pretty uninspiring. I guess Nate’s idea is to get someone who can lie to them convincingly on this one day, when hope is still reachable, before their lives crash to earth the next morning.
Of course, using another, less random speaker would mean that Tom Batiuk would have to introduce a new character, and build that character until he (or she) seemed a good choice for commencement speaker. But that seems like a lot of work, so I guess Mason will do. I’m sure he would have loved using Les Moore, but not to worry, I’m sure Mason’s speech will be eerily Les-like.