Podcast 572 – “A Tribute to Larry Harvey”


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Guest speaker: Larry Harvey

Larry Harvey 1948 - 2018

Photo source: BurningMan.com


[NOTE: All quotations are by Larry Harvey.]

“Milton Friedman once said, ‘Only a crisis, real or imagined, produces real change.’ When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic mission: To develop alternatives, and keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

“You can’t base the core of a culture on sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. Only an adolescent will tell you that.”

“The fact of the matter in the Sixties, at least the Hippie part, were avid consumers. They were happy consumers. The only people who came up with a critique of it later on were the Punks. As unattractive as they were, they figured out what the essential problem was. They would not sell out. They would not be commodified.”

“You are not going to create community unless you struggle together with other people. You will not create community unless you face survival with other people. Community isn’t about sentiment. It’s not about Kumbaya. It’s not about loving other people., per se. It’s about struggling with them, because only when you struggle together for survival with other people do you begin to see their soul. That’s how it’s done.”

“The Sixties were America’s great recess.”

“If you want a stage at Burning Man, build it yourself.”

“We’re not hiding from the world, we’re trying to change it.”


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Posted in Burning Man, Consciousness, Creativity, Culture, Death, Education, Family, Future, Imagination, Marian Goodell, Storytelling.

One Comment

  1. Putting down a diverse counterculture movement by saying “hippies”
    (a term rarely used except by the mainstream, not much by those called hippies) were avid consumers is weak. The idea that Punks did not consume is bullshit too. Or that Burning man did not consume lots of petrochemicals and alcohol etc. No one knows what will change the world away from fossil fuel madness, war and eco-rape. We haven’t figured that out yet, have we?
    I know at least one good friend who gave lot’s of energy and time and hard work to burning man and finally left the scene because he felt it betrayed him and others to make big shots of a few and push the working poor artists to the edge. I don’t know, I live in Vermont and was never part of burning man, but from reading I know he is not alone in that view. But I know there are lots of credible reports of good changes too and I feel the sincerity of those claims.

    It is hard to really change enough to make a difference, but so far in my long time on earth the trajectory of substantive change concerning the biggest issues is not encouraging. So far we are mostly divided into our private safety zones while militarism and private greed rages on in both major political parties, in the culture of celebrity and competitive consumption, in arts filled with violence and fear.
    I see beauty coming from burning man, punks, longhairs, antiwar activists, psychonauts, curanderos, scientists, civil rights workers, home gardeners, eco builders….. I hope all these movements lead to changes that might save a fair amount of the global diversity of life forms and set humans on a path to peaceable coexistence. So to my thoughts the quoted statement setting one movement or generation against another seems glib and unwise.
    As far as struggling together, that is life in any group or family or community, it goes on everywhere.
    Anyway, words are flowing endlessly like rain into a paper cup , they slither and they slip away across the universe. So will I soon enough, I hope the conversation gets happier for all on this beautiful planet.

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