#34 “Radical Inclusion – SPECIAL NEEDS”


– Welcome, I’m Halcyon.

This is Hug Nation.



Today I want to talk

about ‘Radical Inclusion’.



Radical inclusion is one

of the 10 principles of



Burning Man.



And (sigh) it’s significant

and it has multiple levels



on which it works.



There is a aspect of Burning

Man of embracing the stranger,



and this last weekend was Coachella,



or the first weekend of

the Coachella weekends.



Side note, I went to the first Coachella



and actually I was in, when

back when Vice magazine



was an actual magazine,



I was featured in Vice

magazine as a Coachella



‘Fashion Don’t’.






I would take that as

a huge badge of honor.



I was wearing a sky

blue leisure suit, open.



And chest out.



With a sequins silver cowboy hat



and my hair in these tiny braids.






Oh and my shoes also had

silver sequins on them



that matched the sequins hat.



I thought I was fly,

with a capital (buzzes)



but, I could see how, if you

were a poorly paid journalist



looking for a ‘Fashion Don’t’s’,



I could easily fill the role

of scapegoat for obnoxiousness.



But this weekend was Coachella,



and Coachella is an example

of a place that I think,



you know I haven’t been

in many, many, many years.



I went the first two years.



After that,



I don’t feel included in the

radical inclusion of Coachella.



I feel, there is a vibe of



the Jenner’s and the Kardashian’s



and the… Instagram influencers



and this kind of fashion show



on the polo grounds kind of vibe.



I don’t even know if that’s true.



But let’s for the sake of this argument,



let’s say that it is true



and let’s say that radical inclusion



is the antidote of that.



Radical inclusion is saying

that, “You are welcome.



“You as an authentic human

expression is welcome.”



And I think that is

such a liberating idea.



Burning Man is not for a type of person,



it’s not for cool kids,



it’s not for visual artists,



it’s not for party-ers,



it’s for people who are drawn to it.



If you are drawn to it,

then you are welcome.



And (stutters) people

often get really frustrated



with an influx of people

that are different than them.



What they really mean,



what the real frustration

I think people have



is when people.. there’s

an influx of people who



don’t get the vibe of Burning Man.



That don’t understand the

principles that comes seeking



a Coachella experience or



come seeking a music vibe experience,



or come seeking hot naked girls.



People classify those

as ‘bros’, or frat guys,



or something like that.



And as someone, as a

former bro and frat guy,



I’m especially appreciative of the idea of



radical inclusion because it

means whatever you’ve been,



does not preclude you from

becoming your true amazing,



incredible self.



And if you can get around

enough people who are expressing






you will have more encouragement

to express authentically.



And you can crack out of your bro shell



or find a way to remain your bro self



and do so as a gift to

Burning Man and the planet.



And so, we have this peace

amongst the Burning Man community



even though there’s

incredibly diverse groups.



People say, “What kind of

person goes to Burning Man?”



(stutters) All types of people.



People always have these expectations of,



“Oh, I wouldn’t like it because

I don’t like loud music.”



or, “I don’t party, or I don’t do drugs.”



Well, you can spend all day

every day going to yoga classes.



You can spend all day every

day attending lectures.



And hang out with scientists,



or you can do Bodywork or you

could do trapeze or circus,



or drugs or listen to

music, or play music,



or learn puppetry or…






Is that a verb?



I orgie, we orgie, nosotros orge-mos.



My point is, it is the

radical inclusion that says,



“Hey, whatever you

authentically wanna share,



“It’s welcome here.”



Assuming you can get a ticket.



But that’s a whole different story.



But there’s another part

of radical inclusion



that I wanted to touch on and that is



something that creeped into

my awareness over the years.



And that is, and I apologize

if I use the wrong terminology,



but in terms of making

things inclusive to…



people with special needs.



For example, Pink Heart.



We serve vegan ice-cream.



And we serve, we have the

option of gluten-free cones



and we don’t serve alcohol.



We try to create an experience

that is radically inclusive.



We try to create a gift

that is available to the



lowest common denominator.



And it’s by design.






I’m not saying that every

expression, every gift,



should be accessible to everybody.



That would water down everything

and there’d be no point,



we’d just have a bunch

of beige, bland stuff.



“Ooh, that’s too high.”



People that are afraid of

heights wouldn’t like that.



“Ooh, that’s too spicy.”



People that don’t like spicy

food wouldn’t like that.



No, but what I am saying is

that there are opportunities



within the Burning Man gifting

process to take a step back



and say, “Could this be more

available to more people?”



And I think we’re seeing that

more and more at Burning Man.



There’s a project going

on right now called



‘Stair Ramps to Heaven’

that I just contributed to,



and I encourage others to think about it.



Their building ramps for

wheelchair access onto Art Cars,



to mutant vehicles.



And they’re gonna have one

at The Man and at The Temple,



at Mobility Camp and I think at the Six



and Nine Plazas I believe,



so that people who use wheelchairs

will have accessibility



in these ways.



And I think that’s awesome.



It’s a way, it’s not saying,



“All Art Cars need to

make sure they do this.”



or, “We can’t have some…”



No, it’s saying, “Hey,

here’s a way that we can make



“something that’s awesome,

more radically inclusive.”






Another thing that I’ve done recently,



I’ve started to make

friends with a bunch of



hearing impaired, deaf Burners.



And realized that by not

putting captions on my videos,



I was not being radically inclusive.



For the ones that are Burning Man tips,



this one, right now, I will

make… captions for this,



because I’m talking about Burners



and I want to make my Burning Man art,



which my Burning Man art is

the sharing and talking about



principles and acculturation.



I want to make my Burning Man

art as radically inclusive



as possible, and I want

to speak and connect…



…to you






I want Burning Man to

continue to get as crazy



and wacky as possible,



I think there should be

tons of stuff that is



more than I can handle,



that is not taking me

into consideration at all,



that is too violent for me,

that is too exciting for me,



that is too acrobatic, or too athletic.



Yes, keep pushing it in

every direction you want.



But when there’s something

that can be make accessible



to people who are older,

or have a disability,



or have a quirk or have

a dietary restriction.



Why not?



Why not as a practice, as a culture,



just as we’re trying to

get a culture of consent,



a culture of radical

inclusion in that way.



It is an act of love.



I’m open to suggestions

if you see ways that…



Me and my camp and the

community can be more



radically inclusive.



Let’s talk about it.



And not in a, “You asshole,

you don’t consider us.”



But a, “Hey, here’s a new

way of thinking about it.”



Because that’s the way

that we can move forward.



And I think that when we’re

seeking these new ways



as a form of art,

radical inclusion as art.



As a way to be bolder, just

like more LED’s is brighter,



more inclusive is another

type of bigger art.



So let’s make our art big in

scope as well as in heart.



(deep breath)



Can you tell that I’m getting

excited about Burning Man?



It’s what?



Only… it’s right around the corner.



Can’t wait to see you at home.



And if you’re not Burning Man bound,



these are concepts that are so helpful



in every part of life,

in having a community,



and having people like this,

these moments like this



where we can support one

another and accept one another.



We can bring that into

every part of our lives



and make the default world

into a magical place as well.



Thank you.



I love you.

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