#34 “Radical Inclusion – SPECIAL NEEDS”

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– Welcome, I’m Halcyon.

This is Hug Nation.

 

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Today I want to talk

about ‘Radical Inclusion’.

 

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Radical inclusion is one

of the 10 principles of

 

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Burning Man.

 

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And (sigh) it’s significant

and it has multiple levels

 

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on which it works.

 

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There is a aspect of Burning

Man of embracing the stranger,

 

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and this last weekend was Coachella,

 

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or the first weekend of

the Coachella weekends.

 

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Side note, I went to the first Coachella

 

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and actually I was in, when

back when Vice magazine

 

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was an actual magazine,

 

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I was featured in Vice

magazine as a Coachella

 

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‘Fashion Don’t’.

 

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(laughs)

 

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I would take that as

a huge badge of honor.

 

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I was wearing a sky

blue leisure suit, open.

 

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And chest out.

 

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With a sequins silver cowboy hat

 

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and my hair in these tiny braids.

 

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So…

 

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Oh and my shoes also had

silver sequins on them

 

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that matched the sequins hat.

 

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I thought I was fly,

with a capital (buzzes)

 

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but, I could see how, if you

were a poorly paid journalist

 

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looking for a ‘Fashion Don’t’s’,

 

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I could easily fill the role

of scapegoat for obnoxiousness.

 

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But this weekend was Coachella,

 

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and Coachella is an example

of a place that I think,

 

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you know I haven’t been

in many, many, many years.

 

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I went the first two years.

 

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After that,

 

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I don’t feel included in the

radical inclusion of Coachella.

 

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I feel, there is a vibe of

 

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the Jenner’s and the Kardashian’s

 

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and the… Instagram influencers

 

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and this kind of fashion show

 

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on the polo grounds kind of vibe.

 

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I don’t even know if that’s true.

 

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But let’s for the sake of this argument,

 

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let’s say that it is true

 

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and let’s say that radical inclusion

 

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is the antidote of that.

 

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Radical inclusion is saying

that, “You are welcome.

 

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“You as an authentic human

expression is welcome.”

 

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And I think that is

such a liberating idea.

 

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Burning Man is not for a type of person,

 

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it’s not for cool kids,

 

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it’s not for visual artists,

 

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it’s not for party-ers,

 

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it’s for people who are drawn to it.

 

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If you are drawn to it,

then you are welcome.

 

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And (stutters) people

often get really frustrated

 

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with an influx of people

that are different than them.

 

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What they really mean,

 

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what the real frustration

I think people have

 

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is when people.. there’s

an influx of people who

 

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don’t get the vibe of Burning Man.

 

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That don’t understand the

principles that comes seeking

 

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a Coachella experience or

 

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come seeking a music vibe experience,

 

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or come seeking hot naked girls.

 

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People classify those

as ‘bros’, or frat guys,

 

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or something like that.

 

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And as someone, as a

former bro and frat guy,

 

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I’m especially appreciative of the idea of

 

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radical inclusion because it

means whatever you’ve been,

 

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does not preclude you from

becoming your true amazing,

 

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incredible self.

 

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And if you can get around

enough people who are expressing

 

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authentically,

 

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you will have more encouragement

to express authentically.

 

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And you can crack out of your bro shell

 

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or find a way to remain your bro self

 

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and do so as a gift to

Burning Man and the planet.

 

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And so, we have this peace

amongst the Burning Man community

 

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even though there’s

incredibly diverse groups.

 

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People say, “What kind of

person goes to Burning Man?”

 

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(stutters) All types of people.

 

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People always have these expectations of,

 

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“Oh, I wouldn’t like it because

I don’t like loud music.”

 

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

 

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Well, you can spend all day

every day going to yoga classes.

 

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You can spend all day every

day attending lectures.

 

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And hang out with scientists,

 

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or you can do Bodywork or you

could do trapeze or circus,

 

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or drugs or listen to

music, or play music,

 

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or learn puppetry or…

 

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orgie.

 

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Is that a verb?

 

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I orgie, we orgie, nosotros orge-mos.

 

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My point is, it is the

radical inclusion that says,

 

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“Hey, whatever you

authentically wanna share,

 

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“It’s welcome here.”

 

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Assuming you can get a ticket.

 

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But that’s a whole different story.

 

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But there’s another part

of radical inclusion

 

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that I wanted to touch on and that is

 

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something that creeped into

my awareness over the years.

 

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And that is, and I apologize

if I use the wrong terminology,

 

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but in terms of making

things inclusive to…

 

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people with special needs.

 

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For example, Pink Heart.

 

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We serve vegan ice-cream.

 

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And we serve, we have the

option of gluten-free cones

 

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and we don’t serve alcohol.

 

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We try to create an experience

that is radically inclusive.

 

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We try to create a gift

that is available to the

 

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lowest common denominator.

 

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And it’s by design.

 

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(stutters)

 

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I’m not saying that every

expression, every gift,

 

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should be accessible to everybody.

 

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That would water down everything

and there’d be no point,

 

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we’d just have a bunch

of beige, bland stuff.

 

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“Ooh, that’s too high.”

 

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People that are afraid of

heights wouldn’t like that.

 

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“Ooh, that’s too spicy.”

 

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People that don’t like spicy

food wouldn’t like that.

 

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No, but what I am saying is

that there are opportunities

 

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within the Burning Man gifting

process to take a step back

 

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and say, “Could this be more

available to more people?”

 

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And I think we’re seeing that

more and more at Burning Man.

 

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There’s a project going

on right now called

 

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‘Stair Ramps to Heaven’

that I just contributed to,

 

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and I encourage others to think about it.

 

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Their building ramps for

wheelchair access onto Art Cars,

 

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to mutant vehicles.

 

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And they’re gonna have one

at The Man and at The Temple,

 

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at Mobility Camp and I think at the Six

 

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and Nine Plazas I believe,

 

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so that people who use wheelchairs

will have accessibility

 

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in these ways.

 

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And I think that’s awesome.

 

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It’s a way, it’s not saying,

 

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“All Art Cars need to

make sure they do this.”

 

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or, “We can’t have some…”

 

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No, it’s saying, “Hey,

here’s a way that we can make

 

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“something that’s awesome,

more radically inclusive.”

 

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Sweet.

 

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Another thing that I’ve done recently,

 

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I’ve started to make

friends with a bunch of

 

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hearing impaired, deaf Burners.

 

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And realized that by not

putting captions on my videos,

 

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I was not being radically inclusive.

 

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For the ones that are Burning Man tips,

 

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this one, right now, I will

make… captions for this,

 

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because I’m talking about Burners

 

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and I want to make my Burning Man art,

 

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which my Burning Man art is

the sharing and talking about

 

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principles and acculturation.

 

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I want to make my Burning Man

art as radically inclusive

 

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as possible, and I want

to speak and connect…

 

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…to you

 

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because…

 

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I want Burning Man to

continue to get as crazy

 

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and wacky as possible,

 

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I think there should be

tons of stuff that is

 

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more than I can handle,

 

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that is not taking me

into consideration at all,

 

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that is too violent for me,

that is too exciting for me,

 

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that is too acrobatic, or too athletic.

 

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Yes, keep pushing it in

every direction you want.

 

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But when there’s something

that can be make accessible

 

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to people who are older,

or have a disability,

 

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or have a quirk or have

a dietary restriction.

 

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Why not?

 

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Why not as a practice, as a culture,

 

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just as we’re trying to

get a culture of consent,

 

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a culture of radical

inclusion in that way.

 

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It is an act of love.

 

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I’m open to suggestions

if you see ways that…

 

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Me and my camp and the

community can be more

 

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radically inclusive.

 

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Let’s talk about it.

 

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And not in a, “You asshole,

you don’t consider us.”

 

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But a, “Hey, here’s a new

way of thinking about it.”

 

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Because that’s the way

that we can move forward.

 

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And I think that when we’re

seeking these new ways

 

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as a form of art,

radical inclusion as art.

 

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As a way to be bolder, just

like more LED’s is brighter,

 

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more inclusive is another

type of bigger art.

 

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So let’s make our art big in

scope as well as in heart.

 

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(deep breath)

 

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Can you tell that I’m getting

excited about Burning Man?

 

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It’s what?

 

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Only… it’s right around the corner.

 

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Can’t wait to see you at home.

 

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And if you’re not Burning Man bound,

 

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these are concepts that are so helpful

 

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in every part of life,

in having a community,

 

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and having people like this,

these moments like this

 

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where we can support one

another and accept one another.

 

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We can bring that into

every part of our lives

 

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and make the default world

into a magical place as well.

 

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Thank you.

 

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I love you.

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