This is rather powerful five minute excerpt, it’s Terence Mckenna (he died 14 years ago this day today). Part of Mckennas wrap as he became a warhorse
of the lecture circuit was educating people about culture in such a way as they had probably not thought of it before. And I think he has a point.
Below the video is the transcript.
The conclusion that I reach vis–à–vis the individual and civilization is this: culture is not our friend. culture is not your friend, it’s not
my friend. Its a very uncomfortable set of accommodations that
have been hammered out over time for the convenience of institutions.
A young man gets his first dose of the news that culture is not his friend when told he is to be given an air ticket and some training and then sent
to an exotic location to kill it’s inhabitants
under the name of some political ideal. You have to be fairly dense at that point to not get the message that culture is not your friend, it is using
you for its purposes; you would never dream of doing what it now conceivably right and righteous course of action. Well that’s a black a stark an
enormous example of what I’m talking about, but I think that everyday in thousands of ways we betray our impulses towards wholeness towards community,
towards freedom towards the spirit by genuflecting to cultural values that are squirely, or simply wrong-headed or obsolete.
Culture is not your friend, it’s an illusion. What kind of an illusion is it? It’s a childish illusion. Recently I had a physical examination with my
doctor and after it was over he leaned back in his chair and said “you know most people back in the 19th century at your age were dead” yes, quite
true; people live a great deal longer in the 20th century. And consequently I think part of what drives alienation is culture is like being taken in a
crap game. If you play long enough you will work out that you are being screwed. And of course if you die shortly into the game it never enters your
mind. Some of you may have seen the little saying that hangs behind bars in Minnesota, “we get too soon old too late smart” well some of us are
getting smart earlier and earlier. And what is seen through to then is that culture victimizes, ideology victimizes, these things are all con games.
Culturally defined reality is some kind of intelligence test, and those that are joining are failing the test.
We have to stop CONSUMING our culture. We have to CREATE culture. DON’T watch TV, DON’T read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your OWN
roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are — NOW — is the most immediate sector of your universe. And if you’re worrying about Michael
Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are dis-empowered. You’re giving it all away to ICONS. Icons which are maintained by an electronic
media so that, you want to dress like X or have lips like Y… This is #-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion. What is real
is you, and your friends, your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And, we are told No, you’re unimportant,
you’re peripheral — get a degree, get a job, get a this, get that, and then you’re a player. You don’t even want to play that game. You want to
reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s
being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.