The Hutch: Art _is_ culture. His cure is the disease he's railing against.
McKenna has his head so far up his ass, so enamored with his struggle against society, that he barely understands how the rest of the world lives and thinks; like an angsty teenager railing against the 9-5 world when he's never worked a day in his life. He's a perfect example of how psychedelics can ruin person -- a hippie Dr. Jeckle permanently stuck as a wacked-out Mr. Hyde. And this is coming from someone who very much likes psychedelics.
How and why anyone would elevate the words of a man who equates science -- the pursuit knowledge through experimentation and research -- as some sort of "paternalistic metaphor ... extrapolated into toys for healthy children" is beyond me. He's quite clearly detached from any reality we exist in and he discredits whatever good ideas he happens to stumble upon simply by having them.
The Gibroney Hunter: Most of this statement is antagonistic and devoid of any actual content, but I'll try to respond to the little that is response-worthy. To start, it should be obvious that art is not culture. To conclude simply that "art is culture" is like saying that food is culture, just because the two are closely related. The particular spices and recipes, ... yes of course that's culture, but the food itself? Clearly not. The same can be said of art. Art is shaped, amplified, hindered, destroyed, exalted, by culture, but to say that art is merely equitable to and wholly subservient to culture reveals a very limited perspective on what art is and what art means to the human species.
The next few comments are generalized attacks on Terrence Mckenna, which can only reasonably warrant a defensive response, so forgive me. But Terence Mckenna has numerous books under his belt, along with a decades-long history of lecturing and public speaking, not to mention having lived long periods of time among tribal peoples in Central and South America. Not exactly behavior easily associated with a "Mr. Hyde hippie" unwilling to work the "9-5" (which, by the way, is a way of life that is obviously deeply flawed and unrewarding for the overwhelming majority of its participants, and only to be defended by true conformists.)
The Hutch: I would say food is culture, as would even the most conservative reading of the definition and spirit of the word. And to clarify, I wasn't saying that all culture is art, but that art is, again by definition, a defining feature of culture. But art isn't the problem, it's the solution. To culture. Which encompasses art? Right. He's not even challenged and he doesn't explain. He simply offers his nonsensical solution to his nonsensical problem and people cheer and ask how they can aid in his nonsensical crusade. And I'm the conformist?
I'm not usually one to go to the ad hominem attack, but I make exceptions when I think the person holding the idea is insane. And I do think McKenna is insane, regardless if it was because of the psychedelics, the massive brain tumor that killed him, or pure genetics. But your right, perhaps I should simply focus on the idea he's presenting and leave it at that.
I mean... extropy? Come on!
The Gibroney Hunter: Food: Food is any substance, usually composed of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and water, that can be eaten or drunk by an animal, including humans, for nutrition or pleasure. This is the most conservative reading of the definition and spirit of the word 'food' that i could find. There is no mention of culture. Simply because something is articulated through culture does not mean that it is culture. This is like saying that because culture plays a huge role in the way we express the emotion of love, then the emotion of love is culture. Obviously false. Love is an inevitable component of human nature and culture is merely the mechanism through which it either flourishes or is hindered. Take away culture and human love does not disappear, it simply is stifled, as it is not as able to be freely articulated.
It's important to keep in mind that there is a longer speech, and a larger context than is available in the youtube clip [the popular "culture is not your friend" youtube clip floating around], and Terrence Mckenna offers art not as the sole and central solution to a sick culture, but merely as one way to solve the problem. Perhaps if asked, he would also have other suggestions. Remember, he's speaking at an art school, which should help explain his focus on art as a solution to some of the world's problems.
Your choice of words throughout your comments is perplexing. Crusade? Saying that art can change the world for the better is a 'crusade'? Also you seem quick to jump to conclusions and put words into Mckenna's mouth. For example, you describe him as 'railing against' culture. Saying that culture is not your friend is quite different from railing or crusading against it. I think the obvious point he was making is that sometimes we forget that our true selves are entirely separate from culture, and culture is attached to us, like computer software. All of culture is alot like religion, in the sense that the whole thing really only exists as a metaphorical pair of training wheels for the human species, while we come to grips with our newfound emotional, intellectual, and spiritual capabilities, evolved over the past few hundred thousand years.
You may or may not be a conformist. I'm simply pointing out that in my experience, anyone willing to use the "lazy hippie" argument usually is. It usually reflects a jealousy at the individual, who is brave, clever, resourceful or maybe just plain lucky enough to brake free from the monotonous, potential-squandering grind of the "9-5" Which no one wants to take part in. They may be able to throw enough trinkets and baubles at you to make you say "this ain't so bad" But the sad reality is that culture is now overgrown, and being used by the ruling elite as a mechanism of control over the rest of us.
Calling someone crazy, and then citing that as reason enough not to engage in debate or discussion of their ideas, is one of the oldest and lamest tricks in the book. (see 9/11 truth movement, Prof. Steven Jones, Physicist)