“My Name Happens to be Harvey.”

Mary Chase wrote the play, Harvey, in 1950.  It was made into a movie starring Jimmy Stewart.  It it still performed on stage such as here in Winnepeg where we just enjoyed it.

I have to admit writing this blog has put religion into my brain more than it used to be.  I write about something, then I see it in real life.  That’s what happened as I watched Harvey.

Harvey is the main character, Elwood P. Dodd’s, invisible rabbit friend.  A psychiatrist asked Elwood where the name Harvey came from.

Elwood said he had always loved the name, Harvey.  One day he was in a park when someone called his name. He turned around and there was a six foot tall rabbit.

“I’m at a disadvantage,” Elwood told the rabbit.  “You know my name but I don’t know yours.”

The rabbit asked, “What name would you like?”

Elwood said he didn’t have to think twice about that.  “Harvey,” he replied.

“What a coincidence,” the rabbit said.  “My name happens to be Harvey.”

This means to me author Mary Chase knew the minds of some religious people the world over.  Their Harvey already knows them.  Harvey likes them and approves of what they do.

No human friend, or a sovereign god, could have known Elwood P. Dodd as well as Harvey knew him nor provide him with such happiness.  He summed things up, “Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.”

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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31 Responses to “My Name Happens to be Harvey.”

  1. boatrocker says:

    Hey Jon Jon I have to say you are the reason I quit buying the paper for the comics . You and your daily battle with the trolls are so comical keep up the GREAT work.

  2. entech says:

    Just as an aside I remember seeing the play with James Stewart on the London stage, more years than I care to remember.

    In answer to Beau’s “?”, I think I could say that Jon’s take here is that it is comforting to have an invisible friend that knows you and loves you, and in the play presumably imaginary, the line about struggling against reality for 35 years and finally beating it is an allusion to Jon’s belief that religious ideas are the same, an imaginary, invisible friend that gives you great comfort and with a lot of effort you can believe this to be true and live a perfectly happy life in imagination. Even Elwood’s very embarrassed sister came to accept that he was better with his false ideas than he would be if deprived of them.

    The message I take from all this is that religion is good for people who can’t face reality.

    • Wolfy32 says:

      “The message I take from all this is that religion is good for people who can’t face reality.”

      It’s all about escapism… IMHO. I recently had an aquaintance say “It’s too hard to get up and work all day every day just to keep paying bills, I can’t do this anymore.” He’s attempted suicide 3 times and the third time he came close to shutting down a number of his organs.

      It echoes our society though. We want more things and stopped caring about people. Now we help churches build multimilliondollar buildings, have bake sales, and support each other in misunderstanding and misconception. Very little about religions is selfless. It serves a human purpose to meet human needs. Unfortunately the need is wrapped in hypocracy, it serves the self instead of serving the community.

      They put down those that build golden “calf” idols.. Yet, build the largest gold calves of all belittling those that have their own hope. When Christians actually care more about others than themselves, they might have a sustainable religion. Until then, we learn everyday that selfishness does not = happiness. Christianity will learn this too some day.. It’s still a young religion.

      • entech says:

        Very little about religions is selfless. It serves a human purpose to meet human needs.

        So succinct, brief, clear and concise. It would take me at least half a page to explain how religion was an evolutionary necessity, and you do it in so few words without even mentioning evolution. I guess to most people evolution is just natural.

      • Jinx says:

        Wolfy, what a great post, I totally agree with you! …..and I couldn’t have said it better….

  3. entech says:

    To keep Wanna happy. Jon you are wrong, do your homework you naughty atheist that can’t be trusted.
    The play was written in 1944, the Jimmy Stewart film was made in 1950.
    So there, take that. :lol:

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 1:12 “The play was written in 1944, the Jimmy Stewart film was made in 1950.”

      Thank you for that correction.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Some things are worth pursuing, and some things are not. This isn’t. Now you are just being pissy.

      • Jinx says:

        Wanna, I am sure you know the old saying, People who live in glass houses……oh well, never mind…..

      • entech says:

        I don’t know, someone like you, that projects all your own failings onto others, blames them for all the things you do yourself, twists and massages to make it into what you want it to be is certainly worth pursuing.
        Your last sentence reminds of the retort against censorship on television, if you don’t like it turn off, in your case … .

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      I did see “Harvey” when it came out at the State Theatre in Fairmount ND. Later in 62, My new bride and I saw “Phantom Of The Opera” at the Fargo Theatre on our horneymoon. She was thankful she had such a strong and courageous stud muffin by her side to protect her during the scary parts.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Wanna 4:24 “..to protect her during the scary parts.”

        I’m glad for her you were there. :)

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Yes. I said “BOO” a couple times, and she snuggled even closer. If ya got it, don’t waste it.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        That City of Fargo has always been a city of romance. Even today, the people living south of Fargo , even into Richland County say: “That Fargo is trying to screw us with their water retention up stream. Flood us out so they aren’t”.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Wanna 4:54 “water retention upstream.”

          To watch it all is not a pretty sight for sure. A great letter from one of our Freethinkers this morning, Tran Rogne. It’s not up on the web yet.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Who is Tran Rogne, what are his credentials, what is his occupation, where is he from, where is he now, what are his underlying interests, and when will it be available? Pleas let me know when it is.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            “pleasE”

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            There is a Trana Rogne with interests in this subject.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 7:05 Trana Rogne. He is opposed. He, Gail and his 99 year old mother, Katherine, are all Feethinkers and often host our gartherings. They live on a small farm that has been in there family for a century. It is right on the edge of what is to be flooded.

          • Henry says:

            Jon:“To watch it all [The Great Diversion] is not a pretty sight for sure.”

            Truly. Fargo needs to keep developing in order to maintain the status quo. They can’t do that much longer unless they divert the water away from the swamps that they want to develop. The problem they have is they pay for city services through their growth. Without continued growth, the mill levies on property taxes will have to be increased or services will have to be decreased. Pull up the permit fee page once and see how much Fargo gets from growth. With the diversion, they can get the unbuildable land north of Fargo developed as well. Brilliant. Flood your neighbor and make your neighbor pay for it when they come to town to buy products they need. In the end, the diversion will not help us survive a deluge of rain like we received in June 2000. If anything, the dike would hold the water in Fargo longer.

          • entech says:

            Who is Tran Rogne Wanna, what are his credentials, what is his occupation, where is he from, where is he now, what are his underlying interests, when will we know

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Have faith my child . I is what I is, and I are where I am. You know the answers, yet you deny. Now you know how it is. No pilgrimages pleas.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech: After thinking about your, sarcastic 1:02, I believe if you were aware of what is at risk for those up stream from Fargo, you would have been more moderate , or silent on the subject. It is more than a fair question to ask for background on anyone contributing to the discussion. There is a lot of suspicion of a lot of what has been said and done on the subject, and of those affected south of the diversion. They justifiably deserve to know what and who is talking. Since Jon threw Mr. Rogne into the mix, It was a more than fair question. I have never heard of him until now. After some searching, I now see he is questioning the viability of the proposed so called solution. We have children affected by this, and out of concern, I think I am perfectly in my rights and am justified to ask the question. Since you live in Australia, it should not be a concern of yours. Thank you.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            So you now who I “is”, and why. That’s all you need to know.

          • entech says:

            So you now who I “is”, and why. That’s all you need to know.

            Nothing sarcastic about it. An honest question, dishonestly answered. A frequent and favourite tactic of yours.

            As usual you have given nothing. What are your qualifications for speaking so authoritatively?
            For chastising all and sundry for their errors. Belittling comments without any real basis.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Entech: see my 9:02. This should not be too difficult for you.

          • entech says:

            OK, you win …

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