Thursday, August 30, 2007

Burning Man

Like Woodstock, Burning Man is one of those events where you were either there or you weren’t. It’s out in the desert now, in the far dusty reaches of Nevada and thousands of people drive hundreds of miles to camp and romp and watch a big pile of sticks burn down. Called a “bacchanalia” it is, indeed, a hippie event of unusual proportions.

It wasn’t always held in Nevada, though. It actually started at Baker Beach in San Francisco in the late 80s and I was there once at that venue. A memory that hangs in my mind is of one of those “last halcyon days” happenings that can’t be replicated. The Black Rock Burning Man has changed beyond recognition from the early days and made a somewhat disjointed transition to the 21st century, attracting unlike-minded folks.

This year’s event has been marked by a prank gone awry with The Man burned early and the perpetrator arrested for arson. So goes the evolution. See article in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Far from the melee, I sit here in Wood Village and wonder at the sheer insanity of it all and ponder what impels the unwashed masses to participate in this temporary community. Self-expression, self-reliance, art and experiencing nature? Getting out of town for Labor Day? Whatever…people I know are there and people I know are not there. Enjoy wherever you are!


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