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Nothing to See Here. Move Along Please.

I figured out what I like about Burning Man so much. There’s a subtle formula here:

  • Assemble the minimum requirements for a city.
  • Build it. (Don’t die.)
  • Invite your most adventurous friends.  Hope they like camping.
  • Toss in all the art and technology you can muster.
  • Ingest the most novel substances known to man at the city’s apex.

What happens next?

A fucking singularity.  I still marvel at everything that’s happened and brought me there every time. The whole notion it’s possible is why I’ve tried to perpetuate the collective experience each year and maintained a consistent sense of wonder and appreciation around it.

It’s ironic we go to such unsustainable lengths and create a sort of hyper-capitalist lifeboat, which we then send out into a wasteland to allow us to experiment with our own default notions of sustainability and value. It’s even stranger this has become a type of template for a range of potential experiences and is actually evolving outside itself despite being surrounded by a culture over-eager to commoditize it.

It’s wrought with contradictions, yet a steady mirror for reflection upon the emergence of new forms of consciousness and evolution within the edges of society.

I worked too hard again. I sacrificed too much time and energy to be able to participate in the event as I have in the past. My work was very successful, and First Camp had a great year despite being considerably larger, but it challenged my composure.  I’ve  since spent the necessary time mentally redefining my boundaries and articulating the changes which I need to occur.

Ree and I were Space Cops this year. It was awesome. I tested mine at Early Man and it was a blast. Although, the gate contraption I spent thirty hours on pre-event to wrangle participants  didn’t work out. It kept tipping over and probably would’ve killed someone. I was surprised how little it bothered me when we put it down and just forgot about it.

People were so intrigued and eager, which we encouraged by our ability to actually interrogate them this year through our microphones. We couldn’t project through the helmets previously and ended up becoming more like mimes. There’s also something perversely satisfying about becoming an intergalactic authority and ordering people around with a space laser and booty shorts.

Christina stayed for post and got a solid dose of DPW for the first time. Things wind down afterwards and it starts to feel like the Wild Wild West again. Trash Man and the Last Supper were definitely the highlight. I hadn’t been objectified like that all year, and I’m certain the images of me in a dress, attacking a three-story fire amidst a line of other screaming people will all be eternally seared into our brains.

 

 

The trip home was just as dense. We traveled much further than we anticipated, but only by our own volition and sense of adventure. It was so wonderful to finally see where some of our friends and family actually call home, and get glimpses of their daily lives. We surprised Ree in Valdosta, saw my sister in Texas, and Chip in Tenesse.

The were aliens in Roswell, wizards at Harry Potter World in Florida, and soul food in New Orleans. I finally made it to the City Museum in St. Louis, MO, somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. It was above and beyond the most incredible children’s museum I’ve ever heard of. It was so interactive and engaging, I had to resist the urge to ditch Christina and run as fast as I could through every turn and tunnel until I got lost somewhere. Words and pictures fail widely here, it’s remarkably non-linear, a sort of sculpted gymnasium fabricated from recycled steel, cement and assorted industrial machines. We even met a burner from while standing in line for the 10-story slide.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone with kids or two working legs if you’re ever near the area.

Alas, I’ve been home for over a month, recollecting myself. It’s been filled mostly with Freelance work, reading, and writing. Things become blurrier within Fargo and the onslaught of routines. Although, it’s great to be back and still know it wasn’t just all a dream.

 

About That Thing in the Desert

insanity

I watch in anticipation as my platonic life-mate puts his helmet on. He gives a nod and we raise our hands, sprinting towards the fire. The crowd has their backs turned and most of them don’t even see us coming. We scream in mock terror, but the sound barely escapes our headgear. When we reach the perimeter of the flaming ship, we fall to our knees and begin crying in hopeless defeat. I start to hear people laughing nearby. After accepting our fate we begin walking back to the over-sized cat palace.

“Dude, that was awesome!.” cheers a group as we pass them. We scan each individual carefully with our tricorders as they admire our space suits. They ask for photos and we strike a pose. Their fascination continues, and I eventually decide to cool off by removing my helmet.

“Cougar Bait!?” a man screams. I vaguely recognize him. It’s only Thursday, but it’s been a full week, filled with faces.

“That’s the guy who fixed our trailer today!” he says eagerly to his friends. I recall them now, and the hour I spent earlier that day addressing their dire lack of power. I hung around after I plugged them in to make sure it was working, but I was busy and didn’t loiter.

I bow in appreciation, but we usher on to our friends at the nearby cat palace. And so the night continued… Continue reading

How I Use the Internet

Recently, I was asked what my typical browsing habits were. I’ve been labeled the “wired guy” on multiple occasions, but realized I’ve never given a genuine account of what my average, digital day is like. I’m also curious how it compares to others, as many of our lives online have evolved in silent contrast of each other. In short; I read lots of Reddit, pirate just about everything, and stay away from Facebook.

 

Browsing

Reddit is my primary source for information, insight, and support. Reddit a social news website where anyone can share and vote on content. It is also divided into user-moderated “subreddits” for any imaginable interest. I have two accounts, each of which filters a specific range of content. Continue reading

Back to Dust: My Burning Man 2012

I’m back from Burning Man, having returned to Default World. I spent a full eight weeks on the road this year, and it feels great to be home. I will attempt to summarize the venture, similar to last year, lest I leave you uniformed.

I worked more than I have in all my years past, and am sorry to say my standard craziness suffered a bit because of it. It was a conscious decision, as I took my first paid position through DPW as “First Camp Liaison”. It was my first full-time gig working throughout the entire event.

I built and provided services for “First Camp, where the Burning Man Organization (BORG) lives in Black Rock City. The camp consists of people who have helped create and continue to run the event. It was incredible meeting them, hearing their stories, and seeing how they operate. They are often busy or unavailable and play many roles of their own, during the event and throughout the year. I have always maintained a deep curiosity for who and what makes it all possible. My new role was great step towards exploring my questions.

Continue reading

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