I was never really honest with Karin. During the '90s she went to Burning Man several times. Great person she is, Karin tried many times to have me join her in this experience she valued so much. I said no in as many polite ways as I knew, but she persisted. The more she offered, the more I'd start ranting about hippies and their yuppie offspring getting stoned and having another reason not to shower . . . But it was all bullshit.
I'm afraid of the desert at night.
When I was in Basic Training at El Paso, we spent two weeks out in the dessert and I swear I didn't sleep the whole time. Snakes, scorpions, coyotes . . . all looking at me as either a warm sleeping companion or an olive green burrito. During the day, anything with sense goes into hiding. Only idiots and soldiers are out putting footy prints in the sand.
This weekend is Burning Man and that means parking in the pan handle will be easier and the Haight will smell better. The Chronicle usually doesn't start it's coverage until Thursday, but the damnedest thing happened and it started today: someone set fire to the man four days early.
See, the effigy is supposed to burn, but only at the prescribed time. Most statements by the "burners" sound just like people anywhere who witness acts that violate societies preconceived notions.
A festival-goer who identified herself as simply Erica said she and her friends were "upset by the fact that someone would take this away from everybody who comes to the event just to see the man burn. To try to sabotage him is completely wrong. We wait all year long. This is an adult's Christmas party."
I actually side with those upset by the "attention whore" as the arsonist has been dubbed. But, I'm the sort of person who believes in social order. This act by one person, maybe even acting in accordance with the festival's ideal of "radical self expression," reminds me of a headline I recently saw on The Onion: Hard To Tell If Wikipedia Entry On Dada Has Been Vandalized Or Not.
Go in Peace