Thursday, August 27, 2015


If Burning Man has turned out to be another decadent playground for the One Percent, I can't say I'm all that surprised. I first heard about it at a wedding some years ago. It was the 21st century, because my friend who was also attending had started dating the future mother of (most of) his children, but it was early in the century. This other guest was all gung-ho about the Burning Man experience and really hoped he'd be able to go again next year. My second reaction - internal - was that this setup sounded like it was for the gullible and the unscrupulous, who always find each other sooner or later.

My first reaction was, "Jesus Christ! Somebody's charging just for the privilege of walking around naked in the desert? I hope some fallen Indians rise from the dead and eat his brains."


susan said...

Your first reaction was very funny and your second as true as could be. The article was very good - not so much about Burning Man as about the hubris of the ultra rich. No surprise there even though it is very depressing.

A few years after BM began we were invited to go to the Playa for one of the earlier gatherings. The people who'd been there the year before made it sound like fun, but when I thought for a bit about the heat and dust I soon remembered my preference for comfort (that includes real bathrooms) and declined. Woodstock was never an option either..

Ben said...

What depresses about the hubris of the ultra rich is that it keeps finding new ways to express itself, extending tendrils into your own life. It pisses you off when someone else's pride goeth before your fall.

Yeah, there may be times when it's worthwhile to give up some comfort in order to experience the sublime. But I think the best of these opportunities will be small, personal events. Once something becomes a brand it grows suspicious.