Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The man done burnt.....twice!

Whew! What a week that was! I had such a greattime at Burning Man 2007 that it is all still settling in and I feel like it is almost futile to try to talk about it. There were meaningful experiences great and small throughout the week and I really do feel envigorated spiritually and artistically just as I had hoped.

The night before I left, I thought I lost my ticket. I tore apart the whole room and house and eventually found it but damn that was a scary moment. The drive up was beautiful, the sierras and trees, and wide open sky. So Gorgeous! We arrived in Reno about 5pm and had to find the best way to park our overly tall vehicle in the nasty downtown area. (Memo to me, avoid parking or staying downtown for burning man travel.) The tacky streets of Reno are paved not with gold, but with vomit and sticky drink spills. The silver legacy showed us it has cornered the market on bad food, weak drinks, and the hardest beds in human creation so I slept on the floor to re-adjust my back. Just avoid this city at all costs if you can.

The next morning I was so excited to get out there and experience this crazy event firsthand. We ran to grab some quicklast minute essentials and perishables and were on our way into the beautiful landscape that makes Nevada seem possibly redeeming. We obeyed all signage to slow down and go the speed limit, as we had been informedd that the localpolice were looking for any small slip-up to cash in off your mistakes. My Friend Angie told me she had gotten an $800 ticket on the way in for going 10mph over the speed limit. If you are ever travelling to Burning Man, keep this in mind. When we turnd off the road, I realized I was finally here. It had taken me 10 years and numerous prompts and near misses to make it to this event and I was finally ready to experience it. After a quick initiation at the gate where our greeter, who was more than a little high, kept forgetting what he was doing, we made our way in on Landfill to 4:40 and were now home. The wind was blowing, it was about 98 degrees and it was time to set up. We finished with efficient speed and eventually got the penis topiaries up and swingin' all seemed to enjoy the kitch value.

The boys at my homebase "Our Lady of Schlongs Meat Inspection Center" were absolutely wonderful. Our camp consisted of two factions from both LA and SF and we got along famously. Snowball was the main greeter/ inspector yelling "Cold beer right here right now" out to all the lovely passerbys. Once they came in they got the catch, they had to drop trou and show their meet for that cold beer. You'd be really surprised how many people did it with no hesitation, and the ones you would expect to have no issue would often flat out refuse. Many had come to see the books from past years inpections and see their photos. By the end of the week, I was a little cocked out...... too much and it all became a blur.

This is a small version of "the man" that had been created and erected right behind where were camping at 4:40 and Landfill. We joked with the guy who created it that he was just hiding back here so nobody would try to burn him again. (Thanks to Danger Ranger for the pic)

With the days so warm and the sun so unforgiving, I spent most of the day after morning chores just laying around relaxing, and sometimes a light snooze. The nights were really what I enjoyed and I would walk or bike around for about 4 hours returning home exhausted, but with so many stories. I saw some amazing fire spinning with hula hoops and sticks ablaze. I ran into the "evil vending machine" out there where you could push the button of your vice be it a toke, a smoke, a joke, porn etc... I got some nasty pin-up hustler print and threw it back demanding one better: a smoke. The machine bitched about how I was too picky and demanding and it guessed I needed it lit too.... "No" I replied, "I have the lighter I used to burn the man with." "That deserves a smoke." it replied and it shot one out in its clammy little hand. The green giant walked by me at one point saying "Ho ho ho... Green giant" heartily while handing me a can of dented green beans I later gifted into a random camp's mailbox. There were so many fun little moments meeting people like Jade from England who I sat with and sang Johnny Cash tunes by the fire cactus art piece. There was the great crowd at Dance Dance Immolation (a version of dance dance revolution with the players competing and wearing flameproof suits so that when they misss and are blasted with a flamethrower they don't get burnt.) cheering them on and yet secretly hoping they trip up at least a little. I did a strip tease/dance behind the screen of one of the burning man radio stations to the song "Car Wash," and how much fun did I have with my female partner since she was dressed in a fringe skirt?! It was like it was meant to be for us dancing to that song! I bit the dust on my bike one night while staring at an art piece thatwas blinking in the dark, too bad there was a huge sand patch there! I discovered alove for one camp called "bad idea theater" thatshowed movies that were for the most part, a bad idea. Dr. Caligari will always remind me of Bruning Man now. I loved lying on my back, seeing the stars in the middle of the desert and freeing myself of all those issues that had bound me up throughout the year. Over-all I was most touched by the small gestures of caring and gratitude that this event could foster in the human spirit. One really bad white-out sandstorm can bring even the most divided groups together.

This art piece was called "Big Rig Jig" and I was amazed when I saw it finished. This thing really blew my mind, I saw the sketch and just didn't think it was possible...

This piece was entitled "Crude Awakening" and was a real highlight for me at the festival. The statues were made from rebar, scrap metal and chains. The giant burn of this piece after the man had burnt on Saturday was simply incredible. Not only were the fireworks the best I had ever seen, they burned 10,000 gallons of gas in 26 seconds to get the whole thing lit. A very erie spectacle I'll never forget.

This is a pic by my friend Billy and we were three people from the front of the perimiter they had set up. Best seats in the house. Below is a youtube vid of the minutes leading up to it and the huge explosion. It still doesn't really compare, but it gives you a damn good idea of just how big this moment was.

There is so much more to tell you guys, and pics I still need to get developed, so for now that's all ya get. But I will share more when I have some more time.

No comments: