28 August 2007

Burning Man is Wall Street's Woodstock

You've heard about these hysterical "corporate tribal drum circles", right? Where some firm pays to have some other lunatics come in to inspire stressed out execs and file clerks to bang on drums to release their corporate frustrations and find their "lost spirit"... Well, Burning Man is like the mothership of all corporate drum circles and tribal male spiritual retreats.

Burning Man is an 8-day annual festival ending on Labor Day. It takes place in Black Rock City, a temporarily manufactured city on the playa of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada; about 90 miles north of The Biggest Little City in the World: Reno.


In '99 they made a neon Burning Man. Uh, cool.


The event is described by organisers as an "experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance". The event takes its name from the ritual of burning a large wooden sculpture of a man in effigy on the sixth day. The whole thing was founded by a nut named Larry Harvey.

So anyway, no one really knows exactly what the fuck goes on at Burning Man except those that have been there and they've got that whole Fight Club fantasy with "the first rule is you do not talk about Burning Man"
"Because of the variety of goals fostered by participatory attendees, Burning Man does not have a single focus. Features of the event are subject to the participants and include community, artwork, absurdity, decommodification, and revelry. Participation is encouraged, and being a spectator is discouraged. The Burning Man event is governed by the 10 principles of Burning Man, which are radical
inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy."

Uhm, what?

All I know is while they're there they have their own language and words and codes. No cash transactions are permitted at Burning Man. Café products (coffee, chai - execs gotta have their chai no matter where the fuck they is) are sold at "Center Camp".

As of 2006, the tickets were $5. The event is clothing-optional and public nudity is common, however "participants must be clothed and sober to board the bus." - oh well then, I guess I ain't going!

"Wall Street executives at Burning Man" you ask? You bet your ass!

"Though there’s nothing farther from the cutthroat, moneymaking world of Wall Street than the antikapitalist, antikorporate festival of radical self-expression known as Burning Man, we found several New York business executives and Wall Street types who are heading out West this week and staying through Labor Day. In the dusty, storm-ridden desert flatlands north of Reno, Nevada, is a place dubbed Black Rock City, home of the biggest little countercultural festival in the world."

I thought this comment summed it all up quite eloquently:

"Why don't these "executives" just say "I go to Burning Man to walk around naked, drop acid, guzzle vodka, smoke dope, take ecstasy and stare at flaming lilly pads during tribal drum circles while God speaks to me via parachutists landing on my tent at 3 a.m." I've been there. That's what's going on out there. And to say it's about "art" just isn't quite accurate."



The Man Goes to Burning Man by Andrea Chalupa / Portfolio.com

Burning Man on Wikipedia

Burning Man founder
Larry Harvey addresses 2007 Burning Man controversy ???


Speeches and Lectures by Larry Harvey

Photos from Burning Man on Google. MUST SEE!