I’m fostering a bit of a Paul Addis complex right about now. How interesting. What compells a man to run around in tunnels, imitate Hunter S. Thompson and set ablaze the icon of a countercultural freakshow deep in the wilds of the Nevada desert? What strange confluence of mystical energies go into creating such a being? Holy fuck. What a freakstar!
I can vividly recall the mounting anxiety inside of me as I sat in our shade structure listening to Amira reading out the description of Paul Addis, the artisti-politico-pre-arsonator of the Man. It read like a bio of myself, and really, when I heard that the Man burnt early, well, I was pleased.
Mr. Addis gave an interview to Wired from the truck stop in Fernley (and I here officially insist on the installation of a commemorative plaque at the site imortalizing the event) and touched on numerous highly valid points. Hell we’ve all been thinking it. Every year Burning Man is more and more sanitized, regulated and castrated. Where the fuck have all the crazies gone? Not once this year did I truly fear for my life, and that in my opinion is a piss poor burn. Happily some freakjob from a bygone era showed up Monday looking for explosives and ultimately climbed up the tipi of trees at the base of the Man and set him a flickering. Thank fucking God. At least there’s something to talk about.
No knocking Burning Man. I love it no matter what happens, there’s just something creepily wrong when you never feel like things are spiralling out of control. A sign of the times… there wasn’t even graffiti in the porta potties this year. I mean what’s happening? A truckstop bathroom should never be more engaging that “the facilities” at Black Rock City.
CUE PETE SEEGER
“Where have all the freakjobs gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the freakjobs gooone?
Long time ago
Where have all the freakjobs gone?
Gone to cubicles everyone
When will they ever learn?
When will they
There is hope. There are no vendors (Except that damn cafe. You can make a jet powered pendulum but you can’t brew your own coffee?! Come on!), no money (except to buy ecstacy and pot) and no real concept of time. People do share and gift and touch and forget about the bullshit and boundaries of the default world and that’s a beautiful thing, worthwhile in its own right, but goddamit, there could be so much more.
What Paul Addis did, whether you agree with his actions or not (I do get a kick out of the idea of flaming lumber falling on a stinky hippy) was wake up the citizens of Black Rock City of where the line used to be. It was way over there. We’ve given up too much, gotten too soft, too comfortable, too complacent. For many Black Rock City is the only true taste of freedom they will ever get, and they waste it. Push the boundaries people, and see what’s possible, see what happens when you mix A with F, what happens if you cross the streams or spit into the wind? I dunno. Let’s find out. Because everyone is behind you, no matter how strange, irrational or fucked up, they’re behind you and they’ll pick you up when you fall.
There. Read it and understand it. For fucksakes that’s freedom, not the drivelling spew Georgie Bush spouts out at ya. Shooting Muslums isn’t freedom, its tyranny, building a fire canon and taking personal responsibility for it when you melt your eyebrows off is freedom. That’s how it cuts. Freedom and liberty are friggin’ dangerous things but they’re also beautiful and I’ll tell ya another thing. Ready for this?
Freedom is free. You’re free to do anything you want right here and now. Whatever you want to do. Do it. See? Now there might be consequences, but that’s not a price, that’s part of the product. Killing your best friend with said fire canon, well you bought that, ain’t nobody who bought that but you, and him for playing along.
So yeah. Shit. Got wrestled all over the place here didn’t I? Well no biggie. Fuck. Coming back to default is a bitch. So much bullshit, just to get by day to day, but you don’t need it. Its all choices. Take it. Got it. Have it. Sure as shit.
Speaking of default, got homework to do. How fucking ridiculous is that? Homework and tests. Shit. Goddam desert is the only place that makes sense anymore.
*Please address the Committee for Unfettered Thought (CUT) for fillibustering and abuse regarding this information.
Did I mention I’m thinking about being a Ranger too? 😉