Piss Clear  -- Black Rock City's favorite alternative newspaper


Home > Adrian's Rants > 1997                                         

So now we’re a weekly - 1997

Every year, it's the same question, and every year, it's the same answer: Why is this publication entitled Piss Clear?

You see, when we first started publishing three years ago, this rag was originally meant as an irreverent survival guide to Black Rock City, filled with various tips and tricks to make your Burning Man experience that much more enjoyable. Now granted, we've mutated a bit over the years. But our number one survival tip has always remained the same: drink enough water so that you piss clear.

What's in here
Now that that's out of the way, allow me to welcome you to yet another Burning Man. Or perhaps this is your first one. No matter. Regardless if you're a "newbie" or an "old-timer," this particular issue of Piss Clear has got something for you. If you're new around here, check out Abby Normal's helpful "Expert tips for uptight Burning Man virgins." Or Lizard Man's numerous rants on how to behave now that you're here.

For old-school Burning Man veterans, there's a delightfully cynical piece from former Black Rock Gazette editor Stewart McKenzie, along with our infamous "What's Out, What's In" list. I'm also happy to report that our acerbic breeder sex advice columnist, Dan Bitter, is back. And although the Black Rock Gazette is introducing a sex columnist to their pages this year, just remember who on the playa did it first. It's not the first time the Gazette has appropriated one of our ideas, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

It's called "alternative press" for a reason!
Speaking of the mainstream media, is there a reason why we haven't been mentioned by name in any of the numerous articles about Burning Man which have run in various magazines and newspapers over the past two years? Interestingly, the few times we have been mentioned, it's always been rather vague, such as "the Black Rock Gazette's main competitor" or something like that. Perhaps these publications are a bit squeamish about the word "piss" in our title? Piss piss piss! There are reasons why we are considered the "alternative" press in Black Rock City, and we are proud to be so.

Who we're not
Which brings me to another point. For some reason, many people seem to be under the false impression that just because we produce this glorious little rag every year, we are somehow affiliated with the Burning Man Project. I can't tell you the number of times over the past year I received letters or e-mail from people asking me what was going on with this year's Burning Man. As if we had a clue! The truth is, if you want propaganda straight from the horse's mouth about Burning Man, turn to the "officially party-sanctioned" Black Rock Gazette. We, on the other hand, are a fiercely-independent weekly. Hell, I feel lucky that they even let us have a theme camp this year.

Piss Clear World Headquarters
Not that there's much of a theme. But hell, we figured that if the Black Rock Gazette can get away with just parking their asses on Theme Camp Row without doing much, so could we. After all, we're the media! Ha! For a while there though, we weren't even sure if we were going to get anything together for the Piss Clear World Headquarters. Sure we had ideas, but like most great Burning Man concepts, they were all just a bit too high-maintenance to actually pull of, especially since most of them came to us at the last minute. But as you know, if it weren't for the last minute, a lot of things wouldn't get done, including this issue of Piss Clear. Fortunately, we did manage to come up with a theme camp concept that was cheap and easy to pull off. So look for the camp surrounded by the giant origami on the fringes of the north end of Theme Camp Row. That's us. Stop by and say hi. We'll give you Piss Clear stickers.

Avoiding the Burning Man guilt trip
Yeah, we know, it's not much, but at least we're participating in some small way. And besides, it helps alleviate the "Burning Man guilt trip"÷you know, how if you don't "participate" in some way, you end up feeling like a free-loading loser. Part of the reason we do Piss Clear every year is so we can feel like we're contributing something to the Black Rock community, but without actually having to do much once we get out here. All the hard work for us was done two weeks ago, so now we can just kick back and have fun. After all, we're on vacation!

Now we're a weekly
Yes, we made it easy for ourselves this time around. Unlike last year, Piss Clear is no longer a daily publication. Considering the sheer number of people out here this year, it simply wasn't feasible to produce enough copies on a daily basis to satisfy Black Rock's reading public. Last year, we were only able to print 1000 copies a day, and sadly, many people missed out. If you were one of them, back issues are available÷see the back cover for more information, or check out our web site: http://www.pissclear.org

I sincerely hope you enjoy this particular edition of Piss Clear. And if you happen to see a cute, androgynous, gender-morphed freak with bobbed white hair running around carrying a Piss Clear backpack÷well by all means, stop me and say hi!



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