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

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We’ve got this Burning Man thing down - 2000
by Adrian Roberts

Once again, here we are, out on the playa Ö Piss Clear, in all our low-rent, low-maintenance, ‹we-just-pulled-up-in-a-rental-RVŠ glory. Look, I must confess: after eight years of doing this, it‰s really starting to feel like routine. Then again, that‰s not necessarily a bad thing.
by this point, we‰ve got the whole ‹going to Burning ManŠ thing down. Like a science. And I would hope so, considering the number of times we‰ve done this! This year, in fact, has been our most stress-free foray into the Black Rock Desert yet. Then again, we just got here. Ask us again in a few days.

I wish I could tell you that we‰ve spent the past six months planning and preparing for this year‰s Burning Man, but that, of course, would be a lie. The truth of the matter is, half of us have been doing all we can just to muster up enough energy and enthusiasm to get our asses out here! It‰s not that we don‰t like coming to Black Rock City Ö we do Ö but sometimes it feels like the only reason we‰re here is to fulfill some sort of twisted sense of obligation.

‹Gotta make the donuts...Š
‹I gotta put out the paperŠ has been my mantra the past few weeks. After all, Black Rock City has got to have its alternative newspaper Ö especially when the only other option is the propaganda-fueled Black Rock Gazette, as poor of an excuse as any for a newspaper. After all, if we didn‰t fight the good fight, who would? Why isn‰t anyone else publishing a newspaper to compete with the Gazette? Is it just because it‰s sexier to have a radio station instead?

I have to admit though, as this issue of Piss Clear came together, I did start to get excited for this year. Sure, you‰ll find a lot of snarky, cynical articles within these pages intimating how Burning Man isn‰t nearly as cool as it used to be, and how in fact, it‰s really starting to suck. But hey, come on! That‰s our job! We have to run articles like that! Otherwise, how else are we going to establish ourselves as ‹anti-establishment?Š

But really, who are we kidding? What else would we be doing on Labor Day weekend?

Why are we called Piss Clear?
Before I forget, I need get something out of the way. If you‰ve been here before, you can skip the next paragraph, but if you‰re a Newbie, you‰re probably wondering one thing: Why the hell is this newspaper called Piss Clear? Isn‰t that a really dork-ass name?

Well, yes, you‰re absolutely right. It is a dork-ass name for a newspaper. But when we started a rumor last year about how we were going to change the name, so many people came up to us and implored us not to, that we decided to stick with it. Besides, we‰ve got such a nice logo and all. Not to mention the fact that the title of our publication is meant as a constant reminder that while you‰re here in Black Rock City, you need to drink enough water so that you always piss clear.

See, we‰re just looking out for you.

Hey, Larry likes us!
Besides, Larry Harvey likes the name of our newspaper as well Ö but he might just be saying that so that the Black Rock Gazette will continue to get all the media coverage. (Most mainstream media are squeamish about using the word ëpiss.‰)

Oh yeah, Larry. Our cover boy. The grand poobah of Burning Man. And a pretty damn good interview, too, once you sift out all the rambling rhetoric, which we‰ve done. I probably inhaled a month‰s worth of secondhand smoke during our two-hour chat, but it was well worth the risk to my health in order to bring you the interview that graces these pages.

The questions I asked Larry were solicited from Piss Clear‰s varied staff of contributors, and amongst the queries, the two most popular were: ‹What‰s up with the Hat?Š and ‹How much do you make?Š

The answers to both can be found within, although the real answer to the latter question was told to me off the record. I can say this, however: rest assured, Larry Harvey‰s salary is considerably less than six figures, which seems to be the amount that so many Burning Man dissidents erroneously assume it to be.

But you know what? What if his salary was six figures? So what? If you ask me, Larry Harvey has every right to make as much money from Burning Man as he possibly can. Why? Because he earns it, that‰s why! Burning Man is his baby. He created it, he conceptualized it, and he helps keep it running year after year. This is what he does Ö this is his job. He has helped to create a successful, annual event out of essentially nothing Ö and he deserves to be compensated for his effort and hard work. If you came up with an idea for something that tens of thousands of people enjoy and benefit from, wouldn‰t you want to get paid for it? I thought so. Nice work if you can get it.

Work? Fuck that, we‰re on vacation!
Of course, here at Piss Clear, we don‰t really like work, which is why we can never be bothered with creating a theme camp or anything. Sure, two of us may be members of famed San Francisco glitz rock band Blue Period, and I‰m often asked why Blue Period doesn‰t perform out here, or create a glittery glam rock theme camp or something.

Geez, we publish a newspaper twice a week Ö isn‰t that enough? Besides, if we had a theme camp, then I‰d be stuck running it all day Ö and who wants to do that? Especially when there‰s so much in Black Rock City to see! I‰d much rather blunder around aimlessly on my fuzzy orange bicycle than be tied down to a theme camp.

Okay, that‰s kind of a lie. We actually are sort of affiliated with a theme camp this year Ö the fabulous Jiffy Lube Lounge, which is part of M*A*S*Hcara, located at 6:40 Brain. It‰s supposed to be like a queer version of Bianca‰s Smut Shack (although I never particularly thought of Bianca‰s as necessarily ‹straightŠ Ö then again, when you‰re someone like me, it can get a little confusing).

I‰ll be doing hosting duties at Jiffy Lube periodically throughout the week, so if you see a gorgeous, glittery, fiery-haired creature of indeterminate gender, that‰s probably me. By all means, stop by and say hi!

Our next issue comes out on Friday. Until then, enjoy!

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