Weve got this Burning Man thing down
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
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
who are we kidding? What else would we be doing on Labor Day weekend?
Why are we called Piss Clear?
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?
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
just looking out for you.
Hey, Larry likes us!
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.‰)
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!
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.
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
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).
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!
issue comes out on Friday. Until then, enjoy!