Are dot.com yuppies killing Burning Man?
by Adrian Roberts
Yeah, yeah, we know. But still, we just couldn‰t resist a good
ol‰ sensationalistic cover. Besides, it‰s everyone‰s favorite hot-button
topic Ö dot.com yuppies at Burning Man. As if it‰s something new.
of the matter is, Black Rock City has always been a hotbed of privileged,
dot.com economy boomers. Even back in the day. I remember when HotWired.com
brought out practically their entire staff in a fleet of about eleven RVs, back
in ‰95. The year before, they were actually recruiting out here, for
chrissakes! This is old news.
who the hell do you think pays for all this shit here anyway? That‰s right, you
guessed it! All these mind-blowing (and bank account-blowing) theme camps and
art installations don‰t grow on trees, you know!
grateful that there are so many egomaniacs in Black Rock City with no lives and
plenty of disposable income, each one trying to out-do the other with bigger
and better theme camps. Goodness knows I sure as hell couldn‰t afford it, but
I‰ll be damned if I won‰t come out here and reap the benefits of someone else‰s
IPO! All one has to do is walk along the Esplanade to see all that money being
put to use.
there is a downside to Black Rock City‰s new economy. This is a monied,
upper-class sort of town now, which means that you won‰t see just anybody out
here anymore. Gone are the crusty, vagabond hippies and poor, starving artists
Ö victims of BRC‰s increasing gentrification. The rising ticket prices have
helped see to that, especially if one is prone to flakiness or indecision.
It‰s still cheaper
if you‰re not well-to-do, but you at least had your shit together seven months
ago, you could have gotten in here for less that a Ben Franklin. We here at Piss Clear got our tickets for $95 a
piece, simply because we bought them back in February. Not a bad deal, for what
think of it though, $200 isn‰t necessarily a bad deal either. Sure, it‰s a far
cry from the $40 tickets from days of yore (1993), but I still think that it‰s
one hell of a travel bargain, especially when you compare it to what you‰d pay
for any other vacation event. (Think about how much Disney World is for a week
Ö not that Burning Man is Disney World, but you get the idea.) As long as you
forego any elaborate theme camp ideas and don‰t go crazy with the camping
provisions, you can still have one hell of a neat little vacation here for only
a few hundred bucks.
I have some friends who went to Hawaii this year instead of Burning Man. Why?
Because they did the math. It was actually cheaper for them.
Smash the oligarchy!
Sneak in to BM!
you could always avoid the ticket price altogether and try to smuggle yourself
in. That‰s what Piss Clear
inadvertently did last year when, just outside of Gerlach, I realized that my
Burning Man ticket was still sitting safely on my desk back home in San
relishing the thought of shelling out the cash for another ticket, we
frantically hid PF, the smallest member of our group, underneath about two tons
of camping gear, and just narrowly passed the front gate
‹search-the-RV-for-freeloadersŠ inspection. Whew! That was a close one. This
year, needless to say, I remembered my ticket.
PC on an SUV
gave me shit yesterday because they saw a Piss
Clear sticker on somebody‰s SUV here. As if I have any control over where
our stickers end up. Please. It‰s not like we‰re selling out. When someone Ö
say, like the Burning Man organization Ö gives us $20,000 to publish this
newspaper, maybe then we can be accused of selling out. Until then, we‰ll be
just as fiercely independent as we‰ve always been.
even soulless, SUV-driving, dot.com yuppies need to piss clear, you know.
The Burning Man
selling out, why doesn‰t the Black Rock
Gazette just come clean? To call themselves a ‹newspaperŠ is an erroneous
half-truth that insults the intelligence of the citizens of Black Rock City.
Everyone knows that they‰re simply shills for the BMorg. Hell, the Gazette is practically nothing more than
a corporate newsletter. Don‰t believe me? Then read Lesself‰s enlightening
article opposite this page.
Pissing clear at the
what sucks? Being stuck in a crowd of 28,000 people, waiting for the Man to
burn, and ... having to pee. I know this, because it has happened to me. Twice.
And as you‰ve probably figured out, there is absolutely no way you can make it
out of the crowd, find a porta-potty (or even an open plot of playa), and make
it back through the crowd to find your friends. Fuck it, once you‰re in the
mob, you‰re pretty much stuck there until they burn that fucker down.
So what do
you do? You suffer. Or you pee. I recommend the latter, especially if you‰re on
drugs. Nothing spoils a drug trip more than having to pee. But how? Pissing on
the ground isn‰t really an option, especially with every one crammed in so
close Ö besides, it‰s rude. If you‰re lucky enough to have been born with a
directional spout (really, it‰s far and away the best thing about being born
genetically male) then you can do what I‰ve done Ö pee into a bottle. Yes,
sometimes, this is what it comes down to. I‰ve had to do this twice now at the
Burn. And you know what? Everyone‰s so captivated by all the shit going on
around them, no one even notices. Trust me.
I bet you
have to go right now, don‰t you? Chances are, you‰re reading this while
standing in line for the porta-potties, and all this talk about peeing probably
isn‰t helping. We‰re sorry! We do hope that you‰re at least entertained,
because Ö as you may have garnered Ö that is our job, first and foremost. And
we like doing our job!
last couple of days at Burning Man, and we‰ll see you out on the playa!