Theme camp envy - 2001
by Adrian Roberts
So we‰ve been out here for a day now, and we‰re already feeling
that thing I call ‹theme camp envyŠ š you know, how everyone else‰s
theme camp is so much cooler than yours. I mean, it‰s not exactly
a newspaper‰s job to have an awesome theme camp or anything, but
we can‰t help but feel like we‰re totally slacking.
of the matter is, in the weeks leading up to Burning Man, we spend so much time
and energy working on and preparing Piss
Clear, that we don‰t have any time or energy to spend working on the actual
Piss Clear camp. Hell, this year, I
was lucky to have even one day to shop and pack for what our friends in
Fandango like to call the BFCT (Big Fucking Camping Trip). But somehow, I
managed to pull it all together at the last minute š it helps that this is now
my ninth trip to Burning Man. Each year gets a little easier.
our bevy of inspired ideas and best intentions, all we could manage to pull
together was an RV, a canopy, a laptop, and a printing press. We publish some
newspapers and deliver them, and that‰s about it.
Our writers get me
amped up for the playa
sometimes I think we do this whole newspaper thing just to get ourselves
psyched up for each year‰s Burn. You see, most of the year, we‰re pretty
ambivalent about Burning Man š that is, until around August. That‰s when all
the articles and rants from our fabulous staff of writers start trickling in.
And as I get to work reading and editing each one, I find myself getting
excited about returning to the playa. Their words and stories get me amped up
for Burning Man, so I wanna give a big
shout-out to all my writers Ö you rawk my world!
Stop by and say hi š
but no stupid playa gifts, please
If you want
to stop by the Piss Clear offices
(okay, RV) and say hi, well by all means, do it! But be prepared to be
underwhelmed by our meager operations. We do like being social though š that‰s
part of the reason we come to Burning Man, to meet new people š so don‰t be
shy! Despite the snarky tone of some of our articles, we don‰t bite. Really.
However, if you
visit, please don‰t offer us useless ‹playa gifts.Š This whole ‹gift economyŠ
thing has got to go. Despite its good intentions, in recent years it has
fostered a mentality that says, ‹If I don‰t give something to the people I meet
at Burning Man, then I‰m not participating properly!Š Whatever. Trust me, no
one wants your landfill fodder. We don‰t want to take your trash home any more
than you do.
Here at Piss Clear, the only gifts we accept are
booze and drugs. Well, okay, we‰ll make an exception for sushi. Oh yeah, and
‰zines. And CDs too, sure we‰ll take those. And blinky things, and glow stuff š
we love that shit. Oh yeah, and Atari 2600 cartridges. Oh wait, and stickers
too, we love stickers!
so we‰ll take anything we think is cool. But in case you‰re not sure, you can
never go wrong with booze and drugs.
This is my Real Life
it, part of the reason we do this newspaper thing is so we can get free stuff š
especially free drinks! We‰ll own up to it. It works the same way in Black Rock
City as it does in the Real World. If you‰re ‹press,Š you get ‹press
privileges,Š right? I‰ve been spoiled. You see, back in the Real World, I
actually work for a newspaper š sitting in front of a Mac making text and
pictures look pretty. That is, when I‰m not trying to be a rock star with my
band, Blue Period.
It‰s funny š most
people come out here to Black Rock City to escape their Real Life. Instead, I
come out here and get an enhanced version of it, since it‰s my own newspaper
I‰m working for, instead of someone else‰s. And I prefer it that way. Why
should I come out here and pretend I‰m someone else? I‰m the same freak in the
Real World as I am out here. And I kind of wish more people could be that way š
if for no other reason than at least I‰d be able to recognize them when I run
into them on the street back home in San Francisco. Then I could stop using my
stock comment, ‹Wow, everyone looks so different when they‰re not in the
desert.Š Yeah, usually because back in the Real World, they‰re not painted blue
and they have clothes on. Oh yeah, and when I meet them, I‰m not on drugs.
Blue Period rocks!
But where are they?
thing out here that is markedly different from my Real Life though, is the fact
that I don‰t have my band, Blue Period, with me. Sure, our keyboardist, PF, is
part of the Piss Clear crew, but
we‰re not exactly going to be performing anywhere š our days as an art-damaged
synth-and-vocal duo are thankfully over. However, the other three guys in the
band are a little annoyed at us for being here this week. I mean, shouldn‰t
Blue Period be playing tonight with Faster Pussycat at a club in San Francisco
don‰t get it. When Burning Man happens, there is simply no other place we‰d
rather be. So why doesn‰t the rest of the band come out here? Because
convincing all five members of Blue Period to do a couple of non-paying gigs in
a dusty Nevada town called Black Rock City is harder than you think. Besides,
I‰m not sure the techno-loving audiences of BRC are really ready for a
glamorous kick-ass rock band. Blue Period isn‰t tribal enough, and all our
‹space jamsŠ get crammed into four-minute pop songs. And have I mentioned that
dust wrecks havoc on expensive band equipment? Let‰s face it, we‰re a bunch of
high-maintenence wusses when it comes to our gear.
and I need a vacation from the rough life of trying to be glamorous rock stars!
That‰s why we come out here to be glamorous newspaper publishers instead!
stop by and say hi. We might even have some Piss
Clear stickers left.