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


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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.

The truth 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.

So despite 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
You know, 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!

Okay, okay, 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
Let‰s face 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?
The one 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 or something?

They just 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.

Besides, PF 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!

Anyway, stop by and say hi. We might even have some Piss Clear stickers left.



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