For those about to Black Rock, we salute
you - 2002
by Adrian Roberts
Imagine the biggest party you've ever thrown. Think about all the
preparation you had to do. Think about how stressful it was planning
it, and what a big pain in the ass it was cleaning it up. Now, multiply
that by a million. That's what it's got to be like to throw an event
like Burning Man.
As many of you already know, I'm in the San Francisco-based band Blue Period. Every month or two, we throw a glamorous rock 'n' roll party called Glitz. I'm almost always a complete stress-case getting ready for it. During the actual night of the event, I'm often running around like mad, making sure everything runs smoothly.
And if I'm that crazed throwing just one party in a nightclub, I can't imagine what it must be like to organize something as massive as Burning Man. Can you say, 'no fun'? I don't know how they do it.
Being located right here in Center Camp, we're somewhat privy to the goings-on of the BMorg. It's not like we hang with them or anything, but we can see what they're up to. Meetings, mostly. Lots and lots of meetings. Imagine spending half your time on the playa in meetings. All I can say is, I'm sure as hell glad I don't have any of their jobs, even if I did get to drive around in a nifty golf cart.
Woo-hoo! We're done! Time to par-tay!
Not that publishing a newspaper on the playa is any easy task -- but we've been doing it for so many years now, we've pretty much got it down to a science. I'd like to give a big shout-out to my guys from Waller Press, who come out here every year. Without their equipment and mad skills, you would not be holding this piece of dead tree in your hands right now.
I'm sorry to say that this is going to be the last issue we'll be publishing on the playa this year. At this point, we've just got two words for you: fuck this!
Now we get to be on vacation! After all, this is our 'Best of Black Rock City' issue -- also known as the Piss Clear social agenda -- and we are ready to par-tay! Besides, we're sick of missing out on all the Woo.
You know, the Woo. It's when you're somewhere in Black Rock City -- up in an RV, writing an editorial on a laptop for instance -- and you hear a bunch of people in the distance going, 'Wooooo!!!' Nothing makes you feel more like you're missing out on something.
Still, it's not like you're ever going to see everything in Black Rock City anyway. Out in the Unknown, there are countless little treasures just waiting to be discovered -- and that's part of the fun. You never know what you're going to find, especially at night.
If you haven't yet, hop on your bike and ride out into the open playa. See that tiny light off in the distance? Head towards it. And that other one? Go towards that one. I don't want to spoil any surprises for you. Just go out there and do it. Who knows? You might even find the secret Piss Clear newspaper rack.
We're urban freaks, not sea mariners
Okay, so it's been four days, and we still don't have this new stupid street system down. Half the time, we have no idea where the fuck we even are. I mean, come on! Streets as degrees on a compass? Avenues named after obscure ship parts no one's ever heard of? What the fuck were they thinking?
Hello BMorg! Look, we get how smart, educated, and sophisticated you all are. Now can you please just lay off the high-concept themes and intellectual grandstanding and simply name the fuckin' streets in a way that real people can understand? This is a city full of urban freaks, not crusty sea mariners. Get a clue!
That is, unless you're trying to confuse everyone. In that case, just keep on going with your bad elitist selves. You know we'll still show up anyway.
The Haves and
the Have-Nots of BRC
Speaking of elistism, what's up with this stupid 'Floating World' Quest for Treasure game? You know, find the doubloons or tokens or whatever, and when you get enough of them, and do whatever it is you're supposed to do, then -- and only then -- will the Burning Man Powers-That-Be allow you to go up to the top of the Man's lighthouse. Follow the rules exactly, and maybe you can get to be in the 'Burning Man Special Person Club!'
Frankly, this whole 'find the coins, win a prize' concept seems pretty anti-Burning Man, if you ask me. I mean, isn't our 'normal' American society goal-oriented enough? The BMorg makes such a big deal about how consumerism here is bad, and that they don't even want you to barter, and that it's all about building community. Then they turn around and make the Burning Man viewing platform this exclusive place, available only to a select few. Seems pretty elitist to me.
You just know those closely associated with the BMorg don't have to go through that whole 'find the token' bullshit to get up there. And you know what I call that? 'Class privilege.'
I don't mean to sound like I'm bitching though, because I'm not. Every big city has its share of 'haves' and 'have-nots,' and Black Rock City is no exception. Personally, I think it gives the town a cosmopolitan vibe. Then again, we work press privilege here every which way we can, so perhaps we're not the best ones to speak about elitism on the playa!
Anyway, whatever -- we've been coming out here for ten years, so we'll just chalk up our snarky attitude to seniority and leave it at that!
See you on the web!
So we're outta here! We hope you've enjoyed Piss Clear this year! If you missed our other two issues, or want to check out articles from past years, be sure to visit the new-and-improved, updated-for-the-first-time-in-five-years, Piss Clear web site at: www.blue-period.com/pissclear. (Yeah, yeah, we know it's not pissclear.com, but we can't afford the $15,000 to buy the domain name.)
Many thanks to our fabulous web guru David Wisz, who completely redesigned and updated our site, especially since we could never get our shit together!
Have a good Burn everyone -- both nights -- and we'll see you out on the playa!