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Rumors, Hell!
by ggallin13

Another year has come and gone, and here I am again at Burning Man. The shade is up, the ice in my coolers is melting, drum circles are going, and there are naked middle-aged guys on bikes everywhere you look. Sure, things look exactly as they have for the past several years here in Black Rock City ÷ but, in fact, there is a sinister undercurrent that threatens the very foundation of our community!

What Iām referring to, of course, is the Rumor Mill. Oh sure, I like to gossip as much as the next guy, speculating on future changes to this beloved little festival. But letās use a little common sense, people! I wish I knew where people get the crap they believe in (besides books), but I am going to do my best to once and for all lay these pathetic little Black Rock Legends to rest!

MTV is not here
MTV VJ Kennedy is not riding around with a camera crew. Nor has she ever. MTV has no interest in Burning Man. Why would they? Look at the shit they promote everyday ÷ do you really think that anyone camped around you is in the MTV demographic? As much as I might personally enjoy it, a huge group of Midwestern high school girls will not, and probably never will, be joining us any time soon. MTV already has Spring Break, Woodstock (look how well that went), and whatever else normal people are into.

In fact, MTV has done its best to marginalize most of the people who find Burning Man to be any fun. They donāt even play heavy metal music anymore, and your average Ozzy/Pantera/Slayer fest draws more people than Burning Man, and MTV doesnāt get involved at all. And the metal crowd (there are some here, talk to them, theyāre fun!) is a way bigger segment of society than just about any group represented here. So, forget about MTV screwing this all up ÷ but watch out for them in real life!

Beer company sponsorships? Not.
Beer companies/conglomerates are not coming. Only a sucker would come out here and try to vend anything. In fact, I think it would be hilarious for them to try! They would have to prevent us from bringing in our own beer or soda (impossible), as well as provide their own cooling systems for the kegs, etc. This logistical nightmare is just too large for any company worth a damn to bother. Thereās a NASCAR race or football game somewhere that does their marketing job just fine.

Besides, theyāre selling plenty of beer anyway. How much do you have in your cooler? I thought so. As it is, the store keeps it cold and vends it for them. As you can see, they already have a pretty good system mapped out for getting their slice of your Burning Man dollar.

Corporate America is here
It certainly fits the pervasive, money-grubbing capitalist myth that ćtheyä are scheming to step in and somehow make money on this event, but there is no money to be made. Most of the people I meet will give you whatever they have to spare if you need it, just because you asked. I know Iām that way, and you should be, too. How can you possibly expect to make money in that sort of environment? It seems to be human nature for groups to have an enemy, so they can feel that there is a reason for their grouping together. For many of us out here, our common enemy seems to be ćCorporate America.ä Well, listen, Corporate America built your car, sold you your stereo, made your tent, fabricated that ugly blue tarp ÷ in effect, they are in everything everywhere out here ÷ except for what you make yourself. And even then, they made the art supplies you used to make whatever it is you made. So there. We would all be hand-pumping the porta-potties ourselves if not for Corporate America, so cut them a little respect if for no other reason than that.ŹŹŹ

Who cares what the Man means?
The last, and in my opinion, the dumbest myth of them all revolves around the Man itself. Whether it represents Larry Harveyās grandmother or seventh grade teacher or ex-lover or Satan or whatever, how does that possibly concern you? I have been coming out here for eight years, and Iāve never even met Larry Harvey. Do you have to talk to Picasso or know his motivations to enjoy his paintings? No. The art stands on its own, period. If you want to believe that weāre all worshiping Satan in our own small way (well, at my camp we are) or that weāre all into the Grateful Dead as much as you are (okay, we arenāt), then go for it. But donāt pass your perspective on things as right or true ÷ isnāt that what people in normal society do that bugs you so much? Hmmmmm?

Iām sure there will be more rumors, more wild speculation, and more Fear of Money, but try to think about these things before you accept them at face value. Stick to the facts, as they are interesting enough. For example, the Man will burn on Saturday, and I will get lost on Friday night. So there.

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