BRC DPW: We work hard, we play hard
by an anonymous DPW worker
out here at the Black Rock City DPW "labor camp" sweating and frying
for weeks now. I'm kind of on brain boil out here ÷ a 120-degree day on the
playa will do that to you. But it's not that bad, really ÷ they put certain
additives in the food to equalize us. It's a pretty good buzz. I can't place
it, but it could be thorazine.
everyone in the DPW is a little crazy ÷ you kinda have to be. I mean, what kind
of person spends two months living in the god-forsaken desert just to build a
city that's only going to last one week? Sometimes, I think that we're all just
a bunch of nutcases, drawn to the lithium content of the well water out here.
Damn, it's hard water. It's as hard as a 16-year-old's cock watching porno.
It's so hard we chew it. It cuts diamonds, and totally counteracts loose
stools. We load our guns with it... uh, so to speak.
at the labor camp are rough, but like the saying goes, "that which doesn't
kill us makes us stronger." For instance, we've discovered that dog milk
doesn't taste so bad in one's coffee. Right now, the hottest things on the camp
black market are cigarettes and radio batteries, followed closely by booze,
beer, and sexual favors, not necessarily in that order.
been working our asses off out here since July. Fuck, I hate sticking little
flags in the ground. But at least the DPW has finally discovered the sound
management principle of "threes." You see, three is the perfect
number for a crew ÷ two to do the work and one to hold the bag or drive the car
or whatever. To facilitate this, we've organized the volunteers into special
task focus groups of three each, and to encourage a symbolic bonding, we attach
them via a chain and leg irons. For larger tasks we use multiple groups of
three which are supervised by a manager, usually with a big-ass bull whip. It
seems to work.
consists of an Afrikanse; a professional body piercer, and a leather
jock-wearing Bo Derek-long-braided gothish tattooed guy who seems like a cross
between a vampire, Tarzan, and Wolf Boy. I like my crew ÷ they're fun.
As you can
probably guess, the bulk of the DPW workforce are counter-cultural warriors to
whom bureaucracy is anathema ÷ crazed kids who can weld together a tall bike
from scraps in mere minutes. There's a whole shitload of hardcore
tattooed-faced freaks from Minneapolis; two professional body piercers who are,
well, holy to say the least; one pregnant mother; and one newborn, if you can believe
also two rockin' DPW punk bands, Suicidal Bunnies and Tank Girl. And they both
could have held their own on a bill with the Dead Kennedys or you name it. They
kick ass. Apocalypse Theatre is also in the house ÷ hotties all.
We have something
like 120 volunteers ÷ most are solid, but there are a few slackers. Three of
them were left in the stocks all day yesterday and had rotten food and feces
thrown at them. Talk about "Lord of the Flies." Fortunately, I have
my Zen armor and a quick draw stun baton, just in case. You know, sometimes,
people miss the "edginess" of the old Burning Man, or they get heat
stroke and start running at the barbed wire ÷ and that's when we play rock salt buckshot tag. Hey, we work hard, we
though, the crew is starting to show
signs of stress from being out here too long ÷ fistfights are frequent and
bloody, often ending in severe lacerations and severed limbs. Women however,
are safe. Besides, DPW women are usually the ones starting the fistfights and
severing the limbs. Nobody, except for those with a death wish, should mess
we were all ready to pull an insurrection and declare the DPW a workers
collective ÷ except for the fact that we knew that 25,000 participants would be
arriving in less than a month. Not that we really care, but it does give us something to do. In fact,
the managers all received knives as gifts from the Burning Man upper management
and have sworn oaths to commit suicide if any participants meet with
discomfort. See, we do care!
really give a damn about the structure of Black Rock City though. We know that
it's an organic process and that all we build is the skeleton ÷ the flesh is
everyone who shows up. So we slave away, building the city's infrastructure,
and then everyone shows up with their RVs and their theme camps and fucks it
all up. It annoys us, but we're used to it.
you've ever wondered why the DPW has such a bad attitude, that might be part of
it. Not that we care though. We know damn well that we are what all the moneyed
professionals who attend pretend to be while they're here ÷ and that they all
wish that they could be us for just one day. But sorry kids, the DPW doesn't
work that way. Out here, to play hard, you gotta work hard.