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You missed out
by Stephen Elliott

Well, itās another year at Burning Man. It hasnāt started yet, but let me tell you this, itās not what it used to be. No sir, itās not like back in the good old days when Burning Man was an exclusive meeting of only the hippest people. Thatās right. Burning Man used to kick ass. We would shoot our guns and hang art installations from the clouds. It was anarchy in a good way shared by people that knew how to function without rules, though there was that one mustard gas incident, we wonāt get into that. The drugs were cleaner, hell, the drugs were free. The people were better looking. Everybody fucked. It was everything you wanted it to be. That was back when things were real.

Not anymore.

Ever since my first Burning Man Iāve had a certain group of friends that would raise their eyebrows in disdain at me for attending something thatās been popular for more that two years. Never mind that none of them had ever been to Burning Man. The feeling was if you werenāt in early you werenāt in. Their common thought was that Burning Man was a frat oasis out in the desert hosted by Nike and Gatorade and sponsored by the Coalition To Legalize Date Rape.

And this year it may be the horrible, tired, not cool anymore event that Iāve been hearing about for so long. People are caving. The people that wouldnāt show up before will be here this year. My friend Mistress Hellena (www.mistresshellena.com) will be here. Iāve never known anything to be cool enough for this uber-hip dominatrix who long ago spurned the Bondage A Go Go as the Bridge and Leather crowd. Pat will also be here. Pat is so cool that when Kurt Cobain killed himself he responded by stating that Nirvana had sold out. My yuppie neighbor will be here as well. True, we live in the same building, but heās a yuppie and Iām not. Iām in a tent at Wiggle Camp, heās in a Winnebago eating sushi.

Sure, thereās plenty of reputable freaks, like David Cobb, the legal counsel for the Green Party, that will be here. But thatās not the point. The point is that this years Burning Man is not as good as last years Burning Man. The real Burning Man, the one thatās really cool, the one that people will be talking about five years from now as "The good old days," is taking place at a secret location under a different name in another state. And you need a password to get in (Iāll give you a hint, it rhymes with sushi). I have one thing to say to all of the newcomers here: You missed it.

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