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This Way to the... uh, Wholly Other 2003
by the Vacationing Sage Collins

Are you getting eager to walk out to the area just beyond the edge of the city, to see those much-talked about art installations in that incredible place known as the Wholly Other? Well, that's just fine - if you're a dust-loving ass with a passion for blisters.

Every year, some piece of artwork is given one of those names you just can't help but remember. Something so grand that it must be worth seeing. You walk out past the Man, past the last camp in sight, and into the light brown abyss known as the open playa. You're following that incredibly accurate map that a dusty Greeter threw into your hand the moment you handed over your tickets. That magnificent piece of artwork is just ahead. You can feel it! And after a while, that's not all you feel. The sun seems increasingly hot, your bottle of water seems increasingly light, and the Man seems far, far away. It turns out the Wholly Other is Mostly Dust.

Welcome to the desert and the worst part of it! If you've dwelled on the romantic notion of walking out into the Wholly Open Playa to see the art installations, you may find the romance withers faster than sliced watermelon in the midday sun. Find yourself an art car and latch yourself to the back if you have to, because no art is worth seeing after the hell you'll go through trying to find any of it on foot. You might think you'll find one and use that as a bearing, but half the time, the damn things aren't even labeled anyway. The collection of CDs tied together in a pyramid with fishing line along with the floating love dolls could be an idol or a temple dedicated to just about anything. There's really no way to tell.

Then again, maybe you'll find the art installation you were looking for, only to discover it's the same fucking castle sticking out of the back of the same beat-up station wagon as last year only this year they decided to put little worshipers around it so it's a new and different piece of artwork.

No, you're better off sticking to the city. Go watch two girls beat each other senseless in the Thunderdome, or drink something questionable and listen for a Tokyo Rico broadcast, or head to Bianca's and wait until they hand you a grilled cheese sandwich before casually asking about where the smut and orgies used to be. Trust me, you'll have a slightly less artistic, but Wholly Better, time!



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