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Back to our roots
by S. Keith

Burning Man, I'm sad to say, has gone to the dogs.

When I first started going to BM, it was a lark. Fun. Carefree. It was a cheap vacation in an eclectic environment. Now those carefree days are gone. The unique campsite and the colorful automobile is replaced by the Live/Work CamperShellú, the tool of choice for displacing our neighborhoods and gentrifying the landscape.

There once was a time you knew all your neighbors. Now, it just feels like we've all put up walls-to protect our own turf. What happened to the love? What happened to the freedom? What happened to the spirit of chance and intrigue, or is reality as exciting as popping a Trader Joe's frozen dinner in the Live/Work microwave?

Well, I'll tell you. It's all these carpetbaggers from Seattle and Portland and San Jose and San Diego, spending their stock options on decked-out blowfish dwellings. I, as a good recycler, activist, and former North Face customer who pays the bills as a copy editor for a coffee-table book company, am profoundly insulted and angered by the flatulence, snobbishness, and arrogance of those royal-pain-in-the-ass pricks.

I believe we need to return to our roots so the right people make the energy. Perhaps people should be screened and interviewed before they're allowed to attend Burning Man, I don't know.

What I do know is that we're at a crossroads ÷ one road leads us back to the utopia we lost (perhaps the 12-mile entrance, not the 4?) and the other to a place that looks no different from anything else in suburban America.

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