Well friends, I did it! I didn’t go to Burning Man for the 5th year in a row. Even though it’s the coolest thing that ever happens and I have every opportunity and resource to attend, my white guilt has held me back from participating. You may or may not recall my Burning Man existential crisis earlier in the year when I decided my attendance would help no one, not even me. So I reinvested all the time and most of the money I would have spent going to Burning Man into helping my community.
The long short of that effort is I feel like my head is farther out of my ass than it’s ever been, it’s so far out now I can see the whole point of Burning Man I’ve been missing amidst my existential spiral-out. It used to be the ratio of Burner veterans to n00bs was 7:3, now the vet to virgin ratio is 4:6 – this means new people are seeking this experience out in droves. Because I’m such a stone-cold weirdo already, there’s not much Burning Man can to do change my life. But for lots of people, it can blow their heads wide open to all sorts of new shit.
Psychedelic revelations, group sex, cosmic adventure, and artistic manifestation of the highest order are all pretty standard for me, so I ended up focusing on just the negative, mainly the environmental impact and disregard for Burning Man’s governing principles. Loading up our truck after my first and only Burn in 2010 blew my mind – how the fuck could 5 people make an entire 10 ft Uhaul full of trash in a week? ‘Leave no trace’ is more like ‘leave your trace down the road’. We covered up all the Uhaul logos with laboriously constructed decorative hearts made of pink duct tape because de-commodification and radical inclusion are supposed to be part of the deal, DIPLO – rude.
So with all that in mind, I decided to redirect my radical self-expression towards my local community. This was the most consciousness-expanding activity I could have taken on, but that’s what’s true for me and I realize now I’ve been unfair to roll my eyes at Burning Man for so long. I couldn’t appreciate the purity of its cultural impact at the level of consciousness I was at when I had my melt-down, it took several months of donating to and volunteering at a youth homeless center per Miley’s influence and talking to my friends in their post-Burn state for me to See. My mission has been just as radically evolutionary for me as Burning Man is for so many people’s perspectives, ok?! I get it now, consider my year-long Burning Man hose-job to be over. Maybe I’ll even come out to the desert to play Mad Max with y’all next year, or maybe not: I’m kind of on a roll here.