The Burn

Burning Man is the most amazingly great social gathering this side of the Andromeda galaxy. It's a huge artistic pseudo-hippy techno love fest out in the desert where people make and are great art and then go around torching everything. You just gotta go to believe it. No, you still won't believe it. It is the best of what a community of humans can be. Take this random incident here on the right: I'm no grand master, but I'm a decent chess player (though I like Go better) and the chances of encountering a person at random who can beat me is not very high. Now this naked guy here, just another person wandering around the playa, he kicked my ass. It was a solid game, no obvious blunders, I was simply outplayed. I am quite certain that there is no other place where I could go and be beaten at a game of chess by a nudist playing on a sixteen foot square board with alien pieces. And bizarre stuff like this was happening all the time.

Here's an email I sent to some friends about another random incident:

Neither words nor pictures can suitably describe the Burning Man festival.

To transcribe my memories of the past few days would take the other 362 days of the year.

I'll give you a five second snippet from the first night...

I see a living room with a cool party going on. People are kicking back on the couches, feet up on the coffee table, laughing and talking, their faces illuminated by the rather ugly garage sale lamp behind them. Some others are sitting at the bar drinking margaritas that the bartender has just mixed. Looks pretty fun, but the junker bicycle I'm on that I found abandoned in the mud flats only has one gear, so I'm not quite able to match speed with the living room and hop on as it drives by at 25 miles per hour.

And events proceeded to get even stranger and more wonderful. The most amazingly great social gathering I've ever experienced.

The bottom line is, next year we all must go.

-One tripped out G
I go sleep now.

This shot requires some explanation. You see, there were these penguins out in the middle of the desert and we felt sorry for them because they couldn't fly. So we rounded up some hefty bags, twine, and a large tank of helium, and with the help of modern technology brought flight to the flightless birds. We all felt very good about it. (except maybe our test pilot, we're not sure if he ever came down)

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