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Burning Man Burns Prematurely

Well, that just about sums up my life. Got a kick out of this article from today’s SF Gate website on the untimely torching of the Nevada festival’s revered icon and ultimate hippie magnet. Apparently, 35 year old Paul Addis of San Francisco couldn’t wait for the event’s final climactic evening to see the Burning Man do his thing, and as a result is being charged with felony arson. This is quite a trick, if you think about it – getting strung up on arson charges for burning a structure built entirely for the purpose of being burned. I’m guessing there will be lesser charges as well .. something along the lines of the mass bumming-out of thousands of acid-eating, dust-covered, bicycle-riding, would-be Deadheads. My favorite passage from the article was the following:

“I am disturbed that the Man is burnt. As I looked at it, I was going, ‘This can’t be happening,’ ” said Bob Harms of South Lake Tahoe, a seven-time burner.

You kind of get the feeling Bob was no joy to be around when they broke the news to him about Santa, either. It takes a lot to cause that level of disillusionment in a seven-time burner from South Lake Tahoe. Although I have a few acquaintances who partake in the whole Burning Man deal, its appeal for me registers somewhere between unrequested toenail removal and Ben Stiller’s remake of The Heartbreak Kid. Faithful attendees all seem inclined to swear by the event’s life-changing qualities and to a person are bent on converting the unconverted. But in my experience, it’s always the people you don’t want to see getting naked and flocking to the desert who end up doing it. I’m sticking with Vegas, where early burn-out is inevitable and as God intended it. (8/28/07)

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