The Truth About Burning Man
My four years inside California's sex and drug cult
Chapter 2 - My first burn
2013 My first year
2015 Burning Man as part of a road trip
2016 My final year
The kinky sex people
In the end Burning Man has become for conformists, to conform to something new. People get their hair done into dreads and other hairstyles that they don't normall wear, so they can fit in. Wearing fur. Doing the same things that "cool people" do, trying to look good, fit in, hook up, and get laid.
This week many of us watched some of our friends go to the annual bacchanal in the desert known as Burning Man. I’ve been four times, and have been loosely associated with the Burner community for the past few years, so I have some idea of what it’s about. First and foremost Burning Man is an art festival. It was started by disenfranchised artists and people who were experts at creating interactive performances. The secret hidden agenda of the modern version of Burning Man however is drug use, mostly hallucinogens and stimulants. That’s not to say everyone at Burning Man uses drugs, but from my experience most people in the community certainly experiment with them to varying degrees. When some of my closest friends started going to Burning Man years ago, I often wondered why they didn’t invite me along, ask me to check it out. I felt left out, I wondered why I wasn’t good enough to join my closest friends, and what was the big secret? Later I learned the secrecy was all about the drugs. This is not to say that the primary purpose of Burning Man is drugs, it’s not. As I said, it’s primarily an art festival. However much of the art is inspired by, and intended to enhance, the psychedelic experience. Probably in the early days of Burning Man there were artists who sometimes took drugs for inspiration, someone probably wore a furry coat once or rode a furry bike, because it was creative and avant garde, and also practical in the cold weather on the dry lake bed at night. However the modern version of Burning Man has been adopted and co-opted by people who are clearly not artists, who are not avant garde, who are not freaky or weird, but who think they need a furry coat and a furry bike and to take drugs so they can be like everyone else at the event. I’ve fallen for that need to conform myself, I also have a furry coat and a furry bike, although my furry bike is a lot cooler than most and looks like a giant muppet. This year however I am not going to Burning Man. I grew up in poverty and had a troubled childhood. For me drugs were an escape from this harsh upbringing. Being freaky or weird was not something that was “cool” or “bad ass” or “fun”. It was mentally crippling, it made you an outcast, and it made life difficult, and life is hard enough without adding extra obstacles. I used to hang around with drug users when I was much younger, in my late teens and early 20s. All of us were broken and damaged people. I smoked pot as a way to escape my poverty and troubled childhood. Some of my friends got into speed. That's when they started turning into real pieces of shit, treating their friends like crap, being users and abusers, placing their drugs ahead of their friends. Some of those old druggie "friends" of mine are still druggies today. Some have severely damaged their brains and their psyches from drugs. A couple of them died from heroin overdoses many years ago. Recently I have seen some of my Burner friends start to exhibit those same addict behaviors, those same user and abuser traits. And that is why I am not going to Burning Man this year, this is why I’m disassociating myself from the Burner community, because I don’t want a repeat of my early 20s, because I’ve spent my whole life trying to fit in and be normal and I don’t need to take a giant leap backwards after so much progress.
Why burning man is for nerds and is about conformism. Conformists, typically university grads with professional degrees, engineergs and software people from california typically, are often looking for ways to break out of the mold. Burning Man offers them something new and different to conform to. That's why they feel the need to wear fake hairstyles that make them look like non-=conforkmists, wear fur to look the same.
This is one is quite good on the topic