Burn to run
Another epic year on the playa. That means another huge blast wave of Word of Mouth will roar out of the Black Rock Desert and ripple through the Burning Grapevine at the speed of speech, fueling desire among new thousands to be a part of it all.
So what’s it all mean? What’s it all about? Because the Man is not going to remain static. The people behind the corporation have grand ideas and plans reaching far beyond Gerlach. As Steve Jobs is to Apple, Larry Harvey is to Burning Man, and Larry isn’t one to sit around and smoke cigarettes of complacency. He sees his big hot hootenanny in the desert as nothing more than a stepping stone to getting some REAL work done. And so, here comes the Burning Man Project.
The Project is meant to be the next phase. Harvey called it, “A new organization that aims to use the arts to build community around the world.” Its first target is the neighborhood that’s home to B-Man headquarters in San Francisco, the Central Market district. I haven’t been to The City in a while, but something tells me (1) the Central Market district could use a little work, and (2) Burning Man is just the force to do it up big time. I’m guessing that within five years, that section of San Fran is going to be greatly improved and probably pretty damn dazzling.
The Project will be the vehicle in which the ideas of art, culture and community from Black Rock City will begin to emigrate to various cities around the world. It will be exciting as hell to see it manifest, because, to put it bluntly, the Project will get some shit done. You’ll have the force of new ideas and action getting things accomplished amid the current context of largely stagnant institutions that are more and more paralyzed, impotent and dysfunctional. Politicians are going to see what Burning money and creativity can do, the positive effects the Project will bring about, and they’re gonna realize that there’s a lot more getting hatched in the desert besides goofy lookin’ bikes and Ecstasy hangovers.
What else? Well, I’m wondering where and when New Burn City will finally appear. There are lots of deluxe places in the West that would be ideal sites from which a brand new Burnville could arise—places atop water tables, bombarded with sun, strafed with wind, a city that would use the best of new, efficient urban planning intelligence, creating a more evolved and greatly improved municipal trip. A more cooperative, resourceful city that establishes a fresh new paradigm for human habitation. The kind of city that needs to be built from scratch, not squandering its energy on improving tired ass urban models from the 19th century. Who’s talking about doing this? Is there anybody better for this particular job than Burners?
Or maybe the new ghost town of Empire will become Flamington?