A few days ago, the BLM came out as the latest government agency to try to shake down Burning Man, asking for a $1 million resort for all its people working the event, complete with showers, flush toilets —ooh, those smelly Porta-Potties!—a freezer full of steaks and bottomless tubs of ice cream.
My knee jerk reaction was the same as yours: Outrageous! Preposterous! Are you kidding me? And to paraphrase baseball star Bryce Harper's classic comment, “That's a clown concept, bro.” It all just seemed a bit too absurd to be true. But you knew the BLM wasn't kidding. You just did. You knew they really did want a stash of popsicles, dammit! You know, it's hot out there! And windy! And dusty! Cruelly brutal! (Except when it's gorgeous.)
After my knees stopped twitching, I realized what Burning Man should do—say, “Yes.” Tell the BLM, “OK. You got it. No prob. Just one condition.”
No cops. No BLM cops on the playa. Zero. All the BLM types can get together in their zippy little vacation village that will be set up one mile away from Black Rock City, way out there where the rave camps used to be. All the national mucketies from around the country can fly in to have a gawk, and they can prance around and have all the naked water balloon fights they want. Hey, look! I'm Burning! Aren't I?
All you have to do, BLM, is leave your lame police force at home.
Because these cops are nothing but a pain in the ass out there. They use Black Rock City as a training ground, a place to train their agents to (1) instantly recognize the smell of marijuana, (2) accurately spot a big bad doobie being passed by people inside trailers, (3) recognize people who are way too happy, a sure sign that they're under the influence of a substance that is unapproved by the Brain Police, (4) prevent couples from breaking out in unapproved and perhaps even dangerous PDAs, and (5) just generally be major drags and downers in a city that doesn't want or need them in the slightest. Any policing that needs to be done in BRC can be handled quite easily by Washoe and Pershing county sheriffs, as well as the Black Rock Rangers, thank you very much. Burning Man needs BLM cops like a bat needs sunscreen.
The more I think about it, this fantasy deal would, in actuality, be a bargain for Burning Man. Keeping the BLM brown meanie vibe out of town would be worth a mill, no sweat. Of course, there's no chance of this happening. So best to just to kick back and enjoy the schadenfreude of the BLM dropping its pants around its ankles, exposing itself as closet divas that probably want a staff of 10 Burners (must be slim, 70 percent female, in loincloths) to remove the brown M & M's from its daily candy dish.