Burnt man

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’m gone. I’m soooo gone, man. Actually, I’m right here in my office overlooking the Interstate 80 East onramp at North Center Street, but I’m preparing this editor’s note early because of the Labor Day holiday and the fact that deadlines are going to be all screwed up. Because I’m going to Burning Man. Still, it’s a bit premature to say I’m going to have a great time. If I had one of those magic 8-balls, it would probably say, “Concentrate and Ask Again.”

I think this may be my last Burning Man. I skipped last year, and I realized I didn’t really miss it. Maybe this year will be like ’98, when after skipping ’97, I’ll be reinvigorated.

I wouldn’t be going this year except my honey, Kathleen, wanted to go. “If this is going to be our last year, fine,” she says, “but I want to know it’s my last year when I’m there.” And then she goes on to say something about Holden Caulfield wanting to be able to say goodbye to things, but I’ve usually faded off to wondering when I last read The Catcher in the Rye, and if Mark David Chapman had gone to Burning Man, maybe he could have done something a little more creative with his mania.

I’ll tell you why I’m considering making this Burning Man my last. Since 2000 or so, every year only serves to dilute my memories of Burning Man’s great years. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe the festival is so far superior to the second-best thing out there, that it’s in its own category. But it just can’t compare to what it was 10 years ago. I have to sit and stand and dance and lackadaze out there thinking, “This is really cool, but it’s not as cool as it once was,” and that just makes me sad. And who wants to go to a festival to be sad?

I’ll probably let you know how it turns out. But it won’t be this week. This week, Kat Kerlin gets to have one of her great years.

P.S. OK, I just have to say this: It was one of the best festivals in recent years.