Tuesday, July 15, 2014

burning man, man

burning man. where you can hang out with geniuses, buy pot for a hug, build ridiculous feats of art and engineering, and/or get so high you feel like your face is gonna fall off.

this is just a quickie. i wanted to take a moment to brag on a couple radical relatives of mine. the first is my cousin, who is working on this ridiculously cool "art car" called dr. brainlove- a "retrofitted school bus topped with a giant, climbable, light-up, model of an actual human brain." she just got her PhD in ... i don't even know what. something super smart involving neuroscience and brain mapping. i am not a good listener. maybe someday she can map, explain, and find a cure for "mom brain." anyway, she's helping build this beauty for burning man. the project was just featured in The Atlantic. there's nine days left in their indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. check it out.

last year, my "rocket scientist" uncle built The Shaman Cycle...which, according to the website, "is equal parts dynamic art sculpture and multi-person bicycle, a visionary green vehicle with a beautiful and massive Eagle as the roof! Something like this has never been created before. Six people power the ShamanCycle via peddling, 1 person steers, and the steering mechanism is integrated with the massive eagle structure on top, so when the bike turns the head and wings move in perfect unison!  The ShamanCycle is made from reclaimed and repurposed metal parts, imagineered by artist Phoebe Legere and engineered by a rocket scientist (seriously).  ShamanCycle will have a pedal powered generator to make it a truly off the grid mode of transportation.  Oh, and fireballs shoot out of it's eyes, because that is awesome." yes. yes it is :)

i have never been to Burning Man, and i sort of doubt i'll ever go. (see, e.g., post re: highly sensitive people.) you gotta know your limits. with my luck, i would trade some oreo pops and handmade flower headbands for organic falafel and i'd get food poisoning and nearly die in a dusty ditch. it would be sort of a poetic death, though, against the desert sunset with a crown of flowers on my head. or else i'd get black lung and forget my inhaler, or pass out and get trampled by the crowd and pee my pants and have to be carted to the nearest town on the shaman cycle, powered only by patchouli and human perspiration.
but. i just have to say, i am pretty damn impressed. while much of the world often seems like a great steaming pile of suck, things like this remind me that the values of community, creativity, inspiration, ingenuity, beauty, love, and plain good ol' fashioned fun will always persevere.
and besides, where else do you get a chance to dress like this:
“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk,
mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time,
the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing,
but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
- jack kerouac


  1. So cool! Love the brain idea! Just a few corrections re burning man. There is no trading, bartering or buying of anything - it's a major no-no. So you are safe from your fear that you would trade from some bad news oreo pops. Also, feathers are prohibited on the Playa (they create something called "MOOP" (Matter Out of Place) and Burning Man tries to have no waste or trash floating around after it's all said and done. So, I think those pictures are kinda a farce for some staged modeling. :) I'm having major FOMO and sadness that I'm missing this year. It's the most incredible experience and community. I think everyone (almost) should experience the burn at least one...including you.

  2. Duh! I should have consulted my resident expert before publishing! Was mostly facetious re: Oreo pops and feather head dress. But I am so sad for you to be missing out this year! Maybe next year? With a papoose? Or are babies MOOPs? ;) baby baking is a legit excuse I think! It's worth it :) xo