08/19/2004: "This Is Burning Mom"
Brian Doherty, Senior Editor of
Reason has penned a new book entitled This Is Burning Man (Dude, you
have flames on your site! That is soooo boss!) which, along with
Big Russ and Me, I have no intention to buy.
Big Russ and Me has an interesting subject (A cranky ol' WWII vet
who supports his family by strangling ponies with his bare hands in a
carnival sideshow), but the writing is so sugar coated that the book's
cover now bears a sticker warning that is not to be read by Diabetics.
On the other hand, I'm sure that the writing in This Is Burning Man
is more than competent, it's just the book's subject that I couldn't give a
shit about. (Had Big Russ burst into flames in front of a thousand peyote
munchin' Hippies - now that would be teh best book EVER!)
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that for a great many people Burning Man is a worthwhile and enriching
experience. Of course, I'm only saying that because two very dear f(r)iends
of mine (Lame in-joke. Sorry.), Alan
and Elizabeth, attend Burning Man
just about every year and I don't want to hurt their feelings by implying
that, for most attendees, it's a just excuse to have sex in the dirt with a
total stranger while on Ecstasy.
After returning from Burning Man, Alan and Elizabeth often invite Vienna
and I over for a pleasant evening of looking at their photos of the event.
Once, Elizabeth showed me a picture of a giant tent with an entrance shaped
like a female hoo-ha. "What goes on in there?" I inquired.
"Oh, that's a tent in which only women are allowed. Inside, women are
encouraged to explore their bodies in a non-threatening environment."
OK, I don't wanna sound like a misogynist - but I hate all women.
Women control the playing field of sex. Think I'm wrong? If a man wants to
see a naked woman he has to jump through all kinds of either social or
monetary hoops. If a woman wants to see a naked man, all she has to do is
ask. Shit, Luther, a woman who's covered from head-to-toe in scar tissue
could get lucky in a bar at closing time.
That's why, at least to me, a tent full of women "tilling their fields"
while a bunch of horny guys mill around outside is tantamount to a tent
full of Millionaires counting their cash while starving children collapse
from hunger on the other side of the canvas.
[BACK TO THE MAIN TOPIC]
The reason that I couldn't care less about Burning Man is because, growing
up in the 'burbs, I was witness to an annual spectacle that made Burning
Man look like a Promise
Keepers rally. This was my Dad's Fourth of July Backyard Fireworks
Extravaganza or - as it came to be known after an unfortunate incident
- Burning Mom.
Each year, on our way back from Disney World (painful tales of my family's
annual visits to "The Happiest Place On Earth" litter this site), we would
stop at the other Disney World - South of the Border - where my younger
sister would eat then vomit up a chili dog (much to the amusement of my
older sister and I. She was like Ol' Faithful. You could set your watch by
how quickly, after she ate a chili dog, she threw it back up - three
minutes exactly), and where my Dad (Big Rod) would purchase several hundred
dollars worth of fireworks.
[Fireworks buying tip: Any firework that depicts a Union soldier getting
his head blown off will produce more than satisfactory results...and
Upon returning home, my Dad would store this huge cache of explosives in
the safest place possible - right next to our oil heater - until the Fourth
of July when he would set them off, six or seven at a time, for the
amusement of our beer swilling neighbors.
Now, I've never been to Burning Man, but I know it can't compare to
By the way, this year, Burning Man runs from August 30 through September
6th (roughly the same dates as the Republican National Convention, which
explains Colin Powell's absence in NYC), but I suggest that you skip
Burning Man and go to PadroLand Park instead. An'
tell 'em Big Rod sent you.