What’s Wrong With: Burning Man

Oh, good. It’s Burning Man time again.
The gathering of many thousand now-thirtysomethings in the desert for their annual mid-life crisis has become a Web tradition, replacing September as a time that everybody who doesn’t find their own palm fascinating dreads. It’s sad when a 50-year-old ad executive buys a Porche, in a futile attempt to escape the tedium of his daily life. It’s equally sad when you gather up the tattered remains of your fading youth and squat in your own filth for two weeks, masturbating each other. At least the ad-man has the common sense not to write about his shame, posting illustrative pictures.
And that’s really the problem with Burning Man. Anybody who feels compelled to allocate a hearty 4% of their life to letting their freak flag fly, well, I’ve got no beef with you. Doubly so if you decide to do it thousands of miles away, where the smell has a chance to dissipate.
But when you come back — and you always come back — you should not feel compelled to fucking share. We — meaning the 260 million of us who value indoor plumbing — don’t care. We have never cared. It was a semi-interesting curiosity in 1995. It’s drama hour at an account’s convention in 2004. It may have been profound and moving and emotional for you, but to the rest of the world it’s just you embarrassing yourself on a big, pink penis. Just like last year. And the year before. And the year before that.
Shut up. Have your fun, find your bliss, immanentize your eschaton and just then just shut the hell up. When you were told “Leave nothing behind,” they didn’t mean every tedious, self-involved detail, for Christ’s sake.

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