Burning Man 2012 Recap #4.

Before we look at super-great night-time stuff, let’s take a moment to appreciate the Pee Funnel Camp signage. That’s right – a camp devoted to giving out pee funnels to ladies. I saw a ton of their ads every time I used a Porta-Potty.

Also, there was one more piece of art on the Playa that I wanted to deal with specifically. It was Wall Street.

There’s Goldman Sucks, Bank of UnAmerica and a variety of other name puns. This was the only real time I had a “stop it, you hippies!” moment. People had written about their financial woes all over the walls of the buildings. Halfway into my first day I started hearing about how we were gonna burn down the Wall Street effigy, yeah!!! That’s gonna change everything!!! I could only think of this bit by Patton Oswalt.

PattonOswalt – Hippies

I didn’t want to tell the nice people that while breaking their butts constructing this faux-bank-cluster, writing angry comments in Sharpie all over the inside and then watching it go up in flames might be cathartic, in the short and long run it will change nothing. Nothing. Not to say the money problems people in this country are having are not valid or totally soul-crushing or family-destroying, they are, but this is a pointless way to go about fixing it. I tried to roll my eyes quietly so as not to offend anyone.

Okay, night-time. If there was one reason I would say to go to Burning Man, I would say go for the night-time. It’s one of the coolest and weirdest things you will ever see. First of all, a great many tents are lit up. The art is also illuminated. There are crazy amazing artcars going by at about ten miles an hour (so as not to raise too much dust), and people have stuck all kinds of lights and blinkies and glowsticks all over their bicycles and are zipping around. It’s highly social and all kinds of activities are occurring all around you. It’s magical, really. I don’t use that word too often, but it’s true. Check out this guy’s video from last year.


The exceptionally bright green laser light is coming off of the cruise ship artcar, according to information on this site. The cruise ship was there again this year. Cricket and I marveled several times at how freakin’ bright that thing was. Here are some other people’s night shots from years past.

And here’s a sadly blurry shot of Center Camp at night.

What I find amazing about this event is how many people make really complicated things, beautiful pieces, with no other intent than just to bring joy to others. There was the spinning cubed cube.

And the grove of trees slowly shimmering in the moonlight.

And the fiberoptic fountain. You’re not supposed to bring fountains to Burning Man (I don’t know why, perhaps they use too much water or something) so someone made one using LED strips (the same kind I have on the jelly-brella) and fiberoptic thread clumps. It looked really cool.

Here’s some video I took.


There was a pier that had been there last year. However, last year it led to nothing, and this year it led to a half-sunken Spanish galleon. I’m intrigued to find out if they continue to add onto this piece for years to come.

The one that blew my mind was the donut. I was standing all the way on the other side of the Playa when I saw two ribbons twirling around each other and I couldn’t figure out how people were controlling the ribbons. When we finally got over there I saw that it was a donut-shaped sculpture, about 12 feet across, made from circles of LEDs. Whoever programmed them is a genius. I made some animated gifs to show you what I mean.

And, as promised, here is the gate in front of Center Camp. Here it is during the day.

It looked lovely in daylight, but here it is at night. OMG SO MANY COLORS YAYYYYY.

There were tons of different ways to spend your time. There was the rollerskating rink.

And right next door was a complete skateboarding park. A lot of people set up bars, both coffee (popular during the day) and alcohol (popular during the night). Here’s some footage of the dodgeball court.


There were a bunch of rave-type dance halls. You could watch fire artists perform.



But the most popular of these had to be Thunderdome. You heard me right. Thunderdome. An enormous geodesic dome with people hanging all over it. You could volunteer to go inside where they hooked you up to a swing and you and another volunteer battled it out with foam swords.


Here’s someone else’s footage.


Tomorrow will be a really big post because I’ll be covering the artcars which were stupendous.

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