Burning Man 2012 Recap #6.

Something I missed that is vaguely artcar-related:

The cupcake! I love the cupcake cars. This one had illuminated candy corns. The best thing about these vehicles is how they look when they’re zipping around. Here’s some video I found of a similar baked-good in action.


The one major element I haven’t touched on at Burning Man is the Temple of Juno. Out beyond the Man is a very large, very beautiful building called the Temple. In past years it looked like this.

This year it looked like this. It was utterly mind-blowing.

It seems that people write messages to loved ones they have lost. Some people also post pictures. It was heartbreaking.

And inside people were meditating or praying. It was quiet and respectful, quite different from the frolicksome nature of the rest of the Playa.

Here’s some video I took. You can appreciate how big this building was and how quiet everyone was being.


The last night we were there, we found out they were burning all that cool art on the Playa that I spoke about previously. The egg. The lighthouse. The onion domes. Anubis. All going up in flames. I wasn’t upset because the artists knew that when they built it, but if I had spend a million billion hours and a ton of money making something, I don’t know how I would have felt about watching it become a charred pile of ash. Probably bad. Also, I’m not a big fan of fire. I find it off-putting, always have. Cricket, on the other hand, finds it fascinating. Not in an arson kind of way, but in a science oooh-light-and-energy kind of way. I (in a manner that I expect many people around me found creepy) turned my back on the fire, tipped my head down and stood there like the guy at the end of The Blair Witch Project. I just waited for Cricket to finish experiencing whatever he was experiencing. Also, fun fact: fire is hot! Like, really hot. When thirty-four large art sculptures are burning in close proximity to you, it’s faaaaar too hot. And ash be blowin’ all up in your face along with the dust… not my cup of tea. I faced the fire a couple of times to take some photos.

The last day we were there we went out to the far reaches to the airport because they have a real airport. We saw people gently gliding to the earth with parachutes or on those gliders with the little engines the whole time. Considering that we’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s an impressive airport. They even had an itty-bitty traffic control tower.

After checking out the airport, we made our way back to the car where we heard on the Black Rock City radio station that the Critical Tits parade was happening at 3:00, and it was the largest collection of exposed mammaries biking anywhere. 5,000 topless women, biking. We looked at each other, like, “Can’t miss that!” And it looked like this. For about ten minutes, non-stop.

See how in that first picture the sky looks ominous? It was ominous. Shortly after the parade went by, the dust storm started.

Dust storms are horrible. Horrible. You remember those chalkboard erasers from school? Imagine someone is clapping them against your face using 40-mph winds. You can’t breathe, you can’t see, you can feel your skin drying out on your body. The worst. It lasted for hours, and we were near the Man when it started so we had to trudge back to our vehicle through all that horror. At one point I started pathetically weeping to myself, thinking, “At this point in the real world I would hail a taxi or get on a subway to take me back to where I live, but even if there was a transit system here I couldn’t catch it because no one takes money. I HAVE MONEY AND NO ONE WILL TAKE IT.” Then I climbed into Cricket’s tent (I slept in the minivan all three nights – additional fun fact: The earth is hard and uncomfortable!) where I simmered with rage and took this video. You can taste my anger, it is so palpable and chewy.


And then the next morning we left. This is the tent with all the dust that blew in during the night. We did not track any of that in. It all blew in and swirled around and sucked. Screw you, dust! *shakes fist*

Here are the leftovers of my photos from Burning Man. Not that they are less worthy than the others, I just haven’t gotten around to putting them up. All my pictures are precious and special like snowflakes.

There was the dude on the bike with triangular wheels. You would think that a bike on triangular wheels would bounce up and down in an extremely unpleasant manner, but it does not. PHYSICS!


There was the shoe sculpture that I used as a landmark several times.

Landmarks are important because the entire place looks pretty much the same. Some people would hoist flags on long poles on top of their RVs to assist in finding their camps.

In order to help find our camp, I draped our tent in Christmas lights and put blinky LED tea-lights on the dashboard of our car. I can tell you that that was vital in me finding my way back from the Porta-Potties at 4:00 in the morning.

On one of our journeys during the hot part of the day we passed a man cooking bacon using a cast-iron skillet and a large television screen. Solar bacon!

These are the two signs we saw as we came in.

We also went out to the outer edge of the Playa. On my right… nothing. Nothing for forever in that direction.

The sunset was beautiful every night.

The firefighter’s camp had a cute thing in front.

I met the artist who made this and it is called… Flablingo. Of course it is.

There was a dude dressed as a crayfish. Those thins tubes all over his costume lit up. Please note all the debris in the air.

As we were driving in, I saw this lovely example of craftsmanship. There’s a bug, and an RV, and poof! Togetherness.

A tree made of bones. Thankfully, they did not set that on fire because that would have smelled awful.

Small child on a giant mutant bike.

There were lots of kids there. You might think that that is a bad idea, but it’s not. The sex and drugs could be readily accessed if you wanted them but they weren’t out in the open. There was a kid’s daycare center/scouts thing during the day and they went on activities, like to the firefighters’ camp and various artists. So they saw naked people, so what? I saw tons of naked people when I went to Africa all throughout my childhood. Kids don’t care, they really don’t. And can you imagine being a little kid and seeing all those lights and artcars at night? I’m surprised their little heads didn’t explode.

A tree made of wine bottles and metal. Once again, the metal-workers are the real winners of Burning Man.

A metal praying mantis welcoming the incoming dust storm. I didn’t see it at night, but because there’s that solar panel next to it, I imagine that it lights up.

A giant tree root that someone carved.

A dinosaur bike. I didn’t see it in motion, but I’m hoping the wings went up and down as it traveled.

Giant bike wheels. This looked mighty dangerous but simultaneously awesome. The riders have to climb through the spokes to get to the seats.

I found this fantastic video that shows a great deal of what I have mentioned in action taken by a far far better videographer with better equipment. Enjoy. It’s really great.


Tomorrow I’ll finish up with California and Reno pics.

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