I rushed into Burning Man headquarters with my keys in my right hand, my Blackberry in my left. I was almost fifteen minutes late for our ARTery meeting. I wasn’t used to driving to work, didn’t anticipate the city traffic. Hence, I underestimated the time it would take me to get from the financial district to Mission Bay right after work.
“Vixen!” They called out as I briskly walked into the conference room.
“I’m so sorry, you guys. I hate being late.”
“Vixen, you look so corporate,” someone verbalized, looking me up and down. I was wearing a grey pin-striped dress suit with a black leather Cole Haan work bag in hand. I admit, I looked completely out of place.
She continued, “Oh, Vixen, you look so much better in a nightie.”
I smiled. This is what I love about Burning Man. Anti-corporate. Anti-mainstream. Anti-religion. Anti-doldrum. Anti-a lot of things I stand for. I love corporate America. I am a devout Catholic. But I also believe in keeping an open mind about things. I don’t begrudge people their own thoughts and views. Believe whatever you want to believe. I don’t want to hang out with people who think like I do.
I don’t necessarily think people at Burning Man are the most open-minded. It’s kind of like San Francisco. To fit in here, you’d better be liberal, a Democrat, environmentally conscious, artsy, a triathlete, spiritual but not religious. But burners are so passionate, so creative, so forward-thinking. I sit in on meetings and laugh out loud, everyone is so funny. But not stupid funny. They’re witty.
The ARTery mantra: Your job is to be the pinnacle of chill.
Words of wisdom from the Fire Safety Manager: We subvert technology for pleasure.
Your death is not a problem. Your death is not our problem. Read the back of your ticket.
By the way, the back of the ticket states “You voluntarily assume the risk of serious injury or death by attending, and release Burning Man from any claim arising from this risk…Your use of this ticket confirms your agreement to these terms.”
More words of wisdom from the Fire Safety Manager: A 25 foot contraption dangling in the air…We’re not really going to investigate that. If someone wants to climb up a 25 foot pole, fall, and die, that’s his problem. Now, if someone climbs into a razor sharp hammock…we probably want to go ahead and take a look at that.