Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Interview with Burningman

Zomad: Today we're pleased to have a chance to sit and have a chat with Burningman himself. It's not often that Burningman, a wooden effigy which rises from the ashes once a year to be exulted and reconflagrated by a swirling horde of thousands of accolytes gives interviews. So we're especially pleased to welcome him. Especially after his recent ordeal of the double burning. So please join me in extending a warm heartfelt welcome to Burningman. Burningman, thank you for coming.

Burningman: Thank you, Zomad. Good to be here. Please, my friends call me BM.

Zomad: BM, I'm afraid I missed you this year.

Burningman: You'll forgive me for not noticing.

Zomad: Of course. Let's begin our conversation with some history. Now you've been to every Burningman, correct?

Burningman: Uh, yes..

Zomad: Which was your favorite?

Burningman: Well, there've been so many good ones you know. But I do miss the beach, the ocean and the waves..those were good times. Simpler times.

Zomad: I'm sure. Before my time I'm afraid. Simpler times, how so?

Burningman: Well, my purpose was clear and defined. Plus I'd only stand around for a few hours before getting torched now it's like two weeks on that damn pedestal or whatever perch they come up with. Quite frankly I'm over it.

Zomad: What was your purpose at the beach?

Burningman: Primarily to attract chicks. Chicks love fire.

Zomad: Is that all?

Burningman: Yup, pretty much. Back then anyway. It's different now..well, it's still about the chicks and fire stuff but there's a lot more crap layered on top. I swear, some people go off the deep end over my incineration. It's funny and pathetic.

Zomad: I'll admit, I've had my moments of uninhibited adulation over your burning. Was I pathetic?

Burningman: No, no, it's cool. I understand. I represent an ambiguous archytype. Most anyone whose receptive can project any number of profound meanings upon my scorching pyre. Burning "The Man"...uplifting of mankind to a higher plane...release of sin...spiritual cleansing...Look at that FUCKER BURN! I've heard them all. Trust me if I weren't in the process of having my 'nads seared to a crisp I'd be right down there with ya.

Zomad: I appreciate that. Let's talk a little more about how the point of it all has changed.

Burningman: Sure, like I said, first it was about the chicks. Then it was about freedom to party as one pleased outside of the normal culturally prescribed ways. From there we entered the "Art" phase. That carried it for quite a while and I enjoyed that. Took the spotlight off me somewhat. There was some pretty cool shit out there sometimes. Occasionally I felt I could walk away and no one would notice. But they'd always come find me with their torches like I was the friggin' Frankenstein monster or something and up I'd go. You know, I've never seen a Temple Burn...it sucks.

Zomad: And now?

Burningman: Now, Fuckin' A..it's like I'm supposed to be the fucking holy messiah or something. Burningman is going to save the World! Burningman is going to save the Earth! Save us Burningman, Save us! What the Fuck! I didn't ask for this. I just want to burn in peace. This last "theme" you know the Green Man. That's not an Art theme - that's a political statement, and political statements are not Art. And I'm not political - hell, I'm not even a Man. I'm made of wood, like Pinocchio.

Zomad: So that makes Larry Harvey, Geppeto.?

Burningman: That's not funny.

Zomad: sorry. It seems like you're not happy with the direction things are heading.

Burningman: Damn fucking right I'm not! And next year - get this the "American Dream". Holy Crap, if I had a finger and a throat I'd stick it down it. Don't you monkeys realize it's the patriotic illusion that's gotten you into this mess!

Zomad: Ok, we're almost out of time. Let's talk about Paul Addis.

Burningman: I know Paul. He's a regular. I was sort of pissed at him but I don't think he meant any real harm.

Zomad: Tell us what happened.

Burningman: I was like in a pretty relaxed state, watching the lunar eclipse and all. I like it when those happen. Not the first time you know. All of the sudden I feel a tickle and I look down and HOLY FUCKING SHIT MY LEG'S ON FIRE!!!! Harshed my mellow in a big way.

Zomad: Does it hurt when you burn?

Burningman: No it feels like little puppies licking my balls..what the Fuck do you think!? Of course it fucking hurts!

Zomad: Well, I figured since you have no nervous system...

Burningman: It hurts, ok?

Zomad: Ok, I believe you. So you're not angry at Paul.

Burningman: No I'm more pissed at BORG for putting me out. You know that irritating crispy crunchy feeling of carbonized wood? That was me for three days. Then once I was rebuilt I felt disoriented the whole rest of the time, my whole schedule was thrown off. Definitely not a great year for me.

Zomad: BM, thank you for your time. One last question. Will you be going next year?

Burningman: Pretty sure. It's in my contract. Don't mind what I said about the theme thing. It's really what you make it. You should come.

Zomad: Thanks BM, I'll consider it.