Reader Fay sends me a link to this article:
A standoff with the federal government is putting the future of Burning Man at risk.
The problems started when the event’s organizer, Burning Man Project, applied for a permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to hold the event in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for another 10 years.
Then the BLM responded.
The agency, which is part of the Interior Department and manages public lands, issued a draft of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required for the permit on March 15.
BLM wants 10 miles of concrete barriers installed on the event’s perimeter for security, a requirement that organizers install dumpsters and hire companies to haul out the trash and authorities in place to conduct vehicle searches at the gate.
The decision didn’t sit well with Burners.
“Many of the measures recommended by BLM are unreasonable, untenable, attempt to solve problems that don’t exist, and/or create new (and worse) problems,” Burning Man Project wrote in a fact-checking statement.
“Altogether, these requirements would fundamentally change the operational integrity and cultural fabric of Black Rock City, and would spell the end of the event as we know it,” the group added. “This is not an exaggeration.”
The irony is that attendees of Burning Man are overwhelmingly drawn from the faux artsy middle classes in Brooklyn and west coast weirdos. Both sets overwhelmingly vote for massive increases in government power, particularly in the name of protecting the environment via mass-regulation. If you want to do so much as fart in New York or California you need permission from the government. Did they think they’d be exempt because they’re holding a mass orgy in the desert? Heh.
It’s been around for nearly three decades, but the last few years have seen an influx of hipsters and tech moguls and their followers, which have made the event a cultural phenomenon or target, depending on who is opining.
Just the sort of people who want to ban fossil fuels, shut down factories, and block pipelines.
But central to the ethos of the week is sense of self-governance, which is why the new government proposals are particularly grating.
Yes, the people who demand massive government in everyone’s lives believe their own events should be self-governing.
The government also has concerns about lights being used at night, including large work lights, high-intensity lasers and search lights, which BLM said can disrupt birds and other wildlife, and contribute to light pollution. As a result, the potential to ban or curtail some of the lighting is on the table.
Expanding the unchecked powers of the environmental agencies during the Obama administration isn’t looking so great now is it, Swampy?
Burning Man Project isn’t having it.
Back on Earth, Burning Man has a robust nightlife…
That’s one way to describe it, yes.
Organizers also call the idea of vehicle searches at the gate “unconstitional” and unnecessary.
New Yorkers and Californians are now fans of the constitution? I look forward to their wholehearted embrace of the Second Amendment.
“For many years, BRC has published and widely publicized a list of prohibited items that are not allowed into Black Rock City, including weapons, narcotics and fireworks. We enforce these restrictions when items are discovered in vehicles during entry,” Burning Man Project said.
Ah yes, the famously drug-free Burning Man experience, matched only by sober St. Patrick’s Day.
What’s amusing is the current generation of Burners are complaining this will fundamentally change the nature of Burning Man, which has already gone through at least two evolutions leaving it unrecognisable from the early years. In those days guns used to be a big part of the festival, and they even had a drive-by shooting range. As with Glastonbury, the spoiled middle classes who now attend Burning Man think they’re cut from the same cloth as the misfits who started the thing. Their whining about government regulations they’re happy to foist on everyone else is a strong sign that they’re not.