YOU CAN'T MAKE ME GO TO BURNING MANJill Kushner

You know that I know that that’s a fake city in the desert, right?  You’re just deciding to call it a city for a few days. You’re setting up an infrastructure and naming invisible streets based on  ¾ of a clock because basing it on a complete clock, I’m guessing, would probably be too The Man-ish.  I just read that there are sixteen new streets this year.  Sure.  Why not?  A city can have sixteen new streets.  Especially when they’re located at the “fifteen and forty-five clock positions and begin mid-city at Graduation and end at the last street, Liminal.”  After I typed that sentence, Mapquest came out of my laptop and punched me in the face.  And it had every right to.

I know I’ll probably get some s**t for hating on The Burn.  See, I know the speak.  Lots of my friends not only go to Burning Man, but go annually.  They do the floats or whatever you call it, they build showers; I remember someone even telling me that they went with Sting and Trudy one year.  I get it.  It’s cool.  I get it.  It’s unexplainable.  I get it.  You just have to go.  But get this, I’m not going.  I do not like Burning Man!  Which most people don’t know is an actual line from the original Green Eggs and Ham.   What I’m saying is – no dust storms for this girl.  No bartering a Chapstick for food with strangers.  I just saw Contagion.  I wouldn’t share food with my own parents at this point.  So, you can keep your spoonful of Tapioca pudding to yourself, naked dude.

Look, I consider myself to be a fairly artsy, certainly very creative person.  Not only that, I love camping.  But this is not that.  For me, this is too much.  Check it, I even sucked at Coachella.  I went a few years ago, got dehydrated and ended up with a 101.9 fever and had to bail during Arcade Fire to crawl in bed with as many layers of clothing I could find in our house.  It was a trillion degrees outside.  And I’ll tell you something, it’s embarrassing.  Because I wasn’t even drinking a lot of alcohol.  I didn’t get party-too-hard sick.  I was drinking (here comes the dumbest thing I’ve ever typed) next to no water for the first day because I thought that was a good plan in terms of not having to deal with the gross bathrooms.  Are you kidding me?  I’m an educated person.  Not so much in the desert.  My brain melts.  Anytime I’m dropped off in the middle of nowhere with lots of people and lots of heat – I don’t care who’s playing – the first thing I want  is to go home.  Or at least go somewhere less in the middle of the desert, with less people and A/C.  It’s like I’ve summitted and need to get the hell out of altitude fast.  But without the summitting and without the altitude.  Believe me.  I hate heights.  Anyone wanna come over and listen to Pandora on my porch?

You guys, once when camping in the woods, when I woke up, there was a Daddy Long Leg on my cheek.  It made me laugh.  It’s so important that you know that I can be bad ass.  I can laugh in the face of a Daddy Long Leg (that’s on my face).  And I like getting dirty.  I swear.  But here’s what I don’t like:  incense, crowds, people trying to get me to eat sushi in the desert that got dropped in from a helicopter that I never heard or saw, a “special” drink out of a shared canteen or a dance that involves actual sex.  No thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Burning Man(s).

I don’t understand why we can’t NOT go to Burning Man and just have sushi from a helicopter, “special” shared drinks and dances that involve actual sex in Santa Monica.  Okay, fine.  I’m exaggerating.  I rarely hang out in Santa Monica.  But you know what I mean.  Also, this is probably a good time to announce that I don’t want any “special” drinks ever.  I’m not good with drinks or brownies or lollipops that come with people winking at you when they hand them to you.

That said, have a wonderful time at Burning Man!

P.S. If you can’t find a friend you’re trying to meet up with, just leave a note on the one message board in the middle of the city.  They’ll totally see it.

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  1. I know I am old, so not sure if it counts… but… I am so not going either…. Hiya Jill..

  2. Best thing I’ve read in weeks.

    Shane Nickerson | 8/31/2011 10:08 pm
  3. I find generally festival people can be very obnoxious – the actual festival and music may be great and dandy but hearing about the “oh my godddd, so incredibleee, changed my liiiiife, you learn so much about yourself when you just hear the beat and don’t shower for five daaaays, I juuust loooooove music festivaaaaaaalllsss” ALL THE TIME from people really, really makes me angry.
    I feel like Burning Man sounds especially dirty. Yuuck.

  4. I saw recently saw a play about Burning Man. (Not even kidding; it’s a thing.) It was a rock opera and it was very good and all of the performers were wonderful. That said, hell no, I would not actually go to Burning Man. My friend (who was in the show) was just telling me about all of the crazy shit she’s packing and planning for (i.e. keeping her hair in elaborate braided lockdown to keep the alkali dust out of it — it’s not just sand, it’s ALKALI DUST too). She might as well have been listing the reasons I have no interested going to this exhausting sounding festival. I’ll be drinking in my Valley apartment with my window-unit AC cranked.

    • Hair lockdown to avoid dust!?! I mean, anything that requires even considering that is an “I’ll pass!” for me!

  5. My brain melts, too! At Bonnaroo, I picked up a bandana I found on the ground and started wearing it, thinking it was a cool hippy-reuse thing to do. I got an allergic reaction from it and my eyes swelled practically shut! I also went to a smaller Burn in North Carolina called Transformus. Some of it was pretty damn cool for like the first day, but I ended up going home early. My now ex-boyfriend treated me like crap and probably ran off with that same patchouli soaked environmentalist. I guess with all the primal behavior and hormones flying around, he decided to act like a dumb cave man. We broke up pretty shortly after that. But like you said, camping and music are awesome…within reason! <3

  6. Ya Burning Man is where your boyfriend cheats on you with a topless environmentalist.

  7. I am getting tired of the insiders trying to convince me that rubbing someone that feels like sand paper and smells like a week old dead whale will be life altering. Get over yourself tree hugger, life altering is a hot shower EVERYDAY.

  8. Once on a trip to San Francisco I stayed with someone who quit her (very high level) job just to prepare for burning man. Its all she could think of during that time and nearly wasted my 10 days of vacation trying to convince me (and everyone else in existence) to go.

  9. I’ve just been to Reading festival in England… Fucking nightmare, ALL THAT RAIN. It was such a joke, I will certainly not miss the gigs under the rain and my soaking wet tent. Not to mention the toilets or the showers. uurrgghh *Shudder* Before that I went to Benicàssim in Spain, the hottest festival I’ve ever been to, unbearable.
    HOWEVER — I’d do it all over again, I love festivals!

  10. Ugh- festivals. No thanks, can we just hang sit in my AC-ed living room and drink cranberry-vods and listen to iTunes? I will totally come hang out on your porch. I live near Floyd, VA and they have creatively-named “Floyd Fest” every year and I have never been. Hippies, weird music and camping? Not for me. I won’t do Bonnaroo, won’t do Burning Man, I’d do Coachella if it wasn’t so damn hot but it is, so no. I’m not an idiot- I won’t go to deserts and party, where does that make sense?

  11. I second that, sistah.