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Burning Man isn't - anymore

First time I heard of the Burning Man event it sounded pretty cool - a scrappy creative exercise outside the usual bounds. At the time I was wrapped up in the tail end of a bad marriage, and had young kids to tend. Attending was just not practical.

A few days back, saw an announcement for a local group to build an exhibit for Burning Man. Sounded interesting - a break from my usual routine, and chance to be a little random. Have been slowly turning my garage into a personal workshop. I like to build things, and this would not be the first time I fabricated something without ... coloring between the lines.

The drive through Los Angeles and into Hollywood lived up to the LA reputation for lousy traffic (this on a Sunday evening), but was not too bad. Got to the meeting place at the appointed time (was the only one to show up of those that promised), chatted for a while with the guy who posted the announcement, chewed on some notions, then - when it became clear no one else was going to show - headed home. Spent the drive home thinking of possible practical-to-fabricate riffs on the main theme.

Pretty interesting, so far. There were some odd notes in the conversation that I could not place. When I got home, checked the Burning Man site for pragmatics.

Ticket prices are just shy of $400/person. Oh. Right. Now the odd notes made sense. This is no longer the scrappy/creative event it once was. Burning Man is no longer Dadaist, but rather a very bourgeois cool-kids party. Scrappy is gone. My model is whether I would go as a cash-strapped college student (as I once was). To the original Burning Man, yes. To the present example, no. Substantial ticket prices exclude the more random and keep out the riffraff.

With that realization, my interest evaporated.