Burning Man’s founders seem quite fond of telling us that it’s a social experiment, that they’re “social engineers”. What does that actually mean, though? UC Davis Professor Darrell Hamamoto made this video last year with his theory on it all. He explores similarities between Burning Man and the internment of the Japanese in concentration camps during World War II, using the classic movie Bad Day At Black Rock as the link.
The first movie that I’m aware of that was filmed in the Black Rock Desert was The Winning of Barbara Worth, in 1926.
A caveat: things are heading in the right direction in places where cannabis has been legalized for recreational use for adults. We can all agree that Colorado, Washington, Alaska & the District of Columbia didn’t become the pot-drenched “Beyond Thunderdome” dystopias that pearl clutchers & puritans envisioned. My aim is not to deride legalization efforts, nor question the dedication or motives of anyone associated with the fight to get America’s head out of its ass. Because Burning Man can be seen as a laboratory for progressive thinking & ways of living, and because a lot of Burners live in states that are currently grappling with the “how” instead of the “if” of legalization, medicalization or decrmininalization, I felt compelled to mention them. We’re legalizing in uneven steps across the country, which has brought us into unknown economic, cultural & law enforcement territory and produced some worrying side effects. Continue reading →