$40 Well Spent

This video made my day today, much more than waking up early like a kid on Christmas Day waiting for Santa to have come…hoping that a theme was finally going to be announced, 7 months before the gates open, only to find that it was a “bazaar” one…and Lottery 2.0 with it.

Happiness, and helping the world, doesn’t come from figuring out ingenious new ways to tax people. Masking new taxes and surcharges and “additional fees as applicable” with a hint that “it’s good for the environment”…well, draw your own conclusions, I’m not even going to go there tonight. I’ll let this video speak for itself.

HappyCowYou want to see 3 people with nothing to do with Burning Man on a stage? Then watch a frikking TED talk on YouTube, you don’t need a $30 million a year dance party and 100+ “Regionals” for that. You want to spread a culture of gifting, compassion, and kindness, and environmental responsibility around the world? You could do worse than the sentiment expressed here. Ain’t no BLM “rangers in action” “we’re Earth Guardians” videos making me cry tonight…

From the comments:

“Anyone who saw how the cows ran into the open today would ask themself, where do you even see something like that these days … this joy of life, the spontaneity, the excitement. How could anyone not have seen that”.

$40 is about the cost of a decent steak in a San Francisco restaurant. Support this cause here . I eat a lot of steaks. My girlfriend is a vegetarian, as are many of my beloved friends and family. Some of whom are Burners. How can I live with myself, then? Am I a hypocrite, accusing others of hypocrisy? Whatever, bra. A wise, magical woman told me once: “cows need a lot of land. If we didn’t have a commercial use for them, the land would be used for other things. Therefore, by eating steaks as a species, we’re actually preserving these massive amounts of land for this animal species, which otherwise would get next to nothing”. I know that militant vegans will debate this statement, but that doesn’t make it wrong. What other animal in the Universe gets so much land? Certainly not elephants, tigers, orangutans, or even humans living along the ancient Silk Road between Bodrum to Chengdu…

To me, the happiness of these animals, and preserving habitat for all animals, is a more worthy cause than “commerce and trade on the Silk Road”. Oh, wait: “we’re going to save the roads in the middle of nowhere with a $40 surcharge” #cowavoidslay #cameltoe #savingtheworld

Maybe gleaning an extra $40 from 35,000 people is really going to make a difference in the world, and I’m just being a hater.

P.S. Where do you think those mushrooms you’re chomping down on the Playa come from? The Silk Road? Or the cows? Or both?

P.P.S. From Wikipedia:

Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the civilizations of China, the Indian subcontinentPersiaEurope and Arabia. It opened long-distance, political and economic interactions between the civilizations.[5] Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded, and various technologies, religions and philosophies, as well as the bubonic plague (the “Black Death“), also traveled along the Silk Routes. In addition to economic trade, the Silk Road served as a ways of cultural trade between the networking civilizations.

Destroy the Temple, Save the Village

by Whatsblem the Pro

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch NZ - Photo: David Wethey/NSPA/AP

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch NZ – Photo: David Wethey/NSPA/AP

A crew of volunteers in Christchurch, New Zealand, including five professional engineers and a draftsman from global engineering firm Aurecon, are coming together to build a temple for the earthquake-stricken city. . . and then burn that temple down a few weeks later.

The Temple for Christchurch project is inspired by Burning Man and the Temple built there each year, which attendees use for valuable catharsis by writing about their lost ones on the walls before the building is burnt to the ground. The people of Christchurch will be allowed to visit their Temple and write on the walls for several weeks before the structure is burned as a public event.

Photo: Kirk Hargreaves/Christchurch Press/Reuters

Photo: Kirk Hargreaves/Christchurch Press/Reuters

There’s some interesting architecture to the project, too; at 6.3 meters, the building’s height will reflect the magnitude of the biggest and most destructive earthquake in the recent spate, which devastated Christchurch on February 22nd, 2011. The lines of the building’s 40-meter length and 25-meter width will be designed to mirror the seismic waveform of the quake, as recorded at the monitoring station closest to the epicenter.

Hippathy Valentine, a leader of the project, said that the volunteers are driven by the city’s need for a little catharsis and emotional balm in the aftermath of the devastation.

“We plan to open to the public in June on the site of the old Convention Centre on Peterborough St. before [moving the Temple] outside of the city to be ceremonially burnt. We hope that people will share their earthquake experiences and use the Temple as a catalyst for reflection on how the earthquakes have affected them, their city, and their communities.”

Aurecon structural engineer Luis Castillo called the design of the Temple “right at the cutting edge of architecture for the new Christchurch.”

Some areas were badly flooded - Photo: Mark Mitchell/NZ Herald/AP

Some areas were badly flooded – Photo: Mark Mitchell/NZ Herald/AP

“The project gives us the chance to ‘think outside the box,’ to be creative while having a good grasp of the many technical issues that range from material properties to spatial vision,” said Castillo. “We created a balsa wood model to help crystalize our thinking.

“It was also a great opportunity for Aurecon staff to be proactive in bringing the city back to life and creating a means by which [local residents] can go out and enjoy it.”

The Black Rock Arts Foundation is lending some support to the project, and you can too. Get involved, or just show your support for the Temple for Christchurch with a donation of money, food, tools, or other resources, by visiting the project’s website, or by going directly to their Indiegogo campaign.

Good on ya for it, too. . . she’ll be right, mate, with time and hard work and a little good old-fashioned soul-cleansing fire.