2015 Celebrity Sightings

Some Burners will go “who cares”…but if you type “Burning Man” into Google and set time to “past 24 hours” under Search Tools, you will see that this is the main story being discussed on the Internet about Burning Man. Celeb coverage includes Business Insider, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Post, Hollywood Life, Marie Claire.

It seems that many people very much do care. Where else can regular folks party with billionaires and A-list stars, for only $400?

Maybe later in the week there will be other Burning Man news on the Internet for us to discuss. Hey, if you don’t like this story, write your own! We welcome guest posts.

Susan Sarandon got a lot of press for carrying Timothy Leary’s ashes in a procession to their final resting place under a masturbating nun, before they were merged with the rest of the ash after the Totem of Confessions burned.

Katy Perry made her Burning Man debut with video of her falling off a Segway, which has gone viral globally – 511,000 likes just on her Instagram feed.

Jared Leto handed out oranges. Diddy tended bar. Leonardo di Caprio was a rumored sighting last year, this year his girlfriend was confirmed.

Voices of Burning Man reports that “soccer star Ronaldo” was there, asking to be gifted some merch at Robot Heart [NB: the sport is called football, because you kick the ball with your foot, not hold it in your hands]. Turns out it was Ronaldo Lima, not current Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo.

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More from #bm15

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More from #bm15

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Also rumored to be in attendance this year was Paris Hilton. Her Twitter feed was silent between Aug 29 and Sep 7, before she jetted off to Ibiza for a foam and diamonds party.

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Katy Perry, singer

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🔥🚨obvious first time burner alert🚨🔥

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Susan Sarandon, actress

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One minute this

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Karlie Kloss, model, Victoria’s Secret angel

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Wigging out with @karliekloss

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Suki Waterhouse, model (note the numbered RV)

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Poppy Delevingne, model, socialite

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P.Diddy, mogul

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Cara Delevingne, model/actress/singer

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Dasha Zhukova, magazine editor, Mrs Roman Abramovich

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Derek Blasberg, magazine editor, author

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🔥👤

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Constance Jablonski, model

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Mohammed Hadid (Real Housewives husband)

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Desert time

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Jared Leto, actor

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Mind On Fire #burningman #MarsIsComing

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Kelly Rohrbach, model, actress, athlete – Leo di Caprio’s latest squeeze

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burn baby burn 😷

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Shanina Shaik, model, and DJ Ruckus “the most sought after DJ in the world”

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❤️💛💚💜💙 @djruckusofficial

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🌵 #burningman #dragonfly #camp #desert #camo

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Michelle Monaghan, actress

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Candice Swanepoel, model, Victoria’s Secret angel

If anyone encountered other celebrities at Burning Man this year, please let us know in the comments.

 

 

People Freaking Out Over FBI Surveillance of Burning Man

Image: Beverly & Pack/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Image: Beverly & Pack/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Earlier in the year, VICE news published a story When the DEA Went to Burning Man, Shit Got Redacted about the DEA’s activities at Burning Man, based on a heavily redacted FOIA response.

When we discussed the story in April, we also published the results of a FOIA request made by “Inkoo Kang” in 2012 (responded to after much chasing in Feb 2013). This provided documented proof that the FBI have been active at Burning Man.

For some reason, this story has hit the mainstream media this week. Here’s some of the coverage:

FBI Infiltrates Burning Man Festival, Collects Intelligence, Documents Show – CBS News

Undercover FBI agents spy on Burning Man Festival – Daily Mail

FBI kepts tabs on Burning Man Festival – NY Post

Burning Man Testing Ground For Free Speech, Drugs and New Spy Gear – Slashdot

The FBI are far from the only agency operating there.

Agencies Spotted at Burning Man

  • 200+ police; BLM and sheriff’s combined patrols, integrated teams
  • Night vision goggles, sniffer dogs, drones
  • Run by Special Agent Dan Love – Bundy Ranch standoff
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Department of the Interior senior management
  • Pershing County Sheriff’s Office
  • Washoe County Sheriff’s Office – ATAC (All Threats All Crimes)
  • Nevada Highway Patrol
  • Paiute Indian Reservation Police
  • DEA
  • FBI
  • Centers for Disease Control
  •  Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Public Safety (Investigation Division)
  • US Forest Service
  • US Customs & Border Patrol
  • Nevada State Board of Health

Not to mention Google’s prototyping of new technologies, such as Google Earth. Another technology prototyped at Burning Man, Firechat, played a big role in the Hong Kong protests a month after its Playa debut.

The festival takes place on a former military site that is still used for space launches. It is very close to Naval Air Station Fallon, and every year there are fly-overs. There are also all kinds of elite military personnel at the festival, plugged directly into reconnaissance satellites.

Blackhawk at Burning Man. Image: Chris Olewnik

Blackhawk hovers low over Burning Man. Image: Chris Olewnik, Facebook

Military aircraft that have been spotted at Burning Man include:

  • Blackhawk
  • Chinook
  • Apache
  • F-18
  • F-22
  • F-14
  • F-16
  • C-130
  • V-22 Osprey tiltrotor

Recently Alex Jones’ show InfoWars.com did a special on Burning Man’s bugs, asking if they also could be tied to government agency activities.

In Operation Chaos and COINTELPRO the FBI and CIA infiltrated the counter-culture of the 1960’s. History is repeating itself…perhaps by accident, or perhaps by design.

 

It’s Hip To Be Square

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Another interview from Grover Norquist, in what looks like a summertime ski lift. The Grove is now a “Burning Man aficionado” after attending once by private plane and staying up til 2:30am on a couple of occasions. He said he did not witness a single intoxicated person at Burning Man, even though he delivered a lecture on Psychedelics and hung out mostly at the Absinthe bar. His outrageous costume was a Moroccan man-dress and a Russian military uniform he got from his spooky activities in Afghanistan.

Is this a case of the right wing trying to appropriate left wing culture, to try to be cool? These guys sure think so:

grover at bm

Fusion produced this video showing Grover in action gifting Cuban cigars, lip balm and Nutella on the Playa. He’s so cool that he’s drinking the Kool Aid, and wants to come back with his political dream team.

grover dreamteam

I’ve also just found this gem of an article with Grover, one of several media interviews that both he and political figure Denis Kucinich gave on-Playa at last year’s Burning Man.

From New York magazine:

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Norquist strolls around Black Rock City in 2014. Image: NY Mag

It’s a hell-hot Friday afternoon, and conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and I are walking down a dusty footpath at Burning Man, the annual New Age festival held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. As we stroll past rows of parked RVs on Gold Street, we pass a large tent that advertises “Free Taint Washes.” A man approaches us from inside, carrying a jug of water with a misting attachment.

“Would you like a spray?” the man asks.

“Not today,” Norquist says.

The man smiles. “Well, would you like a taint wash?”

Norquist has been at Burning Man for less than a day, but he’s already learning lots of new things — including the word taint, which, after a moment of confusion, he asks me to define. (Hmm, how to put this to the godfather of modern American conservatism?) Sheepishly, I inform him that the perineum it’s the colloquial term for the patch of skin between the genitals and the anus that people take well good care of it know a days using anal bleach creamanal bleach cream, and other products. People call it the taint, I say, because it taint one part and it taint the other, either.

“Okay, I did not know that,” Norquist says. “Is that a recent slang?”

We continue down the path, past a “shaman dome” and a 22-foot-tall sculpture of a penis entitled “The Divine Masculine.” Nearby, a topless woman rides by on a fur-festooned bicycle. The oontz-oontz of house music reverberates in all directions. It’s a much different scene than you’d find at the offices of Americans for Tax Reform, the influential right-wing organization Norquist leads, but he seems charmed rather than frightened.

“If you had 500 people get together and [they did] something like this, that would be impressive,” he says, surveying the blocks full of elaborately decorated theme camps. “But seventy thousand?”

Image: Tremr

Image: Tremr

Further down the path, while Norquist is making a point about the evils of labor unions, a man in a fedora runs over to meet us … (He is possibly very stoned.) “Gentlemen, I’m coming here to get some news on the report,” he says. After an awkward silence, the man whirls away and shouts, “Now watch me get run over — it’s going to be modern art!”

“Did you know that guy?” Norquist asks…

Grover lets the hidden agenda slip:

In the long run, Norquist thinks that the high-profile regulatory struggles of tech companies like Uber and Airbnb could help the GOP attract young Silicon Valley voters if it positions itself as the innovation-friendly party.

But really, he’s just there to party party. Sure he is.

Image: Fusion

Image: Fusion

…enough about politics — Norquist is here to have his mind blown…he periodically stops to admire the roadside attractions: a golf cart decorated to look like a gumball machine; an antique car with a “Nixon/Agnew” bumper sticker; a geodesic dome. We pass HeeBeeGeeBee Healers, a camp that puts on daily spiritual healing workshops where attendees are asked to chant like monkeys.

“Is that the gong one?” Norquist says with a laugh. “I saw an advertisement for a place where you lie down and they hit gongs near you and they can cure your appendicitis or something.”

Norquist is still getting used to Burning Man’s quirky traditions — for starters, he doesn’t yet have a “playa name,” the nickname given to first-time Burners as a rite of passage. (“I went through eight years of the Bush administration without a nickname,” he says. “I think Grover is sufficiently unique.”)

[Source: New York]

Read the full interview here.

There’s big elections coming up in 2016, and Burners are an attractive little bubble of voters for politicians to reach. Maybe if we’re lucky this year Hillary, Jeb, and Trump will all bring their planes and give interviews too, with paparazzi standing by to record the evidence of them actually Gifting and Participating and being all Radical. Of course, we’d have to turn the music down.

http://twitter.com/GroverNorquist/status/505893399824588801/photo/1

http://twitter.com/GroverNorquist/status/505893009158705152/photo/1