This Halloween, what’s your choice for the scariest - out of control parents or crazy dictators?
A few week’s ago we watched as out-of-control heads of state came to deliver their 'evils of America and President Bush' addresses to the UN, and even invited to do the same in our colleges and churches. Most Americans were irate at the gull of Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Evo Morales to do such a thing, and on American soil, at that!
While this was going on the San Francisco Chronicle continued to report, extensively, on the "Burning Man" which is held in the deserts of Nevada each year. A favorite topic for this Left Coast newspaper, last year it devoted weeks to an entire series on this annual pagan event’s 20 year anniversary.
The Chronicle’s online site has lots of postings and pictures of this year's "Burning Man" pyrotechnic-fest where Wiccans and nudists, transvestites and artists, pagans and, well you get the picture, meet for a week of “glorious Hell on earth.” Burning Man's ‘10 Principles’ include, among other things: "radical inclusion, radical self-reliance and radical self-expression," which they say in their mission statement, "…can produce positive spiritual change in the world."
What kind of ‘radical’ principles are they talking about? What kind of ‘spiritual’ change are they looking for? We can get a glimpse simply by looking at a few clippings about this year’s event written up in the San Francisco Chronicle.
One article, "Cute Fuzzy Little Children, On Fire" by Mark Morford, particularly stuck out to me as clearly depicting the worldview of those who attend and advocate for the "Burning Man," as well as the scary future ahead for the children who are exposed to this event and the mindset of its devotees, some of which are their parents. Morford writes:
"Of course there are children at Burning Man...And I suppose you could very well think, by bringing your kid here early on, you might earn yourself a super-cool teenager, one of those precious and rare, alternative-minded artistic supergenius teens who doesn't think her dad is, by definition, a total dork, ultimately resulting in a radiant spiritually luminous carefully tattooed anarchist poet/astronomer adult who will cherish and admire you, her superhip clairvoyant Burning Man parent, forevermore and send you loving postcards and thoughtful gifts and oh yes help save the human race in the process. And you very well might.
Of course, you always run the risk that she will rebel, will reject all parental teachings no matter how raw and naked and funky, will recoil from all supposed hipness and all this, you know, hot glittery ridiculousness, and do the typical teenager thing and race in the exact opposite direction from the sillywonderful Burning Man ethos and instead decide to become, say, a virgin Mormon Republican taxidermist. But hey. Risk you run.
Of course, everyone is childlike here. You could painlessly argue it's all one giant, insanely impractical, wildly expensive, scrotum-shrivelingly hot regression therapy session, albeit one with fabulous drugs and amazing art and much fire and severe love/hate living conditions and incalculable numbers of the aforementioned nipples, and huge percentage of those who come here are clearly on some sort of mutated mission to recover something lost or rekindle something stagnant, something having to do with childlike wonder and joy. Or maybe they all just want to play with matches and run with scissors and scream into the Void and have the entire community merely cheer them on and beg for more. Same difference, really." The rest of the article is here.
What can I say? It speaks for itself.
It's important to know, however, that this is no small gathering, as you can see from the pictures. And it is of no small consequence, for not only will "Burning Man" have an impact on the children who attend and are raised by those who attend, but it will have an impact eventually on our nation. For some of these kids will grow up to be teachers and writers and film makers and politicians and…again, I think you get the picture. And it’s a pretty scary one.
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