An Ode To Burners
|August 31, 2013||Posted by Issa under Counter/Culture|
Tonight is burn night at Burning Man, hundreds of miles and a whole other universe away from me. I’m not there, but having been before I am now sort of always there, seared by the transformative experience that can’t be taken away. In honor of this burn night, here’s a reprint of a post by Joshua Bardwell, which originally appeared in August 2010 at Jack-Booted Liberal.
We will always burn the man. Burning is a collective experience, shared with and mediated between a community of people that forms around the central act of Burning. Although burning is a collective experience, it is expressed uniquely by each individual. There is no one to whom we can abdicate the responsibility of practicing this ritual, to perform it on our behalf.
We will always burn the man. The act of burning springs from within each of us. The right to burn is not granted to us by anyone else. The capability to burn is ours, although we each express that capability in different ways. There is no one to whom we grant the authority to prevent us from practicing this ritual, in some form or another. Not a board of directors or a planning committee; certainly not Larry Fucking Harvey; and least of all, not the idea of our own lack of ability.
We will always burn the man. In a culture that fears and reviles death, intentional, personal, ritualistic destruction is a powerful spiritual act. We claim destruction as our own right, as free people, not solely to be authorized by the government or some other authority figure. We claim destruction as a natural part of the cycle of life, not something to be feared and reviled.
We will always burn the man. In testament to the truth of these ideas, we offer up that which we value most, knowing that its destruction is inevitable, choosing to be the instrument of that destruction, and secure that we can create something like it again when the need exists.
WE WILL ALWAYS BURN THE MAN.