In My Pop Music Privilege I highlighted the song Stressed Out from Twenty One Pilots:
We used to play pretend, give each other different names,
We would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away,
Used to dream of outer space but now they’re laughing at our face,
Saying, “wake up, you need to make money.”
This stanza really moves me.
Have you ever seen a gaggle of 5 year olds dressed in tutus and cowboy boots, making up superhero names for each other and pretending they’re blasting off to the moon? And felt the bittersweet pull of a simpler yet more dynamic life?
Yeah. I have. That’s what I get out of Burning Man culture. We add back in that missing stuff. You’re 30 years old? Who cares. We will nickname you Lobster Pony, encourage you to dress exactly how you want to, and then we will expand your imagination past the point of sanity. And at least for the brief period of time that you are inside the burn bubble, no one will demand that you grow up, get real, or generate money.
There’s always more to say and more to read about Burning Man. There are a ton of good books to pick from these day if you want to know more. My favorite is This Is Burning Man. (These are affiliate links. I get a cut if you buy, at no extra charge to you!)