Daisey Carnivals, Burning Men and a Solstice Celebration

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Yesterday’s post was lame, and today’s will not be much better.  Weekends are slow news times and times when I spend less time thinking about the issues of the world and more in mindless routines.  That is only part of the reason, the other part has to do with that festival of electronic music in Las Vegas – the Electronic Daisy Carnival; it has struck me dumb, rendered me speechless.  Early last week when the mayor of Las Vegas was crowing about the event coming to Vegas was the first time I had heard of it.  The rest of the week as the story developed it was characterized as hordes of druggies misbehaving with no moral or artistic value and therefore according the Supreme Court it could formally be called obscene; I could not make out why anyone would bring such an adolescent mess to glorious Las Vegas.  However, I love bright colors, costumes and bizarre art forms, so the stream of pictures coming out of Las Vegas this weekend have be captivating for me.  By now and at the end of the weekend it is clear that the Electronic Daisy Carnival is a cultural event at least as significant and interesting as Burning Man; in fact it seems to be Burning Man without the sand, cleaner bodies and more music, but no less eclectic in being more electronic.

The Internet is such a marvelous tool; 25 years ago,  Burning Man and Electronic Daisy Carnival  might have existed, but the majority of us would have known little about them.  Now I can research their history, listen to some of the music and indulge my voyeuristic tenancies to my heart’s content with hundreds of imagines of naked bodies, stunning light displays and heart stopping works of art probably conceived in a narcotic stupor; a Terry Gilliam movie live.   In my youth I would have loved to be there. immersed in sensuality, sleeplessly moving from one day into the next without seeing or caring about the boundaries between them.

Today, I want to go, but only the way I went to go to the Paris of the 1920s this week, through Woody Allen or other person’s imagination; but in 2011, it is possible through my computer, without taxing my body or my finances, but of course not nearly as rewarding to my body either, to vicarious attend.   The Electronic Daisy Carnival looks to be a perfect marriage between performance art, technology and mass audience involvement.  On the second day the crowd was thought to be about 85,000 raving participants – not spectators.

Is it possible that somewhere inside of each of us that gathering together and acting out some bizarre ritual is part of our genetic makeup?  Are Burning Man and Electronic Daisy Carnival just 21st century (although both started in the fading years of the 20th century) versions of the rituals of Stonehenge and it kind that existed around the world before we became so education, modern and sophisticated?  The crowds, the colors and the beat – doesn’t it take us to some other world, more primitive, but also more true to the core of our humanity? And then on Monday morning we get up and go back to work with that same feeling we had as children when we walked out of a movie theater in the middle of  Saturday afternoon, trying to adjust our eyes to the bright light and our brains to the “real” world.


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