**an essay to accompany the video “bats in the wind***
The AP story about 2008 Burning Man was â€˜Dust Disrupts Burning Man.â€
What an incredible illustration of our media.
â€œDust Disrupts Burning Man.â€
What a disturbing example of how we define â€œnewsâ€ as â€œwhat went wrong.â€
What about â€œInspiration Hits 1000â€™s at Burning Man.â€
Maybe, â€œ100+ Couples Wed at Annual Burning Man Event
â€œGlobal Art Community Descends on Burning Man.â€
It was so strange to talk to family and friends on the way home, after a week of desert bliss. They almost all said, â€œI heard you guys had terrible weather.â€
Um, we had storms.
But that is part of it.
Dust Storms at Burning Man is not â€œnews.â€
In fact, itâ€™s not even a negative thing to most of us.
I LIKE the dust storms. I LIKE the white outs. Hell, I think they are REQUIRED to reach the level of surrender that makes Burning Man so transformational.
I call it baptism.
Maybe that should have been the headline:
â€œDust Baptizes Burning Man Attendees.â€
It is unfortunate that, now that Burning Man is mainstream, the ONE bit of information that the Associated Press informed the masses about was a distorted weather report.
Because that is all I keep hearing from people.
â€œI heard it sucked. I heard it was too dusty. I heardâ€¦â€
Itâ€™s almost as if knowing that the weather was challenging made people feel better for not being there.
Since I subconsciously wish I was at that party, Iâ€™ll take a sick pleasure in learning that it was ruined for those that were there. Makes me feel better for being at work all week.â€
Imagine if my neighbors would have read the â€œbaptismâ€ headline.
What a wonderful conversation that would have sparkedâ€¦instead of a defense of the weather.
I mean, seriouslyâ€¦â€Dust Disrupts Burning Man.â€
That is just insane.
It is all part of it.
Itâ€™s like saying, â€œSun Disrupts Ballgame.â€ Or â€œFrosting Disrupts Cupcakes.â€
Remember this example next time you feel an obligation to stay up on the â€œnews.â€
It is NOT your responsibility to stay aware of what is going wrong in the world.
It would be better to have no news at all then think that the â€œnewsâ€ from Black rock desert that week was the white outs.
That is such a distortion of the worldâ€¦I would argue that being â€œun-informedâ€ is vastly better.
Ignorance of toxic media is not only blissful, is also can be good for your spirit.