It's been rainy out on the playa as the setup crews for Burning Man 2014 have been slaving away to construct the essential pieces of Black Rock City for the 70,000 or so residents who are about to arrive. And, as we reported earlier, burners are allowed to arrive a day early this year, starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, August 24, with the festival officially kicking off at 6 p.m. that evening.
We've got some pretty pictures coming through the feeds from those BRC staffers and others out there installing stuff. This year's Man has already been dubbed The Tin Man for obvious resemblance reasons. And just a warning: If someone shares this playa-tornado video with you, it is fake a joke perhaps designed to scare some people out of going, because, like, it's way too crowded and jumped the shark years ago and true old-school burners really just wish it could be like 1999 again out there.
The Press-Democrat just did a nice piece about artist and Temple builder David Best, who's constructing his eighth temple of the last 14 years, this one dubbed the Temple of Grace, with the help of about 100 volunteers. (See the Kickstarter video his team made a few months back to raise the final funds necessary.) This year's temple is dedicated to loved ones lost to suicide.
Here's the requisite annual piece about the unique "Burning Man economy" from The Atlantic.
And here's BRC staffer John Curley describing yesterday's installation of The Man on the Burning Man blog:
Anyway, after the Man’s legs were upright and secure, then the crew would move to the torso, get it up in the air, guide the 20×20-foot spine into the legs, then buckle down the support wires again. “The limiting factor in how quickly this will go is how fast we can do this,” Brandon said to the people gathered around him, their multicolored hard-hats nodding in understanding and agreement. There was one task left before the lifting could begin: the Man needed a lube job. Bacon fat was rubbed all over the top of his femurs, to make it easier for the spine to slide in. And then the big leg lift began, and it was almost astonishingly easy how quickly the legs went up. In contrast to last Friday morning, when a smaller crane seemed to strain under the load, eventually hitting 92 percent of its capacity, this time there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation as the legs neared vertical. Although there were people manning the guide wires, most of the stabilizing work was being done by Pope Phabulous in his Hyster, which had also been attached to the legs. As the legs neared vertical, there was an unmistakable wobble back and forth as the weight shifted. “He was twerking!” Layna said. Then the Man stopped moving, and a cheer went up all around. Done! If nothing else, at least we’d have Leggy Man.
Grover Norquist must be so psyched right now.