The Mother of all festivals has got to be Burning Man. I went - it did not disappoint - a Fellini film on acid, squared. It's not for the faint hearted because a few times a day you have to eat dirt. I refer to the frequent whiteout dust storms; imagine the Sahara filling up your lungs with a leaf blower. That's the bad news. The good is that every centimetre of space is filled with visions you've never dreamt of. An animal safari is a safari - you know what you're getting. This is a whole new paradigm of reality. I not only refer to the 80,000 people in outfits that make Mad Max look underdressed but the neon art cars and colossal art installations that range from a replica of a street in New Orleans to a 50 foot woman made of woven wire who visibly breathes. The vehicles, in their hundreds and neon at night, are moveable islands of entertainment; a full-sized pirate ship with merry-go-round horses, a cowboy salon on wheels, moving octopi blowing fire, sharks, rhinos, a Japanese tea garden, a bordello, a fire-breathing bathtub, fun houses... Anything you can picture, it's there, lit up like Vegas and spitting fire balls.
I stayed at the Cirque Gitane camp, which sounds pretentious and it was. I'm not complaining, while other people were stuck in small tents, boiling in the day, freezing at night, I lucked out (someone pulled strings). This is a hotel sized circus tent with baroque furnishings, lit chandeliers, Persian carpets and massive statues of famous statesmen dressed as clowns; just like you'd see at your everyday bacchanal. I did find the inhabitants a little upsetting; eight feet tall models either unclad in glitter g-strings lodged somewhere in their g-spots with pink Marie Antoinette wigs or wrapped in leather corsets and snakes. Thank God, I brought my over-sized Sleeping Beauty costume from the Disney shop made of hideous polyester with miles of tulle; if anyone lit a cigarette near me, I would have combusted. I checked it out though, none of the women looked happy so I felt much better. Susan Sarandon brought Timothy Leary's ashes, so there was a bizarre funeral parade where his ashes were scattered around the cathedral as big as a real cathedral but covered in 3d exotic photos, eyes and elephants. Inside was a grotto of shells, confessional booths and peepholes looking into dioramas of weirdnesses. Timothy will be happy there.
I spent most of my days biking from event to event; there were hundreds of daily selections and I was on a tight schedule. So much to choose from - the fruit, donuts and balls sex exhibition party, naked pub crawls, kundalini cooking classes, the orgasmatron experience, slut Olympics, booty shines, workshops on how to turn your panties into a face mask, male stripping, spanking at Spankies and - my favorite - the strap-a-thon in Beavertown for women and transgender people only. Ok, so you go in a dark tent and first thing we had to do was ask our partners if they were carrying any sexual transmitted diseases and since I was alone, I asked the wall and I told my friends it said, "Yes " Then we had to repeat the rules about always using a wet wipe before and after and what to do with the rubber gloves. We were told to either respond with 'yes' or 'no' when called upon to partake, never use 'maybe' because it was explained if you changed your mind you would upset the other person. I always had female orgy on my bucket list so I can cross that one off it was like Lego with vaginas. I stuck with the wall as my partner but I thought, good for them, gay men have been doing this for years, now it's the girlies' turn
(I'll continue this blog next week)