Notes on After The Man is Gone

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jonnynomad
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Notes on After The Man is Gone

Post by jonnynomad » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:12 pm

MY FRIEND TOLD ME I WOULD MISS HIM. He told me I wouldn't know why, I wouldn't understand till it happen, I wouldn't realize his importance till he left me. He was right.

After a week spent in a world unlike ours, where it would seem the best of us have been transported to an open canvas and told to create, The Man stood firm as our compass. He wasn't God, but at the same time he was. He was why we were here, why we traveled this far and bared all the burdens and schemed for a years length to be. Scientists, artists, humanitarians, philosophers, us, we all came to be absorbed into him. And we did.

We used him for a week to survey and navigate, to remind ourselves of what was possible. He was our source of exploration and our fire for intensity. He reminded us that Eden can only last for so long and then it would be gone.

As night cast its dark shadow and our world was lit up for one last time, an atom bomb of sorts struck at the core of us, ticking away in our one giant heart. There wasn't any time to be wasted or rushed. We made our preparations and ate our psychedelics that would help visualize the coming experience.

A rampant dust storm seized control of the Playa and rumor had it The Man might not burn. We wouldn't let this happen. Every single voice said the same thing in a different way. We needed this. The masses took to the open Playa for our leaders last hoorah.

The dust stung at our open wounds and forced its way to our lungs. He was daring us to come out and play, and of course we would. I kissed my dreaded beauty, hugged my loving friends, and aimed my sights beyond the lifted cranes and behemoth crowd in place before me.

With arms raised to the stars The Man shot endless sparks and shimmering rockets into the sky for quite some time, edging the crowd to react. And as we all whispered the same enchantment his mantle combusted and set flame to his core. United we all roared for him to fall. He dropped with all of our tears taking us with him in some way. His fire circled in the whirlwind of dust and ash and Black Rock City came alive for its final time. There was no darkness to be seen, no vacant spaces or voids in the distance. People were busy with footsteps and misdirection. Our world was aloof in mystery once more.

We all headed to our place of meeting using the drugs and instincts we'd taken for his absence. Some showed up late, some early, but we all made it. He would have wanted us to. The night drifted into something beyond ordinary, beyond anything mortal. He was watching us and we were thinking of him.

As one we released him from our clenched arms and set his spirit to drift away so we could celebrate his passing. He wanted it that way because we would be there to pick him back up in a years time, and he would be waiting to give us another canvas to create.

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brushfire on the playa
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Post by brushfire on the playa » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:07 pm

this. is. beautiful.
i'm on the playa, bitch!

bigger and better next year, every year...

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geospyder
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Post by geospyder » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:57 pm

nicely said...and the next morning we cooked bacon on the hot ashes.
You know it's going to be a bad day when you jump out of bed and miss the floor.

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teardropper
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Post by teardropper » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:54 pm

Is this too soon?...

Titties and beer!

And there's nothing supernatural about the Man. Just lumber and neon. Please don't turn him into a deity. It's just a symbol. You chose the symbolism. But please, no god stuff.

Or what?...
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/..\ Furthur

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Eric
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Post by Eric » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:27 pm

I'm with Teardropper- at this point the Man is the compass point for navigation for me, and thats about it. I haven't been closer than the Esplanade for the Burn in years, probably won't ever go back into those crowds to watch the Disney fireworks show.

This isn't part of some jadedness (which I do have in spades, thankyou) but just a general feeling that there are better things on the playa to get my attentions, and the Man isn't even close to being the best piece of art to look at.

Great compass however!

YMMV
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curiousgnate
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Post by curiousgnate » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:56 pm

and the next night..... the temple burned. now that burn is more about what i think bm is about then the man. it is more introspective, and personal than the man burn could ever be. i appreciate your poetry, but just wonder if you saw the temple burn. so many leave brc before the temple burn, and that is ok with me cause it makes it that much more intimate, but the temple burn, well that has a place in my heart that is so much more dear to me then the man burn. if you missed it, don't next time!
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Malachi Constant
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Post by Malachi Constant » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:27 am

teardropper wrote: And there's nothing supernatural about the Man. Just lumber and neon. Please don't turn him into a deity. It's just a symbol. You chose the symbolism. But please, no god stuff.

"per·son·i·fi·ca·tion
–noun
1.
the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, esp. as a rhetorical figure.
2.
the representation of a thing or abstraction in the form of a person, as in art."



It's a (beautifully written) literary piece, maybe try to enjoy it for what it is and don't take offense when it employs a very commonly used literary device.

I don't think the author was intending to argue that there is a metaphysical force hiding up there in the Man somewhere. Nor do I think there is a risk of people coming to believe such simply because it was written in a figurative manner on a message board somewhere.


Also, fucking duh.

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TomServo
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Post by TomServo » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:27 am

Eric wrote:I'm with Teardropper- at this point the Man is the compass point for navigation for me, and thats about it. I haven't been closer than the Esplanade for the Burn in years, probably won't ever go back into those crowds to watch the Disney fireworks show.

This isn't part of some jadedness (which I do have in spades, thankyou) but just a general feeling that there are better things on the playa to get my attentions, and the Man isn't even close to being the best piece of art to look at.

Great compass however!

YMMV

So your the one stealing our stuff on burn night!

Kinda like going to the beach, and not getting in the watet! Oh well! Its everyones playground.
anything worth doing is worth overdoing..

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C.f.M.
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Post by C.f.M. » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:56 am

I think I walked by it once this year, on my way straight across the E, but I didn't look at it in the day or climb on it. I couldn't even see it lit up Saturday night, through the white out, and it was one of the top, maybe the best, burn night I've EVER had.

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Sail Man
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Post by Sail Man » Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:43 am

I agree with Eric, it is my compass as well, helping guide me as I wander about the playa. And then Sunday morning, my wanderings become a bit more aimless as I strive to figure out where the hell I am :lol:

Though I do go a bit further out onto the playa for the burn. I like to find a nice little hidey hole to watch the burn from.

Oh, and Tom, don't worry about Eric stealing stuff. We duct tape him to a lawn chair and hang led ornaments from his stache. He aint going no where :lol:
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Post by Elderberry » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:49 am

Eric wrote:I'm with Teardropper- at this point the Man is the compass point for navigation for me, and thats about it. I haven't been closer than the Esplanade for the Burn in years, probably won't ever go back into those crowds to watch the Disney fireworks show.

This isn't part of some jadedness (which I do have in spades, thankyou) but just a general feeling that there are better things on the playa to get my attentions, and the Man isn't even close to being the best piece of art to look at.

Great compass however!

YMMV
I agree. We like to watch the man burn, but bring chairs and cocktails out on the playa just beyond the madding crowds and sit and watch the whole thing comfortably. Same for the temple burn--and it avoids all the yahoos and allows us to experience the burns on our terms.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:38 am

I behave so badly at the big burns, that I cannot permit myself to go.

Yeah, I am my own nanny!
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Eric
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Post by Eric » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:44 pm

Sail Man wrote:Oh, and Tom, don't worry about Eric stealing stuff. We duct tape him to a lawn chair and hang led ornaments from his stache. He aint going no where :lol:
This year they forced me (and I emphasize: Forced Me) to stay in my chair by putting a hot 26 year old in my lap & making me make out with him through the whole Burn.

They are cold hearted evil bastards who wouldn't let me get close enough to anything to steal it (except for maybe a heart here & there)
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

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Sail Man
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Post by Sail Man » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:32 pm

:lol: Forced you my ass :wink:

edited to add: Umm, I'm not, umm meaning, uh, you know, that I was meaning, ummm, you know like forcing my ass on you, ummm, err uh I mean they didnt really have to, you know, force you to make out with him, ummm


Say, it sure is getting hot in here :roll:




:lol:
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Post by Fire_Moose » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:04 pm

that's like rape Eric, did you tell a ranger?
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jonnynomad
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Post by jonnynomad » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:39 am

interesting. i totally did not realize the heavily God like tone in this piece. I am not religious in any way but something about my experience was something other than human, at least for that night. I just wanted to remember how it felt. That feeling of complete alignment and timing, of being lost but understanding chaos.

I wrote this as a piece for that moment. it was merely an experience and one of MANY themes I had thought about during and post BM.

It is true tho, the man is nothing more than a symbol nor is he a realistic icon to worship. He is whatever you make of him, and that night, although I didn't realize it till later, he was something more than a symbol.

What the man is, is an idea, or rather like I said an open canvas. And when you stare out at a blank piece of paper, there are endless possibilities, and one can only leave their mark.


My friend told me I would miss him. He told me I wouldn't know why, I couldn't understand till it happen. He was right.

Unfortunately I did not make it to the Temple Burn, NOT MY FAULT. I was basically dragged out of black rock city. This was my first Burn so give me a little flexibility on being a Virgin. I gave BM my best shot and I have no regrets for what the playa has taught me. Can't wait to learn something new next year.

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Post by drucake » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:19 pm

first off....i love what your poem. very beautiful and well put. second, if you feel this deep about the man burning just wait till you see the temple burn. like someone else said, its my favorite burn. less people first off. i really hope you come back next year and spend the whole week. thank you for sharing your words. :D

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