Friday, August 31, 2007

Premature Burn

It's very possible that burning the man early is a cause for alarm. It's very possible that sticking a knife in the collective backs of tens of thousands of people is the very death knell that so many have sought after. It's possible that this man with face paint may be the anarchist that burns commercialism in this world of distraction and escapism.

What can we do except balance the darker aspects of Burning Man with open minds and love. That's philosophy the whole world can benefit from.

Every difference in opinion, every disputed discussion and almost all citizens of intelligence and consequence feel that burning desire every day. It's what I call Burnapest.

For more on the premature burn, check out this Laughing Squid article.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Moon Bright over Budapest

The moon over Burnapest is glowing with life tonight. It looks like that bright retina burn you get after staring at the sun and closing your eyes. The Petofi and Szabadsag bridges curl across your vision like glowing veins and if you squeeze tight enough you catch a glimpse of pure energy.

In just over 16 hours, somewhere in the Nevada desert, early arrivals at Burning Man will be watching the same moon with the exception that it will be completely obscured by the earth's shadow. Barring a dust storm, they're in for a rare morning.

For those of us surviving in a less hostile physical environment, albeit a harsh cultural clime, the only consolation is that the Burning Man site might crank up that web cam.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Alas, Hungary's largest gathering of musicians, artists and French hippies has come to an end. The Sziget Festival was eight days of muddy hedonism with some of the world's greatest rock bands showing up. The Killers, Madness, Nine Inch Nails, the Chemical Brothers and Manu Chao all played the main stage with at least 40,000 people corralled into the center of the festival.

Many of the smaller acts along the outer banks of Obudai Island in the middle of the Danube were enjoyable as well -- not to mention more accessible. Gogol Bordello and Mau Mau proved that in order to rock a side tent at any festival these days, you MUST incorporate an accordion player into the band.

Sziget becomes a temporary community as backpackers descend on Budapest in droves. There is shopping, great food, dance parties that never stop, and an international crowd that camps around the island. The festival also gives artists a chance to exhibit their interactive wares.

A New York-Hungarian collaboration called Flux Factory merged Budapest and New York in one trippy installation.

And near the medusa tent there was a plethora of soul-seeking and labyrinthine projects...

Sziget was such a massive event that you would think that would finally put an end to the festival season. Whew! It's finally over. Or is it?...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Kert Craze

So I guess Burnapest's secret is getting out, although it may be leaking towards the east rather than west. Check out Shabby is the Chic Thing at Budapest's "Ruin Pubs" from Reuters India.

Garden bars in dilapidated old buildings are the city's coolest venues. Live entertainment is common and the crowd is young and fresh. In fact, the other day I saw TV crews at West Balkan filming mojito preparation. Sorry bartenders...