Posts Tagged ‘normal’

Burning Man: The Dissolution of Normal

fix my grn penis 2

I love Burning Man and I’m able to say that almost all of the time.  I don’t love it as much watching some of the comments I see by Burner’s online, or watching them transition from peaceful, loving desert dwellers to maniacal default world drivers 10 feet outside the gate.  I really can’t say it during Exodus.  However I love Burning Man in the middle of 70 mile an hour winds, I loved it in the rain after a brief meltdown over my obliterated tent was washed away with a double rainbow and a tub of homemade chocolate chip cookies I remembered I had.  I’ve love Burning Man in the well over 100 degree heat and at 34 degrees shivering in my tent all in the same 24 hour period.

Dr. Megavolt

Dr. Megavolt

I love Burners on the playa, amazing creatures who exude love and light and snark all at the same time.  A glorious cacophony of colorful freaks who will give until it hurts, take care of those who sometimes don’t deserve it and teach virgins the ways of the dust.  Burners contain a higher than imaginable number of insane geniuses, spectacular artists, and folks who create and burn in ways I never thought possible nor practicable.  A place and a people who can eat the focus of your life so intently for a week that you blissfully forget the other life you had mere days before.

I’ll seek the dust again this year for perhaps my last time, I’ve spent a number of years on the playa and I’m seeking new adventures, new stimuli, a new collection of freaks to expand my mind.  Seems appropriate as I will turn 50 on the playa this year, my own unofficial theme this year, my playa name is The Dean, will be Deanapocalypse 2014.  You are all invited to the party!

fix a1 double bow

The thing that I find most amazing about Burning Man however is not the art, the insanity, the relaxation or even the Playa Magic.  No what I love the most is something I call the dissolution of normal.  You see I think one of the problems we all face in the default world is that we have been fed the idea that there is something called normal.  Given that the actual reality of normal is nothing but an artifice of statistics, we all, in so many ways are not normal.  We constantly find ourselves falling above or below the line, not normal and conventional wisdom tells us normal good, not normal freak.  This paints freak in a negative connotation which I refuse to accept, some of us have found ways to embrace our inner and outer freaks even in the default world.  What did this for me was the dissolution of normal.

freak flag

At Burning Man, stop wherever you are, slowly rotate 360 degrees, carefully take in the crowd around you and I promise you, within that view, you are not the biggest freak, never.  Do it every day, five times a day, you will never be the biggest freak and if you are, find me because I want to know you and I’m sure as hell buying.  This realization is incredibly freeing and truly allows you to let your freak flag fly.  This is why I love Burning Man because if you embrace it, merge with it, normal dissolves and the real you can emerge, is accepted by the community and if you’re lucky you can carry the real you back into the default world.

fix a1 bliss

See you in the dust ~ ZDBlue aka The Dean

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Recently I’ve been contemplating the nature of the square peg and in particular what that means on a personal level for people.  Every time I hear John Mellencamp’s song Minutes to Memories I’m reminded of what it’s like to be an individual, there is a line in the song, “I do things my way and I pay a high price.”  I think it’s sad that the world works that way, but it always has, ask any artist, any freak, anyone you know who doesn’t fit society’s definition of normal, average, boring.

Those of us in these categories often have to struggle in the default world; and because we don’t fit the mode of the other people around us, we are quickly judged.  People take their first perceptions and then expand that perception into their view of us.  This view becomes their filter, a filter they use to taint every single action and interaction you have with them.  That allows them to turn you into, in their mind, whoever they had already decided you were regardless of the reality.  To them a tattooed biker can never be kind and gentle, people in non-traditional relationships, (poly or gay), can’t truly love or be married,  environmentalists can’t care about economics or vice-versa, and religious people,(at least not of their faith), can never be wrong or cruel.

These people, particularly the weakest and frailest among them will use this image and the systems that rule the default world to attack you, to try and destroy you.  They do this primarily out of fear, out of the fear of your difference.  Because difference scares them, it destroys their illusions that there is a confined set of rules of how things work.  Because if you are different and you can be happy, successful, then everything they believe in is at jeopardy and they can’t risk that, because they have nothing else but their confined set of rules and their limited view of the world.

Those of us who fit the bill of odd, eccentric or the ever so polite label of “interesting,” are often left searching for ways and places to feel comfortable and safe.  This is one of the reasons the Burning Man Festival is so amazing.  It is one of those safe, comfortable places, for just about everyone, it is a place so full of the unique that no one judges.  A place where it is safe to let your freak flag fly because you are never the biggest, or the only freak in your field of vision.  It’s ok, to be whoever you are, whatever you are, because without others judging there is no shame or guilt about who you are.  In the desert, on the Playa there is no limited set of confined rules to determine what is good or right.  In my opinion, life the way it should be, for one brief week each year, the way it should be.

Finally, honestly, I would love to ask the default world as a whole, have you ever considered it, ever really thought about and wondered, how damn boring this world would be without us?  I don’t think you have.