Why This Year's Burning Man Theme Should Be About Strength: an Open
Letter to Black Rock City Planners and Citizens of Black Rock City.
This year, 2012, Burning Man should celebrate the theme of Strength.
Strength is a theme that has been a part of Burning Man culture, so as we expect a sell-out event, why not look inwards and celebrate an attribute that has made Burning Man successful? The core principles along with the nature of the event build immediate strength in every Burner, and now, more than ever do we need to validate this powerful aspect of Burning Man.
Let me start by explaining why Burning Man is important and why you should attend, besides the fact that you will have lots and lots and lots of fun. With only a week to see 50 000 people and all of their favorite things it makes this experience intense: which means this social, creative experiment will have you fully engaged into your environment. Burners are some of the coolest people on earth because they have had their lives enriched by relationships –new and old- (from the gathering of people), and by the inspiration they have received (from this gathering of ideas). Privately, more enrichment comes in the form of learned life lessons: ‘cause we all make mistakes… but those moments pass and we are left with smiling photos to show the public. And we tell them, with our enriched souls, that they can be anything and we believe it.
I believe 2011’s theme of Transition is partly responsible for Occupy and the global quest for change. At last year’s Burn, it seemed like many citizens were undergoing a life transition to something better and more purposeful. Yes, the theme affects the conscious mindset of the people and I will mention that there seems to be some playa magic that enhances Burn experiences once the playa has been blessed with a righteous theme. More importantly, the theme will influence the art at this art festival and since art effects life, and life effects art, this outwards spiraling cycle will influence culture. Global culture, because BM is not an island in the desert.
It’s time to stop pretending that Burning Man is some “Never-Never Land” that escapes the world and instead realize that BM is a society that influences all living cultures. It’s time to take responsibility for the world and help adjust its course. We burners have extraordinary amount of power: we have education, networks, energy, freedom, skills, experience, patience and love. This power makes me think of a famous quote.
“With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.”
Yes, we are responsible for influencing our fellow humans to become better people.
Building a theme around Strength will benefit Burning Man because last year was a Transition to something new, and it will require courage and will to push beyond into the unknown. Centering a theme on strength will reinforce the core principles of immediate self-expression and self-reliance. It is known that Burners have the strength to be different. We have ideas, we have love, and we have technology. What we need is the strength to do what’s right. We need strength to lead and make This World beautiful. In a world of escalating tensions, constant warring, financial insecurity and meek culture, 2012 needs heroes of positive light and immortal strength.
We have already proven that Burners have the strength the build something beautiful, fill it with emotion; then let it go…. and burn it to the ground.
If we can do that, we can do anything.
Man of Spirit.
Temple of Strength.
Steve Glen, 2012