Abductive Columns

Monday, September 26, 2005

A Postmodern Moment: Understanding Culture

Gathering as a Participatory Experience



BurningMan
BurningMan



…each person took part in the burn in their own way. Even the madhouse dance club known as the Deep End told its patrons, who apparently live to gyrate and gyrate to live, that it was time to go home, put on some threads and meet back at the club for a communal stroll to the burn.

People do things in a spirit of togetherness here. In fact, there are no petty jealousies, no rivalries, no misunderstandings. No one's feelings get hurt.
Just kidding.

But most people do seem to enjoy doing things together. I'm sure it's annoying to have to hear all this talk of community and shared experience, but last night everyone was rooting for the same thing. "Have a good burn," people would say. It was as simple as that. Just have a good burn. Maybe it's not much different than saying "Happy New Year," but the fact that you had made it through this hellish week, and the fact that you were miles and miles from the creature comforts of this world, and the fact that so many thousands of other people were willing to do the same crazy thing, well, it made you feel like you belonged.
SF Gate Culture Blog

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