Monday, September 10, 2012

Burnin For You

At some point in the day I thought, "last night was spiraly kinda night." It happens when I'm really tired and learning new things about Palestine. It's always a bit more candid, a bit more emotional. A blessing and a curse...

Right now I feel really good. I have a very comfortable bed, and the Doogie Howser theme is running through my head. I thought of making that my post video, but I might just have something better.

A brief update on the last few days:

Steph and Teo and Carlo and I got back to Santa Barbara from Burning Man on Tuesday night. We slept in Reno, ate a big breakfast at Peg's Glorified Ham and Eggs (where half the people there will still billowing dust like Pig Pen), and stopped for lunch at Gatsby's Burgers in Sacramento. During the drive we started to compile all the stuff we should have brought to BM this year, and would remember to bring next year. More socks and a tin for bacon grease....that's all I remember now. Carlo had been given a mix CD that we listened to. Every song had the words "burn" or "fire" in them. We tried to come up with our own compilation but the songs kept getting worse and worse. Blue Oyster Cult had to make a second appearance.

Home in the vallay
Home in the citay
Home isn't prettay
Home I'll never be

The whole drive back I just floated on the surface of this question: "where have I just been?" It was like heaven and hell mixed into one. There was so much wonder and excitement and exhaustion and weirdness that I....officially give up on explaining because I've been staring off into space for five minutes. Anyway, there was no doubt in my mind that I'd go back. I looked up "distance between Seattle and Gerlach, Nevada" and found a how-to guide for Seattle Burners. I went to the Burning Man website and it said "361 until the man burns!" and that was enough for me. San Francisco has a Decompression event on October 7th. Chances are, I'll be there!

The most useful post-Burn thing I did was watch the documentary that Teo rented for us, on the history of the event and the organization. It's called "Dust and Illusions" and it talks about the very first man burn, on a beach in San Francisco, and the group called Cacophony that invited the burners out to the desert to continue burning without getting in trouble. From there it morphed from a little camping trip to a booze binge to a moving shooting range to an art community, to something that just got bigger and bigger...anyways, I breathed a sigh of relief after watching that, because it expelled the notion that I had to have my experience figured out. If some guys went out there to pump a little stuffed Barney full of bullets, and some people went to create wind chimes over a creek, and later some people showed up to rave, and later some people showed up for a week-long tailgate, then you can jump in wherever you damn well please, or create a totally different experience.

One year the man was set on fire four days early, and the "arsonist" was thrown in jail, but most of the organizers were glad for it, because they were afraid that the experience was getting too predictable, too centered on the man, too it's own religion...I understand that. I think the guy's still in prison though...

After unpacking and detoxing for two days, I said goodbye to my extended family in Santa Barbara and hopped on a train to San Jose. I felt really cool going up to the window at the train station fifteen minutes before the train arrived and saying "one way ticket to San Jose, please." I felt like I was in a movie, making some life-changing decision. I wish the Amtrak looked a little more epic.

On the eight hour ride I did a lot of research. I could've caught up with my Truman book. He's about to get elected Senator and we're only about 200 pages away from the whole Palestine fiasco.

(aside) Reading a presidential biography while riding a train feels very poetic. Not the part where Missouri and Kansas descended into a bloodbath where roving gangs hacked off people's limbs because they supported a free state or a slave state, that was disturbing. But the part where Harry had to run his family's farm, and was awkwardly courting this girl named Bess, and finding his stride in public service, and the sun was setting over Oregon with a new adventure waiting....I felt this connection, a timelessness. I was inspired to do great things. I think that was the most patriotic three hours of my life.

Whereas watching the Olympics again reminded me of how arbitrary nations are, and why are we buying into this circus? Anyways....

I didn't feel like reading  then because I was really interested in chemistry. Coming out of Burning Man, fancy that! About an hour into my wiki-binge on MDMA, mephadrone, and other entactogens (!!), I realized that I'd never, ever taken an interest in chemistry. One of the things I regularly tell people (especially scientific people) about myself is that 10th grade Bio-Chem is the only class that has ever made me cry. Now I was dead set on learning about neurobiology and chemicals and spirituality and ended up Netflixing a documentary called DMT: The Spirit Molecule, which Carlo recommended. I loved learning about the controversy of psychadelics as an academic study, and the study that was finally pulled off with volunteers in a hospital bed, on DMT. I wondered if anyone passing by caught a glimpse of my Droid, where this film was trying to illustrate the testimony of these former subjects, talking about floating backwards along their DNA and out into the universe. Parts of it looked like an Electric Sheep screen-saver, and I thought, oh my god, that's what inspired my screensaver?

After that I watched a documentary that my friend Darek had recommended. Netflix too, apparently, thought I should see it, and it was amazing. Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I hope to shoot a documentary like that someday, and if it's successful, I hope to afford a meal at that restaurant someday.

I liked what Jiro said in the beginning, it was very simple....."You should never complain about your work." For him, work is everything. Our philosophy seems to be the opposite, like if you're not complaining about work, something is wrong with your vent.

Finally, I watched the pilot of The Wonder Years, which was one of the few English shows we got in Japan. I thought it would be lame now that I was older, but I actually liked it. I think I might watch another episode tonight.

You know what's wrong with not blogging every night? Your blog entries end up freaking ENORMOUS.

So now I've been in Menlo Park for three days, and that'll be the topic of my next entry.

Video for today: