Families — Parents — Kids
Taking My Parents to Burning Man
The festival-like thing that's known as Burning Man is happening right now through next Monday out in the barren lands of Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Right here in this very sentence, according to the general rules of descriptive writing, I ought to be hitting you with the what, why, when, who, and how. And that's a problem, you see, because no one can articulate it. Not even the organizer has an elevator pitch for the event. Probably because the elevator version must include words and phrases like environmental, culture, art, naked people, fire, heightened awareness, camping and psychological effect. Still, it'd be real nice to know the nuts-and-bolts basics like: what happens at Burning Man? And if I go, what would I do there?
Troubling questions for the initiated. Another question bangs the door pretty hard too. And it's not would you take your kids — that's been done before — but would you take your parents? Vancouver filmmaker Bryant Boesen, 21, would and did. He's making a feature-length documentary aiming to help define Burning Man by convincing his 60-year-old parents to go with him so he can show them what it's all about.
"Yep," Boesen introduces, "the same parents that put me through 13 years of Catholic school and a decade of Jesus camp."
Since Burning Man attendees don't spectate but participate, he has to get them prepped. "We're going to follow them through the process of scrounging through thrift-stores for appropriate attire, decorating their bicycles, and building art installations to take to the desert."
. . . wait. Um. Thrift stores, decorating bicycles, and building art installations? Yep, welcome to the difficult definition of Burning Man. Knowing what happens there and what you'd do there if you were to go has everything to do with the weird crap you buy/build/repurpose and decorate before you go.
He's put together a campaign on Indiegogo raise the $10,000 he needs to complete the documentary. He's raised over 75% of it as of this writing. Contribute, or learn more: