Burning Man The Musical
Well, Burning Man jumps the shark again, and this time the sharks are singing.
Oh the mixed emotions…did these guys get permission to use the Burning Man name for commercial purposes? Because that is a big no-no…is this going to be a parody? Are these people actually burners?
Initially I wanted to roll my eyes at this popularization of an event that is supposed to be the antithesis of pop-culture and commercialism. It would be one thing to perform ‘Burning Man the musical’ at the actual festival, as a way of giving to the city, that would be great. It’s quite another to try and take it to Broadway…which is the ultimate plan for this little number. But then I thought, well these are artists, they are performers. Let’s give them a chance….
It doesn’t start well.
The first line of the song is:
“Oh I want to seize the day with Eric Schmidt, Larry & Sergey”.
It’s called “Burning Man the Musical” and the first sentence of the story is spent naming 3 corporate executives at Google? Holy tap dancing Christ on the cross, that’s about as antithetical as it gets. But it’s satire right? Let’s continue.
There’s a beautifully sung line by a duo about a minute into the video: “Burning Man Peaked in 2008, and now the techies come to only plug and play…and don’t participate…” The performers are good, they may not understand what they are singing but they are good singers. Meanwhile the writer of the song is Matt Werner who is a Google employee and has never been to Burning Man…he wanted to write a fucking musical about Burning Man…without actually having ever gone to the festival. Hahhahahhaha, so I guess he must be the parody!
The song continues with lyrics about coding, technical reviews, and Steve Jobs. It’s an orgy of name dropping with a chorus that involves a mobile app called ‘E-Playa’. It’s nails on the chalk board to any old school burner. It’s about as naive and commercial as it gets.
With that said, this is a new era, it’s a new crop of ‘burners’. People fly in from all over the world to see big name DJ’s, and stay in camps they paid other people to build for them. It’ s more of a vacation and much less of a lifestyle now. Word is, creator Matt Werner is going to Burning Man for the first time this year. I predict that our tech bro protagonist is going to have a change of heart after actually going to the festival, he may actually learn something about what it’s about…or what it used to be about. The story may evolve to find our protagonist dropping the corporate dogma, and adopting something more principled and real. God I hope they make a shit ton of money off of this…that would be sooo rad.