We at Valleywag have made clear our feelings towards Burners, the attendees of Burning Man, a weeklong arts festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert that's getting underway now: We think they're dirty, environment-hating hypocrites who are marginally employable at best. The main business implication of the event? That you're never, ever, ever going to get any software project finished in Silicon Valley during the last week of August. So why would we send a reporter to the event?
Three words: geeks gone wild. The bacchanalia alone makes it worthwhile to dispatch a correspondent to Black Rock City. When we pitched our reporter, Simone Davalos, on the project, she wrote back worrying that her posts wouldn't fit on Valleywag:
I am just worried they will not be as tech-centered as the usual Valleywag entries, since it's probably difficult to discuss mergers and acquisitions when you're on mushrooms and there's a brace of naked blue-painted chicks riding a pink fluffy bicycle sliding past as some stranger bewilderedly staggers up to you and offers you the last piece of pizza, then runs away giggling when you take it.
I'm just saying.
And we're just agreeing, Simone. We want to cover Burning Man as it is, a hypocrisy- and guilt-ridden festival of ardently denied consumption. We'll report on all of the corporate-backed environmental demonstrations — never mind that half the environmental damage Burning Man will inflict on the planet has already been accomplished, simply by driving to the remote site. And maybe we'll spot a body-painted tech celeb or two. No matter. The point is, the people we write about are there — so why not follow them, and see what we learn?
As I write this, Simone has arrived at Black Rock City and just checked in with me "from the middle of the FUCKING DESERT," as she says in her latest email. Sounds like she's developing the requisite Valleywag bad attitude. I can't wait to read the first of her many missives.