As Gourmay readers are aware, I cover the annual Burning Man festival from afar since I have an allergic reaction to dust. This year was no exception, but I did manage to find an adventuresome soul with many “Right Wing” prejudices to check out this liberal frenzy: Grover Norquist! Needless to say, I had expected Mr. Norquist to call in reinforcements such as Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, but even Grover “Take the Pledge” Norquist didn’t have to have his arm twisted to see that there is a whole bunch of “real” love and compassion in the Nevada desert.
Found below is some extensive commentary by Mr. Norquist from a recent article that appeared in the Guardian. It is an abridged rendition, but those who would like to read the entire article CLICK HERE!
“Some self-professed “progressives” whined at the thought of my attending what they believed was a ghetto for liberal hippies. Yes, there was a gentleman who skateboarded without elbow or kneepads – or any knickers whatsover. Yes, I rode in cars dressed-up as cats, bees and spiders; I watched trucks carrying pirate ships and 30 dancers. I drank absinthe. But anyone complaining about a Washington wonk like me at Burning Man is not a Burner himself: The first principle of Burning Man is “radical inclusiveness”, which pretty much rules out the nobody-here-but-us liberals “gated community” nonsense. . .
“You hear that Burning Man is full of less-than-fully-clad folks and off-label pharmaceuticals. But that’s like saying Bohemian Grove is about peeing on trees or that Chicago is Al Capone territory. Burning Man is cleaner and greener than a rally for solar power. It has more camaraderie and sense of community than a church social. And for a week in the desert, I witnessed more individual expression, alternative lifestyles and imaginative fashion than …. anywhere…
The demand for self-reliance at Burning Man toughens everyone up. There are few fools, and no malingerers. People give of themselves – small gifts like lip balm or tiny flashlights. I brought Cuban cigars. Edgy, but not as exciting as some “gifts” that would have interested the federal authorities. . .
“On my last day of my first Burning Man, at the Reno airport, a shoeless man (he had lost his shoes in the desert) was accosted by another dust-covered Burner carrying sneakers: “Take these,” he said. “They are my Burning Man shoes.” The shoeless man accepted the gift with dignity.
It’s nice to see that we can all get along, but let’s hope that we can make it a 52-week a year event.