A Socratic debate

It was exactly like this, only on a dusty street with a truck.

A hot Sunday morning after the Man burn.

Too bright, too sunny.

Walking down an intersection where people were sitting on both sides of the street in their camps. On lawn chairs, under shade structures, fanning themselves. Recovering after a long night.

A pick-up truck drives slowly past. A bunch of beautiful young men and women are on its bed, smiling and laughing. One girl throws her arms wide and shouts “It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday morning in Black Rock City! Love and blue skies and peace and happiness!”

They all grin and smile and cheer.

I turn, and can’t help myself.  It just bursts out.

“Apocalypse!” I shout back at them. “Hellfire! Doom and destruction and futility! Night will descend upon us all!”

My voice fades across the sand.

I thought that would be it.

Suddenly people on both sides of the street are clapping.

“Excellent!” shouts someone to my left.

“Well said!” calls someone to my right.

“Thank you for having the courage to say that!” somebody else on my left says.

And then … somehow … the kids on the truck are applauding too.

“Yes!” one of the girls calls out as the truck turns a corner. “I get it now!”

God I love this place.

Caveat is the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca at Burning Man. His opinions are in no way statements of the Burning Man organization. Contact him at Caveat (at) Burningman.com

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat is Burning Man's Philosopher Laureate. A founding member of its Philosophical Center, he is the author of The Scene That Became Cities: what Burning Man philosophy can teach us about building better communities, and Turn Your Life Into Art: lessons in Psychologic from the San Francisco Underground. He has also written several books which have nothing to do with Burning Man. He has finally got his email address caveat (at) burningman (dot) org working again. He tweets, occasionally, as @BenjaminWachs

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