Evening in Black Rock City

Just a quick pic to remind you that there is more out here than bugs.


About the author: John Curley

John Curley (that's me) has been Burning since the relatively late date of 2004, and in 2008 I spent the better part of a month on the playa, documenting the building and burning of Black Rock City in words and pictures. I loved it, and I've been doing it ever since. I was a newspaper person in a previous life, and I spent many years at the San Francisco Chronicle. At the time I left, in 2007, I was the deputy managing editor in charge of Page One and the news sections of the paper. Since then, I've turned a passion for photography into a second career. I shoot for editorial, commercial and private clients. I've also taught a little bit, including two years at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and a year at San Francisco State University. I live on the San Mateo coast, just south of San Francisco in California.

10 Comments on “Evening in Black Rock City

  • Cement says:

    There’s a lot more out there, like douche bag ego fucks.

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  • Samson says:

    Not that anyone really cares, but the Black Rock Desert is part of the massive Great Basin shrub steppe eco-region. These insects are not pests, they are an integral part of the eco system of the region. The reason they flock at night to lights is that they mistake the lights for the moon. Evolution for them hasn’t caught up with the invention of electricity. They follow the moonlight in order to mate, and that assures the even distribution of their eggs. This has been going on peacefully for millions of years. Until now.

    So here comes Burning Man to collect hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of these various insects from many miles away, littering the huge circumference with their carcasses. What effect will that have on the PH balance of the playa? What effect will it have on the region’s wildlife? Who the fuck cares?! We’re gonna party our asses off! We’re bringing bug zappers, deet and a whole bunch of other chemicals to defeat these little bastards.

    Just don’t be a hypocrite when you see someone pissing on the playa telling them they’re ruining its ecology. Let’s fuck this place up and have fun!

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  • drowkcab says:

    It must hurt to be you. If it’s any consolation, I think you can rest assured that the evolution of these critters will not be halted by a week-long camping trip in this speck of desert and that they will be around long after this 200k yr experiment of humanity is over. In the meantime, enjoy a sunset once in awhile…

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    • Andicicle says:

      But wait! The playa is my RELIGION! When you are all not around, I dig a hole in the ground and habe deep meaningful sex with the playa. With a condom so as not to unbalance the PH of the dust! All you flthy burners ruining my beautiful playa!

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      • Yanni says:

        Fucking Earth Guardians can lick my balls. It’s a big desert out there and we’re not hurting anything. Most of the stuff that flies away is biodegradable.

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  • Shauna says:

    I agree. Burning Man is just a speck of the desert. I hate when people get all high-and-mighty about it. We own that land and we can do whatever we want with it. Insects don’t even have brains or blood or lungs or any of that stuff.

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  • benjamin says:

    I’m really looking forward to hearing an “official” report on the situation out there. By now I can assume that the org has sent pest control experts out who have verified the exact species (plural) we are dealing with and the best course of action for keeping them from being a pain in the ass. I’m curious why that info isn’t being shared yet, since I head to the playa in 6 days. If they are indeed false chinch bugs (predominately), as some people have tried to identify from the few photos out there on the net right now, there are few options. Even if few, I’d like to know what they are.

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  • My two cents says:

    There is plenty of room for douche bag ego fucks, bats, environmentalists “fuck this place up and have fun-ists” and sunset worshippers.
    It’s a big playa.

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  • placebo says:

    thank you John. We are only limited by our imagination and our egos and our fears as to what we can find out there. thanks for the reminder and all the work you do.

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