Hello out there, you moop maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m back with the information you’ve all been waiting for: the results of Day 3’s mad march through the streets of BRC, and the first glimpse of this year’s ESPLANADE scores.
But first! A flying piano!
If you were lucky enough to be in just the right place at just the right time this year, you saw a very rare spectacle: the DPW’s infamous trebuchet, being cocked, loaded, lit and LOOSED with a flaming piano flying through the air and smashing into smithereens onto the playa.
“WHAT!!??” I can hear all of you screaming in unison. “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MOOP??”
And now, prepare to have your mind blown: the flaming piano trebuchet launch was, in fact, a demonstration of Leaving No Trace.
Watch this video, and pay special attention around the 40-second mark:
No, I don’t know why this video is tiny and no, I can’t fix it.
Click the lower right corner to make it bigger.
That’s right, ladies and germs! What you’re seeing is a truckload of DPW, fully expressing the true spirit of Leaving No Trace at Burning Man: Make a mess first, THEN clean it up.
You may be surprised to hear this, but we DPW absolutely love to make big noisy messes. The trebuchet itself, originally created by Johny Amerika for a car commercial, is an item of local lore that last launched a flaming piano at Burning Man 2007 (The Green Man!). When it returned to the playa this year, it was a collective effort that many DPW wanted to lend a hand for (too many people to list here, but you know who you are and we LOVE you). From procuring pianos, to tuning up the trebuchet, to transporting it, to loading and cocking it, and then wielding rakes, shovels, buckets and of course the fire extinguisher – we brought it, and then we made it go away.
Education is a great excuse to make a mess, and a flaming piano makes a great mess. It took the crew just seven minutes to clean that bad boy up and restore the playa as if nothing ever happened. Think you could beat that record? Good luck trying.
And now, where were we?
Oh yes: The Moop Map.
Day Three is when we really start to hit our stride, folks. The DPW Playa Restoration line sweeps completed their tour of BRC’s back blocks, then swung a wide loop and began to work their magic on the Esplanade.
If you were following along in 2014, you might recall that last year was the greenest Esplanade ever. Not so this year. In fact, last year may have been a fluke, as the extraordinary weather left us a hard-packed playa surface that was easy to keep clean. This year, we’re back to normal, and probably worse than normal: sidewinder sand dunes snake across every square foot of the city this year, after massive dust storms that sent Burners into hiding, and cold nights that petrified even the furriest of furries.
And so, the Esplanade this year looks a little more like what we’ve come to expect over these ten years of Moop Mapping: the high-traffic frontage zones were the moopiest, while the back-of-the-block camping areas are actually pretty clean.
“This looks like people were really trying,” says DA, Playa Resto manager. “It looks busy, because people were busy.”
That is to say: none of these camps are fully red. Clearly, they all had LNT plans in place, and they made the effort to clean up. What’s left was buried under dunes, hidden in the dust of a week-long party. Sure, it could be better. But it could be a LOT worse.
The Resto crew salutes all the Esplanade camps and their ongoing commitment to Leaving No Trace. Did you visit an Esplanade camp this year? How can you help them keep their frontages even cleaner and greener next year?