top of page

The Assless Chapel Newsletter #15: Theme Edition


I’m always torn on whether Burning Man should have themes. On the one hand, it mixes things up, gives us something to look forward to and the themes are usually pretty cool. On the other hand, I generally couldn’t tell you there was a theme, if I didn’t know, except for the names of the streets. I do like when the themes are weirder and/or more concrete. While Waking Dreams is cool, it’s just vague enough that basically anything can be fit into the theme and the theme can be fit onto anything. This year’s theme, Animalia, promises to give more direction to the art, camps and costumes, so I’m pretty stoked for it.

I suggested that we stage a marriage between a cat and a dog and Yosi suggested we throw in a mouse and make it a thruple. But maybe we could get weirder and do a sperm whale and giant squid, a hyena and lion, whale and buffalo, etc.


Not much group news I know of. I spoke to Curtis the other night and he’s recovering well. I miss you all!

If any of you haven’t seen this yet, it’s beautiful: Waking Dreams 2022.


This past Burn, we had dark nights, with a new moon rising during build week. But 2023 is set to be fucking perfect, in terms of moonlight. There will be a full moon on Wednesday of Burn Week. Throughout Build and Burn Weeks, we’ll have at least half a moon. But it gets better: the full moon will be a super moon, when the moon looks huge and gives off a ton of light because it passes closer to Earth than it does the whole rest of the year! It will also be a Blue Moon, but that just means it’s the second full moon in the calendar month – it’s not actually blue.

If you know anyone who would be interested, the BRC Honoraria grants process is now open.

If you liked the 2022 Man Base, here’s its story.


I sent in our Post-Playa Report. Waiting to see how we did on the MOOP map. In December, I’ll be sending them a statement of intent to return to the Playa and they’ll let us know how many tickets they’re allocating in February.

In the meantime, here’s some cool tech thing you can use to explore BRC 2022. Linda actually sent me an aerial shot of the Assless Chapel that seems to have come from that tool!:


Not much on the horizon, just keep living the Ten Principles in the default world.


Animals have several things that are common to them, but not to other forms of life. For instance, they consume organic materials, breathe oxygen, can move and can reproduce sexually. There are some random species that have evolved to not completely conform to one of these things, but they’re extremely rare. Another thing that animals have in common is their development.

Every or very nearly every animal has a stage of development where it consists of a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula. This hollow area then fills with a liquid. Think of a soft-boiled egg.

That interior has less substance to it than the solid exterior. It is also less formed, more full of potential. That area will eventually fill with cells that develop into all the many things that make up a living animal. But for a while, the animal is basically a hollow sphere.

I have to say, it makes me think of myself at this past Burning Man. Maybe a year before this past Burn I was going through some things. I was that hollow sphere. I felt that I had little inside – I had always filled that interior with work, ambition, preconceived notions of who I am. In the runup to Burning Man, I started to let that interior fill with something… not sure exactly what. I guess that was the fluid that had the potential to turn into cells.

And Burning Man gave me time to be with myself, in myself, in a way I haven’t been for a long time. It was the incubation period where that liquid began to fill with living cells and those cells began to differentiate. I can honestly say this Burn was the most life-changing Burn that I’ve had yet. I’m happier; more at ease with myself. I’ve radically changed my life habits. I’ve been doing some exercise 6 days a week. I quit smoking. I haven’t had a drink for 2 weeks and, unlike any time since I was 17, I don’t really miss it. I got a Brazilian wax yesterday. I’m sleeping better. I’m learning French.

So I think I’m digging the Animalia theme.

The Man burns in 310 days!

1 view0 comments


bottom of page