I’m JStep and this is my blog for Burning Man. Burning Man is a passion of mine. I first learned about Burning Man in the early 90’s in an article in Rolling Stone magazine. I knew then that I had to go to this event! Amazing art, mutant vehicles, temporary autonomy, the gifting economy… all of this really appealed to me. Flash forward to November 2010 when my buddy Nate said to me “You know what I want to do this summer? I want to go to Burning Man!” Instantly I remembered; Holy schniekies I forgot about that! It has been about 20 years since I read that article, probably 17 years since I had even thought about Burning Man at the time. I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten all about this one-of-a-kind event. I spent my early 20’s going to Grateful Dead shows, Rainbow Gatherings and having a Real Good Time. I was well prepared for the ideals of Burning Man and nothing comes close to matching it. So.. I spent the next 9 months planning, plotting, saving and networking. I spent hours every day reading and posting on the ePlaya forum, the Burning Man website, and Tribe. I bought a shortie school bus, connected with the Tallgrass Burners (Nebraska Area Regional Burning Man Group) and Midwest Burners, coordinated a camp group on Facebook with my buddy and a few good friends I met through Tallgrass Burners, learned to build a hexayurt, prepped and planned and discussed… I was what they call a Stealth Virgin! It was my first year and no one thought so!Let me tell you though, Burning Man blew my mind! I was, and am, in love with this thing they call Burning Man and I knew I’d have to go again.
In the interim since Burning Man 2011 I have been reflecting on the event, the politics of it, the art, the people I’d met and the experiences we shared. Recently I learned that Brad, the Regional Contact for Tallgrass Burners, was stepping down. Immediately I found several of my friends, campmates, and even a stranger or two were encouraging me to step up and take the position. So, I volunteered, interviewed and eventually was recommended for the role of Nebraska Area Regional Burning Man Contact!
Therein is a secondary reason for creating this blog. While I will be responsible for administering the Tallgrass Burners website and other various duties for a Regional Contact, I also like to blog and post online about things I am passionate about. So that there is a clear divide between my activity as an “official” Regional Contact and my personal activity as a blogger and netizen who happens to love Burning Man, this little blog was born!
Future posts will deal with many of my experiences and things I’ve learned about Burning Man. Shade structures, The Ten Principles, water, Center Camp, Mutant Vehicles, the DPW, the playa… the possibilities are endless.
So, here’s to Burning Man, Larry Harvey, radical free expression and the future! Next year’s theme is Fertility 2.0… let the games begin!