Balsa Man 2009. Baker Beach San Francisco. FREE

8 09 2009

Balsa Man 2009. Baker Beach San Francisco. FREE .5

Some local San Franciscans that don’t Burn anymore have started this tradition of creating a miniaturized Burning Man down at Baker Beach, back where the original Burning Man used to happen when it was free and in SF.

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I was kind of amazed at how many of these structures I recognized, even the ones from years that I didn’t go to.

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There’s a miniature La Contesssa.

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Miniature Flock by Michael Christian.

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There’s a condensed version of the Deep End, Opulent Temple, Space Cowboys, and Illuminaughty, rave camps.

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Miniature David Best Temple.

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Miniature Paul Addis

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Coked-up, Napoleon Complex, Anger-Management Issues, Only-Been-to-Burning Man-Twice-Before-and-Now-Is-a-Self-Appointeted-Expert-on-the-Topic-Mr-Know-It-All-Paul Addis.

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Miniature Belgian Waffle

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Miniature The One Tree from 1998. By day it was a public shower where you could go and be a Woodstock Hippy. By night it had flamethrowers shooting out into the sky.

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Anyone else think it’s hilarious that they keep shutting down the Bay Bridge during Burning Man? Not that many people can afford to go on Labor Day vacations these days, but each year thousands of San Franciscans migrate out to Nevada for Burning Man and we keep chopping up the Bay Bridge once they’re out of town. That just cracks me up.

Burning Man has been called a lot of things by people who both love it and loathe it, but it wasn’t until this day that I realized it was very much something that I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call it before. Corny.

Burning Man is really fucking corny.

I’m not talking 2009 San Diego Comic Con corny, which has evolved into a very hip kind of multimedia event these days. I’m talking like 1980s Doctor Who convention corny or 1990 Stargate One convention corny. I’m talking Renaissance Faire corny. People were even talking to each other in Burning Man catch phrases like it was a Renaissance Faire.

“Slow down! You’re driving to fast!”

“This was a lot cooler last year.”

“I’m going to check out the other side of the playa, I’ll tweet if I see anything cool” – bonus points for the 2009 reference.

I say this as a 34-year-old adult who has spent over 2/3 of his life buying comic books and action figures, Burning Man is pretty corny and the Balsa Man speaks to that inner fanboy. I’ve already started to brainstorm on what is the most obscure or unique thing I could bring for next year. Like a 2009 Thunderdome that was punked with the Hot Topic banner, or the red dice from 2001, or the Doggie Diner heads, or Jim Mason’s sundial from 1997, or a 2001 Jiffy Lube with Larry Harvey on megaphone talking down the angry mob of queens. Funny, I just now noticed that there are no pictures of the Jiffy Lube on the burningman.com image gallery. Kind of odd considering what a fuss everyone made about it at the time.

Burning Man is pretty corny and Balsa Man is like a free miniature convention for Burning Man nerds right on the beach. I’m sold.

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One response

8 09 2009
njudah

awesome post!

although when I went to Comic Con in 2008, I was sitting at a local brewery talking to my brother and said “I finally ‘get’ burning man, the pride parade, and other similar events…but I’d rather be in san diego than the dusty desert!”

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