News Flash from the Playa: The Man Upstaged the Moon
By Judith Lewis
Here's the news. While the full eclipsed moon still floated above the Playa like a smooth orange balloon, the man went up in flames.
In case you haven't been here, this typically happens on Saturday, at the end of the event. Not Monday at 3:00 a.m.
First reports said the neon on the man had shorted out after they turned him off and then back on again in honor of the eclipse (I didn't notice this; I was immersed in the spetacular sky.) Most more reliable reports now say it's arson; two rangers I spoke with told me that at least one person is in custody. Several witnesses apparently saw at least one person climb the structure supporting the Man and set off fireworks. (Some people have also said he hurt himself.)
One man I talked to happened to be in the pavilion under the Man ("The Green Man" Pavilion, in keeping with this years enviro-conscious art theme) when he heard everybody shouting "get the fuck out!" There wasn't a lot of art in there yet.
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More on this tomorrow. The official word out of Burning Man officials right now is that pavillion under the man is currently roped pending investigation in the morning,
Other than that, it's beautiful here. Lots of solar-powered art, but still lots of big-ass flame-throwers, too. I'm in the Red Nose District again, and it's awesome.