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Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
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No One Makes It To Burning Man Festival

GERLACH, NV—The Burning Man festival, a prominent artistic and countercultural event that draws tens of thousands of people to the Nevada desert annually, is in danger of cancellation this week because "no one had their shit together enough to even make it," organizers said Tuesday.

The empty Burning Man festival grounds.

"Jesus Christ, this is pathetic," said event coordinator Ethan Moon as he angrily gestured toward the empty Black Rock Desert basin expanse, known as the playa. "We've been promoting this thing all year. You can't start panhandling quarters for gas the week before the festival and expect to make it here in time, man."

Moon listed some of the most common no-show excuses, among them oversleeping, forgetting to request time off work, faulty van-borrowing arrangements, a shortage of ochre body-paint, and the last-minute realization that transportation to the Burning Man festival requires money.

"As of a few weeks ago, or even a few days ago, there were 30,000 people who honestly planned on coming," Moon said. "In every case, however, there were, well, you know—shit happened."

Although Burning Man festivals have had no-shows in the past, Moon said he's never witnessed absenteeism on this level.

"You have to figure out a way to get here, stock up on water and extra clothing for the cold nights, and make sure you have adequate shelter," Moon said. "Apparently, the advance planning it takes to arrange those three basic things was more than anyone could handle. Sorry to be on this uptight trip, but check out the playa. Not a single nude dude in a homemade papier-mâché tribal mask as far as the eye can see."

Although Burning Man is billed on its web site as a "temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance," it became evident that the no-shows were more capable of the former than they were of the latter.

Los Angeles silkscreen artist Goldi Trewartha was among the tens of thousands of Burning Man devotees who stayed home this year.

"Yeah, I was supposed to go with Ari and Shel, but they couldn't score [Ecstasy] in time for the trip, and I forgot my bartering beads at my friend Marnie's place in Los Feliz," Trewartha said. "Oh, and I forgot to get a dog sitter."

Added Trewartha: "Shel made this great suit out of old stuffed-monkey pelts and duct tape, and he was going to hop up and down on this old trampoline he found. But his ex, Nikki, made him babysit [their daughter] Gaia while she headed out to Big Sur for a few days. I love Nikki, but sometimes she can be real flaky."

Chaz Bullard, a University of Vermont undergraduate and veteran mud person, had multiple excuses for his failure to attend the Burning Man festival.

"I totally spaced that August is 8, and I wrote down 9 in my sketchbook," Bullard said. "Oh, and I got evicted. Yeah, fuckin' Dyl up and ditches me, right, and I'm stuck owing $700, because he wasn't on the lease."

Bullard added that he contracted hepatitis from his ex-roommate's tacos.

Boulder resident Paul Sandley, who was halfway to Burning Man when his truck "totally konked."

Moon said he has received apologetic phone calls from a squadron of recumbent bicyclists lost somewhere in southern Nebraska, a Kentucky artist whose pet python was too carsick to continue the journey, and a group of Germans who uncovered a fatal structural flaw in their "Freak Harnesses" art installation at the last minute.

Hippies were not the only counterculture group to miss the Burning Man festival. Portland-area Linux user and self-described cyber-conceptualist "Free" Lance Kaegle explained his absence in an instant message from his studio.

"I was organizing this boss techno-art project called 'Off The Grid,'" Kaegle wrote. "We were going to set up computer terminals in various parts of the playa and have people use them. Then we'd feed the binary data from those terminals into this fractals program that [Silver Lake, CA software designer] Ricky [Thomas-Slater] wrote. Those fractals would be sent, on the fly, to a group of exiled Buddhist monks I befriended online. The monks would transform the fractals into a temporal sand painting, the making of which we would webcast live to everyone on the playa."

Added Kaegle: "But I had to stop working on the monk thing to finish up this Pam's Country Crafts web site I'm working on. I really need the money."

While most absences were accidental, a few were not. Doug "Crazyroot" Pycroft, a former smoothie-stand employee, has a history of missing countercultural events.

"I thought about going, but then I decided I don't need some dudes pushing their rules down my throat," Pycroft said. "That's the problem with these things. If they're so nonconformist, how come you gotta obey some fascist wearing a lanyard just to use the Port-A-John? Same reason I refused to go to [The Church Of The Subgenius'] X-Day back in '98. Hell, I ditched the very first Lollapalooza one hour in."

As a cloud of sand whipped across the desolate playa, Moon could only shake his head. Although the weeklong festival traditionally culminates in the igniting of the Burning Man, a 50-foot-tall wooden structure strapped with fireworks and other incendiaries, Moon wondered aloud whether he and the handful of other staffers should even bother.

"I guess we could burn what we've built, but it would just feel anticlimactic with no one around to watch," Moon said. "You gotta look at the bigger picture here, folks. You shouldn't think of Burning Man as a burden. Burning Man is about being part of a community. Unfortunately, it's a community of people who can't get up before 1 p.m."

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Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

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