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the outskirts of black rock city

from the SFGate, August 30 2007

A Burning Man participant was found dead this morning, hanging from the inside of a two-story high tent, according to Mark Pirtle, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Land Management.

The apparent suicide would be the festival’s first in its 21 year history, Pirtle said.

Pershing County coroners are investigating the scene and preparing to remove the body. Pirtle said the man was hanging for two hours before anyone in the large tent thought to bring him down.

“His friends thought he was doing an art piece,” Pirtle said.


Please note that this is not breaking news, unless you call a story from four years ago breaking news, and that’s okay if you do. I did not break the story, or even follow up to find out if it was really, truly true. But in the spirit of truth neutrality and the interest of words for words sake, let’s just agree that this is a powerful story about ritual, denial, group behavior, or maybe just excess drug use. I believe it could happen, even if it did not happen.

But I have never been to Burning Man. I am very glad Burning Man exists. It’s miraculous that people are so industrious and social; that they can enjoy each others’ me-ness in such large numbers. But I would never, ever attend.

Tickets are on sale right now, I understand, this very minute, for 2012.

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