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1.
An festival born from the society of pranksters and lighthearted industrial magicians known as the Cacophony Society (you may already be a member).

Existing peacefully and chaotically in the Black Rock Desert from 1990 - 1996, in 1997 Burning Man was hijacked by antisocial rouge elements. These rogue elements incorporated the event and formed an LLC. Each year since, Burning Man has lost more and more of its spontaneity and inspirational elements to the tightening grip of the corporation (the Borg), and has now become (in 2010) the antithesis of its origins.

The Cacophony Society (lacking organization by definition) could do little more than scratch their heads or comically protest at the take-over of the event by the Borg. The Borg, being an annoyingly strong hierarchical structure with quasi military overtones, undertones and middletones, cut off the lantern-shaped head of the Man and ripped out his heart. But in primitive societies this destruction called, progress - which the Borg uses as a rationale for their continued reign.

Burning Man, for all intents and purposes, covenants and conditions, restrictions and notifications - DIED in 2008 when Paul Addis was sentenced to prison for burning down the Man several days earlier than planned. This Cacaphony-style prank had the option of either breathing new life into the event, or killing it off forever. And as the Borg chose to press for strict sentencing against Mr. Addis; BMRIP.
It is important to distinguish between 'counterculture', 'subculture' and 'fringe culture'. The Burning Man Festival is neither one; it is part of the 'mainstream culture'. It is not a 'movement'.
by marybethjones February 10, 2010