Lanes Monday September 6 2010

With regularity annual, entranced tailgaters fill a large parking lot in an irrelevant valley of Nevada to holiday away from you and your friends. They, hoping to qualify as artists and free spirits for a quarter moon because they are camping and have brought pigments for the skin, gather with old compatriots and vague acquaintances withopes to convert past affection into a fleeting moment of drug-swallowed intercourse, at the cost of relationships most dear and perhaps heartbreak as well.
These friends imagine one another as Minoan sportcocks of the gainest stroke—indeed, 'tis precisely what they saw of each other when last they met: in the midst of the hazy optic field nigh exploding with pulsing shape and undue color, they saw Sammy and started calling him Squid. You are not one of these friends, of an opium tinge and scented with nostalgium. You are a newcomer, an ignoramus, a reminder of the world that they have broken quills to escape, in the pre-terra-formed dissolve. Your sex and drugs they may take, but your conversation or joyful self is not only uninteresting, it is a bane. There is a reason this stalwart crew of diehards and petty miscreants has returned to this event so many times that they call it a culture. (And if this be a culture, what off for the way'o'golf or the great conferences of enginebike fanciers?) In this fallow land, one does not need to “get social cues,” is not beholden to the ethics of respect and kindness that have been fought for the world over , and can go on acting an ass without care for its consequences, though they still be real.

But all that has been said concerns only the delapidazary of the damned; what spark of honest words can be offered to the initiate?
Much has been made of the dirt. Yes, a thin layer of grime will cling to your broad scalp for the time there, and half that over upon eject. But be not hasty about your derms; they wash clean in acetum and soda. It is your inventory that refuses to surrender the marks of that dry soup. And it is your own will, thusly staged, that betrays your interest when this squalor of fine white earth remains in your dwellings and machinespaces, spreads out under your footcarpets, and lodges forever in lungflesh like hackneyed ideas in insufficient brains. For you, lacking the necessary substrate, cannot principle the dreck out of your ecos for weeks, months, or years. I have myself left items thus corrupted to the recycling tanks or timegantries with some embarrassment.

Let me, before the chance extinguishes itself as helium did in this era, make mention of the most pernicious attack this place makes upon the self.
It is one thing to take in the pleasure-spectacles of the screen and imagine pirate ships blasting dungeonmusic of light while besieged by dancing beauties. But to turn a corner and coincident upon it, while en route to the excretarium, makes one wonder where these Dionysian galleons make port and how they have sailed so long undetected. What, it strikes, has been the fruit of thy own life that has never matched the bellowing glory of this jolly conveyance? Suddenly it dawns: you are a charlatan of your own pleasure and self-maintenance; they are poor and you call them fit. Hastily, imagine, as a spirit testing with hedonism, you climb aboard the mud-smeared deck. All that remains for you to meldstep into that profane fresco is that you now do by whim what harlots do for real coinage: make a winning display of merriment. Quite simply, you are otherwise staid or infirm.
Prepare a splitmind about this. Eastward, imagine success befalls you and you've even pilfered a tasteful affectation to complement the scene. How long will you maintain this? What will you do when, as is the course of all nutations, your falters? Or your energy is spent? If you lose your mobility, zeal, good looks, or caffeine drops? To the West, what if you are not ready for the challenge and cannot even climb aboard, resigning yourself perforce to a level of esteem commensurate with the outhouse queue to which you were bound not two steps before?
Now, for the benefit of further discourse upon it, accept that our ambitious patron of the arts performs to satisfaction. A splendid moment, perhaps dragged out over several days. This, do not forget, is the highest dream of the event. Ecstasy peaking, glory shining, indulgence had, accomplishment boiling up, conviviality popping off, and sport attained. Hats off all round. Until the week ends, an inevitability that even the most undying loyalist cannot forestall indefinitely. At the end, and the end comes early as a city built in three days can hardly be undone in less than two, no one rides a blue fire-breathing caterpillar all the way home. No, home is a place where the hackenkracks howel, but boom bands do not often play. Besides the occasional moment of insober delight available to all through the sense screen and self touch at home, the pure burn of filthy maggotry haunts all other passages of unmitigated contentment.

Here lie the seeds of disappointment. Slip on the icy cliffs of wonder and know how weak you are. Ascend this fatuous Olympus, and know how low is the valley in which you make your home. The sparkling equine costumes, riddles fo metal making ceilings, sterling priestesses blessing the wind, and combusted fuel wrought of the world's rest become etched into the mind, like a syphilis.
Those who have visited the dusty emptiness cannot release its name from their breath. The cavalier advancement of treasured and dusty experiences seem to trump polite discourse, even before those lacking any commonality or affinity for the topic. Do cultists seek to visit upon their interlocutor an ill-hid sentiment that those without the scar are of a lower caste? Or do they make a pantomime of imprisonment in fantasy their own?
They are worse than the umbilical and the opium eater, who at least spends her energy, money and relations pursuing a matter that can be readily obtained. They are worse than the ordained atheist, who at least brings quarrel with some enemy beside her self. They are worse than the steel gormandizer, who at least will apologize in death for the metal she has eaten.

What is called the Burne shares the same religious appeal of a “Greatest Hits Album.” A buffet of sweetmeats and pastries, however, is not the favorite of any being.
In pursuing the mollycoddling of your own mild desires, you may attempt the unthinkable and be harangued by lawmen on antiquated drug charges very much in force in this century. In the athletic expenditure called for by the place, your bones may be split or tendons torn, as mine have been. In preparation and licensing, ten-fold more resources must be spilled to arrive at this place than to honor the first betrothal of one's own kin. Of course, these are not real problems; they are tests of a pagan god.
There is a myth told among the Ispolini of such a deity. The creature lured pigeons to its throne by offering to satisfy their greatest desires if only they can give that thirst a name. Trying one title after another, the avians changed form, some growing nostrils on their wings, others losing the eyestripe or scapulars by which they had been known. Each lusted, for a moment, at a thing, sensing new sensations near at beak, and, driven by their new master's great promise, flew many days to eat their fill. Coitus, salves, confederation, crypto-neo-primitivism, grace, godsends, carouses, and the caress of a hole-goat occupied the birds and drove them across the plains, returning to the throne from time to time. “The throne will provide!” quoth thee. “Anything to be wanted is to be had!” In the sad end to this tale, no wishes were granted by sorcery of the demiurge, though the bird grew more deliberate. As with all religion, the true reward was somnambulance in the middle day: a radical belief that one was on course, progressing, and closer to what was needed than at daybreak last.