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April 1, 2008

San Francisco, CA -- Black Rock City LLC has announced a series of security improvements for Burning Man, the yearly counter-culture arts event it hosts in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The new measures represent "a wholesale improvement to Burning Man's existing security plan," explained Burning Man Founder Larry Harvey. "Now, before everybody goes and gets their panties in a twist, let me just say that this is completely irrespective of, unrelated to, and independent of Senator McCain's announcement that he'll be participating in Burning Man this year," said Harvey. "No, really!" he added, noticing a reporter's smirk.

TSA scanningThe first of these new measures is that Burning Man's Gate and Perimeter staff will be replaced by a TSA crew recruited from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. "This crew is particularly expert in looking intimidating, TSA searchwaving wands, and grimacing ... and they seem to have a penchant for body cavity searches, which our market research team has told us fits nicely into our participants' interest demographic," said Harvey. All gels and fluids, including water and breast milk, will need to be left at the Gate, or carried into the event in no larger than 3oz. plastic bottles. Participants are reminded that casual jokes will absolutely not be tolerated at the Gate, and will result in a full interrogation and body cavity search for everybody in your vehicle. "No, not the sexy kind," warned Harvey. "You should be so lucky."

The second of these measures is a 10-foot tall, electrified border fence surrounding the event site, topped by spirals of glitter-encrusted razor wire. Ravers are reminded that the glittery razor wire should be avoided regardless of how pretty it may look. In fact, ravers are generally reminded that pretty things can kill you too. 

missile defense systemThe Burning Man Project will also be installing a fully automated missile defense system, complete with radio-controlled, laser guided surface-to-air missile bays located on each of the corners of Black Rock City, and secreted beneath the Man. Participants are asked to generally avoid these, and at the very least to not push the big red launch button located on the front face of the launch pad, down there at the bottom right, next to the words "Launch Button". Additionally, participants accustomed to using radio-controlled devices on playa are asked to kindly refrain from doing so this time around, if you don't mind.

The most important of these important safety measures, though, will be a marked increase in the use of caution tape throughout Black Rock City, securing sensitive areas of particular interest. Caution tape should not be crossed, lest you risk grave danger. Very, very grave danger. If necessary, go all the way around it to reach your destination ... it might be somewhat inconvenient, but Jiffy Lube Camp will still be there waiting for you. This is for your own good.

NO NO NO!"And for the love of all that's holy, if you see a sign with a circle-slash in it, just DON'T DO IT," shouted Harvey. "We're here to serve your best interest, so why wouldn't you trust us? If you don't trust us, you're clearly against us, and want them to win." Harvey would not elaborate on whom exactly "they" are, though experts speculate this is a reference to shirtcockers, widely seen as the terrorists of the playa. Either way, Burning Man participants will inevitably trust, and submit to Larry's superior judgment.

These innovative new measures represent a comprehensive improvement to Burning Man's previous security plan, which had been "sort of scribbled on a napkin that was accidentally left under somebody's cocktail, and all the ink ran and we couldn't read it anymore," said Harvey. "That was, what, '97?" he shrugged.    

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