and a turkey in the oven
Oh, and here's the text of a little flyer that I handed out on Tuesday (with some help from Jess), asking people very seriously if they knew about the "new art theme"--there were 500 copies, and they had a map of the new city layout on the back:
Beyond belief, beyond the dogmas, creeds, and metaphysical ideas of religion, there is immediate experience. It is from this primal world that living faith arises.
Regrettably, we did not realize quickly enough that a lot of genuinely awful, brain-addled, New Age-damaged art would also arise from it. Effective immediately, the Beyond Belief theme is rescinded; our replacement art theme for this year is Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandma's.
The concentric streets that make up our city are hereby renamed in the order of Thanksgiving dinner:
Roasted Turkey (vegetarians are welcome to refer to this street as Tofurkey)
We considered naming the radial streets after NFL teams or something, but decided that they will be named after the hours of Thanksgiving dinner and subsequent sports-watching: 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, and so on, up to 10:00. That's all anybody ever calls those streets, anyway. However, the plazas at 3:00 and 9:00 will be referred to as the Gravy Boats.
(Ticket prices this year weren't quite high enough to allow us to make a second set of street signs, but if anyone feels like making new signs themselves, or altering the ones that are already there, hey, go for it.)
The Man now stands atop Grandma's House, in the middle of the playa--the destination to which everyone arrives, sooner or later. Grandma's House is framed by a border that represents her Lawn, including sixteen niches which provide space for her Living Lawn Ornaments. In order to fulfill this role, you must be body-painted bright pink and stand on one foot, in a flamingo pose. Those who would prefer not to be body-painted may simply go out without sunscreen for a couple of hours.
The steps of Grandma's House lead up to a chamber on its topmost level. The center of this chamber will be marked by a sign representing a giant-screen TV set, which will perfectly align upon a common axis with the spine of Burning Man. Here, you may sit in a tryptophan haze (or whatever) and stare at the pretty lights. Immediately below, you will see the outline of Grandma's Basement. Grandparents' basements are of extremely ancient origin, and no one can reliably decipher what they're meant to contain. So don't go in there unless you've got some serious time to kill.
David Best's temple will now be renamed the Oven Rack, and will be dedicated to the preparation of delicious food. Visitors are invited to attach one item they'd like to cook; on Sunday night, it will be ceremonially roasted. Bring utensils.
The Oven Rack will mark the outermost edge of Thanksgiving dinner. Participants who pass beyond it will escape into a void where all things that we know, rely on, measure, or believe in lose their relevance. All things that reside within it are called Leftovers.
PLEASE NOTE: All other artworks for 2003 must immediately be altered and renamed to express the spirit of Thanksgiving at Grandma's House, or they will be burned down tonight by our roving "Pilgrim Squad." No more altars, no more crucifixes, no more prayer wheels, no more half-baked pseudo-religious claptrap--just a tasty, fully-cooked dinner at Grandma's house with annoying, intoxicated people you only see once a year, and a roaring fire at the end.