My first Burning Man initiation was in 1996

My first Burning Man initiation in 1996 was twenty three years ago! I remember that as the hell-year, not a hell-of-a-year. But the theme of that particular Burning Man was, The InfernoParadox Pollack directed the insectoids of the unspeakable Burning Man Opera – the first of its kind. Since then, Paradox has worked with well-known actors such as; Robin Williams, Will Smith, Rene Russo, Chris Hemsworth, and others. I was introduced to Paradox, a wildly expressive and appalling phenomenon, by Angelique. She appears in this story as a character of my book.


The grand finale of the spectacular play called (The Arrival of Empress Zoe) was a tribal opera with a ballet of insects depicting the soul’s journey from birth to death. It finished with the burning of a comparatively big castle, which was constructed in the playa – the vast desert plane where Burning Man annually takes place. Well-done gargoyles that reminded me of Notre Dame de Paris formed from playa-clay decorated this gothic building, which was lit on fire. Demonic-sounding chants and drums from a live-band accompanied the orange flames shooting out on top of glowing towers. On a bridge connecting the two castle-lookouts, the devil appeared with a hot and sexy lady. The satanic actors fornicated while the castle and the large crowd of half naked people encircling the spectacle were on fire! Burning Man is San Francisco inspired art and I had been living there for years. But this was intense even for us San Franciscan’s who were used to a lot. We’ve been going to events like Trash Worship, which I am not going to talk about now. Beautiful Angelique was one of the two hundred and fifty (or so) naked actors and actresses who played out the deadly sins of hell in this 1996-opera that inspired numerous other so-called operas to take place in Burning Man. And look what I just found. Paradox posted this video, but beware, it’s freaky!  


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