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2008 Burning Man Theme Announced, Burners Gasp

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The American Dream will be the art theme for the 2008 Burning Man, and will feature the Man standing on top of a high rise tower. With 2008 being an election year, this theme is designed to question the identity of our nation. Flag burning and flag worshipping will not be allowed.

Burners around the world are disappointed with the 2008 theme, as it will represent a political slant for the second year in a row. There was already plenty of backlash from this year's Green Man theme (which included the arson of The Man) Despite the controversy in this year's burn, organizers continue to press a political course for the festival, and it has left the burning man community angered and frustrated. Words like "misguided", "sick", "revolting", and "digusting" are being bandied about in the Burning Man message boards. Some participants fear that this theme may invite the "rednecks" and "hicks" and turn this special festival into an extravagant Fourth of July patriotic lovefest in the desert.

Themes in the past never involved politics. Themes such as Vault of Heaven, The Seven Ages, The Body, Psyche, The Future: Hope and Fear, and Beyond Belief encouraged participants to explore their imaginations and creativity. Although there were some participants that made their contributions political, the Burning Man organization was an omniscient entity.

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Is this the end of Burning Man? Or a transformation of this arts festival into a political machine? Despite the negativity and my personal displeasure of the 2008 art theme, I will return to the desert next year. When it's all said and done, the art will still be inspiring, the people will still be beautiful, the art cars will still be amazing, and the music will still be mind-blowing.

Photo by me.