I spend an unconscionable amount of time vicariously living through the lives of others largely in the form of documentaries and memoirs. My social anxiety is partially to blame for my imprisonment but I’m also incredibly lazy, so just moving from my couch nest to search for my Apple remote leaves me fatigued…and usually it’s just hiding in a cushion crevice! I can’t imagine the energy it would take to actually leave my house beyond my obligatory work requirements. Ugh, it’s just too much!
I recently watched Taking My Parents to Burning Man which came out in 2014 but didn’t cross my path until this past weekend while I was perusing the documentary genre on Hulu, which is surprisingly impressive! The film sets out to answer the question: “What is Burning Man?” but it does so through an endearing tale of family bonding that left me sentimentally misty-eyed. And also really envious of extroverts who are actually having the fun instead of passively streaming it into their living rooms.
So Bryant Boesen decides he is taking his 60 year old parents to Burning Man so they can experience it for themselves since trying to explain it can’t possibly do it justice. As with all good documentaries, Bryant is presented with numerous setbacks and challenges along the way, but he manages to rip a rabbit out of his skinny little leggings at the last minute and pull off what seemed improbable at times. Sorry, but someone that adorable cannot fail!
I was aware of the Burning Man Festival and the general philosophy behind it prior to watching this documentary but I had no idea how large it is, and I certainly had no clue of the exhaustive planning involved just to attend the event. Holy shit! I’d have to hire someone to plan my trip because just going car-camping overnight sends me into a tailspin and results in me saying “oops, I think I forgot to bring that” way too many times. I also learned that most all of the attendants and participants are beautifully chiseled works of art and look awesome naked. So yeah, it is kind of like being on another planet considering I’m writing this from my work office, which overlooks a sea of bloated and pale people who gave up long long ago.
The engineering and creative genius that goes into the art displays and interactive exhibits is inspiring. I almost grabbed my glue stick and some construction paper afterwards but I was distracted by another Hulu recommendation. Dammit. I was also impressed by Bryant Boesen’s ability to make it all come together at the last minute…like literally hours before they were set to depart Vancouver, B.C. and head into the desert of Nevada. Bryant’s optimism and personal philosophy of “the Universe will provide” made me want to hire him as my life coach. I need someone to scrape me off the floor and breathe some colorful positivity into my dank-ass existence. I know he could do it too, and he’s also incredibly cute and charming. He’s just one of those people you want as a best friend, like the kind you can keep in your pocket and pull out when times get sour.
It was incredibly heartwarming (yep, I just used that term) to watch Bryant’s parents rediscovering their adolescent selves and genuinely enjoying their experiences. They were total troopers too because his mom went into the trip with a broken foot and his dad was incredibly sun-baked after day one. Resilience! I gotta get me some of that shit.
So yeah, now I kind of want to attend Burning Man before I die, but I definitely don’t want to take my parents. My dad is frighteningly conservative and wouldn’t do well out of his element. And his element is his living room with Fox News obnoxiously blaring in the background and a bowl of Wether’s Originals within reach. My mom might be kinda fun but she has a heart condition, so a week in the brutal elements of the desert probably wouldn’t be ideal. And I have no idea how to use an AED defibrillator but that shit rarely works anyway. She also suffers from IBD…I don’t think that even needs further explanation since there’s no plumbing at Burning Man…just rows of porto-potties festering with a week’s worth of shit, piss and vomit. Who wants dinner?
If by chance a Burner reads this and wants to bring along some virgin blood next year, please call me. I’ve already got my goggles and sunscreen. I’ll need a bit of notice though so I can head to the gym and get my boobs done. I can’t take the risk of these sandbags getting caught in my bike tires!