Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Burning Man 2008: The American Dream

The American Dream

My last boyfriend called "White Bread and White Women" the "American Dream" and I laughed. I was asked only once this week what I thought the theme meant to me, and while I am not certain I articulated it or fully have a way to express it even, I think it has to do with wanting freedom of expression. Freedom to fly the flag upside down or to run naked in the desert from art object to workshop to dust storm without imposed consequences. I disagreed with the theme, and grumbled at the red, white and blue or various forms of the American flag strewn through the dust. I was offended that an event that has become so international was so close-minded in its artistic focus for the year. I think it scared a lot of people away, the city was emptier. But I am very thankful that my country is a place where that event can happen. I am proud that my country is a place to find sanctuary for so many. After 9/11, I grew tired of seeing my flag. It lost meaning to me. This week, as every flag hung was displayed altered or upside down, I began to see it as something, just like our country, that is free to change, morph and rise as a representation of the dream we forget that others fight for. I think it is time this country stands on its head and shakes the dust out of its ears. I think its time that this country look a little more like the city that only 40,000 people built...and tore down to save it to build again.

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