Over the last couple days, a whole new wave of infuriated posts about President Obama's imminent intervention in Syria began lighting up my news feed, more than a week after America's first battle cry.
It was kind of disorienting. Had my friends really fallen this far out of touch? Were they seriously this reliant on Jon Stewart for their news? (Stewart returned to the air Tuesday night after directing his first film in Jordan all summer, making funny that had just gotten word about Syria.) Or had the Syrian Electronic Army somehow succeeded in overtaking Twitter for the better part of August?
Oh, right — Burning Man.
"So apparently while I was gone at Burning Man, the US decided to step up involvement in Syria..." wrote a Facebook friend who will remain nameless. And when I mentioned chemical weapons to my own little brother, who had just hitched a ride back to the Bay Area, he was like: "Uh, did I miss something violent?"
Bad week to be transported from reality to that harmonious desert sandstorm of furry boots and free trade. Or a good one, I suppose, if you prefer blissful ignorance. "Back from Burning Man and we're about to go to war with Syria — and maybe Russia and China," Tweeted one New Yorker yesterday. "When did Burning Man become the sane place?" Another guy from Oakland also noticed the trend: "My friends getting back from Dragoncon & Burning Man are now reading the headlines about Syria while expressing shock & fear. Good."
And of course, what's a harsh Burning Man comedown/homecoming without a good conspiracy theory in the mix. This one comes courtesy of California's own Dr. Wallace J. Nichols:
"Think they timed hearings on bombing Syria 2 coincide w/ end of BurningMan when many of the most creative protesters r busy 'decompressing'?"
Welcome back, love bugs. To a desert stage where nudity is somewhat less acceptable, "Alpha Bitch" is an evil dictator with a sarin fetish and spiritual differences are the kindling for World War III.