Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hey Burning Man, the government wants you to stop pooping everywhere

Illustration for article titled Hey Burning Man, the government wants you to stop pooping everywhere
Photo: Menahem Kahana (AFP via Getty Images)

You’re dancing in your homemade unicorn costume, about 20 minutes from peaking on the gluten-free peyote you dosed yourself with, when suddenly, you have to take a shit. Well, that’s just the Earth Goddess’ way of telling you to be free, right? What better way to express your openness to the universe, man?

Wrong. Super-duper wrong, you gross little castoff from a Phish music video. The government has been trying to let you do your thing, but as the Reno Gazette Journal reports, it’s time to put on your grown-up pants—or at least your grown-up diapers—for a minute and listen to reason. The Bureau Of Land Management, which is responsible for monitoring Burning Man, has issued a report saying way too many people are pissing and shitting in the open landscape of the Black Rock Desert (a federally protected national conservation site, you asshole), and specifically the deep playa, the area far from Black Rock City’s center where the rave parties often migrate to avoid keeping everyone else up all night.

Rather than assign everyone a “buddy system” associate to make sure they’re capable of cleaning up after themselves, the BLM is being chill and parking “mobile rave zones” near Porta Potty banks to encourage their use, and suggesting volunteers and staff “hand out or ask Burners to bring pee bottle and poop bags for camp and deep playa events.” Organizers already spend their time cleaning up human waste they find in the deep playa, which sounds like a really fun, free-spirit use of time, but given “leave no trace” is one of the operating principles of the festival, the adults are already being forced to take care of you free-range poopers out there.


It should be mentioned, this is on top of the staff having to maintain the Porta Potties by removing anything that’s not toilet paper or human waste. In past years, the Journal notes, that has included removing everything from cigarette butts, baby wipes, a mattress, and “a full roast chicken.” In other words, don’t drop your full poop bag into there—tip it over and dump it out, and then throw away the bag. Yes, that sounds nasty, but you’re the one who wanted to go find yourself under a cactus while wearing a steampunk outfit in 98-degree heat.

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.

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