Do you ever look around while at Burning Man and wonder why so many people are so intent on being ‘cool?’ I mean, sure, everybody likes looking good sometimes, but this isn’t Coachella. Burning Man is meant to be weird! It’s meant to be a place where we can embrace the eccentric and let our freak flags fly instead of trying to climb some sort of social validation ladder that plays out on Instagram.
In aid of fighting against this, last year, a subset of us from my camp – Friendgasm – implemented an idea a campmate had. More of a dream of his, really. (Thanks Ginger!) We’d put on adult diapers, some of those hats that hold a couple of cans of beer/soda, and we’d go rock out at day dance camps and elsewhere while trying to photobomb suspiciously-clean Instamodels. We dubbed it Weirdout Wednesday and it went hilariously well! Weirdout Wednesday’s origin story is here if you want to read more.
In the aftermath of that, people were talking about WoW on Facebook, and someone made a comment that stuck with me. She said, “Why would anyone wear adult diapers out on the playa? That’s not sexy at all!”
Well no shit, that’s the point! That comment really summed up why I think we, the Burning Man community, need to consciously fight against the vapidity that would result from a culture that has given itself over to the shallow and commercialized, to the worship of beauty over substance and the expected over the novel. Burning Man's culture, to be clear, is by no means at that point yet.... but we’re heading in that direction without some course correction. Let’s do our part!
Now, of course, I encourage you to be weird all the time - no need to save it for Wednesdays. That said, we have to start somewhere. Think of Weirdout Wednesday as Tutu Tuesday meets a diaper-clad chaos monster! What fucked-up scene can you make (hopefully with a proverbial wink, rather than maliciously)? How can you break or subvert peoples’ expectations? How weird can you get, which, let’s be fair, is something of a challenge at Burning Man insofar as weirdness is a relative property?
And if you want to come join us for some quasi-organized shenanigans, I invite you to meet us at Duckpond (9 & H) at 4 pm on Wednesday. We’re going to be there, and because it’s not weird enough to just repeat the same thing, this year we’re adding a new element alongside the adult diapers. We’re all going to have irritating instruments with us – kazoos, vuvuzelas, mini-tambourines, the world’s most obnoxious cowbell, etc – and we’ll form the Symphony of Cacophony, so-named as a tribute to the Cacophony Society that helped birth Burning Man.
We’ll party there for awhile and then we’ll move on to other nearby camps to generally make a weird (and joyous!) spectacle of ourselves.
We’ll have dozens of extra adult diapers and a bunch of small instruments, but you are absolutely encouraged to bring any instrument you want as if a lot of people show, we'll run out.
Hope to see you there! Feel free to introduce yourself to me. I'll either be holding the WoW flag or whoever is will know who I am. Let's get weird together!
When: Wednesday, 4 pm.
Where: Duck Pond – 9 & H.
How to find us: Look for the Weirdout Wednesday flag or just a bunch of idiots in adult diapers.
Join the Weirdout Wednesday Facebook group to stay in touch with other weirdos!
I'm Dr. Yes, a 10 year burner. I run this site, was on the '15 Temple team, lead a theme camp called Friendgasm, and make Burning Man videos. Just say yes, folks, and help keep Burning Man weird!