Burning Man ticket for a Million
By Dadara on July 28, 2011
Friends of mine recently directed my attention to this post on Craigslist:
Burning Man Ticket. One Million dollars. – $1 (Echo Park)
Hi. I have a Burning Man ticket, and I’m selling it for one million dollars. The million dollars must be paid in United States one dollar bills which i will burn in a pile on the playa as some kind of retarded example of the futility of money or something.
Of course I couldn’t resist to offer the seller One Million for his ticket. Not a million dollars though, but a brand new crisp One Million Exchanghibition Banknote!
And yes, he did mail me back, which resulted in an interesting conversation. His initial reply was:
‘While interesting, I’m afraid that anything other than one million U.S. one dollar bills won’t suffice.. I’d much rather burn real money than your beautiful art money.’
The conversation continued after I mentioned to him the burning of a million British pounds by the K Foundation:
‘Yep. Been a KLF fan for a long time.. As far as I can tell, they are the only people who have ever burned that much money on purpose.. I love their empty, solemn expressions in the documentary as they talk about it. Nobody seemed to care much in Britain when they did it, but i guarantee that Americans would be completely outraged if someone was to burn a million American dollars.. Sad really. We’re the most wasteful nation in history, yet so dumb that it would take burning a pile of paper with pictures on it to wake us up.’
‘My inbox is chock full of emails ranging from congratulations to death threats.. But in all honesty, i would put a match to one million dollars without blinking an eye.. Look at all the different things people burn every year on the Playa.. Your boat for example.. It’s exactly the same as burning money.. Your time, materials, shipping costs, travel expenses etc.. It all cost money.. That gorgeous three master is basically a pile of money, just not in the form of bank notes.. The guys who built and burned the “Belgian Waffle”.. That wasn’t free.. Burning a big pile of money is more efficient.. Not as pretty, but It cuts out the middle man.’
I do think he’s right: Burning the Fools Ark was in a way similar to burning a pile of money and it crippled me financially for a few years, but it wasn’t directly about burning money. I had the guts to build the threemaster, ship it to the States and burn it, but maybe the K Foundation showed a little bit more guts (though some people might argue that they showed a bit less brains……) – They did indeed cut out the middle man……..