Burning Man vs. Mad Max

Some years ago, when Burning Man was just a youthful idea, I thought it would be an interesting way to kill a week. Create some interesting art, spend a few days in the desert, meet some interesting people. Neat idea. Kind of a creative, temporary dystopia.

I’ve never been.

The reason I’ve never been is primarily because, from what I’m told, these days, Burning Man consists mostly of middle-aged men flaunting their sunburnt penises.

So, no Burning Man for me.

What, then, is the creative desert-dweller to do?

How about a Wasteland Weekend? Granted, it’s only three days, but it’s three days of Mad Max reenactment in the SoCal desert. Presumably, this one is everything that Mad Max / Road Warrior were on the silver screen… though probably lacking the rape, corpses on grilles, and heads on pikes.

This one, though, is marketed as an adults-only event. No kiddies allowed.

What’s the difference? We know there will probably be some degree of nudity and some amount of naughtiness at this one, which differs from Burning Man, where it’s often promoted as a family-friendly event, that turns out to be a bunch of old pervs pedaling through the playa on rusty old bicycles.

Yeah, Wasteland Weekend sounds much more entertaining. Official site is here.

Logic In Maryland? This Must Be a Fluke…

Anthony Graber, a biker who had a rather unsettling run in with Maryland State Police, has had wiretapping charges against him dropped. Judge Pitt tossed those charges against Graber because Pitt actually thought about it for a bit.

Anthony Graber rides a sportbike and had a helmet camera rolling while he was clearly breaking traffic laws. Speeding is speeding. Wheelies on public roads are reckless driving. The State Police caught up with him. Graber got it on video.
The video showed a man in a dark sedan cut off Graber in traffic, exit the vehicle, draw a handgun, and threaten Graber. No badge. No ID. Certainly no reason to threaten deadly force for a traffic violation.
The problem is that the State Police didn’t know that Graber had the camera recording and capturing the entire event — until after Graber had uploaded the video to YouTube.
So, the Maryland State Police did whatever any corrupt law enforcement agency would do. They charged Graber with another, greater crime: wiretapping.
Fast forward a few months and we see this from the Baltimore Sun — emphasis added:

Judge Emory A Pitt Jr. tossed all the charges filed against Anthony Graber, leaving only speeding and other traffic violations, and most likely sparing him a trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 12. The judge ruled that Maryland’s wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.

Those of us who are public officials and are entrusted with the power of the state are ultimately accountable to the public,” the judge wrote. “When we exercise that power in public fora, we should not expect our actions to be shielded from public observation.”

Bravo, Your Honor. Please have that statement sent out to every police officer in your district.