The demise of Black Rock City 2005
It was good while it lasted, our little town. We had ourselves a good time, didn’t we?
But anything this good is destined to end; sometimes I even think it’s better that way. And whatever this social experiment-cum-art festival was in 2005, it will never be the same again. Am I right?
The fence came down today, not with a bang, but with a cloud of dust and lots of idle chatter.
It was a lot easier to get the fence down than it was to set the thing up, but it’s still an all-hands job. We split into three teams; each team had rope cutters, t-stake pullers, fence rollers and the all-important moopers. Coyote circled from team to team, gathering up bits of junk fence and telling dirty jokes…
By the end of the day, the entire thing was gone just like that, and Cowboy Carl came around to pick up the stakes and rolls of fencing we’d left behind.
It’s another record, this time for the fastest fence takedown ever. The crew is starting to look more and more ragged, but you can never accuse us of not working! Cowboy Carl will be happy to see the fence gone, though. It’s common knowledge that he goes outside every single morning, naked as the dawn, and pees on it. I might do the same, if I had to spend a month building and maintaining 7.5 miles of orange trash fence. It’s also common knowledge that DPW has a habit of driving right through the fence, just out of spite. Nobody knows that better than Carl.
But now his job is done, and he’ll be rolling his little silver trailer out of town. Carl is an individual in a city of freaks, and one of the best-loved characters in DPW. I know plenty of people will be sad to see him go… and looking forward to seeing him again next year.
In the meantime, we’re all moved off the playa, and most of the biggest things out there are gone. No more street signs, portable toilets, or t-stakes. No more burn platforms. No more Cafe; no more Depo. Just a few vehicles here and there, all destined to be hauled away within days – and after that, all we can do is moop up the flotsam and jetsam of a city that was.