Posts by Summer Burkes

June 30th, 2009  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Environment, Participate!

LOWERNINE.ORG: yall come down now, y’hear?

ADOPT-A-DIRTBAG: Why not send a DPW / Gate / Burning Dude desert-rat hooligan (or yourself) to New Orleans to help rebuild with

Hurricane Katrina still haunts New Orleans, and she likely always will. She is an ogre. She is an abusive ex-lover out on parole. She is the backdrop, the turning point, the literal dark cloud hanging over everyone’s past, seeping out into the present, humidifying the future. Her human survivors remain buoyant — awash with both what-can-you-do resignation and silver-lining contentment.

Katrina gave America the biggest mother-nature bitch-slapping in its history … right upside this murderous and gorgeous city’s face. 80 percent of New Orleans flooded, and 1500 people died — half as many humans as the ones who perished on September 11th, 2001. Then, while the government callously sat back and watched in catatonia — like an 8-year-old pouring gasoline on an ant-hill — the good people of the United States mobilized to help.

When the storm hit, for a blessedly large number of out-of-towners, horrified empathy morphed into positive action.

Ricks the one in the grey T-shirt

Rick's the one in the dark grey T-shirt

In 2006, Rick Prose chaperoned a church trip from Maine down to post-Katrina New Orleans with his daughter’s youth group. Working mostly in the Gentilly area, Prose shot some video of a man scavenging gutting debris on the curb. The scavenger said something like: “You think it’s bad over here … Wanna come see my house in the Lower 9th Ward?”

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May 30th, 2009  |  Filed under Environment, Participate!

Do you know what it means?

Wed. May 27, 2009
New Orleans, LA
(the backbone of middle Amerika; the soggy bottom of Old Man River)

Hi. I’m Summer Burkes. I just moved from the crispy Bay Area to the sweet warm fog of New Orleans and as a DPW/Gate desert rat, I experience a swampy deja vu on the daily. Here are the top ten similarities between Burning Man and New Orleans I’ve noticed so far.

1. You can walk down the street with booze in your hand, all the time.

2. You encounter random parades, second-line marching bands thrumming with brass and drums to hoardes of ass-shakers, and sexy “pony” girls pulling a modified shopping cart chariot with a man dressed as a flamingo.

ya heard?

ya heard?

3. Sometimes it smells. And you love it.

4. Everybody parties, including the teetotalers, because they know that death is certain – but life is not.

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