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A Burner Lexicon: Chasing Ghosts

Posted in A Burner Lexicon, and Burning Man

In the distance you hear singing tesla coils, but will you reach them in time? Pyropolis, 2010. Photo by Trey Jones, used with permission.

Chasing Ghosts, There’s always something to see at a Burn. Unfortunately, when one takes this a step further, it also means you will always miss out on some of the coolest things that happen at any event.

A Burner is “chasing ghosts” when on a mission in pursuit of something they may have only heard about in rumor or glimpsed from a distance. This could be a performance by famous musicians or a DJ, a burst of enticing fire from across the playa, or a story of a bar serving one’s favorite frozen drink.

Since participants are known for their hyperbole or outright fabrication, distance is hard to estimate in this confusing environment, and some of the coolest things come mounted on mutant vehicles, many such quests end without success. Of course, with so much to see and do, the journey rarely ends in real disappointment

The lexicographer hasn’t seen anything which can draw Burners faster than the sound of Arc Attack playing at a regional event. This musical act consists of two tesla coils tuned such that they play music, including classic video game and science fiction themes. One can’t help but pity the yahoos who never figure out where the sound is coming from, or arrive just as the show is ending.

Other entries in A Burner Lexicon are found at

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