Tuesday, September 23, 2008
'Soul Touching' Martin Simon
Burning Man icon

I connected with Martin Simons over a picture from a UCLA event I wanted to use as a jump hallucination on the ORU site. He wrote this week to say "thanks for the books" -- which he will pass along to good homes -- and to answer my questions about Burning Man. I guess I live under rocks but I'd never heard of this counter-culture phenomenon before. Martin pointed me at the TV Free Burning Man 2008 site where footage of the 2008 event is available. SF Cons are about as "out there" as I can see myself getting, at my age, unfortunately. But I think Burning Man is further evidence of our growing need to find meaning through art, to share powerful social experiences, and to explore what it means to be human. Here's an excerpt from his letter:

"I enjoyed reading your paper on virtual identities and the
way you have worked things out through fictional characters.
Our moral education was similar, with an additional helping
of WWII, Hitler, holocaust, from a Jewish perspective. I
was/am interested in politics as the intersection of moral
philosophy and society. But politics has been a race to
the bottom, rather than an enobling human endeavor.
There is always hope, but not much evidence, that things
will improve." - from Martin Simon e-mail Sept 2008.

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