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You've Been Spoofed

Burning Man
Hey, the man is standing on his head!  

By David Peterman

Black Rock City  -- You knew it was a joke all along, right?

Sure you did. Even as you were feeding your 2002 ticket into the shredder, there must have been a little voice in the back of your head telling you that something just wasn't right with this story. Hopefully you listened to that little voice before your ticket became confetti.

Many people seemed to have overlooked that April 1 is also known as April Fools Day and that one should be extra cautious when handed outlandish stories. Especially when that story comes by way of the internet.

If this has demonstrated anything, it's how passionate people are about Burning Man and how devastated they would be to see anything like this happen to the event. At the same time, however, it's a tiny bit unsettling to realize that anyone could think something like this could be true. The LLC partnering with MTV? Come on... we all know that if the day ever comes that Burning Man takes on corporate sponsorship it will be with Dockers.

When I first unleashed this hoax, it was intended as an April Fools joke for one group of burners on a mail list. Even though it was almost immediately unmasked as a prank, it was forwarded on to many others and seemed to take on a life of its own. I thought it would die out after a day or so, but that apparently wasn't the case. Soon I learned that the Burning Man office was wasting valuable time fielding phone calls and emails from distraught individuals, which prompted me to put up this extra page. So please, no more emails or phone calls to the staff office, OK? You can send something to me if you want, but you'll have to do a bit of sleuthing to figure out how! It's not that hard... work with the clues that have been presented to you.

And for those of you who are still confused, no, you are not looking at a page on Look closer at the URL that you clicked on... see that @ symbol? That's your indication that something is fishy.

So relax and take a deep breath. And be on the watch for April 1, 2003.

So far all the email I have received has been very positive. Even people who were initially fooled got a good laugh out of it once their rational thought kicked in. But I've been hearing that there are some who thought this was a mean trick to play and that I had no right to deceive people like this.

If you were one of those who thought this was genuine, got really pissed off about it, and maybe even did something rash and stupid as a result, let me say I'm sorry.

I'm sorry you didn't understand about April Fools Day.

I'm sorry you didn't notice that the URL you clicked on had been tampered with.

I'm sorry that once presented with such an outlandish story, you didn't first make an attempt to verify it with another source before moving on to the pissed off stage.

I'm very, very sorry that you would think that the Burning Man LLC would actually do such a thing. Alien Ant Farm? Doesn't that strike you as just a little strange?

But am I sorry that I pulled this prank? Not in the slightest, baby.


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