Magazine cover featuring a surreal desert landscape with a man walking toward large stacked, colorful vintage televisions under a bright blue sky in July 2012.

July / August 2012

The Summer Issue

This was a fun issue to assemble, starting with the main feature on the ephemeral architecture of Black Rock City. Philippe Glade, a Frenchman living in San Francisco, is an architectural photographer, and a student of Burning Man architecture in his spare time. He has assembled a unique perspective on the innovative structures of the playa in a new book, Black Rock City, NV. We urge you to check it out.

As ever, the art at Burning Man looks to be spectacular this year. In our annual preview, we take a little tour of the upcoming highlights, emphasizing the work of Bay Area locals. This year’s theme, Fertility 2.0, captures the zeitgeist around what is now an international movement. The Bay Area is famous for starting movements, with its creative spirit and frontier mentality, and Burning Man is a stellar example.

Who could have imagined that the mere act of a few friends burning an eight-foot-high wooden effigy on the shores of Baker Beach in 1986 would trigger international news stories 25 years later due to capacity issues at a vast desert expanse? The ethos of Burning Man is noble. Its 10 principles (see have proven to be fertile indeed.

With a shortage of available tickets for the main Burning Man festival, emphasis on the Burning Man Regional Network is amplified. This expanding network is currently composed of over 100 locations throughout five continents. The theme of this year’s event reflects an emphasis on the network, and I spoke with Marian Goodell about it (see our People in the Neighborhood interview). Marian is part of the six-member executive ownership of Burning Man LLC and is an enthusiastic spokesperson on the dissemination of the 10 principles and the decentralization of the Nevada event.

We think you’ll enjoy the piece Gerry Maguire Thompson wrote about the power of humor. Embedded in the story are some amusing New Age spoofs.

In this Summer issue, we take a little breather from some of the heavier themes we enjoy investigating. However, there is one important news up date: the GMO labeling initiative will be on the ballot in November. This is a big step forward for activists who believe that citizens deserve the right to know whether genetically modified organisms are present in the foods they purchase at the grocery store.

The ad spending opposing this initiative will be colossal. Unfortunately, much akin to Big Tobacco, those opposed to the labeling of GMOs show little evidence of having your health at heart. This David and Goliath showdown requires increased volunteer activity. We encourage you to get involved this summer. The folks at Good Earth in Fair fax have a useful meeting planned for July 25. Visit or for details.

Friends tell friends about the benefits of labeling GMOs. Pass it on.

As a final note, thanks for your praise of June’s Music issue. Enjoy the
summer. We’ll catch up with you in September when we put out our annual
Yoga issue to commemorate September being National Yoga Month. In the
meantime, we extend infinite gratitude for your support of our advertising
sponsors, who report positive ad response. Thank you, thank you.

Oh, and thank you, Ales Prikryl, for the terrific cover of Big Rig Jig. We
upped our print run in anticipation.

Many blessings,


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