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HomeopinionSchadenfreude, Burning Man and the unifying power of mockery

Schadenfreude, Burning Man and the unifying power of mockery

The news that some 70,000 Burning Man attendees had been trapped in the Nevada desert last week amid a deluge of mud, human excrement and rampant privilege, managed to produce a rare thing in our divided times: agreement across the political spectrum. These people were clearly insufferable, and it was okay – right and proper even – to laugh at them.

The “Burners” did not exactly make this difficult. As torrential rains transformed their “crucible of creativity” into a hellscape, bringing this year’s “Animalia” theme – focused on correcting the false notion that “mankind is not part of the animal kingdom” – rather magnificently to life, attendees took to social media to complain of their terrible suffering.

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