Gosh. That sounds uncomfortable. Imagine 60,000 or 70,000 people driving out to a remote desert for that.
And maybe that's why the Burning Man blog published another post on Thursday -- this one not attributed to Curley -- headlined "Bugs on the Playa -- Don't Believe the Buzz."
The post calls the bugs "an interesting new challenge" and urged the hordes expected at the event, which formally opens Aug. 30, not to start hyperventilating about the presence of a few million hungry insects.
"These bugs are more of a mild nuisance than a full-blown infestation that should cause any major concern," the post said.
Gizmodo published a piece Thursday that makes a convincing attempt to identify the bugs. The experts cited by the site say there are at least two and perhaps more species involves -- large green stink bugs (family Pentatomidae) and some much smaller critters called seed bugs (genus Nysius).
The latest Burning Man post on the Six-Legged Apocalypse calls on participants to remember the event's principle of Radical Self-Reliance: "Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources."
As I said at the outset, one almost feels sympathy for those at the mercy of the seed bug's probing proboscis. Then you encounter what might be called Radical Self-Righteousness.
You need look no further than the comments responding to Curley's original bug post to see that not everyone in the Greater Burning Man Enlightenment Sphere is on the same page.
One commenter complained, perhaps more than a bit plaintively, that the reported Bug-nado might ruin a trip she has made a big sacrifice for:
I am not a rich girl, I went broke to come to the festival and be at the whim of the desert… But being that I have paralyzing, allergic reactions to bugs I am disheartened to know that the money I’ve spent to burn will now be spent hardly being able to move.
I hope BM does something to get rid of these bugs, because it’s going to be a very painful trip for me. I will still find my way through, however, without complaint. I can’t afford to have thrown my last $1200 down the drain.
You might imagine all the empathy that comment provoked in the Enlightenment Sphere. For instance:
The origin of the event isn’t to pander to peoples sensitivities. Read the first timers guide please to help reassess your perspective. As a physician with allergy specialization having paralyzing disability from insect stings is unheard of. If you used your last $1200 to come to a non-life sustaining event, I’m more concerned about your safety overall moving forward in the universe. We are guests on the playa, it’s not for us to destroy nature for our comfort....
One other commenter pointed out that people who are worried about bugs should relax, bring lots of DEET, and remember that Black Rock Desert is toxic by nature.
"You are breathing respirable glass and uranium dust," the commenter said. "DEET’s like a rubber band wound next to a shotgun hole."