I’ve never been to Burning Man, but in my imagination I see it looking a lot like Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Mel Gibson is an ex-cop in an era where gasoline and oil have been totally depleted by war and over consumption. The only way to survive is to keep moving, and to keep moving road warriors have to siphon the rare commodity from other abandoned or captured vehicles. It’s anarchy in the desert. Nomadic communities of violent, ass-less chap-bearing rogues have formed to cause chaos and fear out in the already deadly Australian Bush. Because, logically, if you’re a badass, you’re able to rough and tumble it in as little clothing as possible, and, whatever clothing you are wearing should be made of animal hide, feathers and spikes.
Mel Gibson is the ronin of the Australian outback, Max, a lone fighter with only his trusty dog by his side. Like most heroes with nothing to lose, Max’s wife and newborn child were swept away and killed by a road gang. It was bleak. This left our road warrior hero to drift in reckless abandon through Australia, puncturing gas tanks, scavenging fuel and eating cans of dog food. The only other human companion that Max brings on, initially, is a leery-eyed lanky man with a bag of poisonous snakes that he throws at people. Max is the toughest man in the Bush, and the only one who can save a besieged colony of innocents from the leather-clad baddies that are bent on taking their fuel, destroying their vehicles, raping their women and killing their men.
The harsh climate and the danger of attack has made agriculture near impossible, thus civil society has turned to hunting and gathering, creating a fortress of old vehicles and scrap. In addition, this group has managed to strike upon an oil well, which is what catches the enemy eye to begin with. Unlike the family of bandits, there are young women, children, crippled and elderly folk still in this small society, and the people remain benevolent and closely knit. Even so, tough times make tough people, and Max is taken in as a prisoner before he gradually earns their respect. In this fortress, one guard is stationed above the “gate” (an old VMW van that blocks the entrance) and is prepared to attack intruders with a flamethrower. Other guards carry bows and arrows, having only a precious few firearms and shot gun rounds to spare. It isn’t much compared to the rogues who drive in with prisoners strapped Iliad-style to makeshift auto-chariots, but it’s necessary.
Looks like that won’t be on the horizon for us… apparently we live in a time where the oil is so abundant we can fill an ocean with it. Next episode we enter a magical forest of scientifically tested bats, blond, boom-box-swinging studs, bodacious babes and Fern Gully!
Carisse Ramos, Guest blogger: “Carisse Ramos is a graduate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a degree in Visual and Critical Studies. Besides blogging about geekery and thoughtful thinking, Carisse now works as a freelance writer, editor and visual artist in Chicago. Her writing focuses on using pop culture trends as a vehicle to facilitate productive dialogues.”