Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

Death Guild and Burning Man

When I first went to Burning Man in 2001, the Death Guild was an organization that was already there. Because of happenstance fate, I attended Burning Man with the Chupacabra Policia. Unfortunately for the Chupas, their “mutant lovechild of a swat team and the extras from the Road Warrior” look was a bit too similar to that of the Death Guild (even though we had helmets, badges and BDUs) to the point where everyone seemed to confuse us for the much larger Death Guild.

The psychos that I was camped with were annoyed by this to no end. Eventually, we took the dessicated pigs head that was mounted on the hood of the “ChupaNova,” our faux police car, put its waxy remains in a nice box with a note, and sent it via courier to the Death Guild. The note stated something along the lines of “To: Death Guild,  Love, Chupacabra Policia.” From what I gathered, they did not appreciate having a dead pig’s head sent to them special delivery and they challenged us to a match in their Thunderdome to settle things. This was heartily agreed to and our chosen champion was “Captain Mullet.” Captain Mullet was a man with a heavy pot habit, a large blonde mullet (surprise!) and a fetish for lifting weights. This man liked lifting weights so much that he brought a little dumbbell with him to the playa so we could work his arms while hanging out. He also, as it turns out, had an IQ much lower than the average temperature at Burning Man. Thinking the “Blaster” part of “Master Blaster” but with a beautiful blonde mullet and no drool.

Captain Mullet showed up with our entire crew behind him on the ChupaNova or on foot at the appointed time to meet his fate at the Thunderdome. The Death Guild crew, at a guess, took one look at his size and manly physique and (intelligently) said, “Screw this!” No one would come out to fight even though it was their challenge and they owned the dome Captain Mullet was standing within… Finally, as the master of the hair stood in his harness waiting for an opponent, one scary clown (and he was part of another crew composed solely, I kid you not, of intentionally freakish and scary clowns) volunteered to fight him. Clown boy was beaten badly and we all went home.

All of this comes to mind because it seems that the Death Guild is now the subject of a series of shorts created by Spike called “Beyond Burning Man.” These just went up about two weeks ago over on ifilm.com. The entire first season (which is five shorts) can be found at http://www.ifilm.com/show/22123.

The first of these on how the Death Guild wound up at Burning Man can be seen below:

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Beyond Burning Man - Season 1 - Episode 1: The Beginning

Of course, as they mention, the Death Guild space was the only place to find decent music (at least in 2001) unless you wanted to listen to techno and get your rave on.

I attended a local Death Guild gathering in the East Bay a few months ago. The photos I took for this are up on flickr for those interested.