JRS Volume #5; Issue #19


Welcome to the Jack Rabbit Speaks, the internet newsletter for Burning Man.This JRS is all about Dragons…. Draka the Dragon to be exact.


Short and to the POINT: Draka the Dragon & the BRC Department of Public Transportation are having a Fundraiser, Celebration and Collaboration on Thursday, July 12 from 8:30 PM until 6 AM. (yes, that’s tomorrow) at 1015 Folsom (Folsom/6th St) San Francisco. READ ON..details at the BOTTOM include where was I when I wrote this:

You have to figure with a name like Maid Marian that I would have an affinity for magical characters, and you are absolutely correct in this assumption.


Some of my most vivid memories from Burning Man 2000 were of the long interactive moving dragon sculpture. There were several dragons at the 2000 event, and each was unique in its regal presence. Draka’s size, however, made her the closest to what I might imagine a dragon from my childhood imagination might look like moving across the playa. On more than one night-time occasion I would look up to see the lights of the dragon moving along the horizon. Periodically, the darkness was punctuated by a large plume of fire from Draka’s mouth. When the dragon was nearby you could feel the beat of the music her sound system generated, with people standing or running along her sides asking for a ride to Never Never Land. Often Lisa Nigro the conceptualist for the dragon, would be driving while King Jupiter was riding his neck and hollering at all passers-by. A beautiful dragon such as Draka deserves to live beyond the nano-year of Burning Man 2000.

Unfortunately, the dragon had some safety limitations regarding her passengers, and wasn’t able to bring aboard all those wishing for adventure, but that will change in 2001. Enter onto the scene dashing men and women with new ambitious ideas. In 2001 Draka will rule the playa as a mode of PUBLIC transportation as the first in a planned fleet of vehicles for the budding self-created BRC Department of Public Transportation. (another planned vehicle resembles a Connestoga wagon). Some of the crew worked on the dragon last year, others have come forward to create a new group tending to Draka.

I’ve spent 2 full weeks working at the DPW in the past 6 weeks. Last weekend over the 1st of July, I watched as the community at the Work Ranch expanded. Returning workers began to arrive, visitors from the playa stopped by, and Draka’s Dragon crew expanded. The Work Ranch is the staging area for the Bman event, and some of the larger art projects are given an opportunity and space to work there. Last Saturday, after a particularly rewarding day of work, the DPW crew and volunteers (50 strong) devoured a large meal (thanks to the tireless cooks), and began their Saturday evening routine opening “Jalisco’s memorial bar” with powerful margarita’s made by Mr. Klean with a nod to Jose’s habit of making them strong. Who cares out there when you simply need to walk back to your trailer or tent!

Of all the weekends in all the Work Ranches in all the world this evening was a classicŠ”a dress rehearsal for the playa” said one. The spirits were up as new friends and connections were being made by all. With a twinkle in his eye, and a loud booming voice, Cowboy Bob, who’s been working, eating and living there for several months said to me: “I could be anywhere, but I want to be here”. A few days earlier, while trying to lay perfectly still in oppressive breeze-less heat on a couch in the Beach Club (same as the “memorial bar”, but in the daylight) on July 4th, I experienced an epiphany. I “work for Burning Man” to happen, it’s my lifetime commitment, but contributing time at the Work Ranch allows one to live the intensive connectivity, radical self reliance, weather challenged existence that provokes such powerful emotions as those you feel at the Burning Man event.

On Saturday night, my experience of working with the outrageous, disfunctional, dynamic, crazy, sexy, hilarious, creative men and women at the Ranch was topped off by the arrival of Draka from her lair amongst the debris boxes, storage boxes and shade structure in the center of the 80 ranch acres. All 4 sections of the dragon were connected. A generator in her tail fueled the lights and thumping music. Tom Sepe (who had been taught to breath fire the weekend before by visiting web-teamster Dave Marr) was running, crouching and skipping around the dragon, stopping frequently to blow large plumes of fire for the dancing crowd as they poured out of the Beach Club/Jalisco’s Bar and onto the 3 cars that form the bulk of the dragon. A small group of folks with a bad-ass flame thrower in the back of a pick up took off and teased and challenged the dragon away from the now empty Beach Club and into the darkness. I sat on the pool table beside Carl (Minister of DeFence) and Susie (a school teacher and long-term volunteer) and watched as the music disappeared into the darkness leaving only a plume of dust behind. Portishead came on the camp radio station, (soon to be broadcast on the internet) perfectly filling the void that had been left behind. After 30 minutes or so stragglers began to wander back into camp with stories of battles won and lost. Eventually the dragon returned and deposited the remaining passengers. Injury tally: Harley suffered a pretty serious injury to her knee, and one other person suffered a minor cut. Dragon 1: Darkness 0.


The Dragon crew has already been working for several weeks to bring Draka back to the playa in 2001, and there’s plenty more to be done. There is an extensive amount of reconstructive work, and mechanical needs she demands. On July 4th she made a reconnaissance trip from the Work Ranch Ranch to the playaŠand broke down on the road at 11 pm a few miles from camp. With forward the only direction to head, and no other mechanics but those on the adventureŠthe crew set about making repairs at that moment. Cars were just able to navigate around her hulk, and reports slowly trickled back to the Work Ranch as to her status. By morning she was no longer on the roadside, but had made it to her playa destination. A triumphant, sleepless, but giddy crew returned to the Ranch the next day.

Draka lives, and she’ll be at Burning Man 2001. Come to the benefit on Thursday night, or if you’re not able to make it and want to send a donation so the crew can continue bringing this hulking giant to life (and other public transport vehicles) contact the handsome Lars Vegas: mailto: vivalarsvegas@yahoo.com. If you’d like to volunteer to help the crew contact mailto: they also have an email announcement list for interested supporters.


Lastly: I’d like to share with you the tail end of an email regarding the benefit I received from Lars Vegas today. In this excerpt you can feel the exuberance, commitment, and insanity that clearly fuels Tom, Lars and the other organizers of this great adventure in dragonhood. You’ll undoubtedly recognize the passion you fuel into your own projects. (footnote, Lisa Nigro the first mother of the dragon will be bearing a child of her own with our own Sr. Staffer Flynn Mauthie, and the due date is August 25th!)


thank you all that have helped me pull off the stupidist idea i’ve ever had…..what was i thinking, booking the largest club in the city , possibly insulting the artist, taking a chance with other people’s money, dragging people all over the place with promises of parties that i know nothing about, giving all my money and all my time to a job without a single concern about my own financial security. putting my trust in perfect strangers, half of whom I’ve never seen in person, the other half dress like freaks. Wasting hours and hours of valuable TV time driving to the desert and back. sitting in front of computer screens until my eyes are bloodshot and red,..WHY DIDN’T ANY OF YOU STOP ME!!!!! where’s my house with the white picket fence, where’s my beautiful, faithful, devoted wife and my 2.5 kids,where’s my company car and my big screen TV, what happened to my american dream damnit!!!! …Isn’t that the goal in life ” he with the most stufff wins” that was what i was lead to believe and that alone should have kept me from doing such a stupid stupid thing…..but you know what, i don’t give a fiery, flying ,fuck what they lead me to believe because those days are over.they may have been able to pull that shit before ,but i have been awaken (HALLELUYAH) and i know they want to keep us down so that they can control us and weaken our ambitions by confusing us into believing that life is too hard and i need to sit in front of a tv to relax and i will never get out of debt and i will always get stuck in psycotic relationships. they want us to believe that working for the system and obeying the rules will bring us happiness. While creating art and doing what we dream about are nothing but pipe dreams that will lead us to nothing but poverty ,lonliness and crime.well i know there wrong, because i have no money yet i am the richest man i know, my friends are all stangers yet we know each other like brothers and sisters. i am not married but have felt the kind of love that can last forever. i do not have 2.5 kids but am surrounded by a family that plays with the hearts of children. i may never have that house with the picket fence but for one week i have a dragon to call home and it surrounded by a fence made of fire!!

i love you all, thank’s for letting me be stupid just long enough so that I be great forever,
with all my heart,
Lars Vegas

now get your dancin’ shoes on and hold on because we’re shake the very foundation and let everybody know that Draka the dragon has come to san francisco and she has come to kick-ass and help all those in need to realize the power of the dragon…..peace,love, and fire


NOW, What’s this about working at the Burning Man Work Ranch? We need help to finish cleaning up the burn scars. Help during the week and on the weekends is more than welcome. Details to come in the next JRS or email dpw(at)burningman(dot)com


Draka The Dragon & BRC Department of Public Transportation present our 2001 Fundraiser, Celebration and collaboration.

Thursday, July 12th, 8:30 PM – 6:00 AM

Club Draka @ 1015 Folsom located at Folsom and 6th St. San Francisco, CA

TICKETS: $15 http://www.drakathedragon.org , $20 at the door, $40 V.I.P. (VIP tickets include 2 free drinks, massage station, food Draka Medallioon, private chill space)

Entertainment will include: The Mythic Adventure of Draka Igneus Patroni, Live Music Fire Dancers, DJs, and many Infamous Playa Personae that you already know and love.

Be a part of the Burning Man magic! Come dressed to impress in your best playa fantasy costume or else!

Draka the Dragon is a large-scale rolling sculpture orignally designed and created by Lisa Nigro with assistance from the 2000 Dragon Crew. Draka is being coordinated by Thomas Sepe and the 2001 Dragon Crew for the Burning Man Festival. Draka the Dragon is a non-profit project fiscally sponsored by cellspace of San Francisco and is practically funded by Burning Man, private donations, and volunteers.

Draka will be the first vehicle of the new BRC Department of Public Transportation. We are raising funds to launch the Dragon for all to enjoy on the playa, and to create a network of artists and art-cars serving the citizens of Black Rock City with sweet rides.

We are recruiting for the 2001 Dragon Crew! Please contact vivalarsvegas(at)yahoo(dot)com

For additional information, please visit http://www.drakathedragon.org


I apologize to the Dragon Crew and the BRC Department of Public Transportation for the tardiness of posting the information for the BENFIT event to be held TOMORROW: THURSDAY, JULY 12TH at 1015 FOLSOM. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get this JRS out while I was in Gerlach on the Work Ranch over the long July 4th week. I arrived home early Monday morning, and have been overwhelmed with a serious burden of urgent needs, requests and responsibilities all of which really pale in importance when it comes to the needs of a Dragon.


This Jack Rabbit was posted while enjoying the company of 6 members of the Extranet Team at my house. Listening to Art of Noise, discussing the beauty of fire breathing, Zope, playa dust, Draka, the delay in installing our new server, a center camp cafe trapeze performance, web page templates, gladiator skirts, layoffs and getting more work through Burning Man connections, smutforchicks dot com, PHP, DPW, VPN, GPS, glories of whipped cream preparation ;-), Salvador and the Dali Lama, campouts on the playa and elsewhere, the Shaman feeding tofu to cowboys (coming to a bman.com near you soon). sigh.



On and off the JRS: