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Social Media Flooded with Memes of Burning Man

Social Media Flooded with Memes of Burning Man

As heavy rain wreaks havoc on Burning Man 2023, transforming the iconic festival into a muddy quagmire, the internet has responded with an outpouring of unsympathetic humor.

The event, held annually in the remote Nevada desert at Black Rock City, has left more than 70,000 attendees stranded in the dry lake bed of the Black Rock Desert due to the closure of almost all festival entrances and exits.

Some individuals have resorted to leaving the festival site on foot.

Uncharitable Takes on the Burning Man Situation

With organizers urging attendees to shelter in place and conserve essential resources like food, water, and fuel, storms that began on Friday have continued unabated through the weekend, unleashing months' worth of rain in a matter of days.

Tragically, at least one death has been reported by the Pershing County, Nevada, Sheriff’s Office.

The Internet Reacts to Burning Man

The festival's unexpected tribulations quickly became a top trending topic on social media platforms, with many expressing disdain for those who could afford to spend thousands of dollars for a week in the desert.

Dark Humor Amidst Adversity

One viral post on the platform formerly known as Twitter read, "Burning Man is the perfect example of how many rich white people recreationally manufacture hardship because they are immune from it systematically."

Influencers and Memes

Another post questioned, "You're laughing? Influencers at Burning Man are unable to fulfill sponsored content agreements, and you're laughing?"

Social Commentary Amidst the Chaos

Social media consultant Lia Haberman suggests that much of this humor stems from the perception that attendees are privileged and entitled individuals. She notes, "These are incredibly wealthy people who are able to go sit up in the desert for a week, have fun and party, and then go back to their very comfortable lives. So the idea that they’ve been inconvenienced is, in some way, sort of humorous."

Changing Tides Depending on Severity

While the situation, as of now, has led to online jests, Haberman highlights that if more injuries or deaths were to surface, the tone could quickly shift depending on the gravity of the situation.

Documenting the Experience on TikTok

On TikTok, some festivalgoers have documented their experiences, highlighting the community's resilience and support amid the turmoil.

Ethical Critique of Burning Man

However, others are using the situation as an opportunity to critique the ethics of hosting an event like Burning Man, particularly after police removed climate protesters blocking the festival's entrance last week.

From Memes to Commentary: The Internet's Response to Adversity

As memes and commentary continue to circulate on platforms like Instagram, it's evident that the internet's response to adversity, even in the face of a festival turned muddy quagmire, takes on various forms, from dark humor to social commentary.

This phenomenon is reminiscent of the internet's penchant for morbid jokes in times of tragedy, as some experts have noted.

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