I know very few individuals who spend the last ten days of August on “the playa,” yet what I have heard (and read) appears to be an exercise in futile self-awareness. The location alone (ever hear of “playa foot?”) bespeaks the irrationality of it all; just because the original participants were chased from a California beach does not oblige them to set up shop at the not-so-polar opposite type of environment. Was Laurel Canyon or Big Sur all booked? Any feelings of quasi-solidarity I felt came to a squishy-thud denouement when I read of (1) the corporate headaches of running a haute-counterculture empire (e.g., the limited-ticket fiasco), and (2) the acceptance of tech-sector VIP lounges the exclusive nature of which is a 97-mph fastball of coyote dung in the face of the whole concept of the thing. I suppose even naked dusty desert nymphs and their attendent fauns have a price.