The Politics of Burning Man

Burning Man and the Republican convention coincide. Where's a good progressive to go?

"I'm trying to organize groups of people who will break into spontaneous fits of laughing," Barlow said. (Lessley Anderson)

Leaving Your Heart (and So Much More!) in San Francisco

Love is a powerful force, and so, apparently, is Cupid's Span -- the giant bow-and-arrow sculpture at Rincon Park installed in 2002 by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. According to Tai Trang, a gardener for the Port of San Francisco who tends the plants at Rincon Park, art appreciation isn't the only thing the sculpture inspires. Although people are not supposed to walk on or under the piece, they do, and sometimes they do a little more.

"I've found five condoms in the grass," Trang says matter-of-factly. People also ride bicycles up and down the curved bow, and occasionally drink beer nearby. When he sees folks under the sculpture, Trang shoos them away, because they could easily hurt themselves and sue the city, or at the very least break lights, trample the Mexican Feather grass, and leave skid marks on the artwork.

One day, however, Trang noticed something different. "It was around 2 p.m., and I saw this guy proposing," says Trang. "He was on his bended knee; I just remember it was obvious what was going on. It was very touching." But love is blind, and Trang says: "I pretended I didn't see them."

If only he could say the same about the condoms. (L.A.)

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