Raising the Man

There's a fantastic post on the Burning Blog from Dan Miller, the man who helped build, raise and burn the Man from 1990-2000. It is historical in nature and shares many interesting stories about the evolution of this ritual:

In 1989, on Baker Beach with the Golden Gate Bridge looming to the east, we had a defining moment — due to the lack of engineering prowess and the shear underestimation of the dynamics of the growth of the Man vs. physics, when raising him, his legs, head and pulling rope snapped. I remember shuddering in horror at the mess amidst the penetrating, salty gales; first, that someone might have been skewered underneath (luckily not) and that there was no hope of repairing our broken Man in this desperate moment. Then it dawned on us that we could burn him right justly in his humiliating pile and slink back to the drawing board for our next year’s invocation.

As serendipity would have it, a couple of intrepid structural engineers stepped up and offered their services — anonymously (things were, cough, cough, guerrilla back then; begging forgiveness from the authorities was doable, permission, yeah, right, a three-storey wienie roast).

Read the rest, including the days of the hay bale pyramid and the solar source of the flame at