Burning Man Torcher Calls It an 'Act of Love'

Festival has become 'too suburban,' says gonzo former lawyer
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2007 8:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – The San Francisco prankster who put an early torch to the 40-foot-tall Burning Man last week—earning himself a felony arson charge—tells the San Francisco Chronicle his stunt was a plea to put spontaneity back into the Nevada festival that culminates tonight. "This was not an act of vengeance. It was an act of love,"  says Paul Addis, who describes himself as a retired property-rights lawyer. 

Addis describes Burning Man as "too suburban" and recalls fondly festivals from the '90s when "80% of the stuff around us burned—not stuff that wasn't supposed to."  He also says he is currently touring the West Coast in a play called "Gonzo, a Brutal Chrysalis," about  Hunter S. Thompson.