A new advertisement that mocks Burning Man’s corporate influences and was itself produced by sandwich company Quizno’s (as a faux-installment of The Maze Runner movie franchise) is so meta and self-aware as to be nearly sentient. At once brilliant and sordid, this is the kind of meta-TV that David Foster Wallace warned us about, may he rest in peace. Oh, and perfectly completing the meta-mind-fuck of this whole episode, Burning Man officials are considering a lawsuit against Quizno’s — for commodifying its culture.
As the Reno Gazette-Journal reports, Burning Man isn’t very amused, perhaps because the ad strikes such a nerve. Spokesperson Jim Graham Burni says legal action is being considered because the video is theft of the event’s intellectual property. “We are pretty proactive about protecting our 10 principles, one of which is decommodification,” Graham said. “We get a quite a number of requests each year from companies wanting to gift participants with their product or to capture imagery or video of their products at the event, and we turn them all down.”
Quizno’s and Burning Man have not yet been in contact.
“We’ll be coordinating with our legal team to see what action we can take,” Graham said. In the past, Burning Man has sued the Girls Gone Wild filmmakers on similar grounds and won.
CALEB PERSHAN, SFist