Dennis Kucinich’s Burning Man Name Is ‘Charge’

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Photo: Kevin Roose

Former U.S. Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich joined the parade of celebrities and quasi-celebrities who made it to the Nevada desert for Burning Man this year. But someone apparently forgot to tell him that on the playa, you're allowed to let your freak flag fly. 

Kucinich spoke yesterday at Ideate, a camp geared toward start-up founders. His business-casual look set him apart from his audience, which included a man wearing a HUG LIFE hat, several dreadlocked Caucasians, and a naked man with a pierced penis.  

Despite looking like he was about to reprimand the Burners for missing curfew, Kucinich's speech went over well. (Although it was interrupted several times by EDM-blasting art cars driving by.) His condemnation of government surveillance drew applause, as did, somewhat predictably, his calls for marijuana legalization. 

"I've never understood people's obsession with 'reefer madness' or whatever," Kucinich said. 

It's Kucinich's first time at Burning Man, and as is customary for first-time Burners, he also got a "playa name" given to him: Charge. 

Kucinich, a yoga-practicing vegan who wants to close military bases and form a Department of Peace, is already at home ideologically at Burning Man. Now he just has to dress the part. Will someone please get Charge a banana hammock and some sequins?