2008 "American Dream" theme

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How much do you like the 2008 "American Dream" theme?

Lame. Lame. Lame.
215
30%
Lame. Lame. Lame.
215
30%
Sort of lame.
60
8%
Sort of lame.
60
8%
Good enough.
32
5%
Good enough.
32
5%
Brilliant. Inspiring.
47
7%
Brilliant. Inspiring.
47
7%
 
Total votes: 708

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Pyramis
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2008 "American Dream" theme

Post by Pyramis » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:02 pm

What happened to radical inclusivity? Burning Man is an international gathering of peoples from all nations. The American Dream is a baggaged cultural concept. Instead of a universal theme that unifies the creative energies of our global community -- we are all "Burners without borders" -- this theme is polarizing. Despite lofty intentions of the theme-writers, "American Dream" will only bring out the worst in pro- and anti- ideology games. Clothing it in the irony of "art" will do little towards pulling people into the creative future thinking the organizers seem to hope for.

This is my first impression. Curious to hear your thoughts.

Mollyg
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Post by Mollyg » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:14 pm

I don't believe that the theme is trying to be exclusive twoards non-americans. I think that it is a great theme. My America created something as wonderful as burning man, it was our Dream, and we made it real, with the help of others all around the world.

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BoxaRox
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Post by BoxaRox » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:15 pm

The American Dream these days appears to be: "I got mine, fuck you!'

How much more radically inclusive can you get?

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Bin Noddin
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Post by Bin Noddin » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:31 pm

Image
You could hark back to this or take it forward to an unknown and beautiful place. Certainly is a fraught concept, but it could be worked in a million ways.
"I have gobs of mustard and ketchup on the front of my shirt, which does not make me a hot dog." Sam A. McKeen

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waywardvirtuoso
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Post by waywardvirtuoso » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:45 pm

my initial response to this theme is the same sick revolt that i felt after 9-11 when Bush started preaching how we needed to go after the "bad men" that had attacked us and suddenly there was this bs dimestore patriotism with people flying mini american flags on their cars. first of all, i think that the "american dream" has been completely bastardized. i think that once the american dream meant you could come from a low beginning and thru hard work, you could achieve your dreams of something better. now it seems everyone thinks that the american dream means we're fucking entitled to the bigger, better, best of everything without having to do anything to work for it. the american dream is not supposed to be a get rich quick scheme, you know? yea yea i get that we're supposed to stop and ask ourselves the question of what is the dream to us, what does it mean now, what are we doing to keep this dream a reality, blah blah blah. but for me, i dont need the stars and stripes shadowing the man to get my to ponder how i feel of what america has become. and i really liked that brc was a place i could go to get away from all things that had to do with this new found patriotism sweeping the nation for all the wrong reasons.

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olivia
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Post by olivia » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:46 pm

Wow, fuck this. I missed this year and was so psyched to go next year. I am not going with a theme like that. God this makes me so angry.

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olivia
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Post by olivia » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:49 pm

You know, this can't be let to stand. We have to figure out a way to get them to reconsider this awful theme. There are so many ways to capture the spirit it seems like they're going for without calling it The American Dream and putting a fucking flag behind the man.

alienfry
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Post by alienfry » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:49 pm

i breathe in and i exhale.

it's just some dumb theme. let it go, jared, let it go. our camp doesn't have to be the theme of the bm llc. breathe in, breathe out.

we're seen dumber themes.

and take solace

that we at least

had a pretty kick ass time in South Rock in the Mojave this past weekend and might, just might, not see the need to return to BRC for a while.
awesome oppossum

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skygod
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Post by skygod » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:51 pm

Larry Harvey is a freakin genius!
<3 it.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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diane o'thirst
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Post by diane o'thirst » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:53 pm

My first thoughts on seeing the theme were:

1) "Well, the anarchists are gonna LOVE that."

2) "This would be a good theme for Roadtrip Camp. Too bad I'm not going."
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

fancy1
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Post by fancy1 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:56 pm

name it after a tv show? WTF??

Why exclude the rest of the world?

Fancy
LAFers
"the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese"

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:58 pm

wayward, you need to take a pill..

bush's dream is not ours, it s his.

maybe the theam can kick start the great dream once again..

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waywardvirtuoso
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Post by waywardvirtuoso » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:05 pm

we had a great dream. and this theme is a downer for that dream.

i know that there's hope that we can start a new dream... guide the future to a better place. it's like gandhi said... look at humanity like the ocean... just because there may be a few drops of bad water, it doesnt ruin the whole ocean.

i see what the theme planners were going for. i just dont think it will be quite what they expected or hoped. and it still feels like a copout.

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:19 pm

After 15-odd years of catering to you hippie pagan whining baby birds, finally a theme behind which the rest of us can get down!!! Just take a minute to read the theme description before you choke on your tofu granola. Dumbshits.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:20 pm

Too bad by the time the event comes around again, the whole credit crises will be forgotten.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

Saturnine0
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Post by Saturnine0 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:35 pm

Wait, so you're saying we're going to burn the American dream AND flags from every nation? Hehe the fallout over this.....

DoriumLux
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Post by DoriumLux » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:14 am

Ugh.... At least I won't regret not going next year.

psyience
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Politicization of Bman going to FAR!!!

Post by psyience » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:44 am

How could you possibly consider a theme like this to be even remotely acceptable to an international festival where free creative people of the world unite. Do our international burner brothers and sisters necessarily give a rats ass about the American Dream?!!?, what it was, is, or will be?? no!! Burning Man is a place for us to escape the polarized political spectrum and create without SUCH INCREDIBLE LITERAL, exclusive, and f****** political themes within which to forge our art.

Me camp member and myself have all taken deep offense to this theme that has been selected and will not return to BRC while it stands unchanged. This to me is a huge blow, and a terrible loss, I love the Playa, it is my home away from home, I love everything about it... but this has gone too far.

Perhaps Addis has gotten in your head??? WTF

We must do something to change this theme

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schnoidl
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LAME LAME LAME is RIGHT!!!

Post by schnoidl » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:26 am

man somebody seriously needs to go do wayyyy better drugs if they think this bullshit is worth shitting on. god what a turd of an idea. yecccch, what a rotten thing to see posted so soon after the Burn. easily the most worthless theme ever, takes it to a whole new level.

and a loud "blow me" to you soft-handed twits who just say "oh just smile and make the best of it", it's in large part due to don't-make-waves simpletons like you, terrified of criticality, that the hippies accomplished so little on this planet.

this theme is going to backfire, there's going to a lot of stars'n'stripes burning next year. No doubt BMOrg will be way too concerned with "saving face" or some other flavor of institutional inertia to drop this stupid theme, but here's hoping.

The Bass
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Post by The Bass » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:03 am

i am disappointed in the theme.

it's far too literally political.

i'd vastly prefer something more abstract -- the body, the floating world -- these were great themes.

asking burners to grapple explicitly with the dysfunction of American ideology and try to redeem it just seems cruel -- that is, after all, what we are doing at every Burning Man, by pursuing _other_ axes of meaning.

frankly the thought of a lot of stars and stripes makes me really uncomfortable.

i suggest that we just ignore the theme in any literal way

JUST DOING WHAT WE DO already IS a response to the current conditions of American capitalism.

I call for replacing "NO SPECTATORS" with "NO STARS & STRIPES".

Let's NOT let this theme take over next year.

IGNORE IT!!!!

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:43 am

\/
the hat has pull off another great move..

what a simple move to cull the size off the event..

i will be there in my little dues coup.. might even serve apple pie..

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:24 am

Then;

two cars in every garage and a chicken in every pot

Today;

your family lives in two junk cars and you eat chicken flavored Ramen noodles.

AIIZ

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K-mom
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Post by K-mom » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:20 am

Is criticality even a word ?
You call it malt liquor, I call it breakfast.

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:28 am

K-mom wrote:Is criticality even a word ?
It is in my Concise Oxford.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam

ThePhunnyGuy
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Post by ThePhunnyGuy » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:54 am

:?: :?

My first impression is that this could be the worst "Theme" ever...

The American Dream....

are you serious... The Green Man (which I am by no way saying was an awesome theme) is followed by The American Dream....

so in one year we go from promoting being Green to glorifying the American Dream....

I have seen 8.5 burns and I never have really liked any of the themes, but most of them I thought were tollerable...but this, to me, is not....if you want to exclude more of the spirit that is burning man than this theme is the right direction....

what, is he going to be red, white and blue neon next year....

TPG

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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:20 am

Here's the rub: despite the Green Man theme being an extraordinarily wrong-headed politicized theme, despite the Pavilion being one of the most lame and least inspiring structures ever, I had my best Burn ever.

But, as soon as I got back in my sleep deprived state, I see the American Dream...just a further advance down the wrong path of politicizing the event and a step down a new and equally wrong path of exclusion. BM should spread throughout all the world and Larry's circling the wagons around America is stupid. Will 2009's theme be The Engineering Genius of Germany?

How many wish the Olympics were held without all the flags, medalcounts and jingoism? I see 2008's theme as more of the same Defaultia external-oriented crap.

Just my 2 cents worth...wish we would democratize the Burn and rally around a drive to change the theme now while it is still early..

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ravenluv
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Post by ravenluv » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:12 pm

a wee bit strange....

i've had much good luck with either guessing or dreaming the themes before they are announced. i was trying my hand at it this time around. among the few ideas i had, something along the lines of 'the american dream' came to mind. i immediately discarded the notion, thinking that it was much too narrow and way too political.

here's what i really wanted to see: something along the lines of 'the promised land' or 'utopia' or 'xanadu' or anything which pointed to a mythical place that is better than whatever is known. i envisioned artistic references to atlantis, the enchanted forest, the garden of eden and so forth. i'm sure most cultures have similar concepts of a better place.

oh well. many have been saying it's time to make the event less popular. perhaps they're on the right track with this theme. now, just jack up the ticket prices and throw in some advertising and maybe they can shake out 10 or 20 thousand people. trouble is, they'd probably mostly be the people that have been giving the event it's great vibe all these years.

two things that are no longer important: the theme and the burning of the man. now if they could just de-emphasize the art....

;)

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ZaphodBurner
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Post by ZaphodBurner » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:19 pm

I think the 2008 theme ought to be:

"Something Sterile and Peachy Keen that Offends No One so Everybody Shuts The Fuck Up And Quits Whining About Every Goddamned Thing Every Goddamned Year..."

The American Dream? *shrug* Maybe it's a little dumb. Maybe if I decide to incorporate it into my art, it'll have to do with the disparity between the politicized American Dream and the reality of what most people in the American culture (including non-Americans) want. Granted, the theme's a little political and ripe for turning an art festival into a political bitchfest, but, it's not like political themes aren't abundant at every burn anyway.

I'm sure 40,000 allegedly intelligent people can't possibly think of ANY way to interpret the idea of the "American Dream" into a statement of what they think it really ought to be, so, it's like really dumb and stuff... They should pick something safe, like "Vault of Heaven" except of course that's just religious indoctrination and, you know, the Catholics burned people...

Peace and vegetable rights...
-zb
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace

ThePhunnyGuy
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Post by ThePhunnyGuy » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:19 pm

Teo del Fuego...i completely agree....

this might have been my best burn ever...there was so much randomness going on.....

the Man burned during the eclispe ( which is awesome in and of itself)....

the dust storm on Friday was the longest and best and hardest I have ever seen of experienced and that is what it is all about....

loved that the rain was mixed with the harshest dust storms I have experienced......

and that they were followed by a DOUBLE rainbow....

so much going on......

8)
TPG

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KatyStardust
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Re: Us "hippie pagan whining baby birds".

Post by KatyStardust » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:09 pm

Hey Bob,

Before you start blaming the "hippie pagan whining baby birds" on the dislike of the 2008 theme of "American Dream", might you take a tiny peek at the poll results posted above. It looks like you're outnumbered by quite a bit. I must ask you, why do you surround yourself with those that you so obviously abhor? Now please excuse me while I go enjoy my supposed tofu granola with the rest of the 73%.

Cheers!

---------------------------------

To the rest of the 73%,

I'm with you. I can see where they might have been going with this "American Dreams" concept - and I like the Xanadu-esque, "live out your dreams", "make it happen", combination of theorum that pairs itself well with the theme. However, it's controversial. And I think they meant it to be that way. Why do you think that is? (Perhaps to make us think about it.) While I gather there are probably better ways to do so - I won't judge based solely on that.

I will however judge this idea based on the fact that the majority of jackasses - that DON'T get the concepts behind the concept - will be swathing themselves in red, white and blue. Not that I hate these colors - but I can see people getting pretty shallow with the whole thing. That's what disgusts me!

ML,
~ K

P.S. Do they even make tofu granola? Probably not. It would be pointless. Who's a dumbass now...eh?
ML,
~ K

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