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

CaptainObvious
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Post by CaptainObvious » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:22 am

The Love Army has a good idea - now it can be expanded into the American Dream Army - a group of like minded burners dressed as hobos with the flag sewn on panhandling at First Camp, Center Camp, and all other BMORG operations...
"Well Thank You CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!!!"

"Ahem... Your Welcome!!"

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Post by spectabillis » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:32 am

Image

Imagigrl
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Post by Imagigrl » Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:32 am

So I said: And of course next year's theme's already been announced. "American Dream" Hey! Like, that's my fave B&J icecream, Scoob!! The Man will stand atop the flags of every country, every nation, including ours. Hrm… is he planning world domination?!

Then my friend said: So American Dream....does that mean there's gonna be some enormous fire-breathing Suburban....with a soccer mom bumper sticker?? hehehe Ruh-Ro-Raggy! heh

Then later that night I dreamt about the Jimmy Hendrix Experience hosting a 4th of July firework show over the radio in a small midwestern farming community and awoke precisely at 3:21 am this morning thinking "What the fu..?!"

It seems that the BORG wants a reaction from its burners. Why post next year's theme so early? Is the BORG willing to take the popular vote to heart and CHANGE the 2008 art theme? Who really knows?


And so, without further a-do, here's my rant (of which I think I'm only repeating what has already been said in this forum):

Ok, look, The Green Man was a "current issue" type of theme. 2007 marked the first real, just come out and say it, politically platformed theme. As Americans, we are accusing ourselves of exploiting the world's resources and destroying the ecosystem right down to our own backyards. Whether that's an entirely accurate statement or not is not at issue here. Realize that in deciding the 2007 theme the BORG was reacting to current events. This and last year "An Inconvenient Truth" was aired in public school K-12 classrooms the nation over causing great impact in the young American mind. Enough is enough! What are we here, fellow burners,- artisans and free expressionists or political lobbyists?! The 2007 theme only slid by burners because we are mostly in agreement that, if for no other reason, The Green Man helped to inspire ingenuity and invention. However, and let us not trivialize this fact, in the years past the themes took on either more intimate, individual human experiences or less intimate, abstract notions- all of which were of a general nature. The artisan could interpret such themes at will and with little or no restraint and definitely without the task of having to deal with large factions of a political energy, energy that in theory and out of disagreement could destroy the artisan's work and- if nothing else -appear to be subversive and dangerous entities to those default world authorities we all have to coexist with on the playa, those authorities that can make or break the Burning Man event itself. Now the BORG is asking its burners to make a political choice... a specific creative expression of a burner's nationalistic or anti-nationalistic beliefs. This is not only inappropriate of the BORG to ask of us, but illogical given the history of the art themes. It's not going to be anything but a chore to do the "American Dream." But now that the BORG has planted that seed in burners' minds, even if the theme is changed you can count on some of us expressing that 'Dream' or 'Nightmare' on the playa next year. I myself would obviously express something more fun. Otherwise, if the BORG insists on ignoring the popular vote then I suggest that instead of standing The Man atop a slew of flags stand him atop every American icon imaginable- positive or negative -and torch it all!

Enough said. Now I go back to bed!

Always with love,
~Alvays mit wuv. ;x

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Re: 2008 "American Dream" theme

Post by madmatt » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:39 am

Saki wrote:BMORG is disingenuous. If Burning Man were really a non-profit organization I would have no problem with the name. But since it is an LLC, I think it should be referred to as BMLLC (pronounced "Bumlick")
Yes, that's absolutely correct Saki! I however, am stuck in a difficult dilemma: the actual word BORG is so perfect because of the alien race from Star Track - "resistance is futile, you will be absorbed" that absorbed all other cultures into a big black mass.

So I'm going to stick with it, just know that I know that it ain't a non profit. I very much like BUMLICK however!

sun4all
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Interesting essay on the theme

Post by sun4all » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:00 am

However, I'll just do what most people at Burning Man do every year: IGNORE THE THEME! The Green Man was really the only theme that sparked any interest on my part. The BORG doesn't care abou the theme much either since funded art (and all other art) is not required to have anything to do with the theme. The themes are just something that Larry Harvey enjoys doing and that's fine.

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:48 am

This theme stinks to high heavens with terrific possibilities. Seems like lots of ways to comment on the current state of things, the state things used to be in, and the state things could be in. A theme like “Wild Westâ€
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fierysage
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Post by fierysage » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:47 am

"Be the Change You Wish to See in the World" -- Gandhi

i did not care for the theme once i first heard it... but then reflected that it is an interesting opportunity (as is the opportunity given to "Americans") to see what can be done with what one has. So many come to this country because, despite its many downfalls, there is still alot of room for growth, independence ,etc. No, I am not patriotic by any means. I wish we had socialized medicine and capitalism always kind of puts a funny taste in my mouth. However, I like the idea of being able to display what our "Ideal America" would be. To create and live a dream, one has to envision it first. Then make it more tangible by speaking/talking about it. Then through art and interaction, begin to make it manifest.

Seems like a decent opportunity.

Charis/SaSS

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Timezone LaFontaine
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Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:54 am

I think overall it's for the best that themes are selected that are somewhat surprising and make participants feel slightly uncomfortable at first. Otherwise things are settling into a rut.

This theme in particular... I think symbols and concepts like this are sites of ideological battles. For example, the American flag is a symbol that has been [i]appropriated[/i] by the far right as part of a strategy to demonize more leftist/radical segments of the population.

The American Dream originally had something to do with people from all over the world being welcome to come here and contribute to a new kind of culture. Yes, it is a naive concept and in order to be enthusiastic about that past definition you must ignore certain ugly realities of what the leadership of this country has done.

But the symbol is ours to take and reshape as we fight to move this culture in a better direction. After all, the American dream could be a lucid dream.

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Post by pancake toad » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:42 pm

nationalism and patriotism are both stupid, antiquated, and dangerous concepts that have no place in our city of dreams.

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:59 pm

pancake toad wrote:nationalism and patriotism are both stupid, antiquated, and dangerous concepts that have no place in our city of dreams.
How so?
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spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:34 pm

how not?

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First Mate Goddammit
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Post by First Mate Goddammit » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:38 pm

I got this from BurningMan.com front page......................................


2008 Art Theme: "American Dream"
This year's art theme is about patriotism -- not that kind which freights the nation state with the collective weight of ego, but a patriotism based upon a love of country and culture. Leave ideology at home; forget the blue states and the red; let parties, factions and the issues that divide us fall away. Ask yourself, instead, what can postmodern America yet give to the world?


Did anyone read this paragraph all the way through? I see it as a chance to express what I see as MY "American Dream". I look forward to seeing all the interpretations from everyone in 2008.
Fuck politics, I'm here to have fun!

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MikeVDS
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Post by MikeVDS » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:02 pm

pancake toad wrote:
nationalism and patriotism are both stupid, antiquated, and dangerous concepts that have no place in our city of dreams.


How so?
If the how so relates to how they are antiquated and stupid I can explain, but I do not know why they have no place in our city. I thought we embrace many stupid and antiquated ideas, no?

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Kinetik V
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Post by Kinetik V » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:14 pm

[quote="First Mate Goddammit"]I got this from BurningMan.com front page......................................


2008 Art Theme: "American Dream"
This year's art theme is about patriotism -- not that kind which freights the nation state with the collective weight of ego, but a patriotism based upon a love of country and culture. Leave ideology at home; forget the blue states and the red; let parties, factions and the issues that divide us fall away. Ask yourself, instead, what can postmodern America yet give to the world?


Did anyone read this paragraph all the way through? I see it as a chance to express what I see as MY "American Dream". I look forward to seeing all the interpretations from everyone in 2008.[/quote]

FINALLY! Someone else gets it. The potential for this theme is nothing short of incredible. It's too bad the only over the top thing we're seeing now is people bitching and whining about it.
Kinetic V
~~~~~~
I bring order to chaos. And I bring chaos to those who deserve it, wherever that may be.

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:37 pm

First Mate Goddammit wrote:I got this from BurningMan.com front page......................................


2008 Art Theme: "American Dream"
This year's art theme is about patriotism -- not that kind which freights the nation state with the collective weight of ego, but a patriotism based upon a love of country and culture. Leave ideology at home; forget the blue states and the red; let parties, factions and the issues that divide us fall away. Ask yourself, instead, what can postmodern America yet give to the world?


Did anyone read this paragraph all the way through? I see it as a chance to express what I see as MY "American Dream". I look forward to seeing all the interpretations from everyone in 2008.
Heya, First Mate Godammit. Good to see you on the board.
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BAS
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Post by BAS » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:51 pm

Hey, I am hoping to make 2008, and am already working on developing a Pro-Flag Burning camp! Freedom should include the freedom to destroy the very symbol of that freedom, in the recognition that it is only a symbol. Or something like that. (That explanation seems too wordy. I would prefer a more concise one.)


B.
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Do things that have never been done."
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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sat Sep 08, 2007 11:53 pm

The more I think about it, the more I look forward to it. It's really going to force me to articulate the meaning I'm deriving from The Contraption.

I'm looking forward to the challange.
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spectabillis
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Post by spectabillis » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:32 am

the basic problem of the theme is its push, a sanctioned and external effort to influence what and how people express themselves in art, performance, theme camps... whatever.

sure, people still have the freedom and opportunity to do their own thing, and thank gawd for those who ignore the theme and do exactly that. an artistic environment thrives on diversity and being open and works best without pre-determined rules. anything and everything is possible where people do the most amazing and unexpected things that can radically shift perceptions and experiences.

themes take from that. you dont think constantly providing funds and putting importance on a theme doesnt effect things? yes, it makes a difference, a slow and steady one.

many of the past people who used to enjoy that freedom grew tired and disappointed with themes when they wanted the freedom. being completely open helped get this whole crazy thing to this point as everything was new in an atmosphere of experimentation. when many felt constricted they left, and over the years the turnover has supplied the the opportunity to bring in newcommers with lower expectations and continue the slide.

that trend continues.. and the eventual result is going to be scary as things continue to drift from what made it amazing.

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LeChatNoir
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Post by LeChatNoir » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:47 am

You may be right, but for now I see non-mandatory themes as a way of insuring that a completely open train of thought doesn’t become an unchallenged rut.

And I highly encourage people to both completely ignore the theme and stand it on its head.
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Post by karine » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:51 am

there IS nothing more American than Burning Man -


((and HEY YA First mate, you HOTTIE! Glad to see you here!))

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Post by klone138 » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:08 pm

I A VERY DISAPPOINTED AND ANGRY THE DESCISION OF "AMERICAN DREAM". HAS LARRY LOST HIS MIND? I CANNOT THINK OF A THEME THAT COULD DO THE EXACT OPPOSITE THAN REPRESENT THE VIEWS AND IDEALS OF MOST BURNERS(I SAID MOST NOT ALL). I ALSO CANNOT THINK OF A BETTER WAY TO EXCLUDE AND UNINVITE THE REST OF THE WORLD(LAST TIME I CHECKED THERE WERE PLENTY OF BURNERES FROM OTHER NATIONS). WHAT IS THE MAN GOING TO BE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE? THE THOUGHT OF THAT JUST MADE ME SICK. I GO TO BRC EVERY YEAR TO ESCAPE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME SAD ABOUT THE DEFAULT WORLD. I DO NOT GO TO BRC TO HAVE ALL THOSE THINGS RUBBED IN MY FACE THE ENTIRE TIME I AM THERE. I NEVER THOUGHT A THEME COULD BE THIS HORRIBLE. THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE WORST. MAYBE 2009'S THEME COULD BE MONEY! AND HUMANITIES GREED AND HUNGER FOR IT. I BEG YOU BM LLC TO PLEASE PLEEAASE CHANGE THE THEME FOR 2008. AND I ALSO BEG OF YOU BURNERS WHOM FEEL THE SAME AS ME TO WRITE OR FIND A WAY TO CHANGE THIS YEARS THEME. WE CAN'T STAND FOR THIS.

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klone138
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LESTS MAKE ARE OWN THEME FOR 2008. FUCK "AMERICAN DREAM

Post by klone138 » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:29 pm

OK I DON'T REALLY HAVE TO GET INTO THE DETAILS OF HOW MUCH MOST OF US HATE 2008'S THEME. I AM DEAD SERIOUS WHEN I ASK WHO IS DOWN TO ORGANIZE A MASS EMAIL VIA EPLAYA/TRIBE.NET/MYSPACE.COM ETC. TO REACH BURNERS EVERYWHERE TO BOYCOTT THIS THEME AND COME UP WITH OUR OWN THEME? I DONT KNOW MAYBE SOMETHING POSITIVE, THAT ACTUALLY INSPIRES PEOPLE? HERES A FEW I HAVE ALREADY SEEN SUGGESTED "DREAMING OF A BETTER WORLD" OR "HUMAN INTUITION". WE REALLY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS.


Moderator's note: this post was a stand alone topic, but we're overflowing with "I hate the 2008 theme" threads, so I am beginning to merge them.

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:39 pm

Feel free to present data to back up your editorial opinions on themes.

WRT the Helco theme in 1996, arguably American Dream V.1, I recall some people thought it was a bad idea -- but only in retrospect after lantern spires & random art got torched by crazed individuals a la Detroit's Devil's Night.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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BAS
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Post by BAS » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:45 pm

:? Well, they could always have "Defaultia" as a theme...! :P


B.
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Do things that have never been done."
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Post by newtoburningman » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:34 pm

All I gotta say is they better hire a heckuva lot more police for the event in '08. I predict massive fights breaking out when tempers flare over art and competing "dreams". If they think everyone will "get" the theme, sit down at a center camp that's decked out in red, white, and blue, politely debate what the dream means to them, and sing freakin kumbaya once they've politely agreed to disagree, they are sorely mistaken.

I live in a very political city, and don't need to pay money to be bombarded by this theme for a week. "Leave ideology at home; forget the blue states and the red; let parties, factions and the so-called issues that divide us fall away." YEAH, RIGHT! How do competing idealogies and parties get started in the first place? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they get started because we all have different American Dreams. A dream is intrinsically linked with idealogy. Put down the pipe for a while and please come up with a better theme! Or as a previous poster suggested, let's come up with a subversive one that will shine through in '08!

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Not so new to Burning Man

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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:09 pm

OK I DON'T REALLY HAVE TO GET INTO THE DETAILS OF HOW MUCH MOST OF US HATE 2008'S THEME. I AM DEAD SERIOUS WHEN I ASK WHO IS DOWN TO ORGANIZE A MASS EMAIL VIA EPLAYA/TRIBE.NET/MYSPACE.COM ETC. TO REACH BURNERS EVERYWHERE TO BOYCOTT THIS THEME AND COME UP WITH OUR OWN THEME?

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K-mom
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Post by K-mom » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:26 pm

All right you bastard, you can rant and whine and write in CAPS LOCK all day long, but your run-on sentence just made that kid cry.

Not cool.
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justin
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a great reason to stay home in 08'

Post by justin » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:46 pm

"This year's art theme is about patriotism -- not that kind which freights the nation state with the collective weight of ego, but a patriotism based upon a love of country and culture."- Burning Man home page

"When the great Tao is forgotten,
goodness and piety appear.
When the body's intelligence declines,
cleverness and knowledge step forth.
When there is no peace in the family,
filial piety begins.
When the country falls into chaos,
patriotism is born. " Tao Te Ching"

From this timeless perspective one can gather that patriotism is flawed as a unifying source of inspiration. The only thing that could get me out there next year is the prospect of seeing someone fly a 747 into the man on Monday and be back to work by Tuesday.

Any suggestions on how I could start a petition to take back the man and change the direction of all the horrible irony to come? If the coming election is their inspiration than lets open it up to our own election of themes. If its all about the american dream I'm sure they wouldn't want to lose my ticket sale.

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Rich
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God kills a kitten

Post by Rich » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:48 pm

Every time you mock a Larry Harvey Theme (tm), or mock the American Dream, god kills a kitten.

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Fat SAM
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Post by Fat SAM » Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:19 pm

"You can have my art theme when you pry it from my cold dead hands!"
My costume next year is going to be "The Seven Ages Of Charleton Heston." I do a pretty mean impression, too...

'The tree of patriotism must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants'. Anyone think we'll be seeing Addis disciples trying to burn the man early next year? Maybe there'll be Secret Service agents in place to thwart attempts before they happen?

I like the theme. I think the possibilities for expression, both sincere and satyrical, are off the charts. Maybe there could be a camp that does preemptive strikes against other camps suspected of terrorist actictivities. Maybe someone will erect a model of their personal utopia and how they think it can be a reality. Perhaps there can be campaigns for BRC political positions...who knows? Maybe total anarchy will reign and we'll have a return to drive by shooting ranges and pissing in buckets.

I'd like to see a house with a picket fence and 2.5 children in the yard...With the emphasis on the .5 child. Now that's art.
Thanks to Addis, I had more free time.

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