2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Cargo Cult - Who is John Frum? He is known to us by many names, this Visitor from Elsewhere, dispenser of endless abundance and wielder of mysterious technologies: John Frum, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, "Bob." His cargo is splendid, his generosity boundless, his motives beyond our understanding. But across the ages and around the world, the stories all agree: one day he will return, bearing great gifts. Our theme this year asks three related questions; who is John Frum, where is he really from, and where, on spaceship Earth, are we all going?
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Roberto Dobbisano
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Roberto Dobbisano » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:00 pm

[media]
"10 principles? you cant HANDLE the 10 principles..."

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by H.G.Crosby » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:02 pm

"we are dealing with a most unusual bag"


[media]
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by jhnt » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:11 am

[quote="pepomint"]I like the general idea of "we've fucked up beyond belief! the aliens should save us!".

BUT, bringing in cargo cults is some seriously colonialist shit. Which is to say, racist. I feel like it's going to be a year full of tiki bars and other "gentle racism", and people of color or of other nations will be seriously mocked, starting with the poorly done theme announcement itself.

So, I hate to say it, but this Burner (and theme camp organizer) will have to break a 10-year streak to boycott BM based on the theme. Which makes me super-sad.

Also, this is going to put a real damper on the people of color who have been attending. It was awesome to see increasing numbers of folks over the last couple years, and this may well reverse that. Also, I think we can expect blowback from anti-racist organizations.

BMOrg, you fucked up big time on this one. Think about changing it?[/quote]

Uh... Say what?

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by The CO » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:23 pm

I have a question for any of the folk decrying this as a racist theme: how is it racist? What makes it so?
M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by unjonharley » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:39 pm

Tanks for the read, Fishy

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Aurelia » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:10 pm

Fishy , so glad you showed that as I would have missed it.
Now I have to send it on to other "family"
xoA.

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by MacGlenver » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:23 pm

unjonharley wrote:Tanks for the read, Fishy
Seconded. Good read.
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by trilobyte » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:14 am

Agreed, Fishy, I think Caveat knocked it out of the park with that post.

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by unjonharley » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:29 am

The Billion Bunny March is going to fit right in this years theme..

Sure hope they return for TTITD 2012..

I knew I should have made that turn in Albuquerque..

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by mshaman » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:50 am

Seems like a number of the people on the website actually get it.

I wonder how many other people will realize that we burners ARE the cargo cult.

When BM started, with influences from Cacophony Society, zone trips, etc. it was just an attempt to be alive. There was no dogma, no 10 principles, just a handful of people getting out of the mundane and chasing possibility. I can't help but think that the board views 60,000 ravers making theme camps and art cars in scripted fashion, without the consciousness or the vulnerability of throwing onseslf into the unknown, view these trappings as empty of what really makes the BM experience work as a bamboo airplane and fake landing strip. The dogma of the 10 principles didn't even come in until over a decade after it began. While it's a good facsimile of being present in your art and actions, it's still up to us as individuals, to actually internalize the nakedness of being authentic in the moment.

While I'm guessing many of us have seen this over and over, this link offers an oral history of Burning Man, an amalgamation of quotes from founders and early participants:
http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-ad ... l?page=all

I re-read it every once in a while, because it reminds me of what's really important, that the culture was really just a haphazard experiment that went viral, and that the dogma of "burner-ness" is as hollow as a coconut radio; the experience of infinite possibility is where it's at. After reading it again, I can find no other conclusion but that the founders are sending burners a very clear message in a very ironic way about their willingness to follow, to deify, and still fail to see the essence of the experiment.
The road of life is littered with flat squirrels who couldn't decide.

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by edbrez » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:17 pm

Thanks for sharing, very informative...

We are all John Frum, or at least we can be.... :)
Time to apply the 10 principles to everyday life, adopt the rituals of BM and let them become part of daily thinking to preserve the culture in the BRC and to build a better life back in the default world.

Strip it back to basics, make sure 10 principles are most important and honoured while participating in BM 2013
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man" Dr Johnson

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by aplayapal » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:55 am

Does the cargo cult theme mean we can leave all our trash when we go home?

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by trilobyte » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:33 am

No it does not.

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by unjonharley » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:04 pm

It will be OK if you name your theme camp: One mans trash is an others treasure.

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:43 am

Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.
-Joseph Campbell

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:54 pm

cleveland?
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:04 pm

Cleveland Heights.
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by graidawg » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:38 pm

I do so love the way that its white guys (and girls) that cry RASCIST as if by going to burning man with a theme that they have decided is rascist makes us rascist and them not by not going, with the predictions of tiki bars and whathaveyou.
well to be honest i dont give a shit what they think. go, dont go, I don't care i prolly wouldn't meet you anyway and i suspect as usual very little of what i see will do anything more than nod in the direction of the theme anyway. After all as trilo said they start planing for the next year before they even go that year, and at the very least start before the theme is announced.
I mean as far as i could tell 2012 seemed to me to be year of the pirate theme camp.

besides i am british and you all are yearning to be part of the empire again.
FREE THE SHERPAS
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by edbrez » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:56 pm

graidawg wrote: besides i am british and you all are yearning to be part of the empire again.
Image

Image

This empire? :lol:
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Foxfur » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:37 am

Caveat totally lost my support when he told me I'd better get it right.
Screw his self-important morally superior righteousness, I'm voting him off the island.
He's a mystery wrapped in a riddle, inside an enigma, painted in hot pants. - Savannah
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How to do it wrong:
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by MyDearFriend » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:34 pm

Foxfur wrote: Screw his self-important morally superior righteousness, I'm voting him off the island.
You and me babe. But sometimes total nutballs do make correct statements.

At any rate said and did are not even brothers.

JOHN FRUM HE COME

BRING BEER

2013
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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Ugly Dougly » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:54 am

Yep, it's racist to obsess over race. :)

And yeah there will be plenty of Tiki bars this year, where's the harm in that?

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:07 pm

[media]
Frida Be You & Me

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Ugly Dougly » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:42 pm

Image

Vimeo kicks YouTube's ass.

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:40 pm

The CO wrote:I have a question for any of the folk decrying this as a racist theme: how is it racist? What makes it so?
This has been up here for almost two weeks, and no one's taken this on, so I"m going to have a crack at it.
If you've been paying attention, I don't think that this theme is racist, but I also have--I think--some insight into the reasoning...

I'm guessing that some people think that the mere contemplation of a culture of brown people (for lack of a better term, and you know, I just can't face "people of color") by a culture of white people is intrinsically "looking down" because white people are unaware of their different (higher) level of their power in this world and it has a distorting effect. Part of the distortion is that they would view this brown culture as "quaint" or "cute" and "misguided" and dismissing it as not important. Also, there is a tradition that goes back at least as far as the surrealists of "appropriating" art of non-western cultures and using it in "our" art.

I do think that there are racist ways of viewing this theme. I don't think it's intrinsically racist. I also think that engagement on the issues, rather than an out and out refusal to discuss it, is probably the wrong way to go.
And to make it clearer, I found that the American Dream was too close for comfort to imperialist and pro-Manifest Destiny, so I'm not someone who just rubber stamps the themes.

I think that we all have little cargo cults running in our minds. I think that the Protestant Work ethic is a cargo cult. I think that by looking into the mirror of Pacific Island cargo cults we can see our own beliefs of that nature. I am aware of cultural appropriation, but I think that the recycling of tribal themes into western art is also the sincerest form of flattery, sometimes it's both at once. And I think that we are all on this world together, that there are universals in human emotions and expression and that it's almost impossible for cultures to meet without out changes, in both directions. (Rapid extinction of one culture isn't going to do that.)

I know I had more, but I've forgotten what.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by edbrez » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:56 pm

Cargo Cult?

Isn't it just one example of a much larger analysis of world history.
Could it not be argued that by interaction with a more dominant force, this in fact allows a community to re-evaluate their own culture in comparison to their enemy and try to further distinguish what makes them who they are, and what they represent. In most cases those dominated by an invading power tend to retain their most core beliefs and adopt the beneficial practices of the superior power to survive. I suppose the greater sum of parts is generally the end result of most wars and invasions that have occurred, learning from the mistakes. Speaking of Ireland and our independence, most of the most beautiful buildings in our country were built under British rule. Our educational system and language are a direct result of occupation, as is our legal system. Many of the core Irish beliefs remain from prior to occupation, our domestic language is re-emerging and our national dance and music are more successful than ever before.
Most of the best cultural developments in Ireland came as a direct result of occupation and becoming part of Great Britain. The desire for religious freedom and political independence were never lost though. We have independence now but still it is a divided country. What is the cost of idealistic views?
What makes a people claim allegiance to one nation? Is it been born in a particular part of the world or is it by the imprint our forefathers passed on to us about our heritage through the songs and stories they tell us about our identity. Who has the ability to take that away?
I think in a just fair society that we mostly have now, we can truly develop a greater culture of the common good and hopefully by respecting the rights of the individual and culture of all stakeholders we can truly identify our common goals and grievances and hopefully develop a more uniform and advanced society. Hopefully our relationship with the environment will then become a more important factor in all our decision making.

So no I don't believe it is a racist theme, just a small analysis of a greater theme that should concern us more.
Maybe a look at the bigger picture, respecting the differences we have, and hopefully finally seeing the truly important issues we need to tackle in the next few decades ahead. Who knows what could happen.... best put the right practices into motion now to appease Mother Earth.

I am not a hippie "id love to hear a definition for this".... just see the theme as being a bit more important than colonialism or imperialism
"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man" Dr Johnson

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by unjonharley » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:50 pm

Example of modern thinking.. It has been thought the the large stones of Stonehenge builders had somehow dragged those huge rocks..Not believing they may have some type engineering.. Lately cut to size round stones were unearthed . By cutting a grove in wood to fit the round stones (as bearings) the Stonehenge builders made a railway.. It has been tried and proven that the stones were us that way.. WASP can not believe these dirt people could even think.. Let alone engineer a railway..

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Ratty » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:44 pm

My shallow, honest truth. I don't go to Burning Man to think. Does this make me a bad person? If so, I'm in good company.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

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Re: 2013 Theme - Cargo Cult - thoughts?

Post by Eric » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:24 am

Ratty wrote:My shallow, honest truth. I don't go to Burning Man to think. Does this make me a bad person? If so, I'm in good company.

I'll join you in being bad. The only theme I have ever followed is "blow shit up and burn stuff", I see no reason to change.
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