Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Papa Bear » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:18 am

some seeing eye wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:00 am
To the size of the event, I suggested in my draft EIS input that 34 be widened to 3 lanes from the 447 Y to 8 mile.

That would provide a faster drain out of vehicles in an emergency where they could be staged on 447 N of the Y, and it better loads 447 N and S on exodus. Exodus falls under the Nevada State Patrol capacity limits on 34 and 447 South of the Y. I think that limit was 1000/hour, The BxB & BxA numbers are now in the afterburn report as the total of in and out so 2x the number of individuals involved.
That's an interesting approach, and sounds considerably more feasible than the oft-suggested widening of all of 447 south.

But is there really enough traffic that splits off onto 447N to make it worthwhile? Since I head east once I hit I80, I've never gone that route.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by some seeing eye » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:26 am

Papa Bear wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:18 am
But is there really enough traffic that splits off onto 447N to make it worthwhile? Since I head east once I hit I80, I've never gone that route.
You can figure it out from the census. Oregon, Idaho, Washington and BC use that route. It's not congested but there is enough burner traffic that if you need help someone will be passing by. There are cattle on the road and a lot of jackrabbits. All of the towns along the way appreciate the business. If someone wanted to take the road between Alturas and Redding, that road would likely be empty. That road has an easy side trip to the Eagles Nest spot that hosts burners each year.

The BORG would have a pretty good idea how many vehicle passes are likely coming that direction and all the mobile data companies would know. There is also a CALDOT camera outside Alturas.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Ano » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:48 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:00 am
To the size of the event, I suggested in my draft EIS input that 34 be widened to 3 lanes from the 447 Y to 8 mile.

That would provide a faster drain out of vehicles in an emergency where they could be staged on 447 N of the Y, and it better loads 447 N and S on exodus. Exodus falls under the Nevada State Patrol capacity limits on 34 and 447 South of the Y. I think that limit was 1000/hour, The BxB & BxA numbers are now in the afterburn report as the total of in and out so 2x the number of individuals involved.
This would most-likely cause a fucked-up pileup at the moment upon which 34 switches from two southbound lanes to one. This would require more flaggers and more staffing to manage, and it would introduce a relatively uncontrollable chokepoint where assholes try to pass and tired folks driving loads far too large try to skip a bit of traffic. There's already the chokepoint of people trying to get gas and/or stop in Gerlach for whatever reason, we don't want an extra one prior to that. It doesn't effectively mitigate any amount of traffic.

If you are curious, go all the way to the left during exodus next year and watch the flow of vehicles heading to Gerlach, and pay attention to the flow of vehicles on the gravel. You can get a good idea about how it's all managed from that vantage point.

It's an advantage to have the chokepoint under complete flagger control from gravel -> 34 for a ton of reasons, most importantly that traffic going off-playa can be paused to allow whatever Burner-generated situation to flush and to prevent people using 34/447 for non-BM reasons from getting ultra pissed at the total blockage. The ultimate goal is to prevent stoppage on the exact portion of road you're proposing an extra lane on, and for the most part, it's pretty successful. There's the occasional traffic wave that echoes out from Gerlach and towards the gravel, but as soon as that starts happening, traffic stops flowing until it's clear.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by BBadger » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:52 pm

Papa Bear wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:12 am
I get the principled argument that the org shouldn't do anything to make attending easier. But as with most things, what seems to be black and white is often really more about shades of gray, and about where you think the balance should lie between conflicting goals.

In this case, the conflict comes with the ability of people who have been or would be real contributors to the city to get tickets. There's far more demand than supply, and the easiest way to try to mitigate that is to increase the population. To do that requires reducing traffic on 447, and the bus is one way to do that.

If I thought the bus was really a prime enabler of what we're talking about, I'd be all for getting rid of it. But as I've detailed here before, everyone I've known who rode the bus, and everyone they've told me they talked to while riding it, were active participants. Sure, they weren't carrying everything they needed with them, but that's because they'd shipped out the rest of their stuff with a partner that came earlier, shipped it via a container program, or packed it on their camp's truck. That's not what I'd consider sightseers.
I've mentioned in other posts that I don't think the majority of people who take the bus are "bad burners" or fit the "tourist" label. Or that riding the bus is actually any less difficult than driving oneself in because of logistics. I also don't that attendees necessarily have to have a participation quota, or even that "participation" can be quantifiable. I also don't think that a burn is only real if it involves some subjective measure of effort/pain to attend (e.g. tent camping vs RVs that has been around long before tickets sold out).

What I don't like about the buses, chartered flights, etc., and why I want them eliminated, is that it presents a method of entry that encourages having accommodations set up prior to arriving at the event. It creates and enables an expectation that such a situation is acceptable and accessible for attending the event. So with a means to show up to the playa with nothing more than a suitcase (and maybe some water in some cases), the question arises: who can provide me the accommodations necessary to spend a week at the event?

Without connections to the event or other participants, etc. the only way to attend via this method is to pay someone to set up your accommodations so that you can arrive and stay somewhere.

Without allowing such a transportation mechanism, people are forced to either: 1) provide their own accommodations and bring them to the playa to set up, 2) have someone else they know set up their accommodations and then find a rideshare to the event, 3) have accommodations setup and drive to the event in some other vehicle.

I'm fine with all of these -- including if it uses up more vehicle passes. If it reduces the population attending, so be it.

It's kind of like, you know, how it used to be.

And demand... whatever. There will always be demand. Creating an expectation of easy access to the event creates even more demand, because you get more of what you subsidize. I almost expect eliminating the buses will decrease demand by creating additional hoops for people to have to go through if they're just on the fence of going or haven't taken measures to really establish connections to make their trip possible.

All this isn't even necessarily to eliminate PnP camps. PnP camps are just an exaggeration of existing camps with dues. This is more of a lower-level reorientation measure, where the existence of PnP camps is more of a side-effect symptom, rather than the actual cause of culture degradation.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:38 pm

You know what’s crazy funny ...

... we have a mountain of data right here for anyone who wants to play around with google search on this site.

Just goofing scraping for 15 minutes searching for: turnkey, “plug & play”, Sherpa... or similar keywords will more or less taper off in 2012 or earlier, barely any hits except the popular “butt plug” tomes on “plug & play” searches.

So there may be something to the event selling out and all of a sudden there is a cottage industry - pun intended.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Ano » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:29 pm

Out of curiosity/inspired by Token's above post, I went and starting plugging known turnkey camp names into the theme camp list on the website.. a lot of them seem to snap into existence in 2011, and continue from there on out. Either that, or that's when they started getting public listings. I also know that there is at least one turnkey-ish camp that is completely private, and it's never listed on any kind of map or list, despite totally existing, so I wonder how many are just nebulously out there. I can absolutely confirm the existence of one that my buddy is a part of, because he is an employee of a company that takes Burning Man pretty seriously and has the entire camp set up for their staff.

...Yeah, it makes me a little bit upset, but at a certain point, I just burn my own burn.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Luigi » Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:34 pm

Yeah, the unknown unnamed plug and plays are out there. A few years ago while I was there during build week helping the temple crew with their generators, I was riding the outer ring and ran into another electrician from Reno. He was there "making double time" setting up a gen set and power distribution to a bunch of yurts and walls of RVs. He did not know the name of the camp, and when I went back later in the week there was no indication of their name, so maybe they were not a placed camp but just in free camp zone. Not sure how they got in early, but money gets thing done.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:52 pm

Yeah, when you go out there real early to build big art, you get to see the discrete PnP guys plugging away.

2009 and 2010 both had shipping container - walls of class A motor homes compounds. One or two but on the back side of things.

Now we have them on esplanade.

It didn’t start overnight but it was really rare before ~ 2007/2008.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by gaminwench » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:02 pm

The first PnP that I was aware of was Entheon Village in 2006, placed on both sides of the entire block A from (I think) 3:30-4. They hosted the MAPS conference that year, so it was 500 clueless people who knew nothing about BRC, but had paid hefty money to attend the conference.
Accommodations were provided, three meals a day (huge reefer truck that ran 24/7), fancy shower trailers, wu talks by 'big name' folks, the works.

Terrible neighbors, of course.

We do, however, have them to thank for Zendo and Alex Gray on the playa.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:35 pm

I gave Entheon a pass. Yes, by today’s standard they would be a PnP but back then we called them a “bedroom camp”.

Not my kind of people, but they did have a spirit, goal, the whole Nuevo Hippie crystals, meditation, naked yoga crap ...

May not have been the classic BM style of things but wasn’t far off. Very Cult.

Not sure anyone was really making bank there, just cultish, organized and competent. Who knew.

Kind of like Krishna Camp, they’re not hurting anybody and do their thing.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by gaminwench » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:52 pm

Oh, there were definitely folks on the payroll there.

(source: me, we 'shared' a property line and I like to pfluff the neighbors and get to know them pre-opening)
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:45 am

Never too late to learn :)

Thank you for that detail.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Ano » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:56 pm

Token wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:35 pm
I gave Entheon a pass.

[snip]

Not my kind of people, but they did have a spirit, goal, the whole Nuevo Hippie crystals, meditation, naked yoga crap ...

[snip again]
This brings up a further question though - are turnkeys excused if they bring a substantial gift to the playa?

If so, most turnkeys are now operating with substantial gifts to the playa.... playaskool, for example, has always had big things to gift out. Humano, too, had stuff running from something like 7am to 7pm, constant workshops that were public, and they also let anyone who stopped by drop in for their thrice-daily food services. Another less-known turnkey brings an incredible performance space and gifts nine days worth of unique and wonderful performances that are very unique, along with daily workshops, two art cars that are large and open to the public, and more. My buddy, in his turnkey, they go finish the funding for something like thirty art projects every year... small and large. Cirque Gitane, while they did have that ugly check-in at the front, allowed anyone to come in, enjoy their incredible air-conditioned space, perform on their stage, and more. Hell, every single K street camp brings incredible shit to the public. I forgot exactly which turnkey it is, but there's a K street camp that's been a staple of that area for a few years that has one of the most incredible domes I've ever seen and they serve Pappy Van Winkle all week to anyone who stops by.

I know, factually, of multiple well-loved art cars that make it only because of funding from turnkey campers. If you want to figure out a few of them, go sit on the airport road and see who is making the trip....

And hell, the infamous popsicle camp. They brought popsicles. Maybe not substantial, but its a gift.

Turnkeys fund tons of art out there now, too. I can name a couple of projects that were solely funded by turnkeys.

And, I believe this whole thing is part of the reason why this is one gigantic shade of grey that the BMORG has had difficulty dealing with.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:08 pm

Who gives a rats ass about gifts?

You’re a PnP if one can simply purchase the experience. Simple, no?

If folks are running PnPs and investing the spoils into some communal gizmo, great! They remain a PnP, are still scum of the Earth, and should be ostracized to no end.

Ends seldom justify the means, and for PnPs it’s little more than camouflage..

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by BBadger » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:52 am

Ano wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:56 pm
This brings up a further question though - are turnkeys excused if they bring a substantial gift to the playa?
The gray area for me is the line that separates turnkey camps from camps-with-high-dues-and-lots-of-facilities. Rather than oppose whatever people want to spend on a burn, and other people in camp providing that via "dues," I think I'm more against camps that cater specifically to people who want to put no effort into facilitating their burn beyond that of a hotel-based trip. This includes whether or not profit is actually made.

What is not a gray area for me is the rationalization that camp gift justifies camps that undermine our event's standards. It's like rationalizing the sale of tickets above their face value in order to fund a camp, or allowing camps to still be placed with a terrible MOOPing history just because they bring some great stuff to the playa. It's effectively corruption and bribery to let such things occur.

We can, and should, expect camps and people to meet all the standards, and only accept those who do.

Those that don't, or have some other incompatible mechanism to achieve their results, should take their awesome-but-standards-violating camps to some other event (Further Future?) and hopefully draw all the people that seek out those particular gifts.

I don't begrudge anyone wanting to go to events like Further Future, or Disneyland, or anything not Burning Man. Sometimes it's even great to go to such events because it's easier and different than a burn. If you are going to Burning Man though, there are standards that must be met.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:19 am

It's time to institute the "Accoutabilibuddy" program on the playa. Every virgin will have a buddy to monitor thier adherance to the pricipals. Failure of the accoutabilibuddy will incure cruel and unusual punishments!!!
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Molotov » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:03 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:19 am
It's time to institute the "Accoutabilibuddy" program on the playa. Every virgin will have a buddy to monitor thier adherance to the pricipals. Failure of the accoutabilibuddy will incure cruel and unusual punishments!!!
Actually that's not a bad idea. I have always supported the idea that every Burgin needs a mentor to guide them through their first year. I took two participant/volunteer staff under my wing in my camp last year, and they both felt it really helped them get acculturated and learn the layout of BRC.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by gaminwench » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:55 pm

I do this every year. Works well, IMHO.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:20 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:19 am
It's time to institute the "Accoutabilibuddy" program on the playa. Every virgin will have a buddy to monitor their adherence to the principles. Failure of the accoutabilibuddy will incur cruel and unusual punishments!!!
We need to go upstream. The event according to the census has been running about 30% virgins for a while. The organizers have been aggressively expanding the event to places where regionals are weak in hopes of building a regional there in the future. The organizers have also been aggressively broadcasting their brand and seeking influencers, including wealthy influencers. The organizers have stated they are attempting to influence world culture with Burning ManTM values. Broadcasting is not selective by definition.

With the shortage of tickets, the organizers are in a perfect position to select virgins who "get it" and deselect virgins who endanger the event by mooping, bad club behavior*, and other behaviors which endanger permitting the event.

The organizers, in my view, have taken a position that "it is all a big experiment," "not our problem," and "the community will fix it." But only the organizers are in possession of a massive amount of proprietary ticket, gate, camp and ranger data which would go far in solving the problems we have.

To the organizer's credit, they have increased the proportion of DGS. But they have not measured how successfully DGS camps have acculturated their participants.

I was initiated by a very early burner and since, I've brought 5 virgins, acculturating them and helping them be self sufficient.

So to Mr Figjam's suggestion, the acculturation is needed pre-ticketing and pre-the event.

I understand there are ePlayans who believe virgins should solo to ensure they are self sufficient. I'm for virgins in camps with people they know in person who have acculturated them pre-the event and gone over their packing lists. I 100% agree that paying to join a camp of strangers as a virgin is the worst possible approach.

If you want to get radical, how about a directed regional sale? To get a ticket you need to be sponsored by a trusted burner. If that virgin ticket holder is cited at the event, the sponsor is banned for 3 years.

*bad club behavior = rape & sexual assault including on individuals incapable of giving consent, involuntary dosing, and unwanted sexual advances

Now for some humor... how do we punish bad burner behavior? Well the BRCCP would have them doing hard labor in the FIgjam Cooler and Lag Screw Anchor Factory to make them for Burners Without Borders, overhauling playafied bikes, sorting moop, working in the lost and found call center, cleaning up the highways after the event and working in the outbound recycling and repurposing center.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Fri Apr 05, 2019 2:22 pm

So what you’re saying is the BORG that fucked it all up to begin with gets to say: “oh, this is something you the community gets to fix” and magically bring back the culture...

Yeah, let me get right on that, pronto. I’ll educate the clueless for you.

Y’all are drinking way too much kool-aid.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by BBadger » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:38 pm

Holy shit, I don't want to have to be a fucking mentor for every new person coming in, under the naive assumption that new people are the only ones who don't "get it." Nor do I want to have a surveillance state monitor who is doing what "bad behavior" or whatever, either at the BM event level, or the regional event level. What are we going to require, people having IDs on their person so they can be cited by the morality police every time "bad burner behaviors" are seen by power-tripping nuts? What about people with personal grudges, nepotism, etc.? Bad enough dealing with some of the politics in the local FB Burner groups.

What we have is a bunch of nouveau riche attendees visiting this event under the impression that it is a cheaper alternative to going to Disneyland for a week if they book a room with the proper company. If your only interaction with making your trip to Burning Man is to book a flight and room, how can we expect any kind additional thought put into the trip?

Remember back in the day when the frat bros and other "weekenders" were assumed to be mostly just locals from Reno or something, mostly because it'd be such a pain for anyone else to pack a shitty tent and a few days worth of drugs and camping food to just party? Well now we've got those shithead flying in from all over the world to stay in marginally more expensive arrangements, but with the same lack of investment.

If we're going to do anything, we need to make it difficult to attend this event without personal time and resource investment. Only those who want to put the effort into attending will make it. It is people without investment into the event or its culture that are not going to put effort into keeping that culture alive.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:01 pm

BBadger is The Dude!

Damn Straight.

Acculturation of the casual jet set Burner ain’t a new thing. We had it all along and we shamed them mercilessly.

We called them Sparkle Ponies!

Fish stinks from the head down.

Glitterati Uber Ales!

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by lucky420 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:34 am

Agree with token & BBadger :coffee:
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by wraith » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:49 am

some seeing eye wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 1:20 pm
FIGJAM wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:19 am
It's time to institute the "Accoutabilibuddy" program on the playa. Every virgin will have a buddy to monitor their adherence to the principles. Failure of the accoutabilibuddy will incur cruel and unusual punishments!!!
We need to go upstream. The event according to the census has been running about 30% virgins for a while. The organizers have been aggressively expanding the event to places where regionals are weak in hopes of building a regional there in the future. The organizers have also been aggressively broadcasting their brand and seeking influencers, including wealthy influencers. The organizers have stated they are attempting to influence world culture with Burning ManTM values. Broadcasting is not selective by definition.

With the shortage of tickets, the organizers are in a perfect position to select virgins who "get it" and deselect virgins who endanger the event by mooping, bad club behavior*, and other behaviors which endanger permitting the event.

The organizers, in my view, have taken a position that "it is all a big experiment," "not our problem," and "the community will fix it." But only the organizers are in possession of a massive amount of proprietary ticket, gate, camp and ranger data which would go far in solving the problems we have.

To the organizer's credit, they have increased the proportion of DGS. But they have not measured how successfully DGS camps have acculturated their participants.

I was initiated by a very early burner and since, I've brought 5 virgins, acculturating them and helping them be self sufficient.

So to Mr Figjam's suggestion, the acculturation is needed pre-ticketing and pre-the event.

I understand there are ePlayans who believe virgins should solo to ensure they are self sufficient. I'm for virgins in camps with people they know in person who have acculturated them pre-the event and gone over their packing lists. I 100% agree that paying to join a camp of strangers as a virgin is the worst possible approach.

If you want to get radical, how about a directed regional sale? To get a ticket you need to be sponsored by a trusted burner. If that virgin ticket holder is cited at the event, the sponsor is banned for 3 years.

*bad club behavior = rape & sexual assault including on individuals incapable of giving consent, involuntary dosing, and unwanted sexual advances

Now for some humor... how do we punish bad burner behavior? Well the BRCCP would have them doing hard labor in the FIgjam Cooler and Lag Screw Anchor Factory to make them for Burners Without Borders, overhauling playafied bikes, sorting moop, working in the lost and found call center, cleaning up the highways after the event and working in the outbound recycling and repurposing center.

I've said it elsewhere, BM is suffering from it's own Eternal September.

For those not familiar with the early days of the internet, it used to be a much, much smaller deal. Back in the very early 1990's, access to UseNet was limited to college campuses, so every September the newsgroups would get an influx of new people who needed to be enculturated into netiquette and the social norms of the network.

This was an effective means of maintaining that culture until September 1993, when America OnLine started offering UseNet access, creating a September that never ended as there was a constant and massive influx of users, which in short order destroyed the culture of the early Usenet.

We've hit that several years ago. The popularity of TTITD has grown to the point that there is simply no way for the relatively smaller proportion of returning Burners to effectively transmit the culture of the event to 20,000+ new people each year, especially when they are not having the same experiences that created that culture due to the availability of turnkey options that take most of the effort out of attending and allow them to sparkle pony without doing the work to support it.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Token » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:52 am

That was a slick Usenet story!

The word y’all looking for is Commodification.

That’s what went down.

When we went from counter-culture to mainstream circus sideshow.

Allot of folks like to point at 2011 when tickets first sold out but the seeds of decay were planted long before that.

MM went on a crusade of PR late 90s and early 2000s, full color spreads in Wired magazine, lectures, tours ...

BM went from the occasional mention on local Bay Area college NPR stations and Laughing Squid posts to being listed in the AAA guide as a destination in a span of a few years.

And then Green Man happened, an agenda got installed, and things just accelerated way south real fast.

The counter-culture got advertised ad nauseam, the mainstream got integrated into the mythos via the paradoxical green agenda, the fringe became the circus sideshow and the best seat in the house.

You want culture back in the fringe? Fat chance of that happening unless you have a revolution.

So unless the BLM helps us out with something radical on the population cap, all this flailing by MM is no more than a distraction.

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:06 pm

Seems I remember a few years ago "The Larry" said something about regionals becoming the future of burning man.

Seems like prophecy if the big burn is going away.
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DonnieBurno
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by DonnieBurno » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:27 am

The cultural future of BRC is no small question.

As the event grows, the risk of it being destroyed by its own success becomes a serious question which needs to be confronted, as is being done now through the BRC Cultural Direction initiative.

But another danger becomes apparent in that if this critical moment is not dealt with correctly, and an effective way is not found out of the current "problems", another type of large scale failure may occur, one that is induced by the organisers, and not one that stems from the natural evolution of the event in the undesirable direction towards its own demise. In other words, the stakes could not be higher right now!

In reading some of these posts concerning the cultural issues in BRC, it is evident that a number of ambiguities and contradictions (and at times even hypocrisies) are present. From a quick look, some of the discourse seems to revolve around issues on a convenience/hardship spectrum. For example, it is thought that the more convenience a Burner can gain access to that they did not bring with them to the Playa, the less authentic the whole experience becomes, not only to the Burner involved, but also to the other Burners who witness this from a distance.

However, convenience is relative and is affected by numerous outside factors which creates very real ambiguities that the BRC Cultural Direction role players are probably aware of, for example:

1) Burners should set up their own accommodations (tents) to experience what it is like to become part of the Playa and ‘survive’ the dust. But people are also allowed to roll-in with their huge and expensive RVs. How do you reconcile the two?

2) By allowing cheap bus services to drop a large number of Burners off, the event risks the entrance of people who may not be the best examples of what a “true” Burner should be because they utilised the convenience of the bus service. But people are also allowed to fly into the event with private planes. This raises uncomfortable socio-economic questions.

3) By stating that it is desirable to be the kind of Burner that brings everything they need to ‘survive’ with them in their cars, where does that leave far-flung Burners who can’t drive their own vehicles, and transport all their large and heavy camping gear to BRC? For example, aren’t the Burners who live in San Francisco, LA or Seattle (350, 550 and 670 miles from BRC respectively) much more ‘conveniently’ located than others? This contradiction is amplified when considering those Burners from other countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, and South Africa etc. Think of the travel expenses of these international Burners and the logistical arrangements that would need to be made to purchase camping gear in the US and then transport themselves and the gear to BRC in comparison to say someone who lives in LA and owns a car for example.

If the new Cultural Direction does not deal with this correctly, these ambiguities and contradictions have the potential to tear the cultural fabric of Burning Man apart. But if the status quo is left to develop unmanaged, the very soul of Burning Man also risks destruction. A very difficult situation indeed.

I haven’t been to BRC yet. I hope to visit in a few years’ time when my girlfriend and I have saved up enough money to travel from South Africa. When we do make it to BRC, I hope that we will not be looked down upon if we are dropped off by a bus, and hire tents to pitch ourselves and stay in (if there is such a convenient service at BRC).

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by Jackass » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:54 am

There are no tents for hire or to rent in BRC. Buy a tent at walmart, bring it with you, set it up. Easy, just like 123.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:36 am

@DonnieBurno welcome to ePlaya!

There is Marian's cultural course correction and then there are several independent ePlaya course correction ideas. I think you are mixing them together.

Have you been to AfrikaBurn? How many times? That's a great one to meet burners you can do things with year around in ZA. That community of creative people in your in-person year around friend circle has much greater value than attending the Nevada regional. I go camping several times a year in my area with people I met at the big burn quite a few years ago.

If you do come to Nevada in a future year, plan at least 6 weeks to travel around to camp in some of our national parks and other public lands in CA, UT, AZ and even CO, WY, MT, ID, OR & WA, maybe BC. It's easy to tent it in a rental car. You could BxB for the burn and then rent a car for your regional camping. I would suggest someone traveling a long distance to South Africa do the same, including in the neighboring countries.

If you have participated in AfrikaBurn, many of us are coming from a big burn that used to be like that.

Some of our ePlaya course corrections come from our experience of our burn being over the years overrun by wealthy outsiders flaunting their wealth, people who come unprepared (any South African going into the bush is prepared!), people who leave behind trash (in the US, it's a cultural value for most not to leave trash behind; for some of us it is stronger than any religion), people begging for food and water from other camps because they did not bring it, people getting in drunk fights or committing sexual assault, people treating their camps as hotels - not a cooperative effort of friends camping, people who do stupid things that attract law enforcement scrutiny, and camps and art cars that are there for the only reason to have a private party and not interact with anyone outside their small group.

Plus if you meet the AfrikaBurn/regional people in person, many are experts on preparing for that future trip to the Nevada Labor Day regional along the lines of Mr Jackass' suggestion. BTW, I credit Mr Jackass for raising the issue of PnP camps on ePlaya, where it spread to a majority of burners, resulting in the pressure for course correction.

We have a part of the board viewforum.php?f=95 where you can introduce yourself with things like your creative projects, camping experience, where in ZA you grew up/lived and what attracts you to the event.

I spent 3 months several years ago working, overland camping, and visiting friends in Africa, including a month in ZA. Didn't camp in ZA, sadly, or have time to visit Kruger or any of your parks. But we did make it up the Garden Route and I body surfed I think in Margate. I was fortunate to get all around the country and meet people.
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Re: Cultural Course Correcting post by Marian Goodell

Post by BBadger » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:44 am

DonnieBurno wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:27 am
However, convenience is relative and is affected by numerous outside factors which creates very real ambiguities that the BRC Cultural Direction role players are probably aware of, for example:

1) Burners should set up their own accommodations (tents) to experience what it is like to become part of the Playa and ‘survive’ the dust. But people are also allowed to roll-in with their huge and expensive RVs. How do you reconcile the two?
I believe that even the effort of having to drive in an RV, wait in line, and/or arrange for shared accommodations on that RV, creates a useful barrier to entry for many would-be tourists.

What needs to be eliminated is this public impression that Burning Man can be attended by simply booking a flight/bus and a room, flying or busing in, and taking a shuttle to their lodging on playa. That is what you do when you visit Disneyland or Las Vegas.

The process to attend BM needs to be such that it takes personal effort, or significant and special resources, to attend.
2) By allowing cheap bus services to drop a large number of Burners off, the event risks the entrance of people who may not be the best examples of what a “true” Burner should be because they utilised the convenience of the bus service. But people are also allowed to fly into the event with private planes. This raises uncomfortable socio-economic questions.
The problem is not the "royalty" who attend Burning Man, but the nouveau riche/middle class. There will always be rich people attending Burning Man. They are far and few between. Burning Man does not, and should not, democratize that aspect of society.

When an event is easily attended simply for what it would cost to go on a nice Disneyland trip, it becomes too accessible for anyone to attend. The event becomes commodified -- something that can be simply bought.

I am perfectly at ease with people paying $100,000 to attend some Humano camp as long as they don't shit up the place. Quite frankly, Humano's MOOP record was probably the real reason they got kicked out.

What I am more fearful of are relatively cheap PnP lodging camps that appeal to middle class tourist incomes. That's where we start seeing floods of clueless people attending the event like they were going on a European trip.

I also don't care about people who own their own private planes. There are so few people who do that they are an insignificant factor.

There will also be good burners who take the bus or take the planes. All the above isn't to accuse them of being unworthy people. Rather it is to shape what is the outside impression that is going to commodify this event.
3) By stating that it is desirable to be the kind of Burner that brings everything they need to ‘survive’ with them in their cars, where does that leave far-flung Burners who can’t drive their own vehicles, and transport all their large and heavy camping gear to BRC? For example, aren’t the Burners who live in San Francisco, LA or Seattle (350, 550 and 670 miles from BRC respectively) much more ‘conveniently’ located than others? This contradiction is amplified when considering those Burners from other countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, and South Africa etc. Think of the travel expenses of these international Burners and the logistical arrangements that would need to be made to purchase camping gear in the US and then transport themselves and the gear to BRC in comparison to say someone who lives in LA and owns a car for example.
Short answer: deal with it.

Nobody is entitled to have a convenient trip to Burning Man. The entire event is built around survival and lack of convenience. THAT is supposed to be the democratizing aspect of this event. The event is located in an inhospitable location in the middle of a nearly empty region of a sparsely populated state; it lacks nearly any kind of services, resources, etc.; it forbids the sale of anything but ice, coffee, and maybe gasoline; the ground corrodes nearly everything. This was never an event made for people to be able to attend without effort.

Yet people still do, and bravo to them, but that's their own efforts.

Groups of people are also welcome to start up their own regionals, own festivals, etc. in their own locale.
If the new Cultural Direction does not deal with this correctly, these ambiguities and contradictions have the potential to tear the cultural fabric of Burning Man apart. But if the status quo is left to develop unmanaged, the very soul of Burning Man also risks destruction. A very difficult situation indeed.
If we continue to believe that we can, and should, accommodate everyone, we have definitely lost the soul of the event.
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