culture jamming center camp

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KellY
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Just so you know...

Post by KellY » Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:54 pm

Okay, I've been trying be cool regarding Trey's plea not to rehash the pro/con cafe debate. It is true we mostly know where everybody stands; however, watching y'all whip yourselves up into an anti-cafe frenzy while making all sorts of ridiculous comparisons compels me to point out one little fact:

The coffee from the cafe is from Muddy Waters in Arcata (has been since 2001) and is always organic. THIS year, the Muddy Waters guys went down to Mexico themselves, hooked up with a family farm that grew shade-grown organic coffee beans, bought the beans directly from them at a much better price than a coffee broker would pay, and drove the coffee up here themselves. (No, I don't know the name of the farmers or anything, contact Muddy Waters in Arcata if you don't beleive me.) The coffee Center Cafe served was in all likelihood the most politically correct stuff anyone at Burningman has ever been within a hundred miles of, much more so than anything anyone brought with them, I'm guessing. Also, I thought it was darn tasty, but that's a purely subjective opinion...
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Tue Nov 18, 2003 9:08 pm

I like rioting at the post office.

Anyone up for a good riot?

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Post by Jane Eric » Tue Nov 18, 2003 9:17 pm

Ivy, I am so up for that.

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Tue Nov 18, 2003 9:46 pm

KellY, that was a very rational response. Unfortunately, we do not entertain rational responses on even numbered Tuesdays. Please provide the appropriate polemic, rant or dose of irrational invective immediately or come back on rationality day.

e.g. "Shade Grown Organic Family Farmed Coffee! What're you? Hitler?!?!?!"
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:06 pm

Jane, I think between the two of us, we could start one helluva riot...

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Post by technopatra » Wed Nov 19, 2003 2:27 am

Ivy wrote:Jane, I think between the two of us, we could start one helluva riot...
I think the two of you already are one helluva riot.

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Wed Nov 19, 2003 7:13 am

Aww, that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

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Bob
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Re: culture jamming center camp

Post by Bob » Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:50 am

III wrote:the cafe is the one place at burning man where one of its most basic (and elsewhere rigidly enforced) tenets is violated: no commercial vending. furthermore, the result of that violation cascades into other breakdowns, for example the need for trashcans undermines the ideology of self reliance.

it is a beacon of what many people go to burning man to escape, and it's planted right smack dab in the middle of everything.

this is not a debate about whether it should or should not be - those lines have been drawn and people have entrenched themselves behind them.

it is, however, a target rife with potential for culture jammers and cacophonists of all stripes.

lets hear your ideas.

(er, disclaimer: um, these postings are entirely, ah, a gedankenspiel and not intended to be erm, put into actual practice. yeah.)
First principles, III.

"No vending" represents a prohibition, rather than a tenet.
http://www.burningman.com/whatisburningman/
Community, participation, self-expression, self-reliance; these tenets of Burning Man are lifeblood of the Burning Man experience.
It should go without saying that vending of tickets is also the lifeblood of the Burning Man experience, so I won't say it.

Any ho, I think you have to assume that "vending" mean any exchange of goods or services for money during the event timeframe, and that it's a simply a general guideline for the mass of participants that is in fact categorically circumscribed by vendors of lumber and hardware, septic service, fire protection, water storage, solid waste services, medical services, vehicle repair, potable water transport, non-potable transport, fuel, bottled gases, and rental equipment (buildings, trucks, skid-steer loaders, forklifts, snorkel-lifts, cranes, golf carts, RVs, radios, etc.).

Anybody who cashes a check either from BRC LLC, or RV owners, basically; employees, subcontractors, and camp followers of same, etc., etc.

So, any culture-jamming scenario worth its salt cannot be limited to the cafe, and should target all use of money for goods and services in the context of polluting the alleged purity of the event, shouldn't it?

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TestesInSac
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Post by TestesInSac » Wed Nov 19, 2003 9:37 am

Bob wrote:So, any culture-jamming scenario worth its salt cannot be limited to the cafe, and should target all use of money for goods and services in the context of polluting the alleged purity of the event, shouldn't it?
Is that a long way of saying culture-jammers should be jamming themselves?
I am my own sock puppet.

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herself
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Re: culture jamming center camp

Post by herself » Wed Nov 19, 2003 9:39 am

Bob wrote:So, any culture-jamming scenario worth its salt cannot be limited to the cafe, and should target all use of money for goods and services in the context of polluting the alleged purity of the event, shouldn't it?
Dear Bob, you're missing the point, which is to eliminate all unnecessary commerce. Granted arguing over whether renting an RV is necessary or not is tedious and tiresome but in my opinion it's pretty clear that sales of any kind in center camp are unnecessary. (except to those who come to the event expecting to take home $50 or whatever in tips, whose right to do so I do no support)

hh

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Bob
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Re: culture jamming center camp

Post by Bob » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:12 am

Is my irony so oblique?

I also happen to think that criticism of the cafe that leaves out BRC zoning, land use, diurnal user patterns, and product placement issues is just plain silly.
Last edited by Bob on Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TestesInSac
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Re: culture jamming center camp

Post by TestesInSac » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:19 am

Bob wrote:Is my irony so oblique?
Maybe I'm just being obtuse.
I am my own sock puppet.

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Bob
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Re: culture jamming center camp

Post by Bob » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:22 am

Not that I'm criticising the cafe -- just supplying a little culture-check.

Disclaimer: I built the cafe structures in '97 & '98.

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electrolux
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Post by electrolux » Wed Nov 19, 2003 2:33 pm

i'm all for rioting at the post office. this past year they berated me to give up my beloved hat, and then they threw a chunk of metal at me. i know they're supposed to be surly, but that was a bit much. good thing i threw the chunk of metal back at them.

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Post by Cheesus » Wed Nov 19, 2003 3:49 pm

Electrolux, I sincerely hope you didn't actually give them your hat. I, too have a beloved hat, and to misquote some gun nut, "You can have my hat when you pry it off my cold, dead head!"

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Chai Guy
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Post by Chai Guy » Wed Nov 19, 2003 3:58 pm

So, any culture-jamming scenario worth its salt cannot be limited to the cafe, and should target all use of money for goods and services in the context of polluting the alleged purity of the event, shouldn't it?
No.

Now, let's get back to culture jamming.

Print up 5,000 FREE LATTE AT CENTER CAMP coupons - Check

Liberate tip jars- Check

Re-label trash cans "burn barrels" - Check

Pose as INS agents and demand to see workers green cards - Check

girlie
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Re: culture jamming center camp

Post by girlie » Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:06 pm

Bob wrote
>> I also happen to think that criticism of the cafe that leaves out BRC zoning, land use, diurnal user patterns, and product placement issues is just plain silly.

I agree that criticism is more helpful when placed in a larger context, but
action is often more useful when it's approached in a more focused manner.
Most problems we confront both at burning man and day to day
are part of large-scale issues -- confronting them as such would be
paralyzing for most people. Instead of focusing solely on the "big picture"
i find it much more useful to confront each individual component of the
larger problems one at a time. Seems to me that you stand a much
better of achieving your long-term goals that way.

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Post by girlie » Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:08 pm

Chai Guy
>>Print up 5,000 FREE LATTE AT CENTER CAMP coupons - Check

What if some of them instead said "FREE LATTE: RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM YOUR CAMP!"

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Post by BlueBirdPoof » Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:22 pm

girlie wrote:Chai Guy
>>Print up 5,000 FREE LATTE AT CENTER CAMP coupons - Check

What if some of them instead said "FREE LATTE: RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM YOUR CAMP!"
Would "Free Latte, First Camp" get you banned from the event for life?

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Wed Nov 19, 2003 5:19 pm

'Lux,

Do not fear.

We will get your hat back.

The PO tried to keep my chicken this year. they changed their minds when I showed up with my sword.

We will devise a dastardly plan to retrieve your hat, and if it's not there to be retrieved we'll give 'em hell just for spite!

In the meantime, I have a lonely chicken hat that likes to keep people's heads warm...and superstition has it that she's "lucky" (if ya know what i mean)...

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Commie bastards.

Post by Rob the Wop » Wed Nov 19, 2003 6:13 pm

When we were still doing our 'shtick as Disgruntled Postal Workers ('til they took our guns away), we would occasionally meet up with the Black Rock Post Office mailmen. They used to tell us that we gave them a bad name- which we would start yelling at them for. Course, we yelled at everyone regardless of what they said anyway, but that's besides the point.

Fuck em.

If they don't have guns, they're not really postmen anyway.
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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Wed Nov 19, 2003 6:59 pm

The hairiest, most outrageous experience I've ever had on the playa - bar none - involved a Disgrunteled Postal Worker

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Iago
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Post by Iago » Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:25 pm

Hey Guys, how 'bout they give out free coffee at Center Camp and have pay toilets. That ought to cut the ticket prices in half ?

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Post by Rob the Wop » Wed Nov 19, 2003 10:33 pm

Isotopia wrote:The hairiest, most outrageous experience I've ever had on the playa - bar none - involved a Disgrunteled Postal Worker
Alright. Do tell, do tell. Describe said person while you're at it- sos I can pitch them some shit. I thought I was the hairiest Disgruntled Postal Worker, but apparently I am wrong.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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KellY
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Post by KellY » Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:04 pm

Oy. How about thinking about the consequences of our actions, hmm?

"Print up 5,000 FREE LATTE AT CENTER CAMP coupons"

So, the people who try to use the coupons and wait in line and then get told they're fake. They get pissed off at the person who gave it to them. Yeah, that will show those capitalists, all right.

"Liberate tip jars"

The people behind the counter might well mistake "liberating" for "stealing" and act accordingly.

"Re-label trash cans 'burn barrels'"

Well, if you think making life difficult for the people who volunteer to take care of the trash that the cafe generates is a good thing, that's your lookout.

"Pose as INS agents and demand to see workers green cards"

This, I'd enjoy seeing -sounds fun. If the counter is swamped though, no one is likely to have the patience to deal with you.

Seriously y'all, why does this need to be such a big deal? Anti-cafe/pro-cafe seems like fighting over a tiny peice of doctrine among folks who (almost) all share the same values. There are obviously many people at the event who enjoy the cafe; if you don't, why try to mess with their experience? Give away free drinks, that's cool; why do things that you know are just going to make people pissed off? Regular people, not "the powers that be".

It all seems dangerously puritanical to me - "The cafe is not in the true Burning Man Spirit! We must destroy it!" So fine, and if someone is camped in Bumfuck Village and it's 2:00 AM and they're far from home and they'd really like a latte, should they go barging into random camps hoping someone will gift them one? Should they fire up their generator to make their own and wake up everyone around them?

Y'know, the LLC has had many obviously bad ideas, like the whole doubloon/passport to get into the Man thing, and the city very obviously rejected it, and the idea was dropped. The cafe, on the other hand, is something a lot of people appreciate. Did it ever occur to you that you're in a minority, seeking to impose your idea of what the event should be on everyone else?

Hey, I know that many times the minority is totally in the right, and needs to make their case (sometimes loudly). But not in this case. THe cafe isn't hurting anyone. People disapprove on the basis of doctrine and aesthetics. Why not take this energy and go after the REAL Wal-Mart and Starbuck's, instead of declaring the cafe their moral equivalent and attacking it? Or would that be a little too scary?
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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Rob the Wop
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Post by Rob the Wop » Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:34 pm

Wah.

Hate to rain on the Moonie parade, but fucking with people's heads has been part of Burning Man since the SF Cacos became part of it. As long as I've been going, there are groups of what some would call "anti-BM" folks. I've spoofed Wal-Marts, politicians, churches, porn protest marches, even the Hatted One when he came up to do a Bohemian speech. Unless you throw a banana peel into the gears of the machine every once in a while, it becomes exactly that- a machine.

Fucking with Burning Man has been around since the first theme camp (North Pole), and jamming the growing Starbucks (tm) culture sounds like it's been long overdue. We had a book signing with a Larry Harvey look alike in '99. The Disgurntled Postal Workers worked security as "Larry" signed books ("Mein Kamp"). We would search the people as they stood in line and then allow them the supreme gift of "Larry" signing the book. They were not allowed to look directly at Larry, or speak unless spoken directly to. They were then told how unworthy they were and ushered off the platform. This was next to Center Camp. Maybe we were real assholes for poking fun at "Our Glorious Leader", but after meeting him briefly in Portland- I'll bet he got a kick out of it.

Why don't you?
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Post by precipitate » Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:41 pm

> Why don't you?

Amen, brother.

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:30 am

I was gonna post something, but I think Rob said it all.

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Post by Jane Eric » Thu Nov 20, 2003 12:43 pm

Maybe she's just not in the right Burning Man spirit.

I was a bit bemused to come upon this, "Poke it with a Stick" pranksterdom when I first hit Burning Man. I turned it into my own schtick with being the rude stewardess on Playa Air. It slays me to no end to hear people's reaction as I give them the good-bye line, "Buh-bye, buh-bye, now get the fuck off my plane, buh-bye." and they laugh, EACH and EVERY time.

Burning Man must be one uncomfortable experience for the irony/sarcasm/cynically challenged.

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Post by blyslv » Thu Nov 20, 2003 1:50 pm

KellY wrote:

Y'know, the LLC has had many obviously bad ideas, like the whole doubloon/passport to get into the Man thing, and the city very obviously rejected it, and the idea was dropped.
hmmm just the other day I was asked, in a hushed quiet voice by a rather well groomed young republican "Where R Da coinz?"
Fight for the fifth freedom!

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