How to explain burning man to friends?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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JDCookMS
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How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby JDCookMS » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:28 pm

I know, I know, not everyone's Burning Man experience is the same and everyone takes something different from it. But, how do you explain what Burning Man is to your friends? Is it a music festival? Is it an art festival? Is it "the 60s done right?" Is it a way to "embrace the dust?" What? I've never been, but somehow everyone I know seems to know that I'm wanting to go and they all ask, so I'm wondering how y'all explain it.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:32 pm

it's like Buttah.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Elderberry » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:48 pm

Large art festival in the desert. If their ears perk up, I might try and explain some of the large installations of the years past. Usually not much more.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby lemur » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:52 pm

its all about me.



i explain what i do at burning man..


not what burning man is.... cuz as you mention.. its dif things to everyone.




"big art event in northern nevada" if ya wanta get really detailed.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:18 pm

"we are all naked under our clothes"

yogi berra.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby lemur » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:26 pm

like, totally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_7cRO_IjKI

burning man was better last year... tell them how cool burning man used to be
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:45 pm

I ask if they have been to a ren fair.

Then tell them "Ren fairs have a ren theme. Burning man has ALL themes!!!" 8)
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:23 pm

It is unexplainable.

Once you go it is still unexplainable.
.
.
.
You want to take that gamble?
.
.
.
Do you want to experience something you can't explain?
.
.
.
It's all real.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby gaminwench » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:43 am

you can't know unless you've been.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Eric » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:50 am

gaminwench wrote:you can't know unless you've been.


This is actually one of the best answers. If I happen on someone who doesn't know what it is (or, more likely in SF, has a distorted idea of what it is) I use the above. For the distortions... I usually agree with them.

And JDCookMS, people aren't actually being too snarky in this thread- once you've been you'll understand better. It's really hard to describe an environment that is a 24/7 immersion in sights & sounds while your body is being pushed to the limits by heat, altitude, dust, possible freezing night-times, dehydration & alcohol- sometimes almost all at once.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Sham » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:18 am

It's like stepping through the looking glass and spending 8 days in Wonderland. I look back on my pictures and wonder if I was really there.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:23 am

Eric wrote:
gaminwench wrote:you can't know unless you've been.


This is actually one of the best answers. If I happen on someone who doesn't know what it is (or, more likely in SF, has a distorted idea of what it is) I use the above. For the distortions... I usually agree with them.

And JDCookMS, people aren't actually being too snarky in this thread- once you've been you'll understand buttah. .


you see, Eric knows...
"we are all naked under our clothes"

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby VultureChow » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:51 am

I would think it depends on who you are talking to and your motivation.

For example. I just told my very straight-laced parents that I'm going. I described it as a massive art festival where you camp out for a week that has a misplaced reputation of being a big drug party.

Mom's into art, they know I like camping, and I figured eventually they would either google it or talk to one of their friends who would tell them I was going out there to drop acid and orgy the night away.

Then I picked some of the coolest pictures of playa art and showed it to them. Bliss Dance, Temple, etc.

Dad doesn't get it, but he didn't get upset. Mom thought it looked cool.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:45 am

Before I went in my first year I heard it many times, and then I saw it mentioned in one of the documentaries I've seen since (I think it was Beyond Black Rock).

To those who've never been, no explanation is possible.
To those who have, no explanation is necessary.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby VultureChow » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:41 am

trilobyte wrote:Before I went in my first year I heard it many times, and then I saw it mentioned in one of the documentaries I've seen since (I think it was Beyond Black Rock).

To those who've never been, no explanation is possible.
To those who have, no explanation is necessary.


Beyond Black Rock is available to watch instantly on Netflix, so I watched it last week. Not exactly the best doc I've ever seen, but what I found the most... interesting about it was the artist from NYC. His experience seemed the most fully formed and real. Shows up on playa with his sculpture damaged and cracked. Hot and pissed that he can't get placed yet. You can see that moment of "what the fuck am I doing" as he hacks at the playa trying to dig a post hole. Utter bewilderment as a random person shows up and asks to help and then the payoff... the wonderful appreciation of fellow burners comes from someone who looks at it and remarks how something that would be so big and cool in default looks insignificant out there.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Bounce530 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:48 am

Its summer camp for adults.
What other people think about you is none of your business.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby The CO » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:46 am

"Oh god, it's this hideous event in the desert. It's hot and dry and dusty & you have to camp & bring your own water. I wouldn't advise going if I were you. The only reason that I go is because I have to: This fire troupe I help manage does a big show there every year."

If they are still interested after I say that kind thing several times, then they will get there (and hopefully get it) at some point.
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Elliot » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:12 am

:D
Burning Man is a giant amusement park, where all the rides and attractions are designed, built and operated by the visitors themselves.
:D
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:04 pm

Its like nothing else in the world. There places, things, and people that you would never see anywhere else in the world. But its damn hot, dusty, and hella expensive.

VultureChow wrote:[Beyond Black Rock is available to watch instantly on Netflix,

Thanks for the tip!
Just added it to my Instant Que!
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:05 pm

YOU DON'T


Do I need to remind you about the first rule of fight club?
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby jella » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:26 pm

junglesmacks wrote:YOU DON'T


Do I need to remind you about the first rule of fight club?


gets my vote
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby illy dilly » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:53 pm

junglesmacks wrote:YOU DON'T


Do I need to remind you about the first rule of fight club?

Hey look whos back!!!

And damn it! I forgot... Alright you can take the left index and middle finger. I need the right side for mouse clicking.
Why don't ya stick your head in that hole and find out? ~piehole
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby JDCookMS » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:05 pm

junglesmacks wrote:YOU DON'T

Do I need to remind you about the first rule of fight club?


Ya know, I've never actually seen that movie? But, it's kinda hard not to have people ask when I start turning down positions in a student club so that I can have more/extra time to get ready/build stuff. Or, I have another brother in my fraternity who wants to go now and all of a sudden I have 100+ guys asking what it is...who then tell other people who....yeah.

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Savannah
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Savannah » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:06 pm

You've got a better chance of getting a ticket if you just tell your friends you've joined a cult. :D

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:08 pm

illy dilly wrote:And damn it! I forgot... Alright you can take the left index and middle finger. I need the right side for mouse clicking.



HOLY SHIT I just realized that I seriously literally not even kidding had a dream with you and smAshley in it last night!! Whoa.


Savannah wrote:You've got a better chance of getting a ticket if you just tell your friends you've joined a cult. :D


Depends on what this "cult" does... :twisted:
Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:10 pm

JDCookMS wrote:I have another brother in my fraternity who wants to go now and all of a sudden I have 100+ guys asking what it is...who then tell other people who....yeah.



Cringe is not the word. I could crush walnuts with my butt cheeks right now.


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Savannah wrote:It sounds freaky & wrong, so you need to do it.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:42 pm

I hope it's a queer frat, because the crowd outside critical tits is too large already...
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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:46 pm

It's like pissing on your windshield to defrost the ice.
But not exactly.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby JDCookMS » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:53 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:I hope it's a queer frat, because the crowd outside critical tits is too large already...


Well, I'm gay, I have a lesbian that's going, and a straight "brother." .....as for the "brothers," I'm telling all of them that they don't want to go, it's going to be horrible being out in the desert and all of that. Mainly, because I know that, besides a couple of them, none of them would appreciate the experience.

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Re: How to explain burning man to friends?

Postby Savannah » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:58 pm

Well played!


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