Why We Cry at the Temple Burn

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
windmistress
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Why We Cry at the Temple Burn

Post by windmistress » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:37 pm

Why do we cry at the Temple burn? I'll tell you why. We cry because for the FIRST time in seven days all 40,000 watt sound systems have been turned off. We cry because for the first time in seven days, we hear the real music of the Black Rock Desert. We cry GODDAMN it, because for the first time in a whole week we experience a moment of silence and togetherness SIMULTANEOUSLY.

We also cry because rows and rows of watchers are sitting down, holding hands and feeling the enormity of the heat being blasted upon their bodies. We cry too because over half of the city has gone, leaving only those who claim, "You've GOT to watch the Temple burn, it's SO spiritual," lingering about.

FUCK the Temple burn and it being spiritual. All of Burning Man is spiritual; there simply is no way to GET to the spirituality with massive sound systems interrupting the OPEN playa experience. Why not have a daily hour or two of silence, I ask? Perhaps just after dawn when the last of the all-night E users have FINALLY retired to bed?

Dear Burning Man Org, Piss Clear writers and seasoned Burners alike, do you really think that the Leave No Trace policy has ANYTHING to do with the land? If you do, you truly are THAT fried on shrooms. The Leave No Trace policy is effective because people don't want to LOOK BAD. These same folks could give a shit about the desert. Burning Man -- the festival -- doesn't give people a chance TO experience and honor the land, except for, of course, during the Temple burn when silence is haphazardly saluted.

Frankly, constant BASS does have a way of prostituting the entire festival.

Consider that we've already created a temporary -- and wholly artificial -- city in an inhospitable environment. Toss into the burn pile, Leave No Trace (or else you'll endure holy scolding). Heap this pretense onto the flames, "The Burning Man experience is SO sacred and spiritual." And mightily lug this line of crap onto the inferno, "It's all about survival!" (You mean, it's all about survival and the other 90% percent is about costume and shit you don't need on the playa.) Finally, soak it all down with a final playa muddied reality: Burning Man is about bass 24/7. FUCK you if you don't like it.

Sadly, what you end up with is a bunch of conflicting artificial metaphors that don't mean jackshit.

So, turn OFF the fucking bass at dawn twilight. If not, at least institute a MEANS for participants to experience the magic of the desert each day. GIVE us a reason better than looking bad to Leave No Trace. Allow us a moment to become ONE with the playa in a real sense, not a bastardized sense.

The Black Rock Mountains speak, but we cannot hear them speak. The wind on the playa whispers, but we cannot HEAR what it whispers. The playa dust itself has something magical to share with us. In a fleeting moment, I raised my hand and the mysterious soot spoke to me, "I am a dream yet begotten. To this beholder, I promise to..."

I COULDN'T hear the last fucking portion; the Space Cowboys booted up their mobile sound system and B-lined to my 11 o'clock position.

--Windmistress

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playasnake
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wtf

Post by playasnake » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:32 pm

um... for starters... i rolled to and from the temple burn silent. out of respect for the temple burn. didnt even play music while i was at the temple burn.

the only reason i even brought the system out in the first place was because it was amplifing the opera singer and the acoustic guitar at Davids request (you know... the guy who built the fuckin thing)

lastly. i was at 6 o'clock, next to the Temple team bus.

what the fuck did you smoke before the wind started talking to you.
e pluribus unimog

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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:48 pm

oh... and in case you couldnt figure it out.

i was the one driving the Mog (the Space Cowboys Mobile Sound System) that night...
e pluribus unimog

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:01 pm

Sadly, what you end up with is a bunch of conflicting artificial metaphors that don't mean jackshit.

So, turn OFF the fucking bass at dawn twilight. If not, at least institute a MEANS for participants to experience the magic of the desert each day. GIVE us a reason better than looking bad to Leave No Trace. Allow us a moment to become ONE with the playa in a real sense, not a bastardized sense.

The Black Rock Mountains speak, but we cannot hear them speak. The wind on the playa whispers, but we cannot HEAR what it whispers. The playa dust itself has something magical to share with us. In a fleeting moment, I raised my hand and the mysterious soot spoke to me, "I am a dream yet begotten. To this beholder, I promise to..."
And there you have one participant's opinion. Not right, not wrong. But, FWIW, there are another 357 days of the year to head up and listen to the silence. I go to the event with no pretense of having a quiet, spiritual expereince where we walk about the playa nodding our silent heads and pretending to be doing satsan. Wanna play desert sage? Go during late fall during the Leonid meteor showers or see the Perseids in July. Expecting 30+ thousand people to head up for a weekend of quiet introspection just because you'd like it that way is selfish in the extreme and foolish to the nth.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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Big bass 24/7 ???

Post by DoctorIknow » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:28 pm

Windmistress says:
"Burning Man is about bass 24/7. FUCK you if you don't like it."

My first day this year, Monday, I immediately noticed how quiet it was.

If there is one memory of BM that is active in my body all year long (this was my sixth year), it is that music (or other noise) is going on somewhere, every minute of every day, enough to have at least .001 decibel come to my ears. When I say "active in my body" I mean that sometime in April I may hear some trance music and instantly FEEL burningman. I may hear a megaphone and feel BM way before my mind makes the connection. It's like maybe in June you are going thru your stuff in the garage and your hand touches some object covered in playa dust. There is a reaction right then and there. The dust has changed our chemistry, and touching it causes an immediate response. Ask someone who never went to BM to touch that dust covered object and I bet they will say "What am I supposed to be feeling here?"

As the days went on this year, I noticed MANY times when I couldn't hear ANYTHING!!!! I was at 6:30 and Jupiter: hardly out in "suburbia."

As I unrolled my camo netting on monday morning (never cleaned year to year: why bother?) with total silence surrounding me but for the occasional rebar noise, I said to my campmate: "The dust was so much better last year!"

I really missed:
----- the 24/7 sounds from distant large sound set-ups
-----insulting megaphone dudes
-----radios in next camp
-----drummers in distance (I know, I know, always voted the most annoying sound in the desert)
-----Frank Sinatra coming from a camp nearby (and I hate his music)
-----weird electronic music coming down the street at 7am
and especially
-----some lunatic screamer at sunrise walking the street telling us all to get the fuck up out of our tents and that we were such losers.

Maybe Windmistress was next to a large sound project, and for that, I understand her pain, but for me, the lack of sound was probably the saddest reminder that BM is no longer making its presence unavoidable 24/7.

There were too many times I would wake up at night in total silence. In my grogginess, I thought I was camping in Yosemite with my RV camping neighbors families that had been asleep by 9pm. Indeed, hearing a rustle outside one night, I thought it might be a bear looking for food.

Windmistress wants enforced silence for a certain time each day: don't worry, it is already happening on its own as the rank and file become more and more conservative every year.

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Post by Rian Jackson » Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:31 pm

troll
surlier than thou

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bradtem
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Not so many love the loud sounds

Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:01 pm

Look at this picture I took of the city this year...

Image

I didn't spend much time out by Neptune at 10, where you can see the camp that has such a deserted zone around it, but I have to assume it was LOUD. There was not nearly such a zone of desolation around 2 o'clock.

This is on Saturday, with the city as fully packed as it gets.

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~

Post by sparkletarte » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:24 pm

Speak for yourself lady. That may be why YOU cry at the temple burn, not me.
All of Burning Man is spiritual; there simply is no way to GET to the spirituality with massive sound systems interrupting the OPEN playa experience.
Maybe for you, not for me.
do you really think that the Leave No Trace policy has ANYTHING to do with the land?
Yes, I absolutely do. I didn't once think I was lnt-ing just to look good.
doesn't give people a chance TO experience and honor the land,
What are you talking about?! I sure felt like I was experiencing it every minute and I loved it. And who ever said it was about honouring the land anyways?

~~

BM was waaaay quieter than I thought it would be, and I was camped at Earth and 7, a pretty busy spot.

Thank you playasnake for the amplification. I only wish the chanting was been even louder. I loved hearing the singing. Without you I wouldn't have heard it's beauty at all.

Thank you bradtem for that wicked picture.

Seriously, windmistress, if you don't like the event then don't go. People evolve as do events, and sometimes we take different paths which may mean we are no longer going in the same direction. If you want to see something different then become that change yourself. I have only been on here a few months and already I'm tired of that sort of whining.

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Post by Playapixie » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:43 pm

Hi podmate, thanks for your thoughts :-)

I felt the same way my first year. I was sick to death of electronic music, dying to hear something with lyrics, and hopeful for some silence.

Since then a few things have changed. For one thing, even last year you could walk straight across the playa from 10:00-2:00 and in the middle there was not quite silence, but something near it, or at the most, a low rumble of distant bass from all around the city. That's changed with the addition of sound-systems like the phenomenal one at Stonehenge. Now, even way out at the trash fence you can pick out the beats from that one sound system. So much for silence.

Another thing has changed as well: me. All of that bass, all of that electronic music has become the soundtrack of memories and wonderful times. I don't hate it any more. It moves me now. I like it. And one of the best experiences I had this year was standing in the middle of those enormous speakers listening to the most amazing sound system I've ever heard. So the sound on the playa has changed, but I'm not complaining.

I respect your desire for silence, though. The silence at the temple burn was loud and spoke volumes.

The silence, the booming bass, they are all part of the experience for me, and I take the experiences as they come to me.

I'm glad you were there to share some of them with me.

Dawn
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Nosamk
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Post by Nosamk » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:52 pm

I enjoyed the Mog and the music. Who the fuck wants quiet, I came out there for MOTHERFUCKING BASS!! :wink:

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Post by mamasaid » Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:22 pm

Howdy folks...

No More Rules, OK?
It's already getting out of hand, this social experiment where we revert to old behaviors such as law enforcement and rules when we can't think of anything better to do. Or people complain too much.
One night, seeking solace, I walked out past the encampent, west towards blackness. It just got quieter and quieter and darker and sort of scarier. hung out with the warm wind, chilled with the stars, wondered if someone was going to pop out of the darkness and scare the shit out of me. mostly, I was just saying, Hey there, God, thanks for this moment.
God is in everything, honey. God is everything, spirit lives in all of it. You can fabricate a spiritual moment with religion and rules, but God is always present, even in sept 11th, even in Iraq, even in crack addicts raving all night. God is all.
By the way, I sang in a vocal acappella jazz group this year. If I can humbly say so, it rocked. Come look for us next year, we promise not to do any techno, just good singing. I felt the playa was longing for the change.
Lots of love and song...
Maldita
Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions to all musicians, (including me), appear and inspire

windmistress
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Post by windmistress » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:49 am

playasnake wrote:oh... and in case you couldnt figure it out.

i was the one driving the Mog (the Space Cowboys Mobile Sound System) that night...
I'm sorry -- did you READ that my referral to the Space Cowboy's MOG regarded the Temple burn event specifically? READ my post again if so. Aftward, check to see what "you're" smoking.

windmistress
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Re: Not so many love the loud sounds

Post by windmistress » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:07 am

bradtem wrote:Look at this picture I took of the city this year...

Image

I didn't spend much time out by Neptune at 10, where you can see the camp that has such a deserted zone around it, but I have to assume it was LOUD. There was not nearly such a zone of desolation around 2 o'clock.

This is on Saturday, with the city as fully packed as it gets.
Fabulous photo! Wow! Really wow and thank you!

The "o'clock" technicalities were not the point of my rant, however. My rant was about a multitude of issues that arose most apparently through sound or the lack of escape from it. Additionally, my rant was about, "Why do we cry at the Temple burn?" I gave my reason -- however valid or invalid. And I don't believe that we cry at the Temple burn because of beautiful art burning. I believe that we cry because for the first time in the BM week we experience silence and togetherness simultaneously.

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Post by Badger » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:37 am

<irony>We>/irony> think some of the points you've made so far have a real validity to them if read in the context of your own personal experience rather than collectively shoehorning the rest of us in to brace your argument. Doing so makes your contention seem waaaay off the mark.
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Re: Not so many love the loud sounds

Post by Rian Jackson » Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:28 am

windmistress wrote:
I don't believe that we cry at the Temple burn because of beautiful art burning. I believe that we cry because for the first time in the BM week we experience silence and togetherness simultaneously.
fuck you. no, not 'fuck off', but fuck you.
how dare you - how DARE you - suggest that you understand why i cry.
may you never know sorrow of deeper roots than temporarily not finding auditory quiet.
i'm glad you have no real issues to deal with.
some of us have bigger concerns.
so fuck you.
troll.
surlier than thou

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Post by mamasaid » Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:39 am

:roll: :roll: :roll:
Ok burners...
windmistress was presumptuous...
Can we remember to keep the love flowing despite her oversight?
Her words obviously sparked an emotional response in you, but I also hate seeing hateful words amongst a chat group that I enjoy being a part of...burners nonetheless. thanks for your honesty, in any case. at least you are being real, I appreciate that...

breathe deep...
Maldita
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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:40 am

windmistress wrote:
playasnake wrote:oh... and in case you couldnt figure it out.

i was the one driving the Mog (the Space Cowboys Mobile Sound System) that night...
I'm sorry -- did you READ that my referral to the Space Cowboy's MOG regarded the Temple burn event specifically? READ my post again if so. Aftward, check to see what "you're" smoking.
im smoking bali shag. its a little dry at the moment, but its a nice reminder of the playa.

sorry if i assumed that you could hold on to you subject line throughout your whole halfassed rant. as for going back to re-read your post.. sorry, but you've wasted enough of my time.

as my fabulous neighbors from the playa would say... "how about a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up"

i cant even tell what you are bitching about anymore.
e pluribus unimog

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The wind will only speak to the lovers....

Post by fuserofmetals » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:44 am

Do you all realize the offering of the playa, or, are you afraid to see yourself as you really are- laughable haters like a poison that renders years of work into a pile of shit.
Windmistress has touched an important nerve of truth-I'd say refreshing- many here are too ashamed to admit it. Thus, the hate is a reaction to the truth of Windmistress-
many of you make us sick and are the cancer of the desert. Just what is your fate? There actually was a time when her words would have been met with love. Perhaps the BM
experience has passed it's zenith.
The voices of the desert will never speak to a confused and emotionally unstable soul (i.e.rian jackson the hater) perhaps your issues are breaking you down into the pile of
human waste your are emulating. I picture you as a weak and unstable - just plain bad energy. Be careful, punk. Playasnake? your name befits you well- a simple circle
around you would render you confused and vulnerable-tastes like chicken-Honestly, is that your best effort? Mamasaid? your energy is pure- go get your pow this winter-
People, hate is a dangerous path, be very careful. Are you in this for the right reasons? Ask yourself. You may be quite surprised with the truth.

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Post by Rian Jackson » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:57 am

perhaps.
but there are differences between hate and anger.
you might take time to learn the difference.

and frankly, you may picture me however you please. or, better yet, please don't.

cheers,
weak unstable human waste hater punk

p.s. sweetheart. you might realise your own hypocrisy. While you preach against knee jerk reactions and ‘hate’ you fling shit at people… going farther than anyone else did on this thread… very interesting…..

but don’t worry, we’ll embrace your frailties and your faults too, because you’re human. Or at least we’ll give you a chance.
surlier than thou

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playasnake
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punk

Post by playasnake » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:32 pm

there is no hate coming from this end. if you cant take a friendly fuck you... you need thicker skin.

yeah. im a punk. thats a compliment. the event was founded by and is kept alive by punks. got to the dictionary. look it up. my biggest complaint is that most of the real punks are staying home now...

this isnt a rainbow gathering. you wanna listen to the wind... go out another time.

my burn has a soundtrack, and im not the only one.

sorry if i was rude, but i was pissed off. i make no apologies for that.
e pluribus unimog

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Post by Rian Jackson » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:35 pm

random idea:

what if someone created a sound proof art car? all windows, could roll all over the playa....

i mean, hell, i love silence, too. i guess i've just grown accustomed to finding a different kind once the trance becomes a background of white noise.

oh, hey, and sorry, i think i'm changing it back to fuck off (the new i love you, ya know). it just tends to make me very angry when people assume they understand the workings of my soul. and apparently previewing it didn't give enough time for the anger to wear off.

earlier in the day i cried at the temple because i had to write a very long list of the dead on the temple's wood, and because there will be temple after temple, because no amount of burning will stop the relentless need for grief. there's more to it than that, but that's all i really want to share right now. and as the temple burned, i walked away.

does that make sense?

cheers,
r
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Post by fuserofmetals » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:38 pm

rian-

will do- feels like we can move forward now.

Yes, we are all human.

I am just about us vs. them not us vs. us. Like FZ said.

I have your 20 get to me and I'll sponsor some beers.

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Post by Rob the Wop » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:40 pm

My take on dry lake beds and deserts.

I lived twelve years in an area about 30 miles from Death Valley. When we first moved there, our house was about a 1/4 mile from a dry lake bed. I have never seen a living thing on a dry lake bed and have watched coyotes walk around them, rather than walk over them. They aren't even any fun to ride on with a dirt bike or go cart, I'd go over it just to hit the trails on the other side.

Dry lake beds are one of the rare examples of pure death on our earth. The soil is too poisonous, in one manner or another, for life to exist on it.

In my opinion, there could be no better place to have an event like this, as anywhere else on earth you would be reducing an area filled with life- to death.

So, in a nutshell, you can try the 'sacred earth' guilt trip of 'destroying' a dry lake bed all you want on me. I'll chuckle and tell you that you're off your bean, mate. I'll stay in Oregon where things LIVE for a change.

As to why people cry, well that's a pretty personal experience of release- dontcha think? You can cry because you didn't get your GI Joe with a Kung Fu grip for Christmas, zipped your nutsack into your zipper after relieving yourself, someone tossed a pistachio shell on the playa, or the loss of a loved one. The list goes on and on but it's always personal and private when it comes down to it. I will add that the Temples were built by Best as memorials, which is something I greatly respect. But your definition of why we should cry is pretty silly to me.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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bradtem
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Post by bradtem » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:40 pm

Yes, your burn has a soundtrack. But there are two kinds of expression in the mundane world and at Burning Man. There is expression which one can go experience, such as a piece of art on the Playa. Then there is expression which pushes itself on you, possibly against your will, possibly to the exclusion of other expression.

There are also shades between these. A giant sound system right next to you is at the extreme of one category. A lone sculpture at the perimeter fence is at another extreme. An animated Jiffy-Lube sign is more in the middle, but definitely still on the "go experience" side.

So when it comes to forms of expression that peopel can't get away from, that stomp on other forms, I hope you would agree these are in a different class. Not an invalid class, nobody says that you can't feel you want a soundtrack for your experience.

When a car or camp blasts out at 100db saying "Look at me, you MUST hear my wonderful taste in music" I respect it a lot less than forms that don't force themselves on others. And the BMOrg, with the concurrence of many, has decided this is one of the primary types of expression that will come with restrictions.

No, I doubt the silence is the most moving thing about the temple burn, though it surely plays a part for many. But you can't have both the silence (which some people want) and the soundtrack (which you want.) One of them has to win, or you have to play clever tricks like encouraging everybody to bring wireless headphones.

But that's not likely to be workable, so the reality is one has to win. And that's probably got to be the one that's not impinging on others.

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Re: The wind will only speak to the lovers....

Post by Sensei » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:53 pm

fuserofmetals wrote:...The voices of the desert will never speak to a confused and emotionally unstable soul (i.e.rian jackson the hater) perhaps your issues are breaking you down into the pile of
human waste your are emulating. I picture you as a weak and unstable - just plain bad energy. Be careful, punk.
Rian Jackson, the hater *giggle*... Dang, I can't say that without laughing. Let me try again... Rian Jackson *snort* the hater *laughing, again* Oh, forget it...

Yeah Rian's a real hater. Kvetch, kvetch, kvetch, all day long. And those phony hugs she gives anyone who's standing still - they're so fake; you know she's just checking people for concealed weapons. And the way she smiles (and flirts) with everyone; fake fake fake. She's just looking for weakness, then she attacks.

Fuserofmentalillness, you really nailed this one. Way to see through Rian's elaborate disguise. Really. And with your first post, too: wow! It's not like you're a fucking troll at all... I especially like the 'hater' accusations when they're followed by grade school insults. Very effective. If it weren't for that, we'd never have been able to tell you were a fucking troll. Really. You had us so fooled.

Rian, the hater... Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Dang, still can't do it...

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Post by fuserofmetals » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:58 pm

psnake- stay punk- humanity needs it- jesus was one of the most fucking hardcore punks ever
keep on thinking for yourself-true punks are one of the only tangible things left- stay up- as we all know and live it-
- BTW-r- your art car idea is brilliant

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Post by Rob the Wop » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:07 pm

Can I still cry if my sack- as you would say- 'becomes one' with my shorts? And do I have to be silent when this happens?

Geez, this whole Temple Burn is getting complicted all of a sudden.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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Re: Why We Cry at the Temple Burn

Post by windmistress » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:11 pm

A fabulous BM factoid that a friend just sent to me on another email list:

"Yes, I learned awhile ago that you can't change burningman...I believe three years ago the theme was "the floating world." I didn't attend that year, but I had seen a lot of emails trying to get everyone who had a sound system to take an hour each morning and just play the sounds of waves and surf. It was an utter failure apparently, the rangers tried to nicely enforce it one day and then gave up. The psytrance cannot be stopped :)"

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Re: Why We Cry at the Temple Burn

Post by playasnake » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:30 pm

windmistress wrote:A fabulous BM factoid that a friend just sent to me on another email list:

"Yes, I learned awhile ago that you can't change burningman...I believe three years ago the theme was "the floating world." I didn't attend that year, but I had seen a lot of emails trying to get everyone who had a sound system to take an hour each morning and just play the sounds of waves and surf. It was an utter failure apparently, the rangers tried to nicely enforce it one day and then gave up. The psytrance cannot be stopped :)"
actually it failed becuase we never knew when to play it, and they did it with CDs first if i remember right, then maybe a radio broadcast. we tried the first couple of days, but if you dont have 100% involvement, it really doesnt work... never saw a ranger either... it was more of an organizational and communication problem than anything else. its not a burningman thing either... we tried it at How Weird one year and it didnt work there either. that was with only 5 systems. i was the only one who paused.

ive been trying to surround the temple burn with the opera singers voice for 2 years now... its really hard without a sound check which would piss people off becuase im playing music/sound/etc... and its obviously all about me and my ego... its also tough to coordinate with the other mobile sound systems... then you have to deal with the floating schedule of the temple burn... and the fact that no one has a watch, or any way of communicating with each other...

anyway, maybe next year.

and that part about not being able to change burningman... bullshit. you might not be able to snap your fingers and change it, but it can be changed.
e pluribus unimog

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Post by Rian Jackson » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:46 pm

fuserofmetals wrote:rian-

will do- feels like we can move forward now.

Yes, we are all human.

I am just about us vs. them not us vs. us. Like FZ said.

I have your 20 get to me and I'll sponsor some beers.
well, um thanks. i hope you don't mind if i pass on the beer for a while, though. there are too many people that i really want to spend my time with, too much work in the world that needs to be done... not that it would necessarily be bad, could be kinda fun, but i've been laughing at your accusations for a few hours so i'd have a hard time taking you seriously.

cheers, and here's to all of being a bunch of human fuck ups.

oh - and how do you know who is 'them' and who is 'us'? these things are not so simple....
surlier than thou

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