Burning man is dead

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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amazon
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Burning man is dead

Post by amazon » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:51 pm

Inside the man, I saw the writing on the wall "BURNING MAN IS DEAD".
I think I agree. Too big, too many spectators, too few people making things happen, too many rules...what now? Its still the only place we can be ourselves...they wont stop letting in the yahoos on thursday because of the revenue...but its killing the actual phenomenon...what can we do? Anything? is Burning man dead?
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Post by Meep » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:55 pm

::scuffs a foot on the floor:: Next year... will be my first Burning Man. I already have some plans for a nice little camp, and for running around and being a... weird wind-thingee. If there is one like me, there are more, more new people to come and try and breathe in some life. I will sing Meep Songs to any yahoos I see. (Trust me. Meep Songs are bad.)

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Post by geekster » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:24 pm

Image
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Post by DVD Burner » Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:47 am

Touche' geekster touche'
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Re: Burning man is dead

Post by madmatt » Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:07 am

amazon wrote:Inside the man, I saw the writing on the wall "BURNING MAN IS DEAD".
I think I agree.
It sure as hell didn't bother me. The mindset of accepting people at BM who have a totally different idea of what the place is about or what fun is or what appropriate is...is the core reason, the most special thing I find there. I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some yahoo putting their laser pointer on the temple ruin the best week of my life.

If you think BM is dead, then it's really just your loss.

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Re: Burning man is dead

Post by HughMungus » Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:58 am

I don't think it's dead but it is sick.

I'm praying that for the 20th anniversary that we can get back to basics.

Stop selling coffee in center camp. It's the exact opposite of what Burning Man is about. If you want coffee, bring it or get it from your neighbors. Selling coffee is turning center camp into s drive-thru. Make center camp what it once was -- a point of reference and a comfortable place to sit or lie down (not walk or ride or drive thru or wait in line). And get rid of the amplified music/whatever. It's annoying.

I was *really* disappointed with the structure under the man. Why did it turn into a spectating area? Ugh. Like center camp, go back to bascis, provide us with the structure and we'll fill it and surround it with what we bring, not with what has been pre-approved.

Too much organization surrounding the burn. Do we really need all the fire spinners doing the same exact thing at the same time to the same drum beat?

amazon wrote:Inside the man, I saw the writing on the wall "BURNING MAN IS DEAD".
I think I agree. Too big, too many spectators, too few people making things happen, too many rules...what now? Its still the only place we can be ourselves...they wont stop letting in the yahoos on thursday because of the revenue...but its killing the actual phenomenon...what can we do? Anything? is Burning man dead?
It's what you make it.

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Re: Burning man is dead

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:36 am

madmatt wrote: I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some yahoo putting their laser pointer on the temple ruin the best week of my life.
The ironic part is the green Lasers were commercial ones and were ment to be there. I don't think they were prepared for people to interact and add their own personal artistic touch with little red lasers. I enjoyed the lasers, it was a surreal backdrop to an incredeble flutist, who, I swear was the guy from "Jethro Tull" , well he sounded like him anyway.

Burning Man is a very organic thing, and artistic improv will bust out where you lest expect it. Go with the flow and enjoy it while it last. Remember, you're intervention, whether negitive or positive will change the direction of the che, so always make it positive.

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Re: Burning man is dead

Post by DVD Burner » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:41 am

Rabbi Dali Rick wrote: Image
Does this include this years elections?
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Post by Kiba » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:46 am

Burning Man is only dead if you don't bring it to life. I had a phenominal time this year, and I am going next year to share the time I had and the person I am with those who go next year, regardless of if there are other like minded people and regardless if they have different ways of showing respect and consideration to my ideas. Burning Man is a place you can go to be whatever you want to be, but not at the expense of everyone else being whom they want to be.

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Re: Burning man is dead

Post by geekster » Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:49 am

DallasPlaya wrote:I don't think it's dead but it is sick.

I'm praying that for the 20th anniversary that we can get back to basics.

Stop selling coffee in center camp. It's the exact opposite of what Burning Man is about. If you want coffee, bring it or get it from your neighbors.
Well, maybe not stop selling coffee ... but maybe just go back to only selling coffee. That's it, just drip coffee. No espresso, no happadappafuckingchino, no chai, no tea, no lemonade. So Center Camp seems to be a giant chill tent with some performance space and all kinds of drinks. No real problem with that but how about considering separating the two things. Make a big central chill tent with performance areas, etc. and then someplace NEARBY but not in the same tent, have a shed selling drip coffee ... like maybe on the opposite side of the tent from Camp Arctica. At the 3 o'clock position of center camp have ice, at 9 o'clock have coffee and in the middle, the central chill/stage tent.
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Post by herpy hancock » Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:43 pm

you can go home now -
the man burned
In Yo Face!

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Post by AntiM » Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:06 pm

Well, I sure as fuck enjoyed the wake.

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Re: Burning man is dead

Post by bullD » Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:07 pm

Rabbi Dali Rick wrote:
madmatt wrote: I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some yahoo putting their laser pointer on the temple ruin the best week of my life.
The ironic part is the green Lasers were commercial ones and were ment to be there. I don't think they were prepared for people to interact and add their own personal artistic touch with little red lasers. I enjoyed the lasers, it was a surreal backdrop to an incredeble flutist, who, I swear was the guy from "Jethro Tull" , well he sounded like him anyway.

Burning Man is a very organic thing, and artistic improv will bust out where you lest expect it. Go with the flow and enjoy it while it last. Remember, you're intervention, whether negitive or positive will change the direction of the che, so always make it positive.

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Ehhh, I fucking LOVE the rebbi!!!! Very eloquently put my friend...

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hi

Post by Lysergic » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:26 am

I have to agree that there is way too much coffee/chai/tea/blah sold in center camp. I understand we live in a capitalistic country and well that disease spreads into everything, even BM. But what geekster said about seperating center camp from concessions really makes a lot of sense.

The last burn was my First, and I thought center camp had really cool vibes about it, except everytime I turned around and saw enormous lines for cold/hot drinks. Before my first time, I had thought that concessions was a good idea. But after having lived a few days into the alternate reality that is BM, when I saw the concessions and the money exchanges and the plastic smiles, it really made me sick, almost sick enough to puke.

If they need the money and can't do away with coffee/tea/shit then sweet jesus please move it to say around camp artica, or center camp circle PLEASE!

For the anniversary of BM we should really bring back the core values, bring back the good vibe and essense that brings us all there once a year!
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Post by Fat SAM » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:03 am

Like I said, I don't really know too much about past burns, but I think that Burning Man could easily be "saved" by making changes. Look at Feng Shui - a good rule is if you feel ill at ease, move ten things. It frees up the energy and gets things flowing again. Another good analogy would be a stagnating pond. If things are stirred up every now and then, it gets a little stinky.

So, like I suggested in the "change" thread I posted, I think that something radical is necessary and I think that moving the burn, even if it's only for this 20th anniversary year, would be a great change. Move it to monday and have the man burn only be a kick-off. It takes sooooo much pressure off of him and us. There's no expectation to be lived up to, everyone there will get a great view, it'll discourage looky-loo's unless they just want to come for monday. Think about it. It's not really about the man, is it? It's about community, art, friends, fun...the man is just a big fun event and people are saying that the temple is the real burn, anyway.

It sounds crazy, but I think it would do amazing things for the event. Especially the 20th. Everyone is complaining about how it's the same every year or not enough or something is wrong...I say we turn the whole thing on it's head. I think it's such a good idea, I'm going to try to petition BMorg, in fact. Does anyone know how to do that? Isn't there some kind of theme meeting that we can all attend?

Is anyone with me on this or do you just think I'm nuts?
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Post by newdawn » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:48 am

I thinks you're nuts AND I'm with you on it! My personal opinion is more like "burn the Man on Wednesday" but in general I think you're right on with the sentiment of getting a little radical to free up the flow in a stagnant pond.

And it doesn't matter if you've not been to Burning Man for years and years. The dirty little secret is that the old-timers are envious of the "eyes" of the newcomers. You see things that they no longer see.

I think they should change the layout of the city a bit, too. They've got the current layout down to a science.

But is that what this is all about? Scientific efficiency and predictable revenue streams?

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Post by anticdevices » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:51 am

Fat SAM wrote:Is anyone with me on this or do you just think I'm nuts?
You are completely fucking nuts. We're with you.
(crazy like a fox you are. i love the camp Subversion idea too. brilliant!)
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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:29 am

The dirty little secret is that the old-timers are envious of the "eyes" of the newcomers. You see things that they no longer see.
Cites?
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Post by diode » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:51 am

Well, evidently, Burning Man is not dead beecause 30,000+ people just got back from doing a week in the desert watching him burn.

It's arguable whether the event is living up to the hype of leavenotrace/radicalselfexpression/mindblowingartandcreativity/bestpartyontheplanet. I'm thinking the event is showing signs of arthtitis due to the strain of the many contradictory elements of this event.

Part of the joy of the event is the sheer unpredictability of it, the fucko nature of screwups, sudden gifts of art, dust storms, wackiness and lunacy appearing as if in a dream. Having the event get safer, more well-run, easier for people to attend, and better managed is almost defeating the anarchistic craziness of it all.

My personal wish for this past burn, and every burn is a big dust storm that whacks the shit out of everyone. I find the event more interesting as people melt down in the desert and their plans and creations interact with merciless natural forces. I think it makes them more accessible and egalitarian. Everyone suffers equally under the sun.

Otherwise, the logic of managing large events if inevitably pushing this event to becoming BurnerWorld, a major attraction in the constellation of hippy-dippy post-consumer events occurring right on schedule each summer.

Still a lot of fucking fun though. With all the spectating going on this year, I found myself actually motivated to do some performance art if only to alleviate my ennui.

Perhaps tickets sales should be predicated on each individual committing to doing some act of artistic expression (glow stick wearers need not apply).

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dead?

Post by birdbrain » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:38 pm

I love e-playa....

I was a newbie this year and I came by myself. I didn't have great art, great "costumes", or a fabulously constucted camp. As a differently-abled, "disabled" person, it took all I had to set-up, self-rely, and see/experience as much as I did. As cool as the burn was, the real plus for me was meeting neighbors and knowing I didn't need to judge anything/anybody or be judged. And all the art/generosity of the bigger camps was inspiring.

As I said, my neighbors were great and I hope to be lasting friends w/ several people I met BUT one camp near mine seemed to distrust me as I made the "horrific" fashion faux-pas of wearing green shorts and a khaki spf30 shirt 1 day with the original environmental sign which looks similar to the Greek Omega. I think the people at the one camp thought I was maybe an undercover something or other 'cause I heard 'em say they weren't going to "jinx" their trips by including me! It amused me be-cause I so didn't care what they did as long as they were good neighbors.

On another tract, I liked being able to have street signs that made sense. I don't see logic like that as being boring or whatever. ... It would have been a real problem for me if I'd gotten turned around badly what w/ the health challenge. Since it was WAY pushing the envelope for me and other people w/ phys/ment challenges to do this, I hope getting around IS logical and that just singing my version of 3 blind mice is "good enough". I don't like being judged as not participating "enough" by anybody or feeling judged as not burny enough by people who have no idea what life is like for any 1 person. Just a little diatribe...I do hope to go to the regionals and meet kind, creative, and environmentally aware people like myself.

Thanks to ALL and to ALL a good day!

Love,

Birdbrain (Bird)

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Post by mamasaid » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:42 pm

[quote]Part of the joy of the event is the sheer unpredictability of it, the fucko nature of screwups, sudden gifts of art, dust storms, wackiness and lunacy appearing as if in a dream. Having the event get safer, more well-run, easier for people to attend, and better managed is almost defeating the anarchistic craziness of it all.

[/quote]

Yes yes yes yes yes...
Thank you for that.
I have been trying to put into words what I feel at the bottom of my heart regarding BM. The fact is, when LOTS of people come together and there is a core group organizing this coming together, undoubtedly we revert to old behaviours such as, "how can we make this safe for everyone?" or "how can we make this more accessable to more people?" and my least favorite, (DON'T HATE ME, LARRY) "HOW CAN WE GROW"?
Democracy pervades our social understanding at our core and it's hard to see past these ways of doing things, ie. chai, decaf, letting more people in than should really be there for money's sake.
I love the idea of shaking things up for next year. REALLY shaking things up. So that I don't see so much of the same things, like standard burning man attire, (you know what I mean) scheming sexual energy just because it's bm, etc...

However, one of the coolest things that happened to me this year included a weekender. I was standing near center camp waiting for my group to meet and my Maldita charachter was in full effect. I saw a man around 40ish in total plainclothes walking by. I said, "Excuse me sir, but your clothes are not allowed here, I'm afraid yer gonna have to go and change..." etc, being sort of sarchastic and funny about it.But also being serious too.
This man wound up coming to our camp later and holding a pretty goddamned intense meditation session using vocal harmonics and ancient text from the lost kingdom of MU. Freaky? yes. Radical? hell yes. Did it contribute to the community? I was stoked and grateful. Had I never given him shit, I would have missed out on a pretty cool experience.
My point is that, as much as we all bitch about yahoos, weekenders and frat boys (my new friend only fits the weekender category, well maybe just a bit of a yahoo but in a good way) is there a way to have a positive effect on what we see as ugliness? Is there a way to radically change "default mentality"? Is this not an important part of being human at the core?
Dare I say, Burning Man?
Just a thought from someone who judged incorrectly, albeit humorously...
Lots of love,
Maldita
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Post by diode » Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:52 pm

One thing is for sure, the limit of the burn in terms of growth has almost been reached. Anyone want to wait eight or more straight hours to get out on Mondays?

All living organisms seek to grow on some level. The BM org. is pushing growth as well. They have a vested interest in maintaining the event as it is. I'm sure they'd rather helm a vivid event company rather than push donuts or something.

BM is more and more well known in the mass culture for its reputation as a stellar place to scope nekkid gurls, get fucked up, and screw up with no consequences. (Cites?). Just my perception from looking at the behavior of the populace there from year to year.

There's a lot of talk of community regarding BM, but the 'community' is that minority actually attending year to year and bothering to post on the eplaya, read the survival guide, and give a flying moop about the nature and quality of the event.

The rest are floaters attracted by the thrill factor. Sure they probably get a huge education there, but is it enough to actually retain and perpetuate the essential character of BM? I dunno, sometimes seems like a losing battle.

My suggestions: make it a lot fucking harder to get there. Make it more of a fucko experience. Open source the Burn, Larry doesn't own it.

If 1000-5000 people had such a great time alone on the playa being complete fuckwits 20 years ago, why does it take a huge year-long organization effort to do the same thing?

More burns, less .orgs.

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Post by EB » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:01 pm

Burning Man is alive and well, thank you.

The number of yahoos, frat boys, weekenders, titty grabbers, bike stealers, playa pissers, sign boosters, down-in-front yellers, DMV skirters, exodus jumpers, chai swillers, critical tit paparazzers (?), jiffy lubers, jiffy lube haters and JOTS two-plyers notwithstanding, you still have over 35,000 people who've made a hell of a committment to come out to the desert.

If anything, I think the BMORG, Rangers and volunteers aren't getting their due credit.

Burning Man won't die because people need it to fill holes in their lives that aren't being filled anywhere else. Not in an age where organized religion is so uncool. BM is this generation's Monday Night Football -- some people just NEED it and a couple thousand extra people or a sneaker down the shitter won't stop those on a spiritual jones. They'll chew threw the orange wind fence if they have to.
Irony. You're soaking in it.

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Post by diode » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:43 pm

I made a promise to myself that I woudln't edit my eplaya posts because I ended up editing myself right off the board. Having said that, I'm thinking my earlier post was remarkably negative.

After all, I wouldn't go if I didn't find it valuable to me on a lot of different levels. I've had amazing experiences and expanded my life.

I've never contributed on the level that many have at the burn, much less the members of the .org. I've volunteered some, cleaned a lot of moop maybe, did a little slice of performance art this year. That was getting out of my envelope.

I think I'm a 'good' burner and not a yahoo, but who really knows. Yahooism is in the eye of the beholder, or maybe the victim as it were.

Okay, enough mea culpas. Back to mindless rabble rousing.

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Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:13 am

You did get a good experience by talking to the non-costumed man, but I hope you learned something about not making assumptions based on costuming. Larry has done this rant many times himself. He's not in costume. I am often not in costume, or my "costume" is a quality-looking but custom-made T-shirt. David Best looks like an ordinary guy, perhaps with a Temple T-shirt on. I've seen a lot of the people who make some of the biggest art contributions at Burning Man and they are regular, often older men and women in casual, comfortable desert clothes.

If you need to criticise yahoos at Burning Man, be sure to do it based on what they do, not how they look or don't look.

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I imagine this isn't what you had in mind...

Post by Simply Joel » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:51 am

amazon wrote:Inside the man, I saw the writing on the wall "BURNING MAN IS DEAD".
I think I agree. Too big, too many spectators, too few people making things happen, too many rules...what now? Its still the only place we can be ourselves...they wont stop letting in the yahoos on thursday because of the revenue...but its killing the actual phenomenon...what can we do? Anything? is Burning man dead?

In the long run we are all dead.
- John Maynard Keynes


Keynes, John Maynard
Born: 1883-06-05
Died: 1946-04-21
English economist

John Maynard Keynes was an English economist, whose radical ideas had a major impact on economic and political thought. He is particularly remembered for advocating interventionist government policy, by which the government would use fiscal and monetary measures to aim to mitigate the adverse effects of economics recessions and booms. His ideas have been further developed by the school of Keynesian economics.

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Post by amazon » Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:11 am

I guess it still beats anywhere else in the world eh?
:)
Am
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Post by self-describedsilenttype » Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:47 am

You are so right. The only things that can be done are (1) Don't let anyone in after Tuesday without an essay as to hardship, and (2) embrace regional BM events on PRIVATE land. The first takes care of the Yahoo's, or at least makes them get a little dirty for their free porn, and the second takes care of the other pervasive element--law enforcement who hate self-expression.
The greatest irony of all is, that of all the things I miss about my youth as I grow older, I long most for my sense of the present.

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Post by shivers » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:33 am

I like the idea of turning things upside down but burning the man on Monday is really radical... I would miss him, he's the rock in the storm, the landmark we all rely on... And above all I think some traditions are beautiful and should be cherished. The Man watches over us all week and has to burn in the end. It's the end and the beginning, it's like New Year kinda. If you want a burn on Monday, it might be a good idea to burn all the shit that you don't really need. But usually you only figure out what's essential in the end... So there, the burn at the end of the week makes sense!

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Post by JezebelinHell » Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:35 am

Of course Burning Man's dead. They fucking exploded him this year. If anything's grown exponentially about BRC it's the pyrotechnics.

That being said, more people I don't feel bad about making fun of equals more fun times for me. So long as they're not in my camp. All in all, I only met a few yahoos last year (although I know there was an abundance), and aside from the moop, all they really did was amuse me and act as a sort of verbal punching bag.
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