RADICAL CHANGE FOR BM

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Fat SAM
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RADICAL CHANGE FOR BM

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

OK. This is not a "what's wrong" post. It's actually a "what can be changed to make things really different?" post.

And I figured it out.

You may all think this is a totally stupid suggestion, but I think it would be a radical change for the 20th anniversary and I think it would really change things. It would make the city different, make the people different - everything would be different...Check this out.

Burn the Man on monday night.

Yes, I'm serious. Before you start talking about how wrong this is, think it over for just a couple of minutes. I'll post my reasons after everyone flames me for being stupid or a nube.
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Post by Fat SAM » Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:17 pm

Oops. Just to clarify, that's the first monday night - not Labor Day.
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Post by bullD » Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:00 pm

Well, this would certainly get the people to the event early that love the symbolism of the burn. We could burn what we intend to and have the rest of the week to feel lighter because of it.

Seems like it would also cut down on the folks, ok who am I kidding, the frat mentality, bud guzzling irritating fucks that come out for a night or two later in the week. I actually feel sorry these folks and silently laugh but, this is a free country, right? Oh right, getting back to the point,,, the climax would be done with so there would be very little point for certain peeps to stick around.

What is your reasoning?????

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Post by newdawn » Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:34 pm

I actually tried to think about the same sort of thing, out on the playa. It hurt my head, so I stopped.

But I totally agree with the sentiment. Maybe burn the man on Wednesday night? That gives a little buildup for those who have been there for 3-5 days, but then maybe would help the post-burn vibe last longer than a day or two. The Sunday vibe is something that really works for me, personally. (Even if the feel of the temple burn has changed.)

Unfortunately, moving the burning of the Man to an earlier night would certainly be very unpredictable to the revenue steam, it would seem.

But it would indeed be radical, wouldn't it?

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Post by souldancer » Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:45 pm

I am so with Fat SAM on this one. I think it's a fabulous idea.

I've heard sooooo many people say that the burning if the Man is not the "climax" of the event anymore. It wasn't even for me, as a newbie. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the burn, I thought it was great. I've always LOVED fireworks and fire! It's about the community, right? Not the burn? Then let's just be done with the burn and get on with the community. Yes, there would be no "Burning Man" if a man never burned...but I had WAY more fun all week just meeting new and wonderful people (for the most part, we had our negative experiences as well)!

One of the best pictures we took all week was not of the burn, but it's a panoramic shot composed of 7 different pictures taped together of the city from a two story platform. You can't even see the man in this photo! Not a big deal! The picture reminds me of all the different camps I went to, and all the people I met, and the fun I had dancing in the middle of the day, and cocktail hour everyday around 4pm with our neighbors (we couldn't have asked for better neighbors - they were awesome). It reminds me of the negative experience we had at the port a potties at 4am one day when "Hey Ladies" became a source of endless laughter for us. We immediately turned this strange and negative experience into something positive and met some people we wouldn't have had we not had the negative experience. It reminds me of the smell of the playa, the smell of Dr Bronners peppermint soap and washing our neighbors hair. It reminds me mostly of the people I met, and a very little of the neon blue man that raised his arms and burned.

I would go to "Burning Man" even if they decided to longer burn a man, or burn anything for that matter. Fire is cooler, but the friendships I made and the people I met was much cooler.
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Fat SAM
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Post by Fat SAM » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:17 am

Here are some reasons I think this is a good idea - I posted on them on the "BM is dead post," too.

Moving the burn to the first monday and having the man burn only be a kick-off 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 which would probably be fine with a lot of people.

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. Turn the things around by changing them completely. And like I said on the other thread - I think something this different would be GREAT for the 20th anniversary.
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Post by anticdevices » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:55 am

Burning a different little Man every night of the week would pretty much achieve the same purpose. It might have the additional advantage that no one could complain they 'missed the burn'. (though they will anyway).

Hmm... Wasn't the first Man like 7 or 8 feet tall? Might be worth bringing a couple to your Subversion camp.....
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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:10 am

Except that the Man is the central accretion point around which the entire community grows. At least that's been my experience over the years I've been going.

The logistics of dealing with everything associated with getting 30 thousand people into BRC on a single day (due to the permit) such as set up, structures, etc. would be a nightmare. The basic infrastructure of the city would be overwhelmed. Period.

Afterwards, what you'd have is a very large group of people with a lot of time on their hands who for the most part have nothing else to look forward to for the rest of the week. The idea of collectively making our entertainment after burning the Man on Monday scares the hell out of me - especially given escalating yahoo factor that I witnessed this year.

I for one appreciate the discussion around this whole 'something's gotta change' sort of topic but floating a single idea with the hope or expectation that following through will miraculously cure the ills or bring about modified behaviors that many of us wish to see is a bit corny. I'd hope to see folks lists changes they'd like to see along with exhibiting a tendency to want to be a part of those changes rather than just winge and flail about it with while having so interest in being a aprt of that change.
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Post by Rob the Wop » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:05 pm

The last two year's I've gone, I've left prior to the man burning. MUCH less hassle getting out, and you miss the majority of the 'fratboy' group. Moving the burn back to Sunday wouldn't help as it would interfere with the Temple (which has replaced the man burning IMO). Burning early isn't really an option as this is still kind of the culmination of the event, or at least a temporal point that says, 'ok, show's over'.

I posted this in another thread, but here's what I think would be the most beneficial (and I added a couple more).

  • Close the gates on Wednesday. If you can't make the commitment, then sorry- but it's just not meant to be for you that year.
  • Sell NO tickets at the gates, ever. Put a cap on tickets sales to- say 24k people.
  • Make and enforce a 'silent zone' of a couple pie slices of the event. NO amplified sound or loud unamplified instruments (drums in particular can get LOUD). Mark up the silent zones on the street signs so there are no excuses when their plugs get pulled.
  • You must be listed as being part of a theme camp when you buy your ticket, and the camp must be on a list. Newbies, don't whine on this one- simply MAKE A FUCKING CAMP AND PRE-REGISTER IT. It's really not that hard, it's that whole self-reliant planning thing. There are more than enough literature and pictures to point the way.
  • Cut WAY back on the grants. Be very, very selective. This will force people to be more creative on the big art projects. Pour the unused money back into the commisary.
  • Undecorated scooters, or other annoying similiar devcies not used for a physical handicap, will be immediately confiscated for the duration of the event.
  • Remove all vending from Center Camp. This forms a dependancy that removes self-reliance. I blew my mind that they were selling everything from lattes to Gatoraid this year. Turn Center Camp back into a performance art/chill space. Supply a limited number of electrical outlets for those willing to make free coffee/drinks/whatever for the masses.
  • No kids. I know this one will piss a number of folks off, but the local LEO and BLM have a 'lever' on us due to children attendance. They can imposed 'morality', which -as we well know- is very interpretive. An 18 or older age limit means never having to hide anything, regardless of it's nature.


This would force people to participate, think far ahead, and shut out about 70% of the Saturday 'frat boy' rush. The silence zones would be a haven for the quiet artist types, and the anarchists will come back in time if the setup works and the regulations are eased up on. And if you don't give a crap enough to plan ahead, then oops- looks like you aren't going. Trust me, I know enough 'flakey artists' (Cacos are full of them) that if you prod them with a cattle prod a couple times (ie. you no burnie this year, so sorry)- they find out that they can plan if they really want to. Quit giving folks an 'out' to being a participant or actually doing the planning to be self-reliant.

This radical enough change for ya? I know I'd probably come back after a couple years of the above 'enforced weeding'.
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:30 pm

I gotta back up Rob 100%. Well, at least 90%. Good stuff there.
I don't mind kids, but their presence will be used against us by the powers that be, no matter what rationalizations you that bring them make up.
It is a glaring exception that they have vending at Center Camp. If it's that important to have access to coffee, how about bringing your own coffee maker? Hell, I have one on the Playa Cruiser, and I serve mine with Bailey's and Kahlua... for free.
I enjoy the early part of the week much more than Friday/Saturday just because of all the late-comer, I'm-only-here-for-the-beer partyers that just show up for the weekend to be rowdy. They're the ones I spend most of my time throwing off my boat because they just run up and jump on without so much as asking or letting me stop the damn thing so I don't get involved in any accidents.
I'm not sure about requiring everyone to be in a theme camp. You'd need a minimum definition of "theme camp", and some sort of go/no go thing like the DMV and mutant vehicles, or else everyone could just declare the same campsite they had to now be a "theme camp". "Camp Nothing"...
There is a silent zone, Walk In, but a midway zone where you could drive in but all other conditions of walk in still applied would be a good idea.
By the way, I find it very ironic and even funny that walk in, where everyone goes to so much trouble to avoid noise, is right next to the fucking AIRPORT RUNWAY!
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Post by Rob the Wop » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:43 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:I'm not sure about requiring everyone to be in a theme camp. You'd need a minimum definition of "theme camp", and some sort of go/no go thing like the DMV and mutant vehicles, or else everyone could just declare the same campsite they had to now be a "theme camp". "Camp Nothing"...
It's definately happened, happens, and will happen in the future. You can't tell me you didn't see 'theme camps' in prime locations that were about basically zip. But this would force newcomers and such to actually THINK about it. You could still make a 'camp nothing', but pride tends to kick in once you have a group of people proclaiming to be a camp. Then somewhere between a token effort to a spontaneous miracle happens. Some of the cleverest camps I've seen were almost nothing.

Anyone remember Camp Fink? Basically a old typewriter in the middle of a minimal shade structure with a sign telling people to rat on someone else. It was pretty cool reading what people typed. A reem of paper for $7 at Office Depot, a thriftstore relic that had a couple keys broken, and voila!
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Post by icebox » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:53 pm

What if the Man was something that EVERYONE created. As it stands, there is somewhat of a seperation between participants and the wooden dude. He's built by the org before a lot of people get there, then raised up above them where he becomes totally inaccessible. Then we are held at bay while he burns to the ground and the only way to get a piece of him is to pick up his ashes.

How about if part of getting through the greeter gate involved contributing a piece of burnable art that would become part of the Man, similar to a canned food drive. The only requirements would be that it be between such-and-such size (a breadbox?) and burnable. Then these pieces would be attached to a bare bones frame of a man (or dropped into a chicken wire frame? other ideas?) that would remain on the ground until completed -- like a xmas tree where everyone gets to decorate it. We would watch this Man grow over the course of the week as more participants come in, and then burn the bastard on Friday night.

This would be different than the memorial type offerings that people add to the Temple. This thing would be built from the ground up by participants. It would be a communal art piece -- not by some solo artist, the org, or otherwise. There are many ways to approach this kind of alternative to the same ol' Man every year -- any suggestions/ideas? It could even be a seperate Man located elsewhere on the playa in defiance of Mr. Blue Neon, but I think it would be interesting to change up the Big Fella for once in a manner other than changing his base.

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Post by souldancer » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:23 pm

You could crash that idea into mine very easily. Burn the neon man on monday and the rest of the week, allow participants to help "build" the new man and then burn that on saturday. I think that would be beautiful.

I know it would be a pain to have 30,000 people show up on monday, but frankly, I don't see that happening. I think that a whole lot of people would show up but not all of them. You have to admit - it would at least cut the jock/yahoo factor.
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Post by Fat SAM » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:42 pm

By the way I posted that under my wife's handle, I didn't realize that.
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:54 pm

Funny - Building another Man.

That was something a group of us talked about yesterday. We brainstormed ideas for next year - some more or less doable.

Our thought was build a 50 ft. Man. Or maybe smaller men & burn them Sat at the burn platforms during the big burn - you know - give people a smaller simplier man that they can touch & see & not worry about missing.

Fun fun fun!

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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:06 pm

PetsUntilEaten wrote:Funny - Building another Man.

That was something a group of us talked about yesterday. We brainstormed ideas for next year - some more or less doable.

Our thought was build a 50 ft. Man. Or maybe smaller men & burn them Sat at the burn platforms during the big burn - you know - give people a smaller simplier man that they can touch & see & not worry about missing.

Fun fun fun!
YES!!!

So there are what, about four burn platforms give or take???

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:07 pm

I think at least ten...
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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:31 pm

Shite!!! ok, thanks Goddammit... he he he
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icebox
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Post by icebox » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:34 pm

We rangered the Esplanade on Sunday and I remember there being about 8 burn barrels, give or take a few. Man, I can't believe what some people were trying to put in them. I guess a week in the desert can do things to your common sense.

I love the idea of building other, smaller Men and burning them at the barrels, unannounced. I can just picture the surprise to the larger crowd as we simultaneously erect the mini-Men and burn them in unison, in a circle of defiance around the main attraction. Can we make this happen, or what? I seriously doubt the org will make any drastic changes to the Man, so its up to us. They don't have to be of complex design -- just flat wooden silhouettes or simple 2x4 structure would do the job, maybe with some blue el-wire. Something easy to get out there and erect in a timely fashion under the cover of darkness. I would suggest we allow the Man to burn first so the crowd can gather out there and have a chance to start heading back before we ignite. That way we get the last word in. Who's in?

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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:40 pm

MMMMmmm - I'd even spring for some EL wire (neon) & sparklers (fireworks).

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icebox
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Post by icebox » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:42 pm

Just the idea of another Man all of a sudden lighting up in blue splendor after the original one falls...

Burning Man -- back door Trojan Horse style :twisted:

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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:54 pm

This has to be done!!!! So were talking eight to ten burn boxes, allrightythen. I can build build build, how tall would we like them to be?
I can draw up plans for building so other peeps can partially build wherever it is they are coming from. Then they would just have to be finished off on the PLAYA!!!!!

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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:59 pm

Yea! I'm glad other people are into this idea.

For myself I almost missed/skipped the burn the last two years - Personally I'd like a smaller alternative during the actual burn & I'm not sure I'd want to draw the whole city. But if various people/camps/groups are into this idea I don't see why we couldn't all have our own men. Perhaps many throughout the night - just a few - or waves of them.

There is also plywood cutouts similar to the cut outs used in the temple.
There could be many many cut outs made. I do like the idea of people/camps/groups creating their own designs & images.

One thing that would draw me to the real burn is something like Mason's flame towers (Impotence Compensation Project) - those are a spectical & a half.

My only thought about doing this on mass is that they would never pull fire personnel away if we tried to do something big. So keeping it small or under the radar is a good idea. I can't imagine they have the personnel to stop it either. We'd be on our own!!! Yea!

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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:05 pm

Roland Tower has a pretty sinister idea to build upon. A young guy with wayyyy too much time on his hands has what could be a special accessory to any playa art piece.

His first post has all the necessary links. I'm thinking a six arm Hello Kitty (Hello Shiva) placed right in the middle of the playa should draw quite a nightime crowd of moths to this contraprion.

Have a look: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showth ... genumber=1
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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:07 pm

Fukin hell, ICP needs to come back! My buddy Z was partners with ol Jim on the ICP, that is a fukin spectical and a half. I just don't understand why the BM org would rather have fire dancers over the ICP.

On our own sounds mighty fine to me!!! As does different designs...

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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:09 pm

Hahahaha.

There's about 7 in my posse into the idea though we are in 3 different cities. Icebox, you'll be glad to know that we thought of about 26 ideas under the name of "Project Mayhem". Sadly for me one of the ideas was to get a pig as a mascot & slaughter it & serve it at the end of the week. Funny that I'd be the one to flinch at that - yes? Just to futher that great minds think alike - another thought was a real Trojan Horse by which we could water attack aother villages.

I won't ruin the other ideas by letting them out of the bag -

Yes - some of them we could actually pull off!

So back to this "other men" building . . .

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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:10 pm

Badger wrote:Roland Tower has a pretty sinister idea to build upon. A young guy with wayyyy too much time on his hands has what could be a special accessory to any playa art piece.

His first post has all the necessary links. I'm thinking a six arm Hello Kitty (Hello Shiva) placed right in the middle of the playa should draw quite a nightime crowd of moths to this contraprion.

Have a look: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showth ... genumber=1
Checked that out a few months back, it's so wrong yet, so right at the same time.
yes thats a good idea...

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Post by Badger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:16 pm

Checked that out a few months back, it's so wrong yet, so right at the same time.
You want wrong? Here's wrong.

An old fave. I just don't have the heart to sacrifice my own car's turbo to make this thing. Not so much dangerous as over the top. Anchored to a little red wagon and pulled around by a bicycle, this thing would get some attention.

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Post by bullD » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:20 pm

:shock: I gotta have one!!! This thing is way beyond wrong...

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Post by Tiahaar » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:40 pm

Righto, since no-one else is chiming in here I say leave the big Saturday night Man-burn/circle-the-mutant-vehicles/fire-spinning show when it is! Its darn well worth waiting the week for and having a final Main Man event. Geez, next you'll want to rename the freakin event.

OK, so instead I suggest...a major Monday night opening fireworks and flame effects show! Something HUGE and not-to-be-missed for all true burners. The pagoda burn had the right idea even with its wind delayed Thursday night happening. I like the mini-Man burn ideas too.

In 2003 I had some campmates that wanted to go home right after the burn...which they thought was on Friday (if it had been Thursday they would have wanted to go home Friday, if Wednesday...well you get the idea) but dammit thankgoodness the burn was Saturday night. I still have not seen the temple burn though and would dearly like to stay over till Monday but must compromise or get some new campmates. Maybe next year (what will Mr. Best come up with next? His is the variety to balance the traditional Man).
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