Bitter Ex-Burners

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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theCryptofishist
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Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:24 pm

Or sometimes Bitter Current Burners...

My first year was the year when ESD broke out of the Rangers and became its own department. Or maybe it was the year that it started breaking away the Rangers and the next year was when it became its own department.
There were hard feelings and controversies. So, as long as I've been going there has been a chorus of raging disagreement, often on points that seem minor, even silly. It's almost always Larry's fault. He's sold out. Doesn't matter if you quit going in 1991, or 1996, or 2000, or 2006, or 2011--Larry sold out.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:25 pm

Of course, I'm bumping into it from the other side now.



At least, Larry's not my bugaboo...
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Butter Ex-Burners

Post by Simon of the Playa » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:35 am

use real stuff, not margarine.
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by TT120 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:32 am

How long do I have to wait till I'm bitter?
Life's a bitch, then you go to Burning Man - Unjonharley

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by Mojojita » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:34 am

This was a really rugged year on the playa for me and there was a time when I said to myself that I'm finally over it. I'm glad I got over being over it but I know I'm a little more jaded. I'm going to work at interacting more beyond my volunteer jobs, spend more time creating and less time working.
Ut ballista es interdico, tantum interdico mos fui ballista.

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by trilobyte » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:38 pm

To a degree, one could argue that bitterness and being jaded are core parts of the event. From the very first burn in BRC, there were people bitter about it having moved away from the beach. People get bitter or jaded for lots of reasons - departments split, camps implode, their favorite DJ stopped coming, guns aren't allowed anymore, you have to register stuff in advance, there aren't enough tickets for everybody, etc.

Whether they're lessons or just life experiences or something else, and just how bitter you get... is pretty much up to you. People (in general) aren't that great at dealing with change. They can deal with and adapt to little things, but bigger changes can be really hard. How hard depends on how emotionally involved you are in whatever it is that's changing. It can also depend on whether you're the one making the change or whether the change is being put upon you (for example, getting a new apartment vs. getting kicked out of your current apartment). During my corporate years, I'd been through a couple re-orgs. I also participated in a couple seminars and workshops on change management. When a change is bigger than a person's ability to deal with that change, they often seize up. There's complaining and wailing and gnashing of teeth, real emotional stress and anguish, and other 'stages of grief' stuff - including bitterness.

Saying 'just get over it' is an over-simplification, and I think it trivializes the emotional stress and anguish that the bitter/jaded person is feeling. The person saying it means well, but the person hearing it isn't ready to hear that yet. Sometimes it takes time and then yeah, you do can get over it... (then you go from being bitter ex burner to jaded burner, or 'born again burgin' on your first year back) and sometimes it signals a change in direction and you do something else. The best advice I can offer is to give it some time.

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by FlyingMonkey » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:17 am

theCryptofishist wrote:Or sometimes Bitter Current Burners...

My first year was the year when ESD broke out of the Rangers and became its own department. Or maybe it was the year that it started breaking away the Rangers and the next year was when it became its own department.
There were hard feelings and controversies. So, as long as I've been going there has been a chorus of raging disagreement, often on points that seem minor, even silly. It's almost always Larry's fault. He's sold out. Doesn't matter if you quit going in 1991, or 1996, or 2000, or 2006, or 2011--Larry sold out.
If you don't mind me asking, what was the final straw that made you an Ex-Burner, or was it a lot of different things that just built up over time?
In your wildest dreams you can not imagine the marvelous SURPRISES that await YOU.

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:51 am

It was the unkindness, devolving to nastiness, that ensued in the breakup of my village. I have a really difficult time adjusting to being a non-person. I tried last year with a glorious camp that loved me and treated me well, but I was still unhappy. It's a lot of time and money and effort to go to someplace and feel depressed and alone.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by Sham » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:52 am

FlyingMonkey wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:Or sometimes Bitter Current Burners...

My first year was the year when ESD broke out of the Rangers and became its own department. Or maybe it was the year that it started breaking away the Rangers and the next year was when it became its own department.
There were hard feelings and controversies. So, as long as I've been going there has been a chorus of raging disagreement, often on points that seem minor, even silly. It's almost always Larry's fault. He's sold out. Doesn't matter if you quit going in 1991, or 1996, or 2000, or 2006, or 2011--Larry sold out.
If you don't mind me asking, what was the final straw that made you an Ex-Burner, or was it a lot of different things that just built up over time?
Our dear fishy is not an ex-burner yet. That may or may not happen in August. I choose to be an optimist and fully expect to see Miss Fishy tooling around the playa come August. We shall see. 8)

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:56 am

Oh, Sham, you're so sweet.



I do have an odd notion of going up to Reno for a couple of days, post event, see who I can see, hang out a couple of days. Go thrift shopping if nothing else shows up.

But, at very least, I need a year off.

And I love you, Sham. And I love so many people on this board.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by AntiM » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:02 pm

Greeter at the Sands?

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by Eric » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:21 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:But, at very least, I need a year off.
I don't think anyone is truly an "ex-Burner" until they've taken a year or two off & go "yep, done with that". A year off gives you a chance to see if you just need a break, or are really done. I know when I had my no-choice breaks in 2008 & 09 due to work, I couldn't wait to get back, so I knew that Burning Man was something I really wanted to do. You may feel differently, and decide you're really done. That's okay too - there needs to be a good joy-to-misery ratio to make the event worthwhile, and if you (or anyone) are spending more time unhappy there than you're spending having a good time, it's probably not the place to be, at least for a little while. If (and when) you come back, you know you'll be welcomed with open arms.
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by ygmir » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:30 pm

AntiM wrote:Greeter at the Sands?
what a place to prank a "playa mis-information booth".......
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by ZaphodBurner » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:27 pm

We only attend every other year. Every late August, we either go "Oh my fucking God, I can't believe we're going to Burning Man" or "Oh, my fucking God, I can't believe we're not going to Burning Man."

It's a lot harder to shake the melancholy on the Exodus drive when you look back and say goodbye to Black Rock City and the Man one last time and remember that it's already gone. On the other hand, the week that your friends are at the burn and you're not passes mercifully and startlingly fast, and homesickness diminishes much more rapidly.

I think if more people gave it a try, there would be fewer jaded ex-burners, fewer ticket hassles, reduced playa-sprawl and roadwear, and a more sustainable lifestyle as a "Burner" in that every other summer you have an opportunity to find some other adventure and you're twice as appreciative when you come home.
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by VultureChow » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:21 pm

Thanks Zaphod for the insight. I've been wondering how to satisfy my wanderlust while returning to Burning Man. I'm not prepared to take two long vacations in a year,and there's so many places to go and things to see.

I've started considering alternating BM one year and a regional the next as a way to satisfy both desires. But I'm still new to this. I love going to TTITD. It still has enough novelty that I'm not quite jaded yet. And 2015 I want to do a piece of art on the playa. Maybe 2016 I'll try for an exotic regional.

Or who the fuck knows. Maybe I'll have a shitty time this year and just sit on a beach next year.
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by H.G.Crosby » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:13 pm

as the years go on, i find myself attending pretty much out of pure spite.


hey, it keeps me fresh.
Once I noticed I was on fire, I decided to relax and enjoy the fall™

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by ygmir » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:37 pm

H.G.Crosby wrote:as the years go on, i find myself attending pretty much out of pure spite.


hey, it keeps me fresh.
like a Summers Eve?
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:31 pm

And that will kill the thread. Thanks, Ygmir.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by gaminwench » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:13 am

This year, I will fight the 'bitters'.

I have tickets, but no camp.
I will make a lovely 'nest', with no one to share.
I have volunteer opportunities, but no inspiration.
I have drive, with out direction.

It will be interesting to see what arises, I am open.
The playa is a fickle mistress.

I am armed with
love,
salty munchies,
enthusiasm,
and whiskey.

This was the best year, ever.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by trilobyte » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:43 am

Well said, Zaphod. I agree, it's a good idea if regulars and veterans do a little soul-searching or taking of stock. If you're not feeling it, then plan to take a break. Your campmates and burner friends will understand - they'll miss you, but they'll understand. I think that going out of a sense of obligation, or because that's just what you do at the end of the summer... only fuels the whole jaded/bitter/burned out thing. The gap years my girlfriend and I have had were wonderful, and thanks to them we've gained a new appreciation for the event and feel like it was a great creative recharge.

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by Aurelia » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:19 am

What a powerful thread this has become !

Thank you all for the real writes

Trilo , Sham well said

Apparently my family has heard me every year as I state my intentions of being a retired burner

Impossible

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by ygmir » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:29 am

theCryptofishist wrote:And that will kill the thread. Thanks, Ygmir.

*checks Fishy off "prognostication" list*
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:42 am

(hmmm...)
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by motskyroonmatick » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:29 pm

gaminwench,
Perhaps join us at Stag Camp. We've been home to the seasoned burner figuring things out before.
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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:09 am

One of the things that really got me about people blaming Larry, or some volunteer supervisor, or whomever, for ruining the event for them, so they were never coming again was the whole inability to see why the policy might be needed in an expanding and increasingly visible event. Yes, I can see that you don't like that reality, but after the--was it '96?--incident when someone was run over in a tent, the the BLM was involved, like it or not. And then it became who can interact with the agency best. I think it's okay to say the event died then, and that a new event with the same name, the same site, and an overlap of stuffs replaced it.
And, of course, the expansion of the event had a whole lot of participents telling their friends: You gotta do this! There was little, if any, direct advertising. Maybe some of those people who hate it for getting bigger never told anyone else to go, but most did.
Which isn't actually what I meant to say when I started this post... I hated people blaming other people for making them not come anymore, and yet, here I am, doing the same. It's all part of how we learn about our own faults...
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by goathead » Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:43 am

ZaphodBurner wrote:We only attend every other year. Every late August, we either go "Oh my fucking God, I can't believe we're going to Burning Man" or "Oh, my fucking God, I can't believe we're not going to Burning Man."
Snicker, if you lived here it would be "are they ever going to get here, and then why the fuck don't they go home?"

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by C187 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:16 am

theCryptofishist wrote:It's a lot of time and money and effort to go to someplace and feel depressed and alone.
For what it matters, I've had that thought in my head at least once every year I've gone to Burning Man. Most of the time I force myself find something amusing around me. If that doesn't work I remind myself that the event is really the only time of the year I have the opportunity to feel like a real human.
H.G.Crosby wrote:as the years go on, i find myself attending pretty much out of pure spite.
I went out of spite in 2009. Looking back it was one of my better years. I highly recommend going out of spite.
motskyroonmatick wrote:gaminwench,
Perhaps join us at Stag Camp. We've been home to the seasoned burner figuring things out before.
We're also home to wide eyed newcomers, cliquey regional types, fire spinners, all colors of overworked volunteers, jaded asshats, that guy, individuals who think they can still pull that off, shiny people, low key hippie chick, perverted deadlock guy, an eplaya mod, cat fanciers, a freaking brain surgeon, furries, illustrators, traveling types, people who build shit, geeks, freaks, fetishists, and a grumpy old man who will yell at you to keep off the grass.

It's like having half the playa crammed into one awesome package. Best part is everyone is cool with you doing your own thing, and being left alone if you want it. Think about it.
I have a little bit of Savannah with me. Shhh...

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Re: Bitter Ex-Burners

Post by Shoeshine » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:39 am

complete thread necromancy:

But this struck a chord with me. Thanks all. Appreciate your input if even from the past.
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