Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Zhust
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Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Zhust » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:23 am

Put aside all the kvetching about how it was better next year and all that ... forget about ticketing and plug-and-play camps ...

I'm just not that into it anymore. Maybe it was because I had a really good year that I didn't think could be topped. Or that I'm so bloated with expectations that I can't see the experience as new anymore. I've been trying to rekindle interest—intending to drum up enough excitement for 2016—but it's not sticking. It's become another thing that I did and I pretend like I know what it is.

I used to get all jazzed about some project or trying something new, but it all just seems so ... wasteful ... ?

I mean, it's a hassle to schlep 2,500 miles regardless, and then it's a challenge, but an arbitrary one. I don't really want to build another electronic thing to see if it'll work for a week of abuse. Nor do I want to build another contraption that's only useful on the flat, hot Playa.

Harumph. Any ideas?
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby digital » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:37 am

There's a saying in psychedelic culture which fits Burning Man pretty well:

"When you get the message, hang up the phone."

That is to say Burning Man, to me, is very much like a psychedelic trip. There are highs, lows, and everything in between. Sometimes you 'have the calling' to go though it, sometimes you don't. Nothing wrong or off about that. Take a break. See if you have more desire next year. If not, the year after that. Or maybe never again. You got the message.

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby torrey.smith » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:41 am

We cut the first Temple arch Saturday night.

I would say I feel quite elated at the moment.

My camp is joining with two others to form a village. This will allow us to bring as many as six major installations to BRC.

I can't fully convey how amazing it feels to be inducted into a family like this. The feeling of community and shared purpose is getting to be damn near sacred to me.

I tell newbies that Burning Man is what you make it to be and what you allow it to be.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby ygmir » Mon Apr 27, 2015 9:43 am

I found volunteering for GPE really changed the event for me, seeing what goes on to make it happen and keep it working and safe.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby digital » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:17 am

ygmir wrote:I found volunteering for GPE really changed the event for me, seeing what goes on to make it happen and keep it working and safe.

Same here. Had I not fallen into a work camp I would not have gone past year two. Fun and games gets dull pretty quick. Getting your hands dirty to put on the show - Now there's a good time.

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:24 am

we live in the same town, jason and i.

it is a schlep....it's a pain in the ass....it's difficult, sometimes scary, in some circumstances, life threatening.

it costs a lot of money.

i hate yoga.....i digress.

it AINT EASY

jason, from one jaded old fuck to another i empathize and can only offer you this.
















titties.

all over the place.

and ass.....ass and titties, titties and asses.

ass ass titty titty.



[media]







i hope this helps.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Elderberry » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:33 am

What he said.

digital wrote:There's a saying in psychedelic culture which fits Burning Man pretty well:

"When you get the message, hang up the phone."

That is to say Burning Man, to me, is very much like a psychedelic trip. There are highs, lows, and everything in between. Sometimes you 'have the calling' to go though it, sometimes you don't. Nothing wrong or off about that. Take a break. See if you have more desire next year. If not, the year after that. Or maybe never again. You got the message.


And what Simon said too. (Although it might not be titties for me, but that's neither here nor there.)
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:38 am

For me, the main event has lost some of its importance, but that's mostly because I've been doing more regionals in the off season. I've found that I get a lot of enjoyment out of just hanging out with burners and don't really need all the flash and spectacle of the playa as much.

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:25 am

Yes. Absolutely. Very much so. Basically, I went for the people I knew, so when they all got together and threw my camp out of the village, and didn't tell me I didn't want to go any more. It was so damn juvenile. High school cliques. I thought that burningman was a haven for outcasts. (Yeah, I know.) Same old piranha pool...
I tried the next year, and even though I love Tamara, and Jonsi, and Sadie, and Angela, and Ken, and Monty, and Tinkermom, and so many others... I just couldn't do it. I had been ripped in half the year before and during the ensuing year it was like someone had taken sandpaper to my skin and I hurt, hurt, hurt. There was pit of the stomach stuff going on as well. I know the reasonable thing to have done was find new friends, but I am not a reasonable person. Shy or damaged by depression or very light Asperger's, I don't know, but I'm not putting my trust on the line any time soon.
So, I bought a house and I'm trying to do what I want with my life. Art. Throwing an Art Party this weekend. Read. Chasing the dog. "Real" friends.
Fuck the event.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby asr9754 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:41 am

I have told some friends who were on the fence about Bman: if you're not fully into it, you probably shouldn't go. It's so hard, so much work, and physically and emotionally demanding, I think people should be feeling it pretty strongly or else they are setting themselves up to have a bad time. Learned this the hard way when some camp mates persuaded some extra friends to come along, even though they don't like camping, loud music, dust, wacky art, or crowds. Looking back, we probably sugarcoated the event and really laid it on thick to convince these friends to come because we liked them a lot and generally enjoy their company. But Bman is not for everyone--these friends ended up grumpy and leaving after 2 days. Now, I don't try to convince anyone to go. I tell them about it and describe the plusses and minuses as best as I can, but they have to WANT IT before I'll invite them to camp with me. It's the "Go big or go home" mentality.

You have 3 months + to get energized, however, there are plenty of people who would love to buy your ticket.

It might help to go back and look at some of your old photos, or contact some burner friends you haven't seen in a long time--that might be the kick in the pants you need to get excited. Or at least to make a decision. I get excited by learning new skills. Because of Bman, I now know how to fix bikes, sew with a machine, solder, rivet, bend rebar.... I use these skills in normal life all the time . Maybe a Playa project that has some usefulness in your normal life too, like a cool bike light, camping gear, or a piece of art that you can display at home?

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby AntiM » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:44 am

Moved to Politics and Philosophy, as that is a better fit.
http://burningman.org/timeline/

Poke me to experience my gooey insides!

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby AntiM » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:52 am

15 years is a damn long time. I miss out on a lot now on the playa, often feeling too wiped out to leave camp. I do not have the energy for playa volunteering now. Some days I look at my paintings and wonder who cares (I know people do, just get down about the effort).

TMI

I feel much the same way about the event as I do about post-menopausal sex; these days I am a slow starter and difficult to warm up, I'd miss it immensely if I didn't try, and once begun, I really get into it, and it becomes more and more enjoyable, even if I do have to accommodate my aging issues in creative ways.

Eplaya is my sex grease.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Zhust » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:14 pm

Thanks everyone for the comments. It's rather inspiring, actually.

I've skipped years in the past, but this seems more permanent ... I've had moments when I felt like those non-Burners who just can't figure out "why?" at all.

asr9754 wrote:I have told some friends who were on the fence about Bman: if you're not fully into it, you probably shouldn't go.


Yeah ... burned a friendship that way. Perhaps the one factor that defines how much I enjoy (an inadequate word ...) the event is how much I want to go. I say "enjoy" is inadequate because I had a deeply rewarding experience when, for each of the first 5 years I went, I left completely exhausted and insisted to myself that I never return (even writing notes in my journal to that extent, begging my future self to remember how bad it gets.) Enjoy definitely isn't the right word.

Also, the whole community thing is alien to me. I've camped solo, camped with 30 people, built art projects, brought my own art, helped build a temple, been with a great group, lived in a village—and never had any inkling that there was anything of a community. I don't have Burner friends who I keep in contact with across the country. I don't feel like I belong (still ... after 8 years in the past ten.) (But I'm not an idiot: it's not it, it's me not building those relationships.)

I've got other plans this summer and September, so I'm definitely skipping 2015. I want to get inspired for 2016, though, but it's too meta to want to want to go ... :)
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby AntiM » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:20 pm

Last year a bartender at a playa bar which returns year after year was talking about his ennui on the playa. He said seeing Larry and I were one reason he returned. We only see him a couple hours a couple days during the week, we are not close friends, have no contact online ... but as someone's reason, how can I not return? Who else might need me, new or old?
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:45 pm

I'm a jaded old burner and I've been right where you are.
It IS wasteful, expensive, and can get old.
I didn't go for several years. I even skipped last year.
It's supposed to be fun. When it's not fun, don't do it.
After having been away a while, I'm a lot more enthusiastic to go back.
So that's my advice. Take a break.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:18 pm

BM is a place of amazing friends to keep connected year around. BM can be a quest, a reset, a chance to get off the grid in an intense environment. But I would put my travel experiences above BM in all those categories, and you can travel intensely for the same funds and time. Yes it is extremely wasteful from a material consumption and energy view, but international flights are also extremely energy intensive. I decided to go back when I had a goal for my participation enough ahead of time to arrange the trip, rather than just going every year by default. YMMV
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:46 pm

i HAVE to go.

i have some wayward art that i found today, and i would be remiss, if i did not deliver them to AntiM.

they are that special.

i have a purpose, a reason, a mission.

and i will deliver this art, so it may be adopted, by a loving home.

here is a sample of the portfolio that someone threw in a dumpster.


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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby trilobyte » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:01 pm

At present, personally, no I'm not. That's not to say that it doesn't wax and wane at times - my girlfriend had been to the event many times and had pretty much figured that she was done with Burning Man for years before we met, and since we got together we've taken a few years off. For us, anyways, the time off seemed to recharge our batteries - when we came back in 2011 we were initially hesitant (what if it had lost its magic?), but when we actually got out there everything fell into place and all doubts and reservations had melted away.

It might help (or it might not) that we don't really think in terms of "can't be topped" for any given year. My experience has been that each year is unique. Not just for the art or the events or whatever, but in the range of experiences and emotions and in the challenges and lessons. Some years have been harder than others, some difficult in different ways, but they're all pretty damned good (I wouldn't trade any one year for an extra helping of some other year).

A year (or two or three) off may do you good. Or you might want to consider exploring some of the events happening in different regionals, or just go rock an awesome adventure someplace else (which is what we did during a couple of our gap years). You'll be missed, but I'd rather you were happy and excited to be doing something than not.

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:51 pm

Maybe the most important thing to keep in mind: for what it costs to do Burning Man comfortably, you can fly to the beautiful tropical place of your choice with clear water and white sand, and all you have to bring is some shorts, a few t shirts, and sunglasses.
Try it. It's REALLY nice. And so easy!
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby mdmf007 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:39 pm

Like Trilo - it has its ups and downs. I always have the loftiest of plans for BM in November and December, it tapers off in Jan-May, then by August I am running in circles again catching up. More than one year I have said "Im done" just to find myself diving back in.

Your mileage may vary as well.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:47 pm

Hell, it's really nice just staying home too. Last year was the first year I haven't gone since I started going. One of my campmates came by on his way to pick up some stuff, and I was really glad I didn't have to stress out about fitting all my crap in my truck, or if my suspension was going to break because I had too many beer kegs in it. Then I went inside and slept in my bed and watched the webcam most of the event. Then after the week was over, everyone was in the same situation as me... not at burning man. :)

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:01 pm

Except you weren't out a few grand!
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Jovankat » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:24 pm

Oh my dog Simon I love that bare chested man! I can't wait to see what else you've found!

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby DoctorIknow » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:28 pm

I’ve owned so many cars and trucks….

Then, for each one, the time comes when I realize that vehicle now owns me.

I still own Burning Man.

More than once I’ve been out there very stressed thinking WTF am I doing here when I could be / should be -------- , but part of the beauty of BM is that is in the middle of nowhere, and I bless my stars I’ve found a geographical place on this earth that can instigate the germination of buried seeds of knowledge I have but haven’t been using: life lessons already there, spouting in playa dust and making me more of who I am than I was before.

I suppose there might be a year in the future (who knows, maybe this year) where nothing new sprouts and grows in me out there.

Then, just like with the cars/trucks, perhaps when I’m getting ready for 2016, unpacking some stinking, flesh eating playa dust covered object of stupid utility, I’ll think “Why is this once vital relationship with playa dust now something I abhor” and then the thought: “It owns you now, whatcha gonna do ‘bout it, Doc?”

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Ratty » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:43 pm

WARNING: Burners may be closer than they appear.
Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Zubeneschamali » Tue May 05, 2015 3:22 pm

Stumbled into this one with a lot of feelings about it. Cause I've gone thru that, lost my playa mojo, skipped a year here and there. Then had a couple of years where I went but I didn't participate. That was the worst and I basically built a wall around myself and didn't allow it to happen. During that phase I decided to end it abruptly, like mid-burn! and packed my shit and said my goodbye's on Friday morning.

I drove South on 447 thru the valley with the BM looking power lines and cried because it was over and I knew that was the last time I was ever going to pass down that road again in my life ever. I knew there were people there I would never see again in my life, and connections that could be nurtured into lifelong ties if I put in half an effort but I had been too much of a dick to even do that. I told myself it was over, a nice clean break, and it was time to move on with life.

I made good on my conviction to not go and I skipped the following year. It was easy, I had an intensely demanding job and I didn't have the pre-burn jitters and it came and passed with little impact. I think I may have gone out into the backyard at dusk on Saturday night to smoke a cigar and imagine my camp at the burn. But I wasn't connected to it.

In fact, I was so disconnected that when tickets went on sale early in 2014 I didn't even sign up. I gave my ticket code back to the camp and told them nope, not going.

And then in May 2014 I saw the sign that changed everything. It was just a cloud but it opened something up in me that I hadn't felt in a long time. I knew right then I was going to Burning Man 2014. And I went and it was awesome. And I can't wait to go in.....117 days or so.

But my mojo has changed, not in a bad way its just different. I need to challenge myself with new things, some for my camp and some for me. And I've been involved with the camp and recruiting new people and that really gives me happiness. Because time isn't a line its a circle, and I can mentor and advise the new camp leadership, and maybe I'm not there and the camp lives on.

Anyways, life changes and people changes and I don't know what will happen to me in the future, much less whats going on with you. I guess the message is - sometimes you gotta say Fuck Off and turn your back. Only then will you know if its important or not.

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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Zhust » Thu May 07, 2015 9:16 am

Zubeneschamali wrote:Stumbled into this one with a lot of feelings about it. Cause I've gone thru that, lost my playa mojo, skipped a year here and there. Then had a couple of years where I went but I didn't participate. That was the worst and I basically built a wall around myself and didn't allow it to happen. During that phase I decided to end it abruptly, like mid-burn! and packed my shit and said my goodbye's on Friday morning.

I drove South on 447 thru the valley with the BM looking power lines and cried because it was over and I knew that was the last time I was ever going to pass down that road again in my life ever. I knew there were people there I would never see again in my life, and connections that could be nurtured into lifelong ties if I put in half an effort but I had been too much of a dick to even do that. I told myself it was over, a nice clean break, and it was time to move on with life.


That was like my worst year. I didn't feel like going but was encouraged to go with a friend and I had a terrible time. We—well, I mostly—packed up in the middle of a dust storm that lasted until the Burn. We drove out as the man burned, slowly crawling against throngs of people heading toward the burn. I don't remember when I cried about it ... maybe it wasn't even cathartic, just a slow months-long malaise, nary a tear.

I have a way of communicating with my subconscious that's like a game of 20 questions. "Does this feel good or does this?" kind of things. I don't get a reaction from "go to Burning Man" versus "stay home". Something else needs to be teased out.

Here's a thing I miss: every full moon, I'd think, "I wonder how many more full moons we have until the burn." Clearly, Burning Man was coursing through my veins. Now, not so much. I long for the longing—to really be excited about going. I want to want it.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu May 07, 2015 9:39 am

there are pills for that.


however,

make sure your heart is healthy enough for burning man, and if you find that you REALLY want to do burning man for more than 4 hours at a time, call a doctor immediately.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby Eric » Thu May 07, 2015 1:07 pm

Zhust wrote:I long for the longing—to really be excited about going. I want to want it.


To this armchair psychologist, this reads like you're trying to force yourself into wanting to go. The fact you started a thread about it even looks like you're looking for someone to give you a reason to attend, because you can't "feel" one. People burn out, it happens (it's happened to friends around me). We all know that forcing yourself to go is just guaranteeing that your Burn will suck.

My advise: stop thinking about. Move on to something else. Don't look back. If, sometime in the future, you get the itch, the Burn will be there.
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Re: Are you losing interest in Burning Man too?

Postby trilobyte » Thu May 07, 2015 1:31 pm

All that stuff... comes from inside of you. If something inside you is different (I won't say broken, but changed) and in your current state you just aren't feeling it.... that's probably your inner self tipping you off that you probably want to do something different (this year, for a few years, or forever). Forcing it won't help, and neither will phoning it in (personally I think both those actually cause more harm than good, and lead to feelings of resentment).


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