makers vs huggers vs gifters vs drinkers

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
jimmason
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makers vs huggers vs gifters vs drinkers

Post by jimmason » Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:58 am

well, now that andi has so helpful divided the entire Burning Man universe into progressives and conservatives (interestingly leaving the petition writers in the "conservative" category, through the idea of radical democracy is radically new and completely unrelated to the times of john law), i thought i might continue with this helpful pigeon-holing enterprise so we each can better identify ourselves and know what we think about things.

first, i propose we toss the burner term. clearly we aren't one group and many of us respond to being called a burner in about the same manner we would be if called a hare krishna. a burner has always sounded like a cult member to me. i cringe everytime i hear it.

so let's break it down a bit.

to get things rolling, i'll start with my clan. i'll call them the "makers". these are the people who make stuff, whether art installations or art cars or bombs or wild costumes or impossible music or clever theme camps that are more than bars or raves. the dpw are also makers. they make the city. makers make art of various types, as well as other stuff we might as well call art. art is a cheap whore of a word so let's not limited her circulation.

next we have the "huggers". these are the people who consider the primary point of burning man to be a big affirmative group hug. kinda like an outward bound of empowerment or a rainbow gathering that is not in the woods. they show up, feel the vibe, and pass the vibe around the community, inhaling the collective good will and energy. they feel great and smile a lot, but typically make little.

and then we might suggest the voting block of the "gifters". these are the people who ignore the about 50 million dollars transacted each year around this event and think the real truth of the event is pushing a trinket on a random passerby, or maybe enveloping someone in a fog of sage smoke, or maybe offering a thirty desert wanderer some water laced with acid (the later we will call the "aggressive gifters").

now for my own entertainment and truth of observation, i'm going the lump the "huggers" and "gifters" together into a new meta-category which i will call: the "drinkers". these are the people who seem to most vigorously drink of the kool aid issuing forth from the head office. they like titles and neat nmemonics and clean organizing principles. they don't really like mess or change or improvisation or comedy, and are, quite frankly, terrified that we are trying to change things with this petition.

we want there to be a reckoning that forces us to truly face who we are and what we want. no group can be everything. if you are everying, you are ultimately insipid and nothing, which is the road we are well down now. the "drinkers" desperately want to believe in something, and we are threatening what they have found to believe in.

now all of use wander around a bit between these different camps, partaking of bits and pieces of each one here and there, but most of us clearly identify with and strongly affirm one or the other or the other.

but what are we going to do with the fact that this event was created by makers, that though their making also found hugging and gifting. and they found that specific order of things to be good. that order of things worked so well it was fruitful and multiplied. now we have various flavor of drinkers saying the point of all this is to drink, and the makers are disgusted and think they have now been subsumed by a cult and are streaming out in embarassment and boredom.

i don't see how all these parties, once clearly identified, are going to coexist. they want deeply different things and are somewhat rattled by the presence of the other camps. so how are we going to decide who defines the event? not everyone can define it and still have it work in a strong way. the event needs clarity and a trajectory. it can't be everything. cause if it is everything, it will be nothing. and nothing is no good. in fact, it is downright boring.

thoughts?

jim

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Post by Sensei » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:06 pm

I think you're fuckin' nutz and I have just fallen competely in love with you, that's what I think. You rock, Jim. You've got us all re-examining what the hell this 'camping trip' is, what it used to be, and more importantly, what it could be. Keep it up, you've got more fans than you know.

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Post by Sensei » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:50 pm

Oh, and I'd like to be the first to express this sentiment, but I have to give credit where credit is due: it was that sage Alpha who said it first...

I'm bringing art to the playa in '05, or I'm not coming at all.

That's it.

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Post by regynalonglank » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:00 pm

oh i don't know, i think the whole thing is kind of hillarious really, i mean you can't control it, no one can, and so it's fine to give things names and talk about it but in the end it's gonna be what it is, and that's that. we all have to coexist, and hopefully get along, but we don't have to agree, or all be a part of the same subgrouping, in order to have fun.

if a group of makers, as you call them, got together and came up with their own event that would be great. for a while they could blow stuff up and set it on fire and shoot guns like in the old days, and be radical and crazy, and if i got to go i bet i would love it, but then sooner or later they would get older and start bringing their kids, and some of the teenage kids would be ravers and then you'd be right back where we are now. i mean if something is good and really fun and unusual don't you think lots of other people are going to want to go too? and not all of those people are going to be just like the original people, but isn't that ok?

i'd like to think people could be makers and huggers and also gifters, and still be ok people. it's hard to understand what your point is, other than that you are angry and you seem to want other people to be angry with you.
\v/

/ \

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Re: makers vs huggers vs gifters vs drinkers

Post by MoisturePup » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:18 pm

jimmason wrote:
first, i propose we toss the burner term. clearly we aren't one group and many of us respond to being called a burner in about the same manner we would be if called a hare krishna. a burner has always sounded like a cult member to me. i cringe everytime i hear it.

... blah blah blah ... GOLUm! GollluM!

thoughts?

jim
I see's the preicousss!!! I see's it! The evil Harvey has MY PRECIOUS!!! GOLUM! GOLUM!!! I seeeee's the precious! AAAAAAARRRGGGGHHH!!!!!! WHY MUST YOU KEEP ME FROM MY PRECIOUS!! -- Jim Mason 2004

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Post by Cardinal » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:32 pm

Read and learn: The subtle art of Trolling

http://www.urban75.com/Mag/troll.html

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Post by Rian Jackson » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:47 pm

Jim, you may be right about this... maybe... but i am cautious of your DISDAIN for anyone different from you, and for how easily you lump people into distinct groups. It's so facile, isn't it?

Reminds me of a lot of other easy groupings people make.

Oh, and you could easily have added this to Andi's thread. It would have been easier to read. But you like to see your name in lights, don't you?
surlier than thou

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Post by MoisturePup » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:54 pm

Rian Jackson wrote:Jim, you may be right about this... maybe... but i am cautious of your DISDAIN for anyone different from you, and for how easily you lump people into distinct groups. It's so facile, isn't it?

Reminds me of a lot of other easy groupings people make.

Oh, and you could easily have added this to Andi's thread. It would have been easier to read. But you like to see your name in lights, don't you?

There's about 25 threads already existing that Jim could have added this too. This is just pure egocentric trolling now.

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Post by stuart » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:04 pm

to summarize
me and the people just like me are cool and do valuable things

people from group x seem happy but don't contribute much

people from group y think they contribute but really are just contributing to landfills

people from group z abuse us with noise pollution

for the sake of argument X=Y=Z we will call them the non-artistes. They suck and NO! we can not all get along.
Jim, quit while you're behind. Thanks to this latest from you I am now embarassed to call myself an artist.

Anyone need a hug?
call me baby

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Post by Woodrow » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:06 pm

Wait a minute... you're leaving out my group! Dammit!! We have a voice too! We should have a say in the matter! Don't diminish our involvement simply because 'yours is bigger than mine'...

The Former Tree Buggerers, Radiant Reforestation and Earth Churning Carnivorous Penis Dancers repudiate you and your poor attempt at categorization. We may be small, but we made the World what it is today! Where the hell were we in your plans when you made your list?...

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Post by sparkletarte » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:13 pm

they like titles and neat nmemonics and clean organizing principles
So you're a drinker then?

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Post by Badger » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:23 pm

There's about 25 threads already existing that Jim could have added this too. This is just pure egocentric trolling now.
I really don't see it that way. As the whole petition discussion has evolved there have been topics, proposals, ideas, etc. that have been generated from all corners by people wanting to add their .02 cents. Consolidating these various threads into one single topic would be hellacious for anyone to have to wade through. No doubt many people's interest in the issue(s) would wane as a result of trying to keep keep up with not only the main discussion but all the peripheral discussions that the main one has generated.

Just something to think about.
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Post by MoisturePup » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:27 pm

Badger wrote:
There's about 25 threads already existing that Jim could have added this too. This is just pure egocentric trolling now.
I really don't see it that way. As the whole petition discussion has evolved there have been topics, proposals, ideas, etc. that have been generated from all corners by people wanting to add their .02 cents. Consolidating these various threads into one single topic would be hellacious for anyone to have to wade through. No doubt many people's interest in the issue(s) would wane as a result of trying to keep keep up with not only the main discussion but all the peripheral discussions that the main one has generated.

Just something to think about.
Jim is starting all of the threads that I'm referring to. Those aren't side discussions, it's still the same discussion. It's too bad this e-playa software doesn't have an "ignore threads originated by person x" feature.

Hmmm... I wonder if the software eplaya uses is open source... I might be able to write in that mod.

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Post by MoisturePup » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:29 pm

MoisturePup wrote:
Badger wrote:
There's about 25 threads already existing that Jim could have added this too. This is just pure egocentric trolling now.
I really don't see it that way. As the whole petition discussion has evolved there have been topics, proposals, ideas, etc. that have been generated from all corners by people wanting to add their .02 cents. Consolidating these various threads into one single topic would be hellacious for anyone to have to wade through. No doubt many people's interest in the issue(s) would wane as a result of trying to keep keep up with not only the main discussion but all the peripheral discussions that the main one has generated.

Just something to think about.
Jim is starting all of the threads that I'm referring to. Those aren't side discussions, it's still the same discussion. It's too bad this e-playa software doesn't have an "ignore threads originated by person x" feature.

Hmmm... I wonder if the software eplaya uses is open source... I might be able to write in that mod.
Ah ha! It sure is open source. Maybe I'll find some time to tinker with it this weekend... Not that I'd expect the e-playa to adopt the code modifications I make. I'd be curious about doing it for my own site.

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Post by Badger » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:31 pm

In fact, maybe another folder under the main 'Discussion' folder might be something to consider. Call it ..um, I don't know, 'Shark Tank' or something where topical discussions such as the one Jim's petition has generated might be broken down into specific areas so that the threads can be tracked easier.
Moderate it in in such a way that no other threads could be started that weren't specifically related to discussions 'X' 'Y' or 'Z'. Until such a time as there is a way to actively select what threads one wants to read v. those that you're just not interested in the frsutration of the interface is probably going to remain.
Desert dogs drink deep.

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Post by Badger » Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:41 pm

Those aren't side discussions, it's still the same discussion.
Again, I'm not really sure it is. I think a lot of us are stuck in the idea that its about a single topic - a single issue. I'm seeing a lot of opportunity to lead into discussions that might be broken off into legit sub-topics to discuss as they relate the the greater issue of what I believe Jim's drive (myopic though I think it is) might be. Namely, that there seems to be this undercurrent being expressed on all sides that something is not quite right with the event. That something has been lost or that chnages that are taking place in the event/culture/community are either rudderless or just plain rotten. That's the bitching part. The flip side of this is that I believe the acrimony shouldn't be the only thing that gets expressed here. Using these topics I think we should trying looking at what is good, what does work and what is important and to challenege ourselves to ask how do we sustain that part of the event? How do we peprpetuate it? How do we convey it?

Toss a grenade back my wayif I come across as preachy. That's not my intent. I'm just suggesting that the tree that Jim and others would have us look at is actually part of a bigger forest we should also be looking at.

<off my soapbox...>
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absurbism

Post by jimmason » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:15 pm

folks,

my post of rank categorization was intended absurdly. the first paragraph announces it as such. my categorizations are as absurd as the conservative/progressive distinction offered elsewhere. in short, they are all wrong.

what isn't absurd here, and what i was doing seriously under the silliness is this curious realization that we are at this event for radically different purposes and different camps are often unhappy about the activities of the other camps and at times find the agenda of the other camps to be challenging the vitality of the event. the defined camps are, of course, a rank approximation, and ultimately completely wrong.

without judgement as to which "camps" are contributing more and enjoying themselves more, i am simply observing a very curious and relatively new feature at the event that the "community" is there for radically different purposes. the purposes of the community used to be much more singular. there was little question of common purpose for being there. now it is much more diverse and there is not a common purpose.

i find this interesting. it may add richness. it may dilute and obscure the whole thing. not sure. but it is a new fact i have learned of late. i did not realize how radically different our fundamental motivations were for being there when this started two weeks ago. thank you for pointing this out to me.

this was all i think i was pointing out with my absurd post. but it is something that seems important to me and something we might all need to reckon with somehow.

i think this might be part of why so many feel the event to be wandering and without direction, no matter which "camp" they are from.

our trajectory seems vague. this might not be a good idea. just thinking.

smiling,

jim

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"We"

Post by shaun » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:18 pm

Jim,

You use the word "We" at a hell of a burn rate. Me? I say to you "We Kemosabe". I have been going to the BM for 11 years and I had a blast this year, and was surrounded by people having a great time. Many will not be back, BUT 30K WILL. Maybe the BM ain't what is used to be, but NEITHER AM I, nor sadly, is the world. I applaud the bmorg for keeping this fire alive, and I hope the BM generally evolves sensibly along its bumpy path and listens to it's patrons, and I believe it has and will continue to do so. But it is going to end, and it is not going to rear up and start heading backwards.

Obviously you are not going to get any money from th BM llc after the crap you have hurled their way, but you are after POWER. Giddy power. You claim to want to help a "community" while deriding it. Brilliant politicking. This is a (hopefully) drunken attempt to hijack the power from an llc, nothing more. Buzz off.

If you start your own event, I would go if you would have me. Tho I might not be artistic enough.

Shaun

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Post by Bob » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:20 pm

This sure has brought out the inner goon in all those mush-brained peace-and-love "burners" out there, hasn't it?

Re: the eplaya, perhaps if it were more organized by topic, as well as sortable by topic and not simply defaulting to the dates of the most recent post/bump, your poor fragile brains might not be so frazzled. But IMO those who actively engage in BBS performance art or de facto moderation are probably not the one's I'd want designing such changes.
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Post by andi » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:42 pm

Jim, you should be ashamed of yourself, you have been consistently twisting peoples words and postitions to suit your ego-driven goals. You make outlandish claims, threats, and attack, then in the next sentence you say you did no such thing. I hope you keep up your ranting, go ahead show everyone what you are really made of. You have made a LOT of enemies (respect your elders, all the Regionals drink Larry's cool-aid, etc.) you just don't know when to quit.

Regarding the conservative vs. progressive thread I started, the intent was to get responses from poeple to see which direction they want the event to go into. NO ONE seems to like the present, so do we go forward or back? Simple question, but any answer is a loaded minefield. I must appologize for making the initial statement so personal, I have NO (read that as NO Jim) intention of making more labels for people to segment themselves off into, I am asking what your future outlook on the event is, not who YOU are.

I believe it was you Jim and your goons who first had at the CvP thread, and it was you guys who brought in all this art vs. community, personal attacks, you bumped a completely seperate conversation off track, no you steered it towards what YOU want to talk about.

Jim, your petition was a great start to get the dialog going but you and your goons are now only making it all worse. Just look up and down all these threads, nearly everyone is saying the same thing "cool it Jim!". We need to find solutions that bring people together, not spawn a million new threads that makes it impossible for the average person to keep up on, and by deliberately sabotaging conversations you don't like. If there is any one force which is actively driving us apart it is your attititude, and those of the ignorant (they are obviously not in the command of the facts and they have a general lack of reading comprehension skills) idiots following you.

These divisions have been around since the beginning yet we have all found a way to not only live together, but to thrive. The Project must be doing something right. Why is there now a problem with different factions fighting each other? Hmmm, well it all started with this petition a couple of weeks ago...........
Andi
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Post by Bob » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:54 pm

You seem angry.

And I used "goons" first (not wrt Jim).
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Post by andi » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:58 pm

Damn right I'm angry!!!!

How would you feel if someone came into your house, started rearranging all the furniture, pissed off everyone there, got everyone fighting, and was abusive to boot? All while saying that he is there to make things better. You don't build up and make things better by employing slash and burn tactics, and then sabotage people trying to fix the situation.
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Post by Bob » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:02 pm

Your house? You mean the eplaya?

By all means bookmark a place more to your liking on your browser.
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Post by Sensei » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:04 pm

Uh, andi? Aren't you overstating this just a little bit?
Here's a napkin for that spittle...

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Post by andi » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:18 pm

Bob, it seems the art of the metaphor is lost on you.
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Post by Sensei » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:21 pm

Oh, the irony.

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Post by MoisturePup » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:34 pm

Sensei wrote:Uh, andi? Aren't you overstating this just a little bit?
Here's a napkin for that spittle...
No, he's not. Jim, et al. have taken to turning just about every thread in every forum onto the topic of making Jim supreme world leader of Burning Man art. It's frustrating for those of us who happened to really enjoy 2004's Burning Man! I loved it! LOVED IT. It was amazing, and transformative, and beautiful, and wild... I was changed for the better by it. I was looking forward to next year, looking forward to making it even better through my own contributions.

Then along comes this petition and Jim et al. where suddenly it seems that Burning Man is only about the LLC doing all the work to change the event. I don't hear Jim et al. saying how they will change in how they approach Burning Man to make it better, in the Jim et al "can do no wrong" mindset it is everybody else who has to change... all 40,000 of us, and the LLC. I'm happy with the way BM is, I don't want to change.

If Jim et al's "dream" is so spectacular, so right, so just, how about he go out and start his own event. God knows there are many of us that would prefer an akaline free place to camp and look at staggering pieces of art work. Northern California doesn't have a regional. Go do it, make your own rules, or lack thereof... There's enough room in this world for multiple events.

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Post by DVD Burner » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:06 pm

Looks like no matter what........ya just cant please everyone. :?
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Post by Sensei » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:12 pm

Somehow I ended up sounding like I was taking sides, when I don't want to take sides. Andi, I apologize for crackin' on ya'. I mean, you're a regional rep. and obviously, you care very much about the event. Yeah, Jim throws hand grenades (at least they seem to be interpreted that way) when a water balloon might do... But he cares, too.

I'm really trying to focus on the bigger picture here. What interests me is not so much the messenger, but the message itself. The belief that we've lost our focus is much more widespread than I had thought... Hell, it's probably more widespread than Jim thought.

Personally, I think it's more than the 'art' sliding downhill. And look at what Jim has said recently; he acknowleded that he's seeing things in a new way, and realizing that there isn't a 'correct' way to approach this camping trip that we all insist on attending.

Shit, I don't have any answers (big surprise!) but the one thing I know for certain is that these sort of discussions are giving me an optimism that I thought was gone forever. We care.

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Post by Badger » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:25 pm

How would you feel if someone came into your house, started rearranging all the furniture, pissed off everyone there, got everyone fighting, and was abusive to boot? All while saying that he is there to make things better. You don't build up and make things better by employing slash and burn tactics, and then sabotage people trying to fix the situation.
After the initial shock of it all I think (or would at least like to) that someone had come into the living room and distracted my viewing of the 7th or 8th episode of Friends just to snap me out of my complacent fog. As long as the lamps weren't broken, the dog not kicked and the refrig not raided I might have a good laugh once I relaized the burglar was someone I vaguely knew.
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