Why I Probably Won't Go Again

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
slvrnmph
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Post by slvrnmph » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:54 pm

Thanks for the compliments. The whole point of my story was baically what Cadiliac said to me - your burn is what you make, and he was a long time burner and started off having a crappy burn. I don't know if I necessarily would have run off with a stranger without that sitting in the back of my head. I might have, I'm a pretty independent girl, but I also might not have, as I tend to be shy and closed off from people.

One of the other things I tended to notice was that when I wandered about during the day, especially if I was moving slow, I got into a lot more of those personal interactions with people I didn't know then at night.

As others have said - the advice is all a bunch of text fodder. I think speaking out to your bad experience the way we are is just a request to maybe give it one more chance.

And as to my campmates - I love them all. I just didn't want to wait around for them. And I've chatted with them all about me running away and they're cool with it. And I wasn't the only one that got irritated by the herding cats - funny you should mention that, as there is one person in particular in my camp that we have always said is like trying to herd cats.

As every Burner nows, each year just gives you more ideas for how your going to do it next year, and many of camp mates and I are instituting the following as personal rules: If I ask three times if you're going with me, and you aren't ready to go yet, I'm leaving without ya. No offense intended. And when I was slacking, I told them to leave without me and I'd catch up and find them later, if possible.

But the entire time when I met someone, I was just a girl from California hagning out with a guy from Colorado I'd never known before. And that was it.
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Post by Zulegoona » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:03 pm

I found that I had some lonely times my first burn in #04, and was a bit upset at myself for not coming out of my shell more and making more connections with people. When I got back I made a real point of posting more on e-playa and using pictures of myself as my avatar. I made friends on line and got hooked up with a great bunch of people who put together a theme camp. It made for a very different experience. there was always an e-playan I could look up or one of the Minnesota Burners I first met on line and started getting together with on a semi-regular basis. I established connections with people and that really made my burn this year.

There still was a lot of things I wish I’d done and either didn’t have time or couldn’t get myself to do them but I expect that that is probably true of everyone. And as always it was very important to try to get rid of any expectations I might have started out with.

For me my trip was incredibly expensive this year because of car problems and other thing, and may require my taking a year off to pay down the debt, but it was worth it.

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Post by HughMungus » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:25 pm

The Bass wrote:one thing about that feeling of rejection by the cool kids...

it helps if you can explain not only who you are but what you're DOING at BRC -- like, i'm a lamplighter, or i built this weird sculpture, or i spin fire, or i'm volunteering in the medic tent, or i'm doing henna tattoos -- you know, some kind of contribution to the city that you're part of.

breaks all the ice there is, usually.
So true. If you're not doing anything yourself or producing anything (on or off playa), what do you have to talk about to others? I've been trying to get a friend of mine to understand this. Talking about what you think or how you feel or what you're planning to maybe or maybe not do is only so interesting to people who are actually DOING.
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Post by HughMungus » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:33 pm

slvrnmph wrote:One of the other things I tended to notice was that when I wandered about during the day, especially if I was moving slow, I got into a lot more of those personal interactions with people I didn't know then at night.
Yeah, I've noticed that, too. It's almost like there's a daytime Burning Man and a nighttime Burning Man. That's why I'm going to light the hell out of my (public) camp next year. I use the daytime to make new friends and the nighttime to go hang out with them.
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Post by Eric » Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:49 pm

DallasPlaya wrote:
slvrnmph wrote:One of the other things I tended to notice was that when I wandered about during the day, especially if I was moving slow, I got into a lot more of those personal interactions with people I didn't know then at night.
Yeah, I've noticed that, too. It's almost like there's a daytime Burning Man and a nighttime Burning Man.
IMHO, I think it boils down to the fact that people tend to be more...um..... "lucid" during the day. There is a lot more chance of interacting with someone when they're not parting (too hard).
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Post by Ivy » Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:04 am

When my car (borrowed, btw) broke down as I turned off the highway onto the dirt road to the gate this year, I probably should have just taken that as a sign, sold my ticket right then and there, and just gone home.
I've been out there 4 times now, and every time I've had that same feeling of the kid trying to sit at the adults' table. I've felt it every year out there, and at decom, and at Flipside, and at Xara, and at 3SidedWhole and pretty much every other event that I've been to. The lowest common denominator in all these situations isn't Burning Man--it's me. There's something *in me* that I need to work on if I'm to achieve what I want. Burning Man isn't some magic cure-all that's gonna do it for me. In some ways it's helped, and it's taught me a lot, but it's not something that's going to fix me in a week.
I don't regret most of the times I've spent out there, or at all these events. But like some others have already mentioned, it seems ridiculous to me to keep pouring money into something that's not working for me. Especially more frustrating is to sink all that money and time and labor and love into yet another attempt at socialization and interaction, only to repeatedly fail miserably. Each time I come away disappointed in myself for failing yet again just drives the nail home further.
There's a point where you have to admit that what you're doing isn't working, and try a different approach. If it means trying a theme camp or art project, then maybe try that. If it means not going to Burning man next year, then maybe try that.

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Post by ZaphodBurner » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:44 am

Ivy wrote: There's a point where you have to admit that what you're doing isn't working, and try a different approach. If it means trying a theme camp or art project, then maybe try that. If it means not going to Burning man next year, then maybe try that.
If you haven't "tried" a theme camp, you should. I had a mindblowing first burn, but felt disassociated and someone excluded by some of the jaded 10-year-burners around me (turns out there were divorces and breakups going on in the group we didn't know about, which explains the unhappy vibe.)

For 2005 we decided we were starting our own camp. No cynics, no nonparticipants. This year, I felt like a kid trick-or-treating except people came to my door and gave me candy. At the website we have a photo of the whiteboard where we kept track of all the cool things people told us about or invited us to; it had filled up by Wednesday. Feelings of isolation turned into frustration that I simply couldn't hook up with all of the people who invited me into their circles.

The other huge thing is just the satisfaction of having a camp. It's very much like owning your own business, but at Burning Man, where the customers treat you well and leave happy. When you walk away from camp you know you've contributed something to this amazing thing going on around you, and it makes all the difference.

Good luck!

-c
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Post by blyslv » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:51 am

Like most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

You have to WORK. Not shoveling shit against the tide, but trying to create something. Get lost in that process, WORK.

Ivy, your post suprised me. You are not a little kid. You are something, but not a little kid!
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Post by Eric » Thu Oct 20, 2005 11:44 am

blyslv wrote:Like most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

You have to WORK. Not shoveling shit against the tide, but trying to create something. Get lost in that process, WORK.
While I completely agree with the first part, the second part I only partially agree with.

Personally, I'm out there to have FUN- not to WORK. I contribute through my involvement with my camp, but if that contribution becomes more work than fun, I'll stop going & plan my vacation elsewhere. I think even Adrian, who spends a ton of time working on Piss Clear, would see it that way. What we get out of it is much more than we are putting in (I have a job in the real world, thankyouverymuch) and if we start getting less than that, it's time for a change.

That said, I also wouldn't go if I wasn't contributing in some way. Not for bragging rights or whatever, but for the completely selfish reason of biking around the city seeing all the amazing stuff and knowing that I contributed to it in my own way. I invested in BRC, other camps sharing with me are my dividends (and their investment, so when someone shares with them the cycle continues.....) It makes me feel part of the whole.

Bottom line (for me): Yes, it's just a camping trip in the desert, but the way it's set up I have to give of myself (either time or energy or both) to actually get the amazing bits out of it. It doesn't have to be "work", but nothing worthwhile is free.

Random brain-farts through the pain-killers.
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Post by blyslv » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:08 pm

It's just semantics. WORK = invest, or effort, or contribution, noting worthwhile is free.

It's not a job, we are not beholden to any boss, we get no monetary reward. But for the effort, the investment, the creation, the contribution, we get something in return. I get ego gratification (I don't think that is a bad thing) I get connections with beautiful, giving and amzing people. I get memories. Like the grasshopper in that fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, I get memories that help get me through the harsh parts of the world outside the playa. Those people who pulled off the random pizza expereince? They "worked" their asses off, but it may have seemed more like play.

In a perfect world there would be no distinction between work and play. At least that is what I would like to work for!
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Post by Eric » Thu Oct 20, 2005 12:19 pm

blyslv wrote:It's just semantics. WORK = invest, or effort, or contribution, noting worthwhile is free.

It's not a job, we are not beholden to any boss, we get no monetary reward. But for the effort, the investment, the creation, the contribution, we get something in return.

It definitely looks like semantics- your fleshed-out description seems to come from the same space as mine comes from.

I just like the sound of "contribution" since that's generally something that's given freely, as opposed to "work", which sounds like....work.
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Post by blyslv » Thu Oct 20, 2005 3:36 pm

I know work is a dirty word for most, but not for me. "Job" is the dirty word. To me, "work" is what we spend the majority of our life doing. It hasn't been but a few generations that America (and the West in general) have developed the surplus (of shelter, food, ect.) to allow ourselfs the luxury of asking "Is my work meaningful?" Since so much of work isn't meaningful today, work has indeed become dirty. But to be human is to expend effort, and to me that is simply the same as work. I have a job that I don't particulary enjoy very much, but I will never shy away from work.

But if we post anymore on this topic we shall have to start a "dead horse" thread.
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:22 pm

Dead horse. Yum. Delicious.

I guess I should clarify, too. When I said, "You should produce something so you'll have something to talk about" I didn't mean just art or music or whatever. I meant producing an effect whether it be thru art, music, social work, reading, writing, travel, human interaction, building a theme camp, whatever. Didn't intend to diminish the contributions of those who don't necessarily produce anything tangible. I just meet so many people who have ideas. Ideas are shit unless you do something with them that has some kind of effect (on just yourself and on others).
It's what you make it.

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Re: yeah, well

Post by philosopher » Sat Oct 22, 2005 7:49 pm

RagnaRoss wrote:while i know this makes me sound like a total bitch;

if i need to bring my own friends,have shit planned out, if i need to be able to tell people i have some kind of occupation, and be careful not to go in some places because when in doubt i'm not welcome... i can sure as fuck do all that shit without spending $500!
It makes you sound like someone who will choose to miss out on the magic again.

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Re: yeah, well

Post by Hotspur » Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:20 pm

RagnaRoss wrote:while i know this makes me sound like a total bitch;

if i need to bring my own friends,have shit planned out, if i need to be able to tell people i have some kind of occupation, and be careful not to go in some places because when in doubt i'm not welcome... i can sure as fuck do all that shit without spending $500!
Well, shoot.

I mean, what do you want? Do you really think that in a city of 35k, everyone is always going to be in exactly the mood you want them to be in?

The things I suggested about joining a larger villiage are not becaues you'll just hang out with your villiage. It's because you have certain needs in order to have a good time. I suspect if you meet those needs, you'll be more capable of being expansive and open because you'll be less needy.

I mean, this year I spent more time hanging out with, dancing with, or kissing people I'd never met before on the playa. They weren't part of my villiage. But being part of a larger family made me more comfortable and empowered - I think it helped make me the kind of person strange women might actually want to kiss, because I wasn't so hungry for meaningful interaction.

The point is to recognize what you need to help make you more comfortable and to help you have a good time, and then to let that good time take you where-ever it takes you. Or, as a friend of mine who's does acid regularly like to say: you have a bad trip because of the energy you take with you when you drop.

Do what it takes to put yourself in a great burning mindset, and the event will open itself up to you. Approach strangers coming off as needy, desperate, or judgemental ("how dare she not want to talk to me? I thought this was Burning man?") and nobody will want you to kill their buzz. Sometimes you'll get lucky and some stranger will take it on themselves to pull you out of your funk - but you can't count on that.

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Village Huh?

Post by RagnaRoss » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:47 pm

A village huh? I'll opt just to have the tight little village expereince minus the ticket price, trip through rural Nevada, LEOs and undercover cops. No need to stick with something just because it's supposed to be the happiest place on earth. All this stuff everyone has described for a "successful burn" sounds like so much planning and work you might as well throw your own small scale festival. If Burning Man is supposed to be so goddamn formless I'll be radical and go to something or someday even create something where people can expect to have a good time without having to bring crew of their own. It drove me nuts to walk around on the playa and continually run into cool people and try to go places with them but either they wouldn't want to go because either they were waiting for their freinds or looking for them. I thought BM had more to do with living in the moment, one of those places where everyone gayly declares "i don't make plans."

Question: What's so magical about it if it costs you big $$ just to make it there and when you arrive you need to have your shit togather like a conquering army with your theme camp members?

Hitchiking around Alaska is magical, spending a fortune and trying to pretend you're having a good time wandering around all alone kind of rips you heart into little shreads.
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Re: Village Huh?

Post by philosopher » Sun Oct 30, 2005 2:51 am

RagnaRoss wrote:Question: What's so magical about it if it costs you big $$ just to make it there and when you arrive you need to have your shit togather like a conquering army with your theme camp members?

Hitchiking around Alaska is magical, spending a fortune and trying to pretend you're having a good time wandering around all alone kind of rips you heart into little shreads.
Alaska is one edge, Burning Man is another. You have to have your shit together to navigate any edge, but all of the edges are different in their demands and in what they make possible.

I think Hotspur told it straight, and though it's not a fairy tale, it is one way to begin opening up to the kinds of connections that animate at least some burners. Something that comes through in this thread is that simply showing up in BRC--even with apparently reasonable expectations--can't guarantee much more than a surprise the first time you see it.

To paraphrase the mystic, the winds of the spirit of Burning Man are always blowing, but you have to trim your sail.

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Post by HughMungus » Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:39 am

"Question: What's so magical about it if it costs you big $$ just to make it there and when you arrive you need to have your shit togather like a conquering army with your theme camp members?"

You don't. You just have to have the right attitude and expectations. I think you're trying to get more out of Burning Man than you're willing to put in. There's no magic involved. Many people work hard and/or spend a lot of money to make Burning Man a great experience for people just like you. If everyone around you appears to be having a great time and you're not, maybe it's you.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:03 am

If Ragna's done with the event, we should let him go gracefully. Dang, aren't any of you glad you're not in junior high anymore?
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Post by Eric » Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:52 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:If Ragna's done with the event, we should let him go gracefully. Dang, aren't any of you glad you're not in junior high anymore?
I agree. I initially thought that Ragna wanted ideas on how to get more out of the event. It seems he just wants to whine that everything wasn't handed to him on a platter and that just by showing up everyone doesn't love him.

Junior High is being nice.

Next.
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Re: Village Huh?

Post by ZaphodBurner » Tue Nov 01, 2005 4:24 pm

RagnaRoss wrote:All this stuff everyone has described for a "successful burn" sounds like so much planning and work you might as well throw your own small scale festival.
Yeah, hell, 'cause you could sit around the house, smoke pot and play video games and have a great time for a lot less money!

You could throw your own small scale festival but you're not likely to see the man, the fireworks, the temples, the art cars, the Colossus, Contessa, Miracle Grow, Soul in the Machine or the Mutaytor there. And you're not going to meet nearly as many people.
RagnaRoss wrote: Question: What's so magical about it if it costs you big $$ just to make it there and when you arrive you need to have your shit togather like a conquering army with your theme camp members?
Try it sometime. Our conquering army, who didn't even know each other when we started, became a family and built something people appreciated and we'll always remember. No one should be brought up into the real world with the expectation that everything is free.

LOL. Instant Temple. Somebody shoot a note to the temple builders. There should be no work involved, 'cause work like sux 'n' stuff. Tell 'em next year, don't spend any money or planning on the temple and don't build or it won't be magical.
RagnaRoss wrote: Hitchiking around Alaska is magical,
Yeah, and as long as somebody else has bought a vehicle and come along and gone out of his or her way to pick you up, you won't die of exposure.
RagnaRoss wrote: spending a fortune and trying to pretend you're having a good time wandering around all alone kind of rips you heart into little shreads.
Sounds like your issues are your own and have little to do with the ticket price or amount of work involved. Save your money and pretend you won't feel alone hitchhiking in Alaska. Hanging your thumb out and hoping somebody's willing to risk picking you up is substantially more interactive than Burning Man.

-c
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Post by Ivy » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:27 pm

You could throw your own small scale festival but you're not likely to see the man, the fireworks, the temples, the art cars, the Colossus, Contessa, Miracle Grow, Soul in the Machine or the Mutaytor there. And you're not going to meet nearly as many people.
Wow, I didn't realize there was a "must-see" tourist attraction list of Burning Man.

I could throw my own festival and make something myself, instead of going around spectating. I could meet less people, but possibly ones of better quality (imo-not a knock on the "quality" of people at Burning Man, but rather "quality not quantity.") I'd rather make one really good friend, which for me personally is unlikely to happen any longer out in the desert, than meet 1,000 people at Burning Man and not connect with any of them.

Anyone need my amusement park map? It's got all the importnant attractions already highlighted.

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Rainbow Gathering Part 2

Post by RagnaRoss » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:09 am

This has just become another rainbow gathering.

I love you.
Here we go into the sea of meaninglessness in the persuit of truth.

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bite the curb

Post by RagnaRoss » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:27 am

Zaphod

You certainly seem to feel touchy about someone questioning the sanctity of Burning Man. Hope you you're just as full of piss and vinegar in a few years when all the domes hire bouncers, regular limosines are allowed as art cars, the bars all start a cash-only policy and the entirity of black rock city is identical to the trendy nightclub scene to be found in Anycity, USA. Be sure to tell the undercover cops that your event is sacred, pure and holy.
Here we go into the sea of meaninglessness in the persuit of truth.

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Re: Village Huh?

Post by bdeywoo » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:05 am

[quote="RagnaRoss"]A village huh? I'll opt just to have the tight little village expereince minus the ticket price, trip through rural Nevada, LEOs and undercover cops. No need to stick with something just because it's supposed to be the happiest place on earth. All this stuff everyone has described for a "successful burn" sounds like so much planning and work you might as well throw your own small scale festival. If Burning Man is supposed to be so goddamn formless I'll be radical and go to something or someday even create something where people can expect to have a good time without having to bring crew of their own. It drove me nuts to walk around on the playa and continually run into cool people and try to go places with them but either they wouldn't want to go because either they were waiting for their freinds or looking for them. I thought BM had more to do with living in the moment, one of those places where everyone gayly declares "i don't make plans."
[/quote]

It seems as though your upset that the "cool" people you met didnt do what you wanted. Did you invest any time with them before you decided or learned their plans were not your own? If not it seems hypocritical to expect that your plans trump all others without any form of investment to your fellow burner. Going to the playa alone has plenty of advantages and just as many disadvantages. Going at it alone offers you the freedom of doing what you want with no ties but also alienates you somewhat to the groups that come together who have decided (well ahead of when you met them) not to go at it alone. Not because its a click but because in most cases they have agreed to be together out there, most will welcome you into their "village" with open arms but the cost of that is you lose some freedom.
You seem more conflicted by that loss of freedom than any actual problem you have with the event. You may have walked into a camp and gotten a bad vibe (I certainly did enter into a couple) but there are 10 others within spitting distance that you would not have felt that way. Its up to you to keep yourself entertained and happy no one can do it for you, and hopefully you'll find others that want to do the same. For many the playa is the happiest pace on earth, but for others its a totally different place. That, for many, is the "magic" of Burningman, it has a special meaning for every individual. It seems as though you were looking for more of a vacation than an alternate way of being alive. Burning Man is work, a lot of it. Part of the ejoyment for me atleast is the work, its possible that if you came off out on the playa as you do on this forum, that people got the notion you had little to offer but wanted much. Its unfortunate that the event did not go as you expected, but it likely had more to do with you than anyone else.

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Post by ZaphodBurner » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:07 am

Ivy wrote: Wow, I didn't realize there was a "must-see" tourist attraction list of Burning Man.

Anyone need my amusement park map? It's got all the importnant attractions already highlighted.
They're called art installations. Is the Mona Lisa an "attraction"? And you don't have to see them. You're perfectly welcome to remain in your tent or RV or in, say, a box for the entire event.

Seems like if you go to Burning Man and don't understand that art is one of the reasons to go to Burning Man, and that you DO need a map if you're gonna see all of art that you read about, then you've completely missed the point. It's not the fucking Rainbow Gathering. It's not a Singles party. Nobody owes you attention.

If you can't appreciate the art and the work people put into things you can't see anywhere else--if it's all just a series of "attractions" to you--than, yeah, fuck it. Stay home.

-zb
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Re: Rainbow Gathering Part 2

Post by ZaphodBurner » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:08 am

RagnaRoss wrote:This has just become another rainbow gathering.

I love you.
Except for the flamethrowers and the five hundred pounds of bacon being cooked across the street from us.

Go to a Rainbow Gathering then. It's cheaper. But you're still here. Bye.

-zb
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace

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ZaphodBurner
Posts: 1339
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:05 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: The Green Hour 2012 - 9:00 & D
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: bite the curb

Post by ZaphodBurner » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:15 am

RagnaRoss wrote:Zaphod

You certainly seem to feel touchy about someone questioning the sanctity of Burning Man.
No, I just have no patience for crybabies.
RagnaRoss wrote: Hope you you're just as full of piss and vinegar in a few years when all the domes hire bouncers, regular limosines are allowed as art cars, the bars all start a cash-only policy
This year I brought a tinfoil hat with a black helicopter on it. I should have gifted it because I'm thinking some people need it more than I do.

-c
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace

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Niacin
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:21 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Zondermaan
Location: 28209

Post by Niacin » Wed Nov 02, 2005 10:56 am

So you went two years and decided BM isn't your thing? I'm sorry it didn't work out for you, but you gave it a fair shot - and that's a good personality trait on your part.

What I don't get, though, is what you're aiming to do by fighting about it. Are you trying to figure out a way to blame Burning Man for the fact you don't like it? Or just causing trouble as payback?
lebenskunstler - noun, German - someone for whom life is an art form.

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ZaphodBurner
Posts: 1339
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:05 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: The Green Hour 2012 - 9:00 & D
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by ZaphodBurner » Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:10 pm

Niacin wrote: What I don't get, though, is what you're aiming to do by fighting about it. Are you trying to figure out a way to blame Burning Man for the fact you don't like it? Or just causing trouble as payback?
Curiouser and curiouser. I noticed that Ragna's other threat is a call for "Sand and Angry Burning Man Photos/Stories"
RagnaRoss wrote: I'm working on a collage project and i would be very glad to have at least one negtive image from BM as a part of it. Of course, nobody usually wants to focus on anything truly negative to do with BM but such images would be so unique i think Burners would find them extremely provokative. I'm also open to stories but i could definately USE at least one photo. What i really want is something that shows an ugly side of something that so many (myself included) regard as sacred and supremely beautiful.
There RagnaRoss regards it as "sacred and supremely beautiful." Here he suggests it's a waste of money because it's not interactive enough or some shit. Strange paradox, no?

-zb
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace

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