Anyone else tired....

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Burp!
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Anyone else tired....

Post by Burp! » Wed May 03, 2006 1:44 pm

Not a BM hater, just wanted to get that out there first. Been going since 96 and just wanted to comment on some trends.

Here are the three things that I personally am tired of at BM and wish I had the power to downsize, not remove completely.

1. Domes Shilling Music
2. Bars
3. Gifts

It seems like to me that somewhere out there, there is a BM manual that says do one of these three things and you are good for participation at BM.

Some of you may say "But I like the gifts!!!" Well I did too, back when it seemed like a treat. Now everyone's got them and giving them and it just seems a bit mardi gra to me. I was thinking of gifting a bag for everyone to put their gifts into, so we can all walk around with our bags, who ever has the biggest bag by the end of the week wins. Good Idea??

Oh I also dislike the random throwing of heavy objects into the air above groups of people, but I can live with that.

T.

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Re: Anyone else tired....

Post by blyslv » Wed May 03, 2006 3:38 pm

Burp! wrote:I was thinking of gifting a bag for everyone to put their gifts into, so we can all walk around with our bags, who ever has the biggest bag by the end of the week wins. Good Idea??

Oh I also dislike the random throwing of heavy objects into the air above groups of people, but I can live with that.

T.
I don't appreciate the spirit of competiveness you seek to inject into this most hallowed of events.

There is a manual and it comes with Kool-Aid. sit down and have a drink at my bar/chill dome/24/7/365 HouseBeatstechnotrancepshcyojamadelicDOMELIO!
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Post by AntiM » Thu May 04, 2006 6:49 am

I hate having schwag envy, and since I camp with rangers, they always have cooler stuff for me to covet.

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Post by Burp! » Thu May 04, 2006 11:10 am

I was somewhere walking along theme camp row and I heard a couple poeple saying something like "Hey I hear such and such camp is giving away necklaces, we gotta go there before they are out, and after that we gotta go to xyz camp, they are giving away buttons, and over at ..."

I think it was 2000, a few friends an I had finally found our way to the top of the maze(which took us 45 minutes!), while sitting there some guy says, "Here have a necklace". We were all blown away by the gesture and how nice of a necklace it was.

I'm amazed at all the cool things people give away these days, but I guess in some ways it concerns me that there is an expectation now. Oh well ...

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu May 04, 2006 11:21 am

Burp! wrote:I think it was 2000, a few friends an I had finally found our way to the top of the maze(which took us 45 minutes!), while sitting there some guy says, "Here have a necklace". We were all blown away by the gesture and how nice of a necklace it was.
...
You gotta earn it. But yeah, there is a lot of "follow-leaderism" at BM. We're all expected to be creative, but out of 10,000+ people, only a handful stand out. That's just human nature.

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Post by lurker » Thu May 04, 2006 11:36 am

Some of you may say "But I like the gifts!!!" Well I did too, back when it seemed like a treat. Now everyone's got them and giving them and it just seems a bit mardi gra to me
Mardi Gras how? People coming by and just giving you stuff because they want to--as in the parades...or people trading stuff for the chance to ogle boobs...or whatever else is offered?


And the
Now everyone's got them and giving them
phrase....is that wrong? Or is it wrong because it no longer feels a treat to you? What about the first timer? Do you think they're still feeling treated? What about everyone else who isn't expecting 'gifts' to be grand wonders of artistic ability, hours of creative effort, and a massive drain on the gifter?

What if the simple act of someone randomly giving you something, without thought of recompense, is still a wonderful idea to a lot of people?
"Life is like a box of razor blades. Sharp, shiny, and good for removing unwanted body hair"

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Post by AntiM » Thu May 04, 2006 11:46 am

One year after being refused a mass-produced pendant by a rather large theme camp in a really mean and nasty way, I took myself and my handmade bead pendants to Center Camp and handed them out to anyone who wanted one. There were plenty of people who were thrilled to get them, and many of them told me it was their very first playa gift. I wasn't insulted if someone chose not to receive one, overall I appreciated folks enjoying my creations.

I've been asked to sell pieces elsewhere and it just plain feels weird as hell.

I like gift giving, so no, not tired of that. Domes and bars interest me so little I scarecly notice them, except for Golden Cafe and HOTD, and the one year Armadillo did a lovely little cute bar. I think I liked them because the people were so great.

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Post by Burp! » Thu May 04, 2006 11:59 am

I guess I'm more put off by those who actively seek out stuff vs. the people who give the stuff out. Last few years I've overheard folks asking where they can find the Alien Love Nest Necklaces for instance, just seems wierd to me that people are looking for shwag like it's a goal.

But I hear you giving is not a bad thing.

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Post by AntiM » Thu May 04, 2006 2:43 pm

Yeah, the one time I tried for an ALN pendant, the drunken bint burner decided handing them out I wasn't good enough and was petty and mean. I know that the entire camp couldn't be like that, and she likely isn't that mean daily, but I will never, ever try to be a monkey doing tricks and jumping through hoops for the crowd to get a piece of schwag.

Unless I'm into whatever monkey business appeals to me, but then it would be for the monkey-busyness of the act, not the end result of getting an object.

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Post by blyslv » Thu May 04, 2006 2:50 pm

It's just aobut time to trot out the old "barter" vs. "gift" debate.

Have at it!
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Post by hunter S » Thu May 04, 2006 4:22 pm

blyslv, before we go down that old thread again I gift you my 2cents (pardon the pun)

I love working all year on my art gifts, & their will always be people trying to find their way, it doesnt make the swag monger bad it just leaves room to develop the culture in our community.
I think the frustration comes from idealist burners, mostly vets! thing evolve & as long as the we keep an Idealist value on gifting eventually everyone worth getting it gets it!
In the mean time I keep making stuff because i enjoy feeling the spirit all year!
Objects behind you may appeare larger than reality!

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Post by Rockdad » Thu May 04, 2006 11:05 pm

Have very little "swag" from years past...One piece is very special to me it was given to me from a new lifelong friend even if I never see her(and him) again I keep it hanging at my desk year round. It is a necklace handmade on the front a small picture of the 2004 man on the back a quote which I've been told embodies my spirit.
This "swag" I will always treasure because it came from a friend in the spirit of friendship and for me an essence of that time on the Playa
"LIFE'S JOURNEY IS NOT TO ARRIVE AT THE GRAVE SAFELY IN A WELL PRESERVED BODY, BUT RATHER TO SKID IN SIDEWAYS, TOTALLY WORN OUT, SHOUTING "HOLY SHIT"... WHAT A RIDE !
I hope I live up to it the rest of my life...

Bars - A bar is a place to socialize, to relax, to tell stories, to bullshit, to ponder, to plan, to tease, to flirt, and save the world over a drink long live bars!

Domes shilling music - Here we agree they could be downsized a bit overpopulated on the Playa the herd needs a few culled out
Eplaya Bar Camp 2006 "What will it be"

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Post by Ivy » Thu May 04, 2006 11:29 pm

"Gift"

does not equal

"swag."

Let's not define one with the other.

I have many gifts from Burning Man that I do not keep in a shoebox or hanging on my desk, but rather hold them in my head, and in my heart.

I might agree with the encouragement to downsize schwag. I do not agree with downsizing gifts.

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Post by Rockdad » Fri May 05, 2006 12:13 am

"Gift"

does not equal

"swag."
Good point!

I notice a lot of people think they are required to bring Swag to gift though...
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free horse teeth

Post by ravenluv » Fri May 05, 2006 6:57 pm

much of my swag has come from the playa, so i'm not sure who to blame for that. sadly, i am a stereotype and confess to a tendency toward expecting playa swag to come my way.

as for human delivered swag, i like that too. one time danger ranger (or his doppleganger) gave me a card. then he gave one to another guy who said, afterwards, "oh is this supposed to be some kind of bullshit mystical gift from burning man?" my card said 'the heart of the vortex', so i assumed it was.

my camp neighbor was intent on getting the aln pendant last year. i saw his performance. it was brilliant! he got his pendant and i got the gift of being entertained. it worked out well for me.

those are just a couple of my happy swag memories. there are more. i guess i'm kind of a swag hag.

even so, i do like the call for bringing less swag to give away. one of my many faults has been my failure to create or procure things to give away. i appreciate someone trying to take some of the pressure off, especially given that i am both cheap and lazy (or broke and homeless, take your pick).

and given that i am cheap, broke, lazy and homeless, i realize i shouldn't be getting any swag - or help - at all. thus, all swag is like precious crap to me. as it is, my box of bm swag from four years of whatever it was i was doing there is pathetically small. not only that, it's at least half empty.

i can only guess that my occasional efforts to provide copious quantities of word swag are enough to discourage too much swag from coming my way, lest i be overly encouraged to attend yet again and advance my pro-swag agenda while there. 8)



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Post by wildilocks » Sun May 07, 2006 8:04 pm

As I wander around the ePlaya I'm seeing alot of negative sentiment regarding gifts. And it does sound like a lot of newer Burners seem to feel pressure to provide something, and the dominant cultural paradigm we live in still equates material goods with highest value. Also, the whole expectation of a trade or barter as opposed to a genuine gift I think is hard for people to grok when they have spent too much time immersed in consumer culture.

I guess I'm lucky: I have been an artist and a creator all my life, and I can come to BM with just my hands and maybe a couple of tools and give a service which many people want. Maybe concentrating on services than material gifts, that would be a better focus for newbies. There are so many services that can be given.

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Post by Rockdad » Sun May 07, 2006 9:22 pm

I treasure all the gifts I was given unexpectedly. Someone handed me a BRC sticker it is on my bumper, and necklaces given to me with love hang right here.
In fact I wear my ranger love everyday actually I wear it ever day to keep my leatherman tool from sliding off my belt when I drop my pants but I do treasure it!
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Post by Burp! » Mon May 08, 2006 11:03 am

I like the services idea. Mostly I like the idea that people get away from just giving away stuff as a criteria of participation. I feel and this is in no way how all should feel, that participation should be something that engages others to participate in some way, something that actively get others to try something out that they would otherwise not do in the default world, or something they can touch and feel, or just run in fear from, that kind of stuff.

Maybe the thing to do is when a newbie asks what should I do to participate, us veterans need to be hesitant to say "just bring something to give out to people at BM" and rather say "Think of something that gets people involved"

The first year that I attended BM was in 96, gifting was just about non existent then. When I asked what you are supposed to do, the veteran that I spoke with said "do something that people can interact with". the idea we came up with was "Alien Abduction Reunion camp" People who came by were asked to tell their alien abduction story, it was hoot to see people making up stories on the fly about how they were abducted and what happened to them when they got abducted.. Simple but engaging.
T.

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Bars and gifts

Post by vic » Wed May 24, 2006 10:06 pm

A friend and I were looking for a converstation bar on a Thursday night, but all we could find were rave camps, not good for conversation. There was an empty two seater bar down the road from our camp, and we decided to open it around 2:00 am. All we had were some cups, a bottle of white rum and some ice. We set up and within a few minutes we had a going concern. People dropped by to chat, and several brought additional booze, mixers, and other treats. The crowd grew and we started excepting complements on "our bar". It tunred out that the guy that built the bar was standing next to me at that time. He found this very entertaining. His camp had set up their bar but had not gotten around to using it - they thought if they left it up, somebody like us might come along. When we got cold and decided to head back to our camp, we "gifted" the bar to our best customer. When heading out to the JOTs a few hours later, I saw that the guy was still tending bar to a lively crowd.

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Post by AntiM » Wed May 24, 2006 10:13 pm

Ha! Stone Soup Bar!

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Post by robbidobbs » Thu May 25, 2006 9:28 am

Every year, I make about 50 Pooping Man scarves to give to those who help me with the signs or refilling handsanitizer stations. It is a very effective dust mask, so it's practical.

Last year this guy volunteered to help me, and he was painfully "bliss" (as in, he had almost no supplies), so I gifted him anything that I had that he needed. His goal was to find a girl he'd met before the event, so in exchange for helping me, I drove him all over the city on my route. By Thursday, he found her, and we parted ways.

Also last year, I came with all the schwag that I'd collected over the years, and gave it away to ePlayans I saw out there. It wasn't much, but it was a token of my appreciation for their commaraderie during the year.

I gift myself to the community, and whatever thanks I get in return, makes me happy.

What I'd like to see more of is schwag that's handmade, not bought at a party store. But if that's what the gifter has, and gives it to me with honest gift-giving compassion, then I accept it as a token of their heart-felt gratitude. I still have a small painting that was mass produced by the artist, it was a commemorative for a friend that had died. I didn't know the girl on the bike, she just rode up beside me and handed me this gift. It looked kinda cheesy at first, then I turned it over and saw the name, date of birth, and date of death written with a sharpie. It's now in my permanent BM collection.

Now if they give me beer...well, I really like beer.
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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu May 25, 2006 9:57 am

robbidobbs wrote: Also last year, I came with all the schwag that I'd collected over the years, and gave it away to ePlayans I saw out there. It wasn't much, but it was a token of my appreciation for their commaraderie during the year.


What I'd like to see more of is schwag that's handmade, not bought at a party store. But if that's what the gifter has, and gives it to me with honest gift-giving compassion, then I accept it as a token of their heart-felt gratitude.
This year I am doing an on-playa art project allowing people to turn their schwag into Meta-Schwag. I will be bringing between one and two hundred picture frames and providing glue so that people can come by and glue interesting bits to a frame that they can take home and use for their favorite bm photo. If I end up with extra bits of pretty crap, I will see if I can donate it to a childrens' art project, because a lot of that stuff is great for assemblage.
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