Was anyone harassed at the "checkers gate" ?

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betrdanevr
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Post by betrdanevr » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:13 pm

Amen, and BM itself is responsible if it has to go all the way up to Big Larry.

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:22 pm

Nobody was indecent to anyone. Someone gave a line of bullshit that if you thought about it for more than 15-seconds was OBVIOUSLY bullshit (have to confiscate anything from Wal-Mart or China????? Puhleeeze). In fact, it appeared that the person involved kept getting more and more "over the top" as it went on and that seems to me by the description as an attempt to see just how far the participant involved would go along before finally calling "bullshit".

He was punked. Had he walked over and asked for his shit back, I am willing to bet a cheeseburger and a shake it would have been given back.

What a bunch of fucking whiners. Talking about taking it to Larry like he is everyone's mommy, or the Ubermommy ... the SHERIFF! LOL! That is actually pretty funny. Now imagine going into court and saying "this big guy told me he had to take my blinky sword and anything bought at Wal-Mart and anything made in China ...." and the judge is going to look at you and say "and you BELIEVED it?" and probably throw the plaintiff in jail for being too stupid to be walking around on the streets unsupervised. Come on.
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Post by gyre » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:32 pm

Theft by deception is a crime.
Theft by intimidation is robbery, a crime.
Impersonating an authority compounds the crime.

I usually react to robbery with lethal violence, always assuming a robber is prepared to do the same.
It is an opportunity for the criminal to explore their feelings about victimization of others.

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Post by gyre » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:37 pm

geekster wrote:Nobody was indecent to anyone. Someone gave a line of bullshit that if you thought about it for more than 15-seconds was OBVIOUSLY bullshit (have to confiscate anything from Wal-Mart or China????? Puhleeeze). In fact, it appeared that the person involved kept getting more and more "over the top" as it went on and that seems to me by the description as an attempt to see just how far the participant involved would go along before finally calling "bullshit".

He was punked. Had he walked over and asked for his shit back, I am willing to bet a cheeseburger and a shake it would have been given back.

What a bunch of fucking whiners. Talking about taking it to Larry like he is everyone's mommy, or the Ubermommy ... the SHERIFF! LOL! That is actually pretty funny. Now imagine going into court and saying "this big guy told me he had to take my blinky sword and anything bought at Wal-Mart and anything made in China ...." and the judge is going to look at you and say "and you BELIEVED it?" and probably throw the plaintiff in jail for being too stupid to be walking around on the streets unsupervised. Come on.
Did they go back to anyone and return their stuff, so everyone could enjoy the joke?

Sounds like "I just borrowed the bike, car, etc."

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:38 pm

gyre wrote:Theft by deception is a crime.
Theft by intimidation is robbery, a crime.
Impersonating an authority compounds the crime.

I usually react to robbery with lethal violence, always assuming a robber is prepared to do the same.
It is an opportunity for the criminal to explore their feelings about victimization of others.
I could not have said it better..


Some dumb shit stuck a fake gun in my face at the Space Neddle.. The police got there in time to save him.. I was in the proccess of sticing it up his ass..

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:38 pm

The one thing I will agree with is that the COG "shtick" should probably not have been done at the gate but only because it wastes time. I don't think anyone was "impersonating" any authority. Gate people are, as far as I know, allowed to prank people.
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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:42 pm

"Some dumb shit stuck a fake gun in my face at the Space Neddle"

Now THAT is something completely different as someone can get hurt BAD over shit like that. Pull a fake gun on someone and you are likely to have a REAL one pointing back at you. That can be seen as a threatening action that causes one to fear for their life and/or limb. That is completely different than someone telling you that they have to confiscate your blinky sword because it isn't "sustainable".

IF the participant had refused to give up the items in the original posting and the person checking lanes took it anyway, there might be a point here. Otherwise, the point is that sad things happen to sheep. If it sounds too stupid to be true, it probably is (too stupid to be true).
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Post by betrdanevr » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:46 pm

geekster wrote:The one thing I will agree with is that the COG "shtick" should probably not have been done at the gate but only because it wastes time. I don't think anyone was "impersonating" any authority. Gate people are, as far as I know, allowed to prank people.
Your logic here is really rather scary . . . Thank goodness (I assume) you aren't a part of BMorg. :roll:

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:50 pm

betrdanevr wrote:
geekster wrote:The one thing I will agree with is that the COG "shtick" should probably not have been done at the gate but only because it wastes time. I don't think anyone was "impersonating" any authority. Gate people are, as far as I know, allowed to prank people.
Your logic here is really rather scary . . . Thank goodness (I assume) you aren't a part of BMorg. :roll:
Yeah, and rape was a boyish prank a 100 years ago

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:54 pm

Scary in what way? And I have worked a shift or two here and there. Let me let you in on a little secret of Burning Man ... BMorg isn't the only group on the playa that makes laminates. People often make their own. Another little secret ... not everything everyone tells you at BM is the truth. And one final one ... not instantly doing as you are told unless you can plainly see the person has a staff laminate is probably a good thing. And getting a clarification is also a good thing if there is any question in your mind and it isn't obviously a life and death situation.

That person with a megaphone yelling for you to clear a path through the crowd at the burn so he can get to the perimeter might not be a staff member, it might just be someone moving sheep out of his way so he can get a better view.

Burning Man is not a good place for the thin-skinned sometimes.
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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:56 pm

Jesus Christ on a stick! Comparing someone punking someone out of their blinkies with RAPE? You have GOT to be shitting me. Nevermind, I just remembered why I don't hang out over here much anymore. Whiners.
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:00 pm

geek, you just go ahead and prank me..

i'll teach you what don't poke the bear means..

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Post by betrdanevr » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:02 pm

That person with a megaphone yelling for you to clear a path through the crowd at the burn so he can get to the perimeter might not be a staff member, it might just be someone moving sheep out of his way so he can get a better view.
And THAT is a totally different scenario in more ways than one.

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Post by spectabillis » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:03 pm

geekster wrote:What a bunch of fucking whiners. Talking about taking it to .. Ubermommy ... the SHERIFF! LOL! That is actually pretty funny. .
fuckoff yourself asshole.

its not like you are helping things with your comments geekster. despite your thoughts that people are over-reactionary, its an obvious enough behavior trend of gate staff. these complaints have been increasing for a few years now. i can tell you from personal experience in talking up through various org layers that most senior staff simply dont give a fuck, the llc partners dont know much about it, and absolutely nothing will be done unless the problem becomes so bad that enough people blow-up and make it a serious problem to the org.

so really, fuckoff yourself asshole, people can do whatever they like over it. far as i am concerned you're not shit, just another bitch complaining about other bitchers.

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:25 pm

As far as I know (and I wasn't there) it wasn't a regular gate staffer that did this, it was someone "filling in" during a period when things were backed up. That said, take a look at the number of people who came through that gate, and we are wasting a lot of bandwidth over something done by someone who wasn't a regular staff member with one participant. It isn't like we are hearing about COG-like issues from dozens of people. At least I haven't seen them posted anywhere.

The other incidents spoken of here happened on the playa, not at the gate and weren't related to the gate department. The person who did this (as far as I know through unofficial channels) came from a different department and not the gate department.

But the bottom line is that if someone walks up and says you have to wear underwear on your head to get in the gate, one has the right to say no. I don't see anyone here taking responsibility for THEIR role in what went on.

If someone in the gate lanes who isn't wearing a staff lam (or has a staff lam from a different department, it says the department on the lam) tells you to do something you think isn't right, look for someone wearing a radio. That person will likely have a staff lam (From PG&E ... Perimeter, Gate, and Exodus) and some training. Failing that, ask for the shift lead.

And I never told anyone to fuck off. I said fucking whiners.
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Post by EB » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:24 pm

geekster wrote: IF the participant had refused to give up the items in the original posting and the person checking lanes took it anyway, there might be a point here. Otherwise, the point is that sad things happen to sheep. If it sounds too stupid to be true, it probably is (too stupid to be true).
More equivicating...

Time to punt, dude. You're not going to convince me bullying newbs out of their blinkies in the middle of the dark playa is "a good prank."

First, it fails the first rule of pranking: It's not funny. Now, if you took the same concept -- an "authority figure" over-stepping their bounds -- and say entered a co-ed camp demanding they turn over their maple syrup or bacon, then, yeah, maybe with the right execution and a little wit on the bullhorn, it could be funny.

Secondly, there's no "punchline." Newbs get approached by person in laminate, person demands their glow shit/china/wal-mart shit. Newbs, not knowing better, comply. Jokesters then REVEAL THE GAG. Newbs get their stuff back, maybe they get a "citation," whatever. Point is, life goes on and nobody's worse for the wear, and maybe, the pranksters get their point across about the wastefulness of glow bracelets (or whatever.)

These guys from the stories, left off that cruicial last part of the prank. It's a prank if I break into your house and move all of your furniture on to your lawn. It's robbery if I move all of your furniture to MY house and never tell you.

Do you see the difference?
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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:47 pm

I want to know how anyone figures it was "bullying". I mean, from the person's original posting, the line he was given seems so obviously a joke and I didn't hear him say the person made any kind of threat or anything.

Seriously. If I come up to you and tell you that I am with the Coalition Against Glowsticks and start a line about having to confiscate blinkies, things made in China and stuff bought at Wal-Mart ... I mean seriously. Seriously. I am having trouble understanding how anyone would see that as "bullying" anyone. Again, as far as I can tell so far it was one incident by one individual, not something "done" as a general rule by people checking lanes at the gate.

I am wondering why the person didn't say "no" or go over and demand the stuff back before he went in the gate. Gate isn't the TSA. There are certain things that are not allowed into the city and those things are listed in the survival guide.

I am being very sincere when I say that I am baffled as to why the participant didn't just say "no". At the worst he would have been shunted off to the parking lot until it could be sorted higher up and then allowed in. In fact, saying "no" and making an issue about it right then and there would have almost certainly eliminated the problem on the spot. Instead, the participant goes along in a good-natured way not giving the COGtard any clue as to the value of the items he is taking and it is only after a significant period of time has elapsed that the person reconsiders and decides it was fucked up. By then who knows where his stuff is. Even a "hey, that's a thousand bucks worth of stuff!" in protest might have been enough to end it. People do have some responsibility for themselves and I am not seeing any indication that the person involved in the lanes made any threats or bullied anyone. He was apparently just talking a line of bullshit.

The behavior by the person in the lanes isn't consistent with training given by the department, that's for sure, and as far as I can tell, the person never had any of that training and I am not yet convinced the person was even officially assigned to check lanes. The purpose of the gate is to get the people who are supposed to be there in as quickly as possible and sort out those with "issues" and get those cleared up and some disposition reached, again, as quickly as possible. Playing fuckaround in the lanes is a waste of time and holds up the line.

But again, I am very sincere when I say I am not seeing the "bully" thing here. Someone shows you a random lam and say they need to confiscate your blikies? Bullying? Really?
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:50 pm

Give it up geek , your making an ass of yourself..

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:02 pm

Maybe so. I guess I am trying to understand. But it seems to me like going through security at an airport and some person comes up to you, flashes a laminate that says "Coalition against the Root of All Evil", says they need to confiscate all the cash in your wallet, you give it to them, and then when you finally get to Chicago you get upset. Had the person asked for it back and been refused, it would be different. Had the person refused to give it and been threatened it would be different. Even had they made the slightest protest. Then I could better understand a bully aspect to it.
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:06 pm

geekster wrote:Maybe so. I guess I am trying to understand. But it seems to me like going through security at an airport and some person comes up to you, flashes a laminate that says "Coalition against the Root of All Evil", says they need to confiscate all the cash in your wallet, you give it to them, and then when you finally get to Chicago you get upset. Had the person asked for it back and been refused, it would be different. Had the person refused to give it and been threatened it would be different. Even had they made the slightest protest. Then I could better understand a bully aspect to it.
Man, give it up already

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Post by mars » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:07 pm

Geekster, I hear your point and I do see the logic in it. The problem is that it happened at the gate. It's like if a security guard at a bank decided to pull a prank on waiting customers. Gate people are like security guards at burning man. The OP gave them that respect. How is she/he to know that this is a possible prank?

I know you are saying we shouldn't give them the authority or the power. we shouldn't go along with something so irrational. But they are the 1st contact with burning man, in the past I have always seen them take their job quite seriously, not even a little chatting usually, all business. So how would someone know when to give them the power of authority and when it's a frikkin' joke. Gate is just not the right place to mess around.

You're right, they're not the TSA, but they are BM security, looking for scammers and shouldn't become scammers themselves. It just ain't the right place for that kind of joke.
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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:21 pm

" Gate people are like security guards at burning man. The OP gave them that respect. How is she/he to know that this is a possible prank? "

I can understand that point. So yeah, I can see where someone thinks "gate people can confiscate stuff" and goes along. Maybe it is because I have already been a time or two and if someone wanted to take something that I knew wasn't prohibited (stuff made in China??? 90% of the stuff on the playa is made in China) it would have immediately caused a "nice try, guy" reaction with me. But not everyone walking around in those lanes is a trained gate staffer, either. Particularly when things are slow and people are out of their cars walking around. And sometimes people from other departments come out to shoot the shit around the gate. But then again, a new participant might not know that.

So yeah, I can see how there could be some sense of implied authority there. But why no protest at the time baffles me. The delay only made things worse, in my opinion. Maybe the participant had other things on their mind.
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Post by Mosin » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:22 pm

Geek, I don't come to the playa to get "punked" unless I become aware at some point that this punking is all in good fun (i.e. Club Exclusivo, Animal Control, or any conversation with DG members while wearing bunny ears ;). If your logic holds true that we are whiners about this, next burn howzabout I hilariously punk your ass by stealing your Chinese-made, Walmart-bought camping gear and/or bike/s while you are at Temple Burn? What a fuckin knee slapper!! HA HA. Lighten up, beyotch!

Others have said it far better than I could above... unless the "joke" is revealed this is stock theft via abuse of authority, and will lead to my foot breaking off in some "funny" motherfuckers ass. Seen? That's my way of punking/joking back in such situations. Theft and fights are not conducive to the burn, which is why this lame bullshit can't happen again.

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:37 pm

I apologize for the whiner comment and it wasn't aimed so much at the original posting but the general litany of people posting about COG confiscating their blinkies on the playa on top of that original posting.

It is tiresome sometimes when people are expecting to "be protected" from bad things all the time and not taking reasonable steps to protect themselves and then bitching about it when it happens. It wasn't any one thing, it was the whole bunch of them all added together.

So the next step is to look at it and say how do you keep it from happening again. The way I would favor is to educate people on A: what is not allowed in the city and B: who to go to on the spot if something that isn't right happens so they can get it taken care of. The idea of instituting a draconian set of procedures like having gate people yell at people if they get out of their car to stretch their legs after having been in their car for hours, running off people from other departments who might want to come out and share the misery, etc. don't appeal to me. I would rather give people the tools to take care of themselves rather than take care of them as if they are kids.

If people can be educated that at burning man, there WILL be people who are going to try to prank you, there ARE going to be laminates that are not staff laminates, that people are going to tell you things that aren't true ... and tell them where to go if they are in doubt, I believe that things could be better than having to nanny people.

And again, to the best of my knowledge, the person who did that was not a regular gate staffer and I have never witnessed gate people taking stuff that wasn't in the survival guide as prohibited. I have seen them take live plants but never stuff made in China.
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:42 pm

I did take the time to load the trailer and van for the gates.. I made my load tranparent enough so they did not have to spend time poking around in it..

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:54 pm

I had the opposite experience this year; I rolled in at about midnight Monday, and after sitting in a non-moving line for quite a while they just sent us all in - no looking at my mutant vehicle approval letter, no looking in my RV at all, no nuthin'. I couldn't believe it!
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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:59 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:I had the opposite experience this year; I rolled in at about midnight Monday, and after sitting in a non-moving line for quite a while they just sent us all in - no looking at my mutant vehicle approval letter, no looking in my RV at all, no nuthin'. I couldn't believe it!
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Post by troyds » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:01 pm

Geekster,

On an individual basis one could argue that ultimately it does come down to just taking care of one’s self, but many people are responsible for other’s, in terms of their well being, gear, art, to mention a few things. I feel that the whole Burning Man community has a responsibility to each other. I did not allow or plan for the possibility of the BM Staff or fill in people lying to me about what was and wasn’t to be allowed. That is my fault. I should have treated them like “default commoners.â€

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Post by geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:15 pm

Troyds,

If this had been something that was being done generally in the gate lanes, I would agree. But this appears to be one case of one staffer from another department getting carried away with the COGs thing and a participant who "froze". I don't know what one can do when we start talking about individual incidents. Yeah, if it were going on in a systematic manner, the system can be fixed. So far this appears that one person got carried away and screwed someone out of their stuff.

I am not sure any policy can be put in place to prevent one individual from doing something stupid and that action was not any policy of that department I have ever heard of. The only way we can make sure it doesn't happen again is for people not to let it happen to them when someone gets over the top.
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Post by troyds » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:42 pm

Geekster,

I don’t disagree, but not everyone at any given time is going to be capable of dealing with people when they are going over “the top.â€

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