Buring Man getting worse every year?

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jackmack
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Buring Man getting worse every year?

Post by jackmack » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:36 am

I've had good and bad years at burning man over time and it is true you need to be the change you want to see bla bla.... but,

as the population increases more trendy people are showing up with this new "burner" scene mentality where costumes matter more than personality.

I met some great people this year but not as many as previous years... it's becoming... .well help me out here... mainstream? trendy? superficial?.. how about just [b]meaningless[/b]?

anyone else notice this degenerating vibe? Is it just me?

I see people showing up... and clinging to "their" camp with "their" "PRIVATE" art car for "PRIVATE" parties with all the people they came out with. The goal? To go out and dance every single night with "their" elite group of close minded friends via [b]V.I.P.[/b]. New relationships? yea right, you wish you had a costume like that! Smug fake "scensters" who I've been trying to avoid my whole life have completely infiltrated burning man.

I'm sorry but if you're not breaking boundaries, facing your fears, overcoming your insecurities, and making love to someone [b]NEW[/b], then why the fuck do you come to burning man?

...on it's way out.

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Post by Dato » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:53 am

Bitching about last year will be better next year.

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Post by Elderberry » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:08 am

Dato wrote:Bitching about last year will be better next year.
LOL That was funny!

But seriously, I've only been twice now, so can't speak to how it's changed over the years; but I can say for certain that I personally have changed over the years--all 60 or so of them.

Change is inevitable, it's the result of growth over time--whether it's growth in numbers or growth in life experience or whatever.

I had a great time at my first burn and an even better time at my second and expect my third, forth, fifth...to be even more fun. And hopefully each will have 'changed' in some way.

That's life...just like getting older, you either accept it and embrace what each new decade brings and be happy; or you don't.

JK

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Post by jackmack » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:18 am

..change.... is not the issue.

...change for the worse is the issue. like getting old... except for experience & maturity life only gets worse. that's inevitable but the sad part of life is young people not living to their potential while they have the chance... (or burning man living to its potential while we have the chance!)

...this is what i see being so sad about it all. if burning man "changes" into a commercial event for example then it would be [b]bad[/b].

..principle & criticism are important. fuck any old change. I want things to change for the better...

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Post by honeyfire » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:41 am

jackmack wrote:I see people showing up... and clinging to "their" camp with "their" "PRIVATE" art car for "PRIVATE" parties with all the people they came out with. The goal? To go out and dance every single night with "their" elite group of close minded friends via V.I.P..
And these people you can easily avoid and ignore by, well, avoiding and ignoring them are a problem, why again?
jackmack wrote:I'm sorry but if you're not breaking boundaries, facing your fears, overcoming your insecurities, and making love to someone NEW, then why the fuck do you come to burning man?
Why are you so determined to decide what someone else's Burn experience should be?
Did someone drag you into a rave camp and put glitter on your ass or something?
Or did they drag a rave into your camp (in which case you'd have a valid point here)?

I really don't see why some people want to spend so much time on whining about someone else's non-infringing activities...
I'm just trying not to be liveMOOP...

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mojo
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Post by mojo » Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:56 am

I'm sure it's not just you but it is certainly NOT my experience. I'm in my 11th year of hearing how it gets worse, blah blah...... same exact complaints every year.

This year was better than all the rest. I expect that next year will top this one. My burning man family grows exponentially every year - my camp is always full of people - old friends and new. I can't wait to see them again each year and our meeting is always sweet and parting wistful.

The size of the event means to me that there is more to see and do, more energy expended to entertain one another and expanded resources to help us meet our needs and desires.

The single only reason that a larger event has any negative impact on me is that it takes a bit more umph to pedal across the playa.

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:01 pm

My burn changes because I change the way I do it every year. I go with more people or have a medical problem...I stay in camp more. When I went alone I saw the entire city and had more conversations with utterly great and random people. If I complain about my burn it is because I approached it the wrong way and did not change my situation to a positive one for myself. Burning man welcomes everyone and I am glad they do. They are not there to make sure everyone has a good time. That is up to us. Hell I think each year they say "the gates are open lets see what crazy shit happens." I think if you change your burn for yourself you will have a better time. Be the change.
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Post by thirt33n » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:07 pm

it gets worser.

it be great if burningman pulled a pearljam and imploded and was practically forgotten about until it finally one day became relevant again as a smaller yet dense version of itself all the while allowing it's true participants to ride along. :wink:

p.s. maybe i'll give the medical problem a go some time. fun! jk moots :P
blow.

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Post by AmericanFremin1 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:12 pm

let's nuke 'em.

seriously. it's a city of 60,000 people. evolve with the dust.

just let go.
letgo-
ogtel
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**\<>/**

jackmack
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Post by jackmack » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:16 pm

i understand "the burn is what you make it" concept... it's obviously one of the most important & meaningful aspects of this event...

...with that said...

...imagine if 1000's of christians came and started setting up churches all over the esplanade..seriously imagine this for a moment... and it got harder and harder each year to find "chill" places conducive to conversation and intimacy and connection and friendship... think about the effect this would have on the event... the solution? "if you don't like it don't go"? fuck that! ... we have a duty to point out what sucks! rave camps at burning man are the new churches of the masses.... different scene same sheep....

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:20 pm

It's Mots!!!

Hey thirtEEn :twisted: if you get to choose you medical problem just make sure not to choose a huge kidney stone. Be sure to be misdiagnosed 4 weeks before the burn so you aren't completely blind sided. :?

I could have had a terrible burn but it was fucking awesome. Like usual.
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jackmack
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Re: If they're not in your face, they're not your problem.

Post by jackmack » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:23 pm

And these people you can easily avoid and ignore by, well, avoiding and ignoring them are a problem, why again?


they're fucking everywhere! it's almost impossible to find ANYTHING else! ...I did find some really great places to hang out this year don't get me wrong... far more than in some other years and I am glad for that... but it's the shit that I'm stepping in that I have to point out!

...and it creates a vibe of fear & anxiety when there is so much of it. The more assholes who show up the less safe people feel about EVERYONE else. People become less open in general because of what happens on a larger scale. The big sound rave camps are like a virus that taints everything else like religion in the larger society. fucking ravers & christers!

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Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:40 pm

jackmack wrote:"chill" places conducive to conversation and intimacy and connection and friendship...
I think that is why precisely people go to church or are involved with any meaningful organization including burning man.
Bring on the Christians! Wouldn't it be great to converse with them on an even playing field about what is really going on. Hell I'd bring my megaphone and really let them hear it.
I know there are lots of places to get what you want at the burn. You just have to find it, join it or build it for yourself.
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:11 pm

No, I can't imagine a party getting better every time new people show up. There's the increased chance that someone really cool will show up and be the life of the party, but that's a fraction of the chance that yahoos will come by and crash the party. Basic sociology.

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bradtem
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Does gifting scale?

Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:12 pm

While I do expect the event to change every year, and have some things get worse and others better, the big question in my mind about the expansion is whether gifting scales.

By this I mean, what aspects of giving to the community break down if the community is too large?

Some clearly do. If your goal is to give everybody a drink, or some other tangible, it takes more to do it. In theory that can scale if everybody is doing it because you have 5 times as many people giving to 5 times as many people.

However, at the same time, trust can break down in a large crowd. You move to having to lock your bike, and then your generator, and then more and more things.

We've had an uptick in tagging and vandalism. Two of my art installations were tagged with graffiti this year, one multiple times. That's not good.

There's more mooping. The larger the crowd, the easier it is be lost in the crowd and not need to be responsible for what you do. You're just some anonymous person who left a beer bottle there. Several times after leaving my art car parked, I would find people had tossed bottles into it.

Some things scale well. Put up some visual art, and 50,000 can appreciate it as easily as one. Put up some interactive art and 50,000 means a line to participate.

Solemn art becomes more difficult.

The city became larger due to the expanded population, and (particularly with bikes not being effective) this made it harder for people to reach all areas of the city readily. Not everybody can get a location for their camp that will be visible to all.

On the plus side grant budgets are larger, bigger art can be attempted. New people come with fresh ideas -- this is essential. Artists can be inspired to do something grander, it being worth their time to do it for 50,000 fans when it wasn't for 10,000.

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Post by unjonharley » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:21 pm

With white outs of the last two years.. Along with the drifts.. These two things will change to whole face of burning man..

As the weather stays dryer it will take a different kind of camper..

Those RV's full of sand will get old fast.. When you can't see the art for the coating of dust.. And a few more.. Change is good

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Post by thirt33n » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:32 pm

whoops. Mots. :roll: :wink:
blow.

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Worse weather

Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:33 pm

I don't want to predict that a general drying trend will give us this playa surface again. That was the worst surface in my 11 years (except for Friday night of 98 after the rainstorm). It erased something that I think it essential to Burning Man -- the ability to bike and drive art cars anywhere -- and I hope it was a rare abberation.

Burning man does try to stay scary and harsh in order to make sure people only come if they are truly dedicated. But this is not always the right filter, and if you add "you can't bike on it" then I think the playa is no longer the right place for it. But I don't think this is a long term change so I am not too worried.

There is a broader thread of how Burning Man should exclude people. It has to exclude people, or it would be far too large to take place on the playa, if nothing else. It excludes people many ways. It excludes those who can't afford the cost (not just tickets) or time. It excludes people who can't or won't handle the weather or the dust. Ideally you want to exclude all the "wrong people" and keep all the "right people" but that's impossible, as is even defining well who right and wrong people are.

Whether "Be in a hot, dry, dusty very remote place, with a $250 ticket and many other expenses and have time off the week before labour day" is the right formula or not is another question.

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Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:35 pm

The big sound rave camps are like a virus that taints everything else like religion in the larger society. fucking ravers & christers!

shall we send them to the Lions, perchance?


they'll only come back stronger, you know.


and, pray tell, what to do about the Satanist ravers? Drop them off at Death Guild and hope they're playing some dark trance or Peter Murphy Mash-up?


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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:45 pm

At about 200,000,000, "gifting" becomes "taxing" doesn't it? ;)

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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:17 pm

I had a great time this year but mostly because of the quality of the camp I was with.

I think the economy accounted for less art than in past years. (Really, it would be hard as heck to top 2007's incredible art. )

It did seem that there were a lot of spectators this year, but that's always hard to determine. Absence of costume doesn't mean lack of partcipation, but I suppose absence of lights at night (a safety issue) plus absence of creative dress may signify a spectator-mode approach.

I was camped right next to a camp located around 7:45 and A who had zero ineractivity, maybe 4 tents and 14 RVs and a huge sound system that was fired up every day at 8:30 am for no apparent reason other than they could. They left bags of garbage and a bike or two when they decamped. I honestly had not seen that behavior before in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Our other neigbors were way cool and a lot of fun, but our rear-ward neighbors just had such a buzz kill vibe to them.

I wonder what 2008's population estimate will wind up being. 60,000 seems too high.

I predict the economy and a reputation for whiteouts will cause a downward dip in 2009. Wile I can handle the dust storms, the inability to zip around the playa on my bike is a serious consideration for me for next year.

them's my random thoughts

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Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:57 pm

absence of creative dress may signify a spectator-mode approach.
You need to be careful there. Yes, there are some people there dressed ordinarily who are just spectators, but most of the more serious artists I know at Burning Man tend to be quite plain in their playa appearance. Simply, if you are putting a lot of work into your playa art, or other tasks, you don't have much time to focus on a cool costume.

In fact, it might be more likely to say (though again not universally true) that if you see somebody in outrageous playa wear, they are more likely to be a spectator who just comes to party, if a better level of spectator.

(And yes, I know that felt insulting to those who do come in cool costumes are not not spectators, just as the quoted statement felt that way.)

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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:33 pm

I've never heard of Buring Man before. Is it anything like Burring Man?
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Post by motskyroonmatick » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:57 pm

Its colder and less dangerous than Burring man. Burring man burrs are dangerous!
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Teo del Fuego
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Post by Teo del Fuego » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:31 am

bradtem wrote:You need to be careful there.
you quoted only half of the equation. I said absence of lights at night plus lack of creative dress may equal spectator mode.

I stopped by Center Camp last year to bid farewell before hitting the road and was dressed in normal street clothes. A 20-something playa muffin slagged me off as a tourist not knowing that was my third burn with a theme camp and I had worked my butt off that year building a bar and slinging drinks to her and her friends. Im not big into costumes, but I mke an effort to look a little different than all the other professionals you see on the sidewalks of our streets.

I think coming to Burning Man, making no art, wearing blue jeans and t-shirts the whole time, not bothering to light your bike, etc. is as rude as going to France speaking only English and complaining about the service and lack of ketchup.

All Im sayin'

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Post by ygmir » Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:36 am

is it possible to be rude in France?.........
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Post by Isotopia » Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:47 am

The event might benefit by taking a page from the Glastonbury Festival. Every three years they put on one of the largest music festivals in Europe. Numbers are around 180,000 (attendees and volunteers).

Every fourth year they skip having the event so that they can stand back and see where they are with the thing and try to make course corrections as needed.

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Post by gyre » Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:28 pm

We've had an uptick in tagging and vandalism. Two of my art installations were tagged with graffiti this year, one multiple times. That's not good.
Ohhh!
More chances to pounce on taggers!
We could chain them to something in the Temple of Atonement and let people tag them or just leave them in the trunk until the burn is over.


I have yet to meet an early burner in costume.
Costume is for performance.
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Post by brcprincess » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:25 pm

People who slag others off for not wearing costumes are the biggest tourists of all.

I have two great memories this year, both of which involve people not wearing costumes.

The first was a very normal looking Mexican guy in jeans, t-shirt and cowboy boots who was staring at the flaming tree art. He was completely mesmerized. He was alone, not dressed like anyone else and really loving it.

The second was four gals (two sets of sisters) in their early sixties who were all in denim shorts, t-shirts and white ankle socks. It was their first Burn and they were trotting around with their fanny packs having a wonderful time. They were so funny and amazed when a nearby camp gave them a snow cone. They loved the men in tutus. They were excited and enjoying themselves so much - it was a contact high with their energy.

These people stood out to me because they were having a pure time. Not pressured to dress or act in a "BM" fashion.

People who discriminate against those who don't dress up are totally missing the point. Not dressing up does not automatically = spectator mode.

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Post by wedeliver » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:16 pm

Teo del Fuego wrote:.....I think coming to Burning Man, making no art, wearing blue jeans and t-shirts the whole time, not bothering to light your bike, etc. is as rude as going to France speaking only English and complaining about the service and lack of ketchup.

All Im sayin'
If I go to France I will probably be speaking only English, SINCE I DON'T KNOW A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, my embarassment (and I didn't mean to be rude). I suppose I could try some pig latin. And whats this about no ketchup? Maybe they have catsup (for my FRENCH fries).
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