Hostility?

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
bluesbob
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: AV
Location: Fullerton, CA.

Hostility?

Post by bluesbob » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:28 am

I was explaining BM to a friend. After a lengthy description, she made the comment "there must be quite a few fights out there". I said I didnt think there were any fights, that it would go against the "community" we try to build. She said that was all good, but very idealistic. Whenever you mix copious amounts of alcohol and high desert heat...there had to be some tempers flaring.

So I was just wondering how it is at BRC. Given what I've also read about stolen bicycles, booze, and other things...frats boys and others showing up for no other reason than to get wasted...people thinking toplessness is an invitation to sex....etc.,etc....are fights a common occurence on the playa?

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29581
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:38 am

I've never seen one.......but, have heard of a few........
with that many people, and especially on burn weekend, when all the frat boys show up, it's bound to happen..........

or, video thunder dome sometime...........
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
Sham
Moderator
Posts: 8623
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:10 am
Location: The hidden mythical place.....

Post by Sham » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:47 am

WOW! Let me try to answer this one.
This is just like any city. There are all sorts of people here, including some frat boys. Most everyone is civilized however, including those frat boys. The conditions can be pretty harsh and most everyone has the attitude to help each other out there.
Several years back, I saw a fight among two young guys playing "que es mus macho". Aside from that, even those frat boys were behaving---as long as they could see boobies and high-five each other every time. Oh, those preppy frat boys roaming the desert in their argyle sweaters! :roll:

There are so many misconceptions about BM, and it would be safe to NEVER EVER listen to anything from someone who has not attended---NEVER!

User avatar
Elderberry
Moderator
Posts: 14854
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe
Location: Palm Springs
Contact:

Post by Elderberry » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:22 am

Shambala wrote: There are so many misconceptions about BM, and it would be safe to NEVER EVER listen to anything from someone who has not attended---NEVER!
I'll second that.

JK
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29581
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:29 am

jkisha wrote:
Shambala wrote: There are so many misconceptions about BM, and it would be safe to NEVER EVER listen to anything from someone who has not attended---NEVER!
I'll second that.

JK
third noting I'm safely behind the aim of JK............hi buddy, miss seein ya here
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
lucky420
Posts: 9284
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 am
Burning Since: 2021
Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Post by lucky420 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:33 am

seems to damn hot to fight or at least to fight for very long

User avatar
LostinReno
Posts: 649
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:57 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Location: 4:30 & G

Post by LostinReno » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:25 am

I've been working on the 2009 census project (hopefully the results will be entered and published berfore BM'10) Anyhoo, I've entered a lot forms, one of the questions is "What kinds of behaviors have you seen that are not in line with the ideals of Burming Man; describe what you have witnessed:". I think out of over 200 only one witnessed a short lived domestic squabble. The big bitches are still stolen bikes and not being allowed on art cars.

User avatar
dr.placebo
Posts: 980
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:03 pm
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Cleu Camp
Location: Volcano, HI
Contact:

Post by dr.placebo » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:30 am

Actual physical fights (or even assaults) are pretty rare. Less common than an average city of similar size, but more common than a monastery (just guessing).

There are a lot of reasons. Most important is the presence of the Black Rock Rangers, who have a lot of training in non-violent conflict resolution.

User avatar
Orchid
Posts: 206
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:44 pm
Location: Eastern NC
Contact:

Post by Orchid » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:31 am

I saw an altercation once, but it wasn't a fight so much as it was a really fucking high dude wandered into the Petting Zoo and started picking up chairs and swinging them around randomly. He wouldn't put the chairs down and had to have them pried out of his hands, then he decided to thrash around and try to... actually, I have no idea what he was trying to do, but he ended up on the ground with a bunch of larger guys holding him there until he calmed down. They picked him up, deposited him on the side of the road where he got up and wandered off.

bluesbob
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: AV
Location: Fullerton, CA.

Post by bluesbob » Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:48 am

Thanks everyone.

It seems my response to her was correct. There may be a few problems, but the sense of community is greater than any animosity that can develop. It makes me happy to see that, although not perfect, bringing people of such diverse backgrounds together can lead to an almost utopian existence.

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29581
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:00 am

bluesbob wrote:Thanks everyone.

It seems my response to her was correct. There may be a few problems, but the sense of community is greater than any animosity that can develop. It makes me happy to see that, although not perfect, bringing people of such diverse backgrounds together can lead to an almost utopian existence.

well, for a week, anyway....................
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

AKAparttime
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:54 am
Burning Since: 2002
Camp Name: some times Outpost Tokyo
Location: Kua Hawaii

Post by AKAparttime » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:03 am

One would be far more likely to get there foot stomped on in one of
the big dance camp's, then get in to, or witness a fight.

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Post by Jackass » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:23 pm

Just verbal sparring and shit talking over bullhorns..that i've seen, and the occasional lovers spat. Nothing too interesting
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
AntiM
Moderator
Posts: 20227
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:23 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Anti M's Home for Wayward Art
Location: Wild, Wild West
Contact:

Post by AntiM » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:54 pm

In 2008, we had the fuel cart in the Great Circle, and a guy sitting on the perimeter was smoking. Larry asked him to put it out. The guy blew him off, so Larry reached over and pinched out the ciggie. The guy put what was left out on Larry's FOREHEAD! Larry thumped him on the shoulder when he threatened to get up and kick Larry's ass. Our helmsman came over and had a little talk with him about calling LEOs if he got up and made any more trouble. The guy sat there and left immediately when the perimeter dropped; leaving behind his empty beer cans. Oh, and he'd been harassing the conclave for blocking his view earlier! This was the year the performance was cancelled, so folks were in an ugly mood anyway.

BTW, this guy looked like an aging frat boy in street clothes, not even dusty after the whiteout.

Only incident for us in ten years!

Oh, and MyLarry never "fights", he warns, restrains, and if need be, disables temporarily. In high school and the Navy, the word was "Don't fuck with Clayton, he's crazy."

User avatar
Token
Posts: 4701
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 2:55 pm
Burning Since: 2001
Location: Gold Country, CA

Post by Token » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:07 pm

Ive seen plenty hostility out there, though violence is usually brought under control much faster than in urban settings of comparable density.

When you look at the number of LEO per capita and consider the extra comms on the Black Rock Rangers, response is very swift.

Physical assault, domestic disturbance and sexual assault happen every year.

The BORG publishes snippets in their annual reports.

http://afterburn.burningman.com/09/play ... gency.html

Back in 2004/5 when the five year permit was being worked, there was a big stink about BLM charging for law enforcement costs. The BORG posted a lot of data on the main site regarding crime stats. Cant find it though.

Anyway, don't be fooled. BM is not some fairytale utopia. It's a city like any other and it does have its share of bad people.

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29581
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:55 pm

I may seem diminutive, but, I'm one bad hombre, when riled.

that's why they leave me alone....

Image
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

bluesbob
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 2:32 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: AV
Location: Fullerton, CA.

Post by bluesbob » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:36 pm

Jackass wrote:Just verbal sparring and shit talking over bullhorns..that i've seen, and the occasional lovers spat. Nothing too interesting
And fighting over "Stairway To Heaven." :lol:

User avatar
Jackass
Posts: 2122
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: way out in left field

Post by Jackass » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:48 pm

Damn it Bob, why are you beating that dead horse? I was a little edgy that a.m. hadn't had coffee yet. :evil:
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

11th Principle: Depussyfication - Keeping Burning Man potentially lethal. Token

User avatar
Dr Helix
Posts: 1005
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:38 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Interaction Cafe
Location: Hayward, CA

Post by Dr Helix » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:49 pm

Since I've only been the last two years, I don't have a large range of experience to work with, but I have yet to see an altercation so far. Closest thing to an incident for me was when I interceded for a young gal who was in over her head in a dance club. A couple of FB's were rubbing her up pretty good and it was obvious she was not into it. I walked in and grabbed her hand to pull her out. Told her to be more careful and sent her to her camp. Been about it for me.
"Love, Rockets and write when you get work"

User avatar
ygmir
Posts: 29581
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq
Location: nevada county

Post by ygmir » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:04 pm

Dr Helix wrote:Since I've only been the last two years, I don't have a large range of experience to work with, but I have yet to see an altercation so far. Closest thing to an incident for me was when I interceded for a young gal who was in over her head in a dance club. A couple of FB's were rubbing her up pretty good and it was obvious she was not into it. I walked in and grabbed her hand to pull her out. Told her to be more careful and sent her to her camp. Been about it for me.
well done
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan

User avatar
theCryptofishist
Posts: 40313
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:28 am
Burning Since: 2017
Location: In Exile

Post by theCryptofishist » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:55 pm

Yes there is violence on playa. I think the bulk of it is domestic. I know that one year there was a guy with a knife causing trouble on burn night, I don't know what happened. There was a somewhat famous (on this board, at least) incidence with a clown stealing a bike from someone via a punch in the face--it might be said to have a happy ending, as he turned himself in with community prodding. Sadly, there is sexual assault as well.
In general, people are in a holiday mood, and tend to go out of their way to be helpful and generous. But I've given up going to the big burns; I find that the wait and my relative inability to move as I want just makes me into a monster.
Verbal altercations only, luckily.
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

Playa Foot
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:26 am

Post by Playa Foot » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:26 am

I was listening to an *Irish band composed of DPW workers at center camp one afternoon when they got into a fight with a guy in the audience. Both sides appeared to have been drinking. I was shocked, shocked to think that Irish DPW people would be drinking during the event.

User avatar
Marscrumbs
Posts: 543
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Bishop Ca

Why there aren't many open fights.

Post by Marscrumbs » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:08 pm

If you and somebody wants to rumble. Take it to Thunderdome.

User avatar
Marscrumbs
Posts: 543
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Bishop Ca

Why there aren't many open fights.

Post by Marscrumbs » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:08 pm

If you and somebody wants to rumble. Take it to Thunderdome.

User avatar
gyre
Posts: 15457
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Post by gyre » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:30 pm

AntiM wrote:
Oh, and MyLarry never "fights", he warns, restrains, and if need be, disables temporarily. In high school and the Navy, the word was "Don't fuck with Clayton, he's crazy."
Odd. I think of him as the calmest of people.
But maybe my standards aren't typical?

This event sounds extremely restrained.


Lots of tension, stress and irritation sometimes.
Potential for hostility.

FYI, if you're screaming at me and I become silent, I'm not intimidated.
I'm trying to decide how much blood I'll have to shed to walk away.
I don't think it's just me, either.

I've had more trouble with the burner equivalent of frat boys , than the frat boys.

I had somebody want to fight me because I stepped on his tail.
Someone threw a drink in my face for no reason once.
Thought I would have to kill someone in the dpw once, and no crowd around to break things up.
All over bullshit.

Someone whose project I had volunteered to help with, threatened repeatedly to kill me.
(And they complain it's hard to get volunteers!)
I remain unimpressed.


There are some unstable people that attend and there is a lot of stress.
But most people are more annoying than hostile, if unpleasant.
Fights with anyone, with a certain level of skill, are quick.

And smart people don't want to fight.

I'd say that overall a high potential for fights, but not many.
Plenty of hostility at times.

User avatar
Boijoy
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:51 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Metro Mart
Location: Metro Mart. 4:30 Plaza

Post by Boijoy » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:14 pm

Sunrise one year I saw a couple bickering because "HE" couldn't find the way back to camp. they were drunk. Then she downright slapped the bejesus out of him and stormed off crying. everyone got real quiet, because it was a LOUD slap. He looked totally shocked and started to cry. It was as funny as it was just sad.
oh oh !! Then another year I saw some dude come unglude with a fellow camper. He was yealling at the top of his lungs " you just get out of here, get out !!". Then he stormed into his own tent and started throwing all his shit out of it. I figured it was a bad time to explain to him about "moop" & didn't say anything. :)
don't forget to floss

User avatar
Eric
Moderator
Posts: 9360
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:45 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: BRC Weekly
Contact:

Post by Eric » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:57 pm

my first year we were on the outer wheel of center camp, and the people in the inner wheel behind us had the most certifiable nut job woman with them that I've ever seen. She was constantly screaming at her boyfriend and threatening him, and when one of the other people in the camp tried to get them tossed out, she took his clothes & peed on them, right behind our RV.

We found out later that they had only let the boyfriend camp with them if he promised that she wasn't going to be there, but then he brought her anyway.

Though it was funny to see her stand on an 6' tall platform threatening to leap to her death.....
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

Eric ShutterSlut
Former Ass't Editor & columnist, BRC Weekly

User avatar
Boijoy
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:51 pm
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Metro Mart
Location: Metro Mart. 4:30 Plaza

Post by Boijoy » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:01 pm

Eric wrote:my first year we were on the outer wheel of center camp, and the people in the inner wheel behind us had the most certifiable nut job woman with them that I've ever seen. She was constantly screaming at her boyfriend and threatening him, and when one of the other people in the camp tried to get them tossed out, she took his clothes & peed on them, right behind our RV.

We found out later that they had only let the boyfriend camp with them if he promised that she wasn't going to be there, but then he brought her anyway.

Though it was funny to see her stand on an 6' tall platform threatening to leap to her death.....
:lol: :lol: :lol:
don't forget to floss

User avatar
Homiesinheaven
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:22 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Post by Homiesinheaven » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:37 pm

sounds like original question was answered but i'll share the only fight i saw.

my first day after driving there for over 24 hours i collapsed in a dome and as soon as my head hit the playa i heard an RV come to a sudden dusty stop. out of the side door a dude came flying out like a ragdoll, two other dudes threw a bunch of bags and camping equipment at him then unlatched his bike from the back of the RV and threw it on him. they yelled back and forth about him not paying his way and this and that. the rangers eventually came and i overheard one of them nonchalantly say "yeah well, the desert brings out a lot of funny emotions in people..." this was my first virgin sight and the only time i wanted to leave. ;)

User avatar
C.f.M.
Posts: 3610
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:28 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Stag Camp 810&D

Post by C.f.M. » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:26 am

Just be sure you can walk a straight line if you take it to Thunderdome...they won't let you fight drunk.

Post Reply

Return to “Stories”