cameras and creepy men

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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olivia
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cameras and creepy men

Post by olivia » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:21 am

this year in my travels around i witnessed many disturbing spectacles. i saw soiled yogi underwear in the face of an unfortunate contact improv partner, i saw more asshole than i ever want to see in my life, and some very scary 80's stripper outfits. but these horrors are funny and have their place at burning man.

what i want to know is, what place does burning man have for crowds of men with cameras hoarding around a woman doing something vaguely sexual and interesting? many times this year i witnessed this scene. i know this has been a critical tits staple gripe for many years, but never have i seen such obvious recording for later masturbation outside the critical tits ride.

for instance, over at the glom one night i saw a woman riding the orgasmatron. the crowd around her was almost entirely men. it formed a semi-circle around her and was several rows deep. including myself and my friends, there must have been 5 women to maybe 40 men. most of the men had cameras and were snapping away as if their viagra prescription depended on it. one man was extremely intoxicated and spewing forth a one-sided porno commentary complete with "yeah bitch, ride it!"

you could argue that the women put herself in that position, riding the orgasmatron and all you're bound to attract some attention. but really, is burning man just one giant porno convention now? should women at burning man have to hide their sexuality in order to not immediately get swarmed and photographed to amateur porno hell? must we be the stars of someone's private mastubatory video collection?

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kyla
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Post by kyla » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:52 am

Yup, definitely saw some creepy scenarios this year involving men with cameras!!

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PurplePuppy
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Post by PurplePuppy » Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:55 am

I hear you about the cameras- my boyfriend and I went with a photographer out to the 10:00 side of the open playa, to get some (non-sexual) artistic nude shots taken out there.... while we were out there, minding our own business, there were tons of gawkers who would just stop and STARE...not even say hi, just STARE as if I was meat. And then the people who whipped out their cameras and snapped away without asking permission.... and then just either glared or rode off once I screamed "Thanks for asking permission!" at them.

Sure, a few people asked permission (and were refused), and were nice about it.

But overall, amazingly, I'd say that Burning Man contains a level of fuckwits that's on par with general society, if not more per capita, because... "Hey, it's Burning Man. I can do whatever I want."
Dance like it hurts. Love like you need money. Work when people are watching.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:15 am

I wish someone could get through to these FWs with the message that women are more likely to be open sexually when men don't fuss and embarress them. And hit them with negative social consequences. Back in the day women (pre-Victorian era) women were (socially consdietered) the wanton sex. NOt that it was a paradise, just a different dynamic. Of course, more nookie to go around doesn't nessesarily mean more nookie for FWs.

Tay
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As a guy with a camera I have to say

Post by Tay » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:32 am

As a guy with a camera, I have to say you are all right. My living and my passion is making images and I wouldn't particularly mind seeing cameras banned. I do photograph my experience in BRC, but I photograph selectively and although I have photogrphed women (and men) in various stages of playa wear, I have only done so in the process of making friends - or where I saw someone whose appearance was so amazing and beautiful that I wanted to remember them - but I ask. I've seen and had quite a few moments spoiled on the playa by those creepy guys (though this year (and last year, come to think of it) I also saw a lot of women (tourist types) taking pictures as well.

DoctorIknow
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no camera for me for 4 years

Post by DoctorIknow » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:19 pm

For three years I had taken large format film pictures of those I would find both interesting AND wanted a picture of themselves, which I would email later and then make prints if desired.
I built a studio, with different backdrops, reflective lighting. I built this structure because I noticed my first year, '98, that there was no way to have people pose on the streets or playa without other cameras clicking away. The problems was twofold: distraction for the subject and no good picture for me. Plus, the background of BM is ALWAYS "noisy" unless you happen to be far in the playa. In fact, some of the studio pics I would make I'd later remove the backdrop and put in open playa background: gawd bless Photoshop.

Anyway, I was in my third year of this project, and I was approaching a perfect subject to ask if she wanted a pic, and I had been talking to her for TWO seconds and two other dudes on bikes came screeching to a halt right in her face to offer schawg or whatever else to get her attention: in other words, hit her up.

I was so discusted I never approached anyone else. Although my intentions were always "the high road" to someone being approached, I could easily be mistake for being just another one of the thousands (ten's of thousands???) of creeps out there on the playa. My feeling was not to contribute to anyone elses unhappiness.

This year, I was so glad to get away from any USA city with young people today, where it seems like 6 out of 10 of them are on the cellphone every hours of the day, but I saw that cell phone replaced with the digital camera.

Anyone thinking BM is a special place they can go where riding a mechanical bull erotically won't bring out dudes with drool or camera better make there own festival... banning cameras won't diminish their ranks one bit.
Maybe those people wanting to express themselves in ways to make the flys come to honey should start their own "closed" theme camp (shoot, how many of those things EVER open to us lowly public?)

My suggestion to anyone wanting for BM to be something other than what it is is to change YOURSELF and find peace therein. Such as: if you don't like cameras, don't bring one and tell others in your group to leave them home.

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:28 pm

Interesting post, Dr. I wonder what the people who run the center camp studio would have to say. And would you be willing to photo people who came to you in a simielar way to how that one works?

(I hate what's gonna happen now--and is already happening--with those camera phones.)

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Cameras, Yahoos and drool on the playa floor

Post by chefjuke » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:44 pm

Hmmm....

My first year (1994) I took many, many photos. If it was of an individual, I asked first. Not because it was listed in the survival guide (heh, you should SEE what the mailer for burning man was, or rather, wasn't that year), but because sure seemed the right thing to do.

Since 1994 I haven't taken nearly as many photos, not because I didn't want to, but rather because I was too damned busy being involved in one way or another to get out my camera.

This year I was determined to get more photos for a collage project I wanted to create, but again was somewhat distracted by the tendency to actually DO something rather than take pictures of things.

As for the tendency of the males of the species in our culture to assume rights that they shouldn't (right to intrude, right to take someone's picture, etc), I think a lot of that reflects what is being pushed out at us in our current media culture. Television has reached new heights of voyeurism from the non-prior permission stuff like "COPS", to the other reality shows that get their cameras right in the midst of people's lives, and the more tawdry the scene, the better the ratings.

Yes, one can certainly go off and create their own event...I often suggest this to those who have a litany of complaints about how "Burning Man isn't cool anymore because...", but I don't know if that is going to stop the kind of mentality that promotes this type of behavior. Maybe to start..if you only had, say 40 close friends starting your event, but pretty soon it would grow..and when it grows...more and more people with different sensibilities will attend and....there you are again....

Oh, some of my pics from BMANs past: http://www.chefjuke.com/burnman

Cheers,
-Chef Juke
http://www.chefjuke.com/burnman
"Everybody Eats When They Come To MY House!"

Tay
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Post by Tay » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:45 pm

I do agree with you Dr. But in terms of creatng another level of departure - a place to hide where we can do the things we feel we are there to do doesn't seem right. What I think is distressing to most people is that we tend to feel that Burning Man is ours, like a big extended tribe and that those who don't get it shouldn't come - or at least be respectful - you are in my house take off your shoes - that knd of thing. You see the same complaints about yahoos and tourists. But photography can have a place at BM - I mean who hasn't looked at pictures of past burns and felt moved - and in some cases moved because they saw a new perspective of something. I think you are right that burners need to express their displeasure to those who are swarming with cameras in the way that we express our displeaure to people about MOOP or the potties. I saw a show at the end of the week at Planet Wow with girls up on trapezes (is that the proper plural for of that word?) and some knuckle head started shining a laser on one of them. A few of us turned to ask him to stop, as it was dangerous if it got in her eyes, and he agreed - he hadn't even thought that it might be dangerous (mocking derision in my voice) he just though it was cool (lasers are another pet peeve of mine.) And I think it's the same way with photography. I think most people just assume that if you weren't all right with having your picture taken you wouldn't be doing what you're doing.

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Post by Tay » Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:52 pm

I do agree with you Dr. But in terms of creatng another level of departure - a place to hide where we can do the things we feel we are there to do doesn't seem right. What I think is distressing to most people is that we tend to feel that Burning Man is ours, like a big extended tribe and that those who don't get it shouldn't come - or at least be respectful - you are in my house take off your shoes - that knd of thing. You see the same complaints about yahoos and tourists. But photography can have a place at BM - I mean who hasn't looked at pictures of past burns and felt moved - and in some cases moved because they saw a new perspective of something. I think you are right that burners need to express their displeasure to those who are swarming with cameras in the way that we express our displeaure to people about MOOP or the potties. I saw a show at the end of the week at Planet Wow with girls up on trapezes (is that the proper plural for of that word?) and some knuckle head started shining a laser on one of them. A few of us turned to ask him to stop, as it was dangerous if it got in her eyes, and he agreed - he hadn't even thought that it might be dangerous (mocking derision in my voice) he just though it was cool (lasers are another pet peeve of mine.) And I think it's the same way with photography. I think most people just assume that if you weren't all right with having your picture taken you wouldn't be doing what you're doing.

Tay
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Post by Tay » Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:06 pm

I do agree with you Dr. But in terms of creatng another level of departure - a place to hide where we can do the things we feel we are there to do doesn't seem right. What I think is distressing to most people is that we tend to feel that Burning Man is ours, like a big extended tribe and that those who don't get it shouldn't come - or at least be respectful - you are in my house take off your shoes - that knd of thing. You see the same complaints about yahoos and tourists. But photography can have a place at BM - I mean who hasn't looked at pictures of past burns and felt moved - and in some cases moved because they saw a new perspective of something. I think you are right that burners need to express their displeasure to those who are swarming with cameras in the way that we express our displeaure to people about MOOP or the potties. I saw a show at the end of the week at Planet Wow with girls up on trapezes (is that the proper plural for of that word?) and some knuckle head started shining a laser on one of them. A few of us turned to ask him to stop, as it was dangerous if it got in her eyes, and he agreed - he hadn't even thought that it might be dangerous (mocking derision in my voice) he just though it was cool (lasers are another pet peeve of mine.) And I think it's the same way with photography. I think most people just assume that if you weren't all right with having your picture taken you wouldn't be doing what you're doing.

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gladeye
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Post by gladeye » Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:49 pm

I like to take pictures and I do so with a couple rules in mind. If nudity is incidental, or part of a crowd or background, not the focus of the shot, I don't ask permission. If someone nude is the focus of the shot because they are a friend, otherwise colorful, provocative, or yes, even sexually enticing (God forbid, but let's be human here), I will always ask first, though I rarely take purposely nude photos cos it feels cheesey and detracting of the subject's freedom.

It can be argued, however, that you know what you're getting into when you take your clothes off. You just need to hope your fellow burners will be routeous and respectful. I don't think banning cameras altogether is even an option when the whole event is so rich in visual treats and spectacles.
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Hotspur
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Post by Hotspur » Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:55 am

I don't know what the solution is. The prevalence of cameras is probably my biggest single gripe with burning man (and I use a camera for a living!).

And was it just me, or were there about ten times as many folks with cameras this year than last, even early in the week?

I don't think banning cameras is a reasonable solution. Photography does have a place at burning man. But it REALLY changes the vibe in an unpleasant way. And the number of people experiencing burning man thruogh the screen on their camcorder was staggering -- especially because they're going to end up with crappy footage.

I know certain camps (the carcas wash, glitter camp) have declared themselves no camera zones. Is it time to declare large swaths of the playa (half the esplanade and mercury?) no camera zones?

I'd say they should go back to no video, period, except it'd be almost impossible to enforce now that most digital cameras can take video.

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Post by irishdevil » Wed Sep 08, 2004 1:46 am

Last year was my and a few freinds frist time. And we also brought a camera. But no matter if the subject was nude or not we always asked if we could take a picture and we also informed them that we would be showing them to friends so they could get an idea of what burning man is like. And we got some great shots all very artistic and it's got some of friends wanting to go next year because you can get get some very cool shots there. And the people there are just awesome.....but there are jerks there that take advantage of that. I had one situation that happened where a friend of mine was wanting to take a picture of jumping on a trampoline wearing one of my fairy costumes...another gentleman asked if he could take a picture and thought sure why not he asked politely. All the sudden all these guys just whipped out there cameras...and it was a bit disturbing and it just messed me up and we ended up wasting flim on a few really bad shots. But I really can't bitch too much because I did put myself there in front of the public. But rude coments like I've heard in the past...that's just rude and beyond uncalled for.

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Post by spectabillis » Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:34 am

Just to put my vote in, create separate areas of 'camera free zones.'

This year I can tell the women did not feel as 'free' in their expression of what they want to do. I asked some about it, most said it was negative, but quite a few thought I was chatting them up for some reason.

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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by iamtonynyc » Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:59 am

i am the first to say that if i caught someone snapping photos of me and my girl while engaging sexually i'd hurt them pretty bad. but that would be impossible because we dont do it in the public eye. if you dont want to be photographed doing sexually explicit acts, do them in private. DAaaa.
olivia wrote:must we be the stars of someone's private mastubatory video collection?
i find this thread and more specifically the above quote ironic seein how the originator "oliva" makes a living posing and maintaining a poronographic web site. if you thought that being a star of someone's private mastubatory video collection was so bad you wouldn't be feeding the problem with your own greed. :roll:

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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by Hotspur » Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:04 pm

iamtonynyc wrote:i am the first to say that if i caught someone snapping photos of me and my girl while engaging sexually i'd hurt them pretty bad. but that would be impossible because we dont do it in the public eye. if you dont want to be photographed doing sexually explicit acts, do them in private. DAaaa.
But this is the point. The everpresence of cameras means that people who would like to do something in public or semi-public without being photographed can't do it. It closes down how free people feel in public.

Again, there's not an easy solution to this, because we want to encourage everyone's freedom -- but driving sexual actvitity or nudity indoors changes the nature of the event, and not entirely for the better.

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paillette
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Post by paillette » Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:23 pm

But overall, amazingly, I'd say that Burning Man contains a level of fuckwits that's on par with general society, if not more per capita, because... "Hey, it's Burning Man. I can do whatever I want."
In a nutshell, this was my dominant impression of my first --- likely only --- year at Burning Man. There were moments I loved, people I enjoyed, sights that thrilled... but far from being a progressive social atmosphere, I found BM to be socially retrograde. :( This was particularly the case as concerns issues of gender and sexual politics.

With a "counterculture" like this, who needs republicans?

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Post by Playa Face » Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:30 pm

I saw a man near the bike parking at center camp filming a woman bending over getting her stuff ready. As she started bending back up he stopped filming, turned around and went for his next victim. So I chased him down, knocked the video camera out of his hands and yelled at him in front of a large group of people. He said sorry and left. You have to confront the people that do it and make a spectical out of them. Otherwise they will get away with it.
Whos that beast walking down the street? Oh thats Playa face.....

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bradtem
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Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:58 pm

There's no easy answer to this. First of all, if you want candid, unposed scenes, you can't ask in advance, though you can ask later and not use the photos, which is generally what I do. And if you have a web site you can tell people that if they are in it and want out they can ask, which is also what I do since I don't ask permission in group or wide-shots that are not of specific individuals. Or you can use shots in which people are not identifiable (face turned away etc.)

For example, I thought this woman walking on the temple with her pointed hat and slim body mirrored the structure of the temple. I took her shot right then, and asked her after she got off the temple. Image

You can also take posed shots, which I also do, but they are different.

Sometimes as well people are deliberately being exhibitionistic, happily posing while people are clearly photographing. You can tell this from the scene described in deeper playa where the couple were annoyed at the drive by shooters.

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Post by TheMuse » Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:21 pm

With two dancing poles on our stage and free flowing booze, folks expressed themselves in a myriad of ways in our bar this year, oftentimes in several states of undress. But a few hours into the first night we had creepy guys either leaning onto the stage as if they were in a real world strip club or snapping pictures without permission. We knew this would be a quick end to the feeling of safety we wanted our performers to have. So we posted a sign out front expressley forbidding photography without the subjects PRIOR consent. Also, we took on some volunteer bouncers to enforce the camera rule and to keep the creepy men at a safe distance from the stage. It worked out quite well and were able to have several nights of spectatorless fun.

The key is to make people aware of bad behavior and let them know it is not welcome. The only way we can perpetuate the Burning Man way of life is to educate those people we introduce to it. MAKE them read the survival guide, ensure they know the basic rules of ettiquite and above all talk to them about the way of Burning Man. PLEASE don't bring uninformed newbies!
Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year.

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Post by Tancorix » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:01 pm

The problems with cameras at BM is not isolated to just the women. It's a guy problem too. Saturday I stopped at the camp that was spraying body paint on everyone at around 7:30 and Mercury? (location??) and I decided to get painted blue & red. As I was being fully painted (standing there in the nude being sprayed down with 50 people watching is an experience) I had all kinds of people taking pictures. Some asked. Most didn't. I'm not the most attractive guy...sheesh I am way out of shape and have body hair to boot so the camera attention was nice in a way. But damn, I had people snapping pictures and some of them were the most obnoxious types, I told several people no pictures and they took them anyway.

I went back on Sunday for some touchup painting and the same thing happened but not as bad. This time I just gave up protesting and concentrated on getting touched up and moved on. Right down the street I ran into the Poly Paradise camp and they had a guy standing out front holding a sign: No Camera Zone. And he barked at people who even thought of lifting the camera up to sneak off a shot. That seemed to work, but what a pain in the ass it is to bitch at people to put down their fucking cameras.

A total ban though is out of the question so it looks like Poly Paradise has the best working idea so far. That's my .02 on the subject...just don't think this is a women only issue. Some of the guys experience it too.

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Post by Dustydude » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:12 pm

I noticed too that there were less nude women and even painted people than before. Is BM getting more conservative?

While the nude body can be a beautiful form, I was more attracted to those with really creative costumes (except the ubiquitous fur costumes).

Maybe they can create a perv camp/zone where the 50+ year-old pot-bellied pervs can take pix of the nudies, or pictures of them. Why would these guys spend all this money to come out to the desert for some nudie pix when porn will get them off faster? They don't even bother to wear costumes.

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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by olivia » Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:20 pm

iamtonynyc wrote:i find this thread and more specifically the above quote ironic seein how the originator "oliva" makes a living posing and maintaining a poronographic web site. if you thought that being a star of someone's private mastubatory video collection was so bad you wouldn't be feeding the problem with your own greed. :roll:
explicitly agreeing to erotic or pornographic images of yourself has NOTHING to do with what i'm talking about. let's stay on topic, there are plenty of other places to hate on SG, my work has nothing to do with my point.

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joya
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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by joya » Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:50 pm

olivia wrote:.... i know this has been a critical tits staple gripe for many years, but never have i seen such obvious recording for later masturbation outside the critical tits ride.
Masturbation OUTSIDE critical tits? uh, well, I actually witnessed a man masterbating DURING the gathering around the man before the ride. He was crusing around on his bike with his hand doing his thing in his pants. Skeeved me out... but it didn't stop me from enjoying the entire CT experience.

I definitely hear what you are saying about creepy men and cameras. This was my first year, so I have nothing to compare it to... but I can say that the vibe at the beginning of the week was quite different from the end of it. At the beginning of the week, I felt entirely comfortable to stroll around BRC topless, and when it was really hot, completely nekkid. However, Friday seemed the turning point... and after that, the vibe was too lecherous (sp?) for me to be comfortable.

Oh, yah, and while the energy from many of the men durning the CT ride was supportive, admiring, loving, and "appropriate"... there were also quite a number of immature horn dogs.

Just my two cents.

joya

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TIME FOR A POLL

Post by spectabillis » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:37 am

Ok, time for a poll, open to the possible choices...

- Open and Free shooting
- Open and Free shooting w/permission asked
- Total Camera Ban
- Camera Free Zones
- Only for registered photographers (like artcars)

Anyone want to add more choices?

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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by DVD Burner » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:53 am

olivia wrote:
iamtonynyc wrote:i find this thread and more specifically the above quote ironic seein how the originator "oliva" makes a living posing and maintaining a poronographic web site. if you thought that being a star of someone's private mastubatory video collection was so bad you wouldn't be feeding the problem with your own greed. :roll:
explicitly agreeing to erotic or pornographic images of yourself has NOTHING to do with what i'm talking about. let's stay on topic, there are plenty of other places to hate on SG, my work has nothing to do with my point.

well one things for sure and ya gotta admit Olivia, That was pretty funny. :lol:
[url=http://www.digicastinternational.com][img]http://76.14.56.240/digiweb/button10.jpg[/img][/url]

"[i][b]The art is in the digit![/b][/i]"

[url=http://eplaya.burningman.com/search.php?search_author=THE+ORIGINAL+DIGIMAN]The Original Digiman[/url]

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Re: cameras and creepy men

Post by iamtonynyc » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:10 am

olivia wrote:
iamtonynyc wrote:i find this thread and more specifically the above quote ironic seein how the originator "oliva" makes a living posing and maintaining a poronographic web site. if you thought that being a star of someone's private mastubatory video collection was so bad you wouldn't be feeding the problem with your own greed. :roll:


explicitly agreeing to erotic or pornographic images of yourself has NOTHING to do with what i'm talking about. let's stay on topic, there are plenty of other places to hate on SG, my work has nothing to do with my point.
oliva, YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING. agreeing to pose and sell erotic or pornographic images of yourself has EVERYTHING to do with the point that you are complainging about. YOU make a living off of feeding on the weakness's that these "creepy men" have. these are the same exact men who subscribe to your site. if the thought of creepy dudes getting off on nude pictures of you was a legitimate complaint you'd have a different job. i think what your really complaining about is the fact that these "creepy men" are getting pictures for their enjoyment and the girls/you are not getting paid for it.

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Post by Ivy » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:21 am

""i think what your really complaining about is the fact that these "creepy men" are getting pictures for their enjoyment and the girls/you are not getting paid for it.""

No, I think what she's complaining about is that the women on SG have given permission for their photos to be used as masturbation fodder. The women at BM (with a few very limited exceptions) haven't. And that's the issue: consent.

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A different vibe

Post by anagantios » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:15 am

I am a 4th year burner and this year was by far, the worst experience for cameras I've ever seen.
I have pierced nipples and view Burning Man as my big chance to show off the result of all that pain. I have interesting jewerly, etc. I don't mind people taking my picture AS LONG AS THEY ASK. This year I saw not just creepy old men, but 20-something normal looking guys taking pictures with their camera under their hands on the sly. For every picture I had taken of me by someone respectful, looking to capture a small part of Burning Man, there was another FW right behind him/her taking advantage someone else's respect.
Can Burning Man really be considered "public" as in if you go out topless in public you ought to expect people to take your picture? I had always thought of BM as being the opposite of public, where while pics of art and nature were great, people were not to be photographed without express consent to foster a creativity and spontineity that couldn't happen under the recording eye of the lens. The CEO struting his stuff in a dress didn't want to risk any permanent record of this week in the desert on "vacation".
The many times I yelled at people obviously taking my picture, "Thanks for asking!" I was met frequently by the It's Burning Man I Can Do What I Want Fuck Off spirit.
I did drive me to wear more Friday. Where's the "radical self-expression" in that?
It's really too bad that so many people are trapped behind those tiny lenses trying to capture BM, when isn't it really there in the moments of experience? The things that can't be put on film or video are the things that last, that keep me and I know many of you coming back despite the creeps, "frat boys", and people who think it's a big party.
While I am not happy about the numerous shutterbugs this year, I'm not going to let them ruin BM or stop me from making the most of my jewelry. I may be a subject in some jack-off collections now, but BM is still 180 degrees from my normal life even so.

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