"Down in Front" Fascism Is Ruining My Burn

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
Post Reply
User avatar
unjonharley
Posts: 10324
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:05 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Elliot's naked bycycel repair
Location: Salem Or.

Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:27 pm

Rob the Wop wrote:
Rian Jackson wrote: God, we're a bitchy ass group lately.

5htp, everybody. get your seratonin running again. damn.
Can I still Taze people? It's getting to be kind of fun and it's better than killing them (like you normally suggest, you naughty little voice you).


/\
Your just lucky 8 out the 10 voices say don't shoot. Taze On
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:27 pm

There are many issues in this topic. You can debate about how many rows should sit, and where should standing start. A bit of a tragedy of the commons I suppose. If all sit, most people get a better view (though the very tall get a better view when standing, at the cost of others.) If all stand, all but the tall and front row get an inferior view, they won't see the fire spinners or base of the temple at all.

But what's amazing is that in a cooperative community as Burning Man is supposed to be, that one person would stand and block the view of scores behind him even after they ask, hopefully politely at first, and then so many times it becomes an annoyance of itself. Sure, you might have your rationale about why it's moral for you to stand for whatever reason, but once you realize that you're blocking so many, that so many want you to sit, how can you be a member of the BM community and instead give the finger to those behind you as the standers in front of me did.

It's clear that as the requests continue, the standers feel even more charged to "stand their ground" since to sit at that point would be to admit they were wrong. I tried comedy, which can diffuse even such situations, to no avail.

It's not true that everybody stands at the burn of the temple. Where I was the crowd all sat, except for the stander, who for me was right in front of the core of the temple. To see it burn I would have had to stand in front of others.

I suppose the rangers could draw two lines, one for sitting, another for standing. 10 rows of sitters, then as many rows of stand or sit as desired. That might help. If you want to get there early and stand, go to the outer circle and let sitters through until the sitting area is full.

BTW, I posted pictures of the assholes in our section. If anybody knows there names, I would be quite interested, check out the images on this page at http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... 9&start=10

gibbon
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:23 am

Re: ...........Take time to stomp the roses.................

Post by gibbon » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:44 pm

Rabbi Dali Rick wrote:Sounds like it's time to start you're own event Gibbon.

quite remarkably,
the rebbi
Time to? I've put on maybe a dozen events in the last seven years. My reoccuring theme is "Unstructured Free Time" Never thought it was my job to make people do stuff, or have the right attitude. If someone wants to show up and sit on their ass it ain't up to me to judge them.

Me, the whole thing about standing for the man, or sitting reminds me of people arguing about whether the toilet paper goes over the roll or under. In the grand sceme of things, utterly unimportant.

And another point, when you're watching the man or the temple burn, you're spectatin insead of doin.

Oook!

Gibbon.

User avatar
DVD Burner
Posts: 9746
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 3:09 am
Contact:

Re: ...........Take time to stomp the roses.................

Post by DVD Burner » Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:52 pm

gibbon wrote:
Me, the whole thing about standing for the man, or sitting reminds me of people arguing about whether the toilet paper goes over the roll or under. In the grand sceme of things, utterly unimportant.

And another point, when you're watching the man or the temple burn, you're spectatin insead of doin.

Oook!

Gibbon.
DITTO.

Plus I still think the OP is just mad because he thought his butt was too big.
[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]

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:02 pm

No, it's not unimportant. In our area for the temple, people wanted to sit, and they sat for the entire burn. This is unlike the burning of the man where often people stand after the fire starts. Except of course for the ass in the 5th row insisting on standing.

Now frankly, the only reasons I stayed in the area was that I figured either the stander would come to his senses, or if he didn't, the people would begrudgingly stand. But neither happened, and the result was I saw the back of this guy's head and not the temple burn, as did many others.

Perhaps you would say I should have forced standing at that point, if you feel like the stander.

User avatar
Rabbi Dali Rick
Posts: 1848
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 9:28 am
Location: Red Rock City, California
Contact:

....if you think I don't love you, you're crazy............

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:15 pm

Just for your info, I have been to burningman 4 times, and this was only the second time I watched the man burn. It just felt like it would be so anticlamatic, and I had some weird tick in my head about the whole thing, and how I felt it would be a totally negative thing so I stayed at camp and watched our stuff.


missingly,
the rebbi

User avatar
retropsycho
Posts: 341
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:02 pm
Location: SF Bay Area
Contact:

Visibility

Post by retropsycho » Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:30 pm

A few years back I plopped down $10 to see a Survival Reserach Laboratories show under the Freeway in SF. As the "stage" was the same level as the audience, I was bummed that only the first few rows could see what was happening. Then a fellow inside the stage area started sculpting the crowd with his hand jestures, encouraging a tapering human arena with liers, sitters, kneelers, squatters, standers. Lots of nice cooperation and appreciation followed. I'll always remember that.

After six years workin' for the Man, I was gifted with an inner fire circle pass to the Burning of the Man. Got to enter the roped-off area pass the Rangers and get behind the fire spinners. In retrospect I should have move back to the front of the spinners -- down in front -- as they played to the crowd, and I watched their backs, but I didn't want to wander around while they were performing.

After the Burn, I rode a two-story staff vehicle as it made it's way to the Xara/Mutaytor show. This time the only view still available was above and behind the stage, I wish the back of the audience area was left open, not boxed in, but who am I to gripe? Win some, lose some. Those who got to the show early were rewarded with better seats, or rather dance floor space.

I had gotten up close and personal with The Mutaytor on Wednesday night. No complaints.
I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone . . . there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Bitterman
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:05 pm
Location: Reno
Contact:

Post by Bitterman » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:46 pm

It's the DoD Damn Spring Breakers! They don't give a f!ck! Nobody exists in their stoopid world but them... they're the ones wading thru the people and standing next to all the patiently waiting, sitting people. They're the ones leaving their beer cans, water bottles and champange bottles in the f!cking porta-johns! They're the ones drunkenly pissing on my paintings, "uhh sorry buddy uhh" IDIOTS! This is why the default world is the way it is. That mentality is lowering the standards and making excuses and NOT taking personal responsibility. "uuh sorry bro I didn't bring a tent...or food...or water...hey, could i borrow your sleeping bag..." AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
Bah! Psshhh!

User avatar
regynalonglank
Posts: 1515
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:11 pm
Location: in constant motion
Contact:

dang this fucking thread got long!

Post by regynalonglank » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:27 pm

well all I have to add is this: at the man burn when people spontaneously started to sit down (i was about six bodies back from the front row, pretty much front and center) I stupidly yelled out "kneel to the man!" as a joke...which some people apparently did not think was funny AT ALL and it made them totally stand back up again...which almost got them killed i think. somone, i think it was a woman, came up and tapped the guy on the shoulder, at which point he started to turn around a take a swing at her/him...but then i guess he realized that if he did that it would get him, his wife and kid (very white, very chubby, very not in costume) freakin killed...and he thought better of it and turned around again...at which point the crowd at large began chanting "down in front"...when it got to be lots and lots saying it the standing clump of three just there for the burn holdouts finally sat down...which is good, cause i think it was just about to get ugly, and spoil my playa love high! anyways, my advice to you is don't scream out "kneel to the man", don't hit people, and if you want to stand up, perhaps doing it farther back would be a good plan...that's pretty much all i got...except for i loved the burn, temple, man, it was all good. thanks to everyone who did sit down, it was cool to be able to see the firedancers, cause it was my first time, and they totally rocked!
\v/

/ \

just listen to the drum

JulzQ1
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 3:17 pm
Location: Mesa, AZ

Post by JulzQ1 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:52 pm

We arrived semi-early to the burn and got seats about 7 rows in from the man front and center. As I got settled in my eyes wandered from side-to-side-and backwards when all of a sudden I noticed this 50ish-year-old-couple standing behind me...on their bikes.

I can understand how people have differences in opinion between sitting vs. standing but come on, who brings their bike to sit on when they're front and center? As the burn drew closer, people of course started saying, "Down in front" and "Can you please sit down?" when all of a sudden the woman got irate and yelled, "OH, WE PUT IN OUR TIME!! We don't have to sit down!" Both her and her husband looked extremely pissed off. Not to mention they didn't put in their time...they were there for 10 minutes. My boyfriend wanted to say, "How can you put in your time when you just got here yesterday?" Ohhh the witty things you think of after the fact.

The general consenus was for these people to sit down, including people in front of them and to the side. I don't think there would have been as much disgust if they hadn't brought their bikes. It's pretty rude in my opinion to bring them when you plan on sitting so close and then don't disembark at the kind request of your fellow neighbors.

So finally as the minutes ticked, many were asking them to sit down. The gentelman sitting directly behind the man tapped the bike buy on the shoulder. He then proceeded to forcefully turn back to the guy with his fists up, ready to fight. What fucking jackasses people can be. I swear, it was a little unnerving to see fists being drawn at such a joyus occasion. Especially because everyone was making light of the ordeal, except this couple. Most were laughing, a few heckling, but mostly it was all in good nature. But for them both to get uber pissed, yell, and about to throw punches, they got heckled until they sat their asses down that's for sure.

It didn't ruin my good time. If anything it made me grateful to not know people who would do things like that.

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:04 pm

At least these folks sat down. The once I encountered responded to requests, both polite and impolite and from vast numbers of folks with stony silence or the finger. They were there first, so they would stand.

As noted, there is a conundrum with such spectators. They might get violent. Otherewise I have a perfect solution, which is to call for the tallest persons in the audience with the biggest hats to come and stand in front of them (with the assistance of thsoe sitting in front of them) until they get the point, that people have to be cooperative rather than depend on claiming territory, for things to work.

I am curious what rangers get told to do in this situation. At the temple burn, somebody (admittedly somewhat stoned) came up to try to talk peacefully with the guy who was standing alone in a large crowd of sitters. After some time the ranger came to tell the guy doing the persuasion to return to his seat, but did not as far as I could tell ask the standing spectator to do anything. I presume that was policy.

technopatra
Posts: 727
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:04 pm
Location: SF, CA
Contact:

Post by technopatra » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:15 pm

Two years ago I was sitting with the rest of the crowd during the Conclave spinning. It was intensely uncomfortable as folks had crowded in so close that I had knees in my back and hair in my face. I didn't have enough room to sit cross-legged and was forced to alternately squat and kneel, both positions I could not keep up for more than 5 min or so (yeah I've got tight hamstrings, this makes me an asshole for wanting to stand?). It was so tight that I could not have gotten out of there if I wanted to.

But everyone was sitting, so I dealt with it through the fire spinning. I was ecstatic when the man Caught fire and jumped up, as I had for the previous 4 years, hooting and hollering and dancing around, and fully expecting, as every year before, everyone else to do the same. For the first time ever, some folks behind me started yelling at me to sit down. I was thunderstruck, then sad when I saw that I didn't have anyone else to dance with and spontaneously hug, then furious at the sea of complacent faces whining at me like I was doing something wrong by CELEBRATING THE BURNING OF THE MAN!!

I yelled back at them to stand up then turned around and enjoyed the rest of my Burn, only occasionally acknowledging the pain in my heart where the crowd of joyous unknown burners used to be.

But could I fight the numbers of morons who insisted on sitting and then yelling at others who happen to have more fire in their bellies? I could not. So last year and this year I watched, on foot from way back in the Art Car line. I couldn't see a bit of my friends in the Conclave, but at least I didn't have to shout down a horde of people who have decided the Burn is a sedentary event.

Sucks for me, but there it is. The Burn now has much, much less impact since I don't get to feel the heat. Another "it used to be better when" moment. Sad.

btw apropos of nothing, I really really miss the fire cannons.

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:48 pm

I didn't see anybody in the conclave either, thanks to folks who would not sit in spite of scores of requests. I've never seen it so tight that you could not get out and further back if you expressed a medical need, or stand for brief moments, perhaps with an explanation as a courtesy. Your situation of being totally unable to move, even for medical reasons, is unusual, though I do understand it can be tough.

If it was your first burn, I could imagine not knowing what to expect, but in that case you should go with the flow if you can. But if it's not your first burn, you should know there is usually a sitting zone up front with standers behind it, and if you have to stand you should not go into the sitting zone.

But those who want to defend standing near the front, what is your answer? If you stand, everybody has to stand, and then only the front row and the tall folks (mostly men) see the fire conclave and other low activiites. Is that a good answer? So let's have constructive suggestions from those who want to defend the ability to stand in the close rows, how to make things happen so that as many people as possible can see.

I admit to being surprised people did not stand when the burning started to cheer. That's a fairly new one. At the temple burn, it was different, more solemn, and longer, so the sitting through the burn made more sense.

Troy Van Berry
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 5:16 pm

Spectating makes me stoopid!

Post by Troy Van Berry » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:30 pm

I guess its just something in human nature or something to loose your mind when your gawking at something. I am in entertainment production(lighting director) and see this shit all the time. I was doing an (uugghh) corp. event opening a new high priced golf resort and going from hole to hole with a lengendary golfer. We were on a mobile sound cart to amplify his voice for the crowd. ( don't even get me started). Anyhow as I went from hole to hole and got off the cart and stood near the green to watch him hit, I was amazed at how many seemingly weel educated, intelligent, well do do people would rudely walk right in front of me and stand to get a better view of the golf exibition for themselves. Normally I wouldn't think these people would act this way, but there is something about the event and the starpower that makes them loose their minds. I see it all the time with unruley fans at concerts, doing all kinds of wierd shit to get 2 inches closer to the action/stars. Same thing with the big specticles at BM, people get caught up in the moment and do ridiculous shit to be immersed in it. Why people forget to be decent at moments like these I do not know? Perhaps they are spectating on a really deep level and can't think for themselves anymore.
The art is in the details

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:45 pm

No, this isn't just people inching in for a better view, it's an entirely different phenomenon. I'm not as bothered at the idea folks might start off acting antisocially. What's curious is how the ones we're talking about kept doing it in spite of (perhaps because of) all the people asking them to sit down. To the point of calling those asking for courtesy "down in front nazis."

Your golf fans, if reminded they had walked into somebody's view probably would come to some accomodation, not flip you the bird. At at a supposedly cooperative community like BRC, flipping the bird instead of trying to work things out is even more unexpected.

I became convinced that after several requests to sit down, polite and rude, the folks became steeled to their decision. That the complaints made them more resolved to think of the others as "Nazis" and more resolved to block their view for their audacity to criticise.

The question is, how to defuse that short of having "authority" figures like Rangers try to resolve it? Do we just give in and have everybody stand, blocking the view of most of the women and shorter folks? That's a sexist solution, even if not consciously one at first.

I suppose they could declare that low hours (to 6) are all standing allowed and high hours (6 to 12) are all sitting, and put that in the what-where-when, expecting all to stand once the fireworks begin. In the sitting zone there would be no standing behind the sitters -- that space would be for new siitters to come and sit. The front rows in the standing section could feel free to sit or kneel, of course, but you would not complain if those in front of you did not do so. Once demand was measured the zones could be resized.

User avatar
dj big E
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:00 am
Location: las vegas
Contact:

thats what i am saying

Post by dj big E » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:41 pm

Well put technopatra. I will never get close ever again theyre are several layers at the burning of the man and from now on i am staying on the outer rim with all the rest of the freaks. I would rather be a lurker than ever go through that front row experience again. Fire cannon's for sure i would gladly pay an extra fee for more fire cannons. I will never ever forget the fire cannon's at 2001. Flames from 80- 100 feet high thats what i am talking about. More cannons. Thank goodness for the Lotus girls fire cannon this year I really needed that for my fire fix lmao. Down in front . Never again how fucn lame.

Russell Scheidelman
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:03 am

Post by Russell Scheidelman » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:16 pm

Well, I guess there have been enough posts that those persons failing to read the earlier ones may need some acquainting with the facts (even though it means I have to repeat what I said before).

Firstly, as stated in my narrative, everyone was STANDING to begin with. It wasn't a matter of me and my 2 friends standing up while engulfed in a crowd of folks who were already sitting, or of wandering into such a crowd (although my detractors would like to twist the story into something along those lines).

Second, on the first (Man Burn) night, we obeyed the Ranger when he asked the crowd (including us) to sit. Here I've questioned the policy behind such an edict (and it's been explained to us by a couple sources, including a purported Ranger), but neither I nor my friends ever got into any arguments with the Rangers or did anything contrary to their demands. Suggestions that we acted any differently are simply false. (Perhaps you're confusing us with other people?)

Thirdly, despite whatever abstract or geometrical principles are employed to convince me otherwise, my own personal experience (of both sitting and standing in the same place, and during more than one Burn) makes me highly sceptical of the claim that sitting in the middle of a sitting group on a flat surface gives one any better view than standing in the midst of a standing group on the same terrain. The conceit that sitting is 'obviously' better for everyone and more fair and more 'community-spirited' is simply without adequate foundation and should not be taken for granted by anyone. I think an equal case can be made for everyone standing (which has the added benefits of keeping everyone's clothes and bodies out of the dustbowl at their feet and preserving a 'panoramic' perspective of the fire dancers, which is lost when viewing from ground level).

And finally, the words "Nazi" and "Nazism"--with all their ugly historical implications of racism and death camps, etc.--have been raised here by my detractors and not by me. It is my detractors who are pushing the envelope of rhetorical excess here, not me or the other more objective- and fair-minded participants in this discussion.

Bitterman
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:05 pm
Location: Reno
Contact:

Post by Bitterman » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:49 pm

The more sheep from the default world infiltrate our beloved B.R.C. (I hate to say this) The more I think the Org. should F-ing enforce a designated "sitting" zone, because apparently common sense doesn't work for these gawking tourists. Remeber the world they are coming from, they need to be told what to do. Org, please set a "sitting perimeter" on the inner circle, seven or eight rows deep. Sitting only, no bikes, no fighties, no standers. No Duh!
Bah! Psshhh!

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:00 am

Sorry, I didn't think this needs explaining -- it's pretty obvious if you actually sit there and work it out. The fire dancers are spinning typically with a center about 4' or 5' off the ground, and their heads are 5' to 6' off the ground. When you sit, heads are under 3' off the ground, and are move evenly distributed. When standing, heads are higher and the differences in height are more.

When you sit, everybody is looking slightly upwards at the spinning. You may not see their feet if somebody is directly in front who is your height or higher but you will see their spinning, which is what you want to see.

If you are behind somebody taller than you when standing, however, you are looking *down* at the center of spinning. Most, if not all of it, will be blocked.

If everybody sits, almost all see. If everybody stands, only the front rows and the taller people see.

In an ideal setup, where taller people sit behind sitting short people, then short people kneel and stand behind them, and then the tallest people stand behind those, everybody sees. Not likely to have that of course, though a good and cooperative crowd can make that happen.

The thread was titled about down-in-front fascists. You may not have used the term but others are using it.

But again, even if you have all your personal beliefs about why you should stand, I still remain amazed at those who would defend standing when all around you feel all should sit. Are your beliefs so powerful they trump everybody else's views (in the literal and figurative sense?)

Rian Jackson
Posts: 3903
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:30 pm
Location: In Rob's Head

Post by Rian Jackson » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:01 am

i can't believe how much energy we're wasting on a question we're not going to resolve to everyone's satisfaction...go outside. make some art. kick some ass. run a mile. build a fuckin' community garden. just.please.quit.yer.bitching.in.circles.
surlier than thou

User avatar
dj big E
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:00 am
Location: las vegas
Contact:

lmao

Post by dj big E » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:11 am

I solved my problem I will never ever get close upfront again just not my cup of tea. I love the poi and the fire conclave. But i can see that all week long. Up close and personal and standing.I won't go in the quiet section i will stay out in the burn that mother fucker section. Thank goodness they burn it . Like larry said if you don't they will start worshipping it lmao.

milenko
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:35 pm

Post by milenko » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:21 pm

at football games they have "stadium seating" maybe you would have more fun there instead of at the flat burn
I'll keep this short
YOU SUCK

User avatar
rico thunder
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:48 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California
Contact:

Uh, trouble at 6 o'clock, Captain

Post by rico thunder » Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:27 am

Has no one yet pointed out that all the down in front wars largely happen in Front of the Man/Temple/Whatever? I mean yes, I agree those who opt to stand in the front rows, particularly to keep their clothes dust free (!! I remember many years watching the burn in a dust storm) are socially-retarded pigheads. But these little battles are largely non-existent behind the man. For years, Costco has met up on the backside at eleven or one o'clock. No pushing, no shoving, complete cooperation, no problem. We all sit down, we pass wine, we smoke ceegars, we laugh, we crack dumb jokes. It is peaceful and serene.

Did anyone experience the Down In Front business other than in the five to seven o'clock sections of the circle?

Rico
Rico Thunder
Deposed Chief Executive Officer
Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet
www.thespoon.com/costco

User avatar
PetsUntilEaten
Posts: 294
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 5:49 pm
Location: los angeles

Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:37 am

ok - we talked this up in another thread -
but here it is -
the ultimate solution : again -

build your own men.
burn them on the burn platforms.
on burn night.

not burning man -
burning populous.

you can touch it - stand close to it
run around it - enjoy it
and see it.

easy peasy.

actiongrl
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:22 pm

Post by actiongrl » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:42 pm

I was behind the whole group of people hollering at the four or five standers-up to "sit!!!!" at the Temple Burn. I was there to mourn the death of a BMan volunteer, Tex, who committed suicide this year. Tex's name was in special places in the temple because David and his crew knew him too.

Now, I do think that the first few rows should sit, and if you don't want to sit, you should stand behind the sitters (that's what I was doing). But the sheer ugliness that people demonstrated at the foursome who couldn't/didn't sit down actually made me physically nauseated. it got so loud and vehement that an older man next to me on a Lark scooter (the kind for handicapped people) even scooted himself off the seat to sit on the floorboard because he was afraid the folks behind him were yelling at him.

Slowly over the 20 minutes of hollering I became increasingly disgusted and sad. I couldn't take two breaths of thinking about my friend without someone hollering something rude, threatening, mean, hostile, angry, or otherwise upsetting to the folks up front who by this point actually did not have ROOM to sit down.

Eventually I was in tears and I turned to my two companions, pratically hyperventilating, and said, "I have to get out of here." They agreed. On the way out my voice finally came bursting out of me: "You're all just going to stand right up as soon as the fire starts anyway!!!"

Tripping over bikes and falling down in the crush about a dozen times, we finally made our way back to David Best's bus where the crowd was a little thinner. We found another girl there, in tears, having had the same bad experience with the crowd. We invited her out of the crowd with us to sit my vehicle about 300 feet away from the madness, and the four of us shared a bottle of champagne and became new friends...

But my connection to the temple was pretty much shot. The stupid laser pointers, the rude aggression of the pro-sitting crowd...I just couldn't beleive the irreverence. I wanted to scream, "If this thing doesn't mean anything to you, please go party somewhere else!" But that's experience-Naziism, I guess.

Anyway, it was sad. The temple means so much to me. I have really close friends on the crew...and David Best pretty much saved my emotional soul the Thursday night before the event in a personal conversation about a terrific ordeal I was going through, and that coupled with the loss of Tex this year made the burn very significant for me. I was to have been married at the temple on Friday night but called it off, which was a very difficult thing to do - we both had a big connection to the "forgiveness" theme of the temple based on that, and went there togehter to watch it burn. And yes, I had names written in there, too. My emotional connection to the art was enormous. It was a real heartbreaker to see a bunch of people with entitlement complexes treat it like a cheap fireworks display.

What's with the anger and the hatefulness? Why couldn't a better attitude and kinder conflict resolution have been displayed instead of the hooting and shouting and threats?

I'm still chagrined over this.

User avatar
bradtem
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:27 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Post by bradtem » Mon Sep 20, 2004 1:57 pm

Well, in the group I was with, the group did tire of harassing the "I insist on standing when for 20 rows behind me people are sitting" pair, and in part we tired because it was clear it was not going to have any effect, and in part because it could be seen that the complaining would annoy those who already knew it was futile.

But in fact, at the temple burn people in a large number of areas did not stand when the burn began. I made the same bet as you, that they would do this, and so we could live with the asshole. The result of that bet was we didn't see the central part of the temple burn, the only way to do so would have been to stand and walk through tightly packed sitters after complaining about how rude it is to stand in front of sitters.

It was a no-win situation. But don't forget that 99% of the blame for it lies on those who chose to completely ignore the deisres of the community around them. At least, in my area, those who complained didn't do so during the event, only before it.

My companion had lost a relative the day before we left for the Playa and placed a memorial to him inside it. Her view of the central core was blocked. Both stories of disruption are sad, which is why we should explore some path away from these confrontations.

Part of the reason for the duration of the confrontations was a belief that nobody who was truly part of our generally cooperative community would continue to block the view of so many after so many requests. I was not shocked that they came in there thinking they could arrive early and stand for a better view than the rest, I was shocked that no amount of pleading could change that view. Had we known that, all those who pleaded would have shut up sooner. Had we known that the others would all stay sitting during the burn, we would probably have moved away before the burn. Of course that option wasn't so easily available for my friendly neighbours who had brought a mattress, presumably in their art car, and were sharing it.

"Be quiet and accept you won't see the burn" is no solution. And yes, beg endlessly to get the asses to sit is not a solution either. What is?

User avatar
Rich
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:34 pm
Location: Sebastopol, CA
Contact:

Post by Rich » Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:21 pm

Russell Scheidelman wrote: And finally, the words "Nazi" and "Nazism"--with all their ugly historical implications of racism and death camps, etc.--have been raised here by my detractors and not by me. It is my detractors who are pushing the envelope of rhetorical excess here, not me or the other more objective- and fair-minded participants in this discussion.
Hey Russell,

You started the thread titled '"Down in Front" Fascism Is Ruining My Burn.' And now you complain that 'Nazi' is rhetorical excess? If you honestly did not intend your use of the term 'fascism' to specifically evoke all the horrors of Nazism then I must respectfully suggest that you don't have the rhetorical skills required to safely use the web.

User avatar
Chai Guy
Posts: 1818
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:37 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Post by Chai Guy » Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:29 pm

OK, I think I 've got it figured it, and I'm really serious about this.

Standers: Everyone that wants to stand for any duration of the burn should sit on the "front side" or side nearest the city.

Sitters: Everyone that wants to sit for the duration of the burn, please place yourselves at the "Rear side" or side nearest to the trash fence.

Undecided: Those people who are undecided as to their preference of sitting or standing should face the sides of the Temple.

User avatar
unjonharley
Posts: 10324
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:05 am
Burning Since: 2001
Camp Name: Elliot's naked bycycel repair
Location: Salem Or.

Post by unjonharley » Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:29 pm

Rich wrote:
Russell Scheidelman wrote: And finally, the words "Nazi" and "Nazism"--with all their ugly historical implications of racism and death camps, etc.--have been raised here by my detractors and not by me. It is my detractors who are pushing the envelope of rhetorical excess here, not me or the other more objective- and fair-minded participants in this discussion.
Hey Russell,

You started the thread titled '"Down in Front" Fascism Is Ruining My Burn.' And now you complain that 'Nazi' is rhetorical excess? If you honestly did not intend your use of the term 'fascism' to specifically evoke all the horrors of Nazism then I must respectfully suggest that you don't have the rhetorical skills required to safely use the web.


/\
:)
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

User avatar
schnoidl
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: baltimore MD
Contact:

yeah, enough with the "sit down" crap

Post by schnoidl » Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:57 pm

I am 100% with the original poster on this (except maybe the part about not wanting to get his robes dirty).

every year it's the same predictable little dance, somebody gets the bright idea to yell sit down, and within seconds the previously-blissed-out crowd turns into a pack of self-righteous jackals, cursing and venomous. Nice.

I was the one who yelled out "this is a solemn event you motherfuckers" out of frustration. next year i might bring a water gun to squirt at the more asinine screamers.

and of course within seconds of the burn starting, everyone stands up anyway, making the whole episode a total farce.

i go to Burning Man to escape anyone who thinks they know what i "should" do, especially the screeching morons who think we should all sit down.

and yeah, it's pure fascism (which is not the same as Nazism you twit). Fascism: when people perceive their power to come from who/whatever they subconsciously gave it away to. thinking that sitting down is "right" legitimizes your vicious yelling? you = fascist.

what bugs me far more is that every year at the Temple Burn people leave their bikes in huge piles anywhere they please. I bet some of the loudest screamers are the guiltiest, ya think? You want to be all bigshot about how considerate and thoughtful you are, how about you leave your bike out past the ring of art cars? I'm thinking next year I'll bring a big cable lock and tie a couple of big piles together and stand back and shoot some video of the resulting tears.

Post Reply

Return to “Stories”