"Down in Front" Fascism Is Ruining My Burn

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Ivy
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Post by Ivy » Mon Sep 20, 2004 3:02 pm

How about you get together with some friends and build a big bike parking rack in a location you feel would be a good place to park bikes?

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schnoidl
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bike rack?

Post by schnoidl » Mon Sep 20, 2004 3:22 pm

hmm, haul all the materials to build bike racks big enough to hold 2,000 bikes, then either remove or burn it when it's all done...

or people just get a clue and leave their piles further back?

thanks for the gentler option, but I still like the second one better


s

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:58 pm

Ivy wrote:How about you get together with some friends and build a big bike parking rack in a location you feel would be a good place to park bikes?
Well, I am an efficiency geek, so I hope Ivy doesn't mind if I poach, and then expand upon her idea in an effort to kill two birds with one stone.

Starting at about 16:00 on Saturday, let's form crews and sweep the city and playa for naked, passed-out revelers. We track them down by following the patchouli plume, haul their limp, dusty carcasses out to the man, and lay them prone. Then we can rack the bikes in the cracks of their asses.

Nothing to build, nothing to burn. Poop, but not moop.
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Post by Shady Backflash » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:37 pm

howdy. russell, thanks for starting this thread. for two years now i've been severely annoyed by the "down in front" schmucks. the animosity almost keeps me from wanting to get high burn night or go anywhere near the burn until the man is torched.

burn night has never been my favorite night of the event. in fact, it's usually been my LEAST FAVORITE night of the event. only in the past two years have the down in front crowd started to really grate on my nerves.

last year i was behind a bunch of surly DPW folks who refused to sit. so, ok, i don't sit either and a bunch of folks start screaming, chanting, yelling, yadda yadda yadda...

so this year i get there and because i didn't recall all this from last year, i inadvertantly found myself in an area where i'm surrounded on all sides by people who brought bikes and parked them all together out by themselves and these people in front of us who brought LADDERS to sit and stand on to watch the event, and, of course, placed themselves in the front, with their ladders. so folks behind me are yelling sit down and i'm penned between ladders and bicycles thinking, "what the fuck?" i don't even care if i sit on the ground behind ladders but being pressed in with bikes and then told to sit in a space that really didn't accomodate sitting?!?

lame. at that point i just wanted the space to even move back, sit down or get the fuck out of there and leave the animosity to those who somehow enjoy spewing bile.

not that i want to return to the '98 burn days when people threw mattresses on the pyre and burned lamplighter posts, but my experience of the burn is pretty much that it's just become disney high tech special effects fireworks bullshit anyway. no real primal energy left with it. a big non-participatory spectacle for the "no spectators" event. if i am clever enough to remember how dull and annoying the burn is next year, i'll try to remind myself to just never get anywhere near the burn and take the opportunity to check out all the cool art cars and fun friendly people partying out there on the periphery. who needs "disney in the dirt" anyway?

with any luck at all, The Man really will get smaller and smaller each year until He vanishes back into the lake bed and we can have the event without Him.

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Post by unjonharley » Mon Sep 20, 2004 8:41 pm

One stupid troll has arrived.
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i've solved the sit/stand dilema

Post by duchessnoir » Tue Sep 21, 2004 12:21 am

Ok I've been contemplating the sit/stand argument. I was in fact a fairly early arriver to the burn, but 5 rows back and 5'2" I couldn't see anything when everyone was standing in front of me, and I was indeed one of the yellers. But after reading the arguments here I have a solution. To recap, if everyone stands then the people who were conscientious enough to show up early get their well deserved panoramic views of the fire dancers, and everyone else gets nothing. If we all sit then everyone can see something but the front row people, while still getting the best view, can't get the best possible view, which they would get standing up.

so...

this is what we're gonna do.

everyone will stand. those who show up the earliest to the burn will get their well deserved panoramic views while the rest of us slackers will simply have to use our imaginations if we would like to see fire dancers. now if we follow this system, it will hopefully insight heroic competition for who can get to the burn first. at first people will show up saturday evening, and then saturday morning, and then there will be a group of people who just sit in a circle around the man starting sunday at midnight, and one day there will be a whole tribe of people who live their entire lives sitting in a circle around where the man appears for a week every year, so that they can enjoy the fantastic privilege of seeing the fire dances that is denied the undeserving infidels who who care so little for seeing fire dancers that they show up at 9:45 on saturday night. this may, of course, result in holy wars between the people who inhabit the scared circle and those who would like to replace them, in that they might enjoy the sacred sight of the fire dancers.

or we could just sit.

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Trans Venus Flytrap
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Post by Trans Venus Flytrap » Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:51 am

It never ceases to amze me, the level of childish banality on these forums - whining about having to sit down etc - you fucking child, get a grip man.
Be Golden, Be Bright O' Bagpuss hear what we sing...

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.....wait, wait, wait I got it........

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:21 am

"Stand Up" tickets/wristband, authorized by the BMorg for the wearer or bearer to be allowed to stand offically. You simply stand when you want too and if anyone heckles you just turnaournd point to the ticket/wristband and belay their sneers and taunts, then give them the finger.


finally,
the rebbi

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:13 am

Image

Sitzen sie! Schnell!
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Post by Simply Joel » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:40 am

Bob wrote:Image

Sitzen sie! Schnell!
ahh.... all is well in the universe once again...

bob has rejoined the merryment

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Miss Kate
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Post by Miss Kate » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:54 am

My group had to move back from the sitters too. We don't drive 2600 miles each way to crouch or sit or kneel. If we wanted to veg, we'd watch the Burn on our computers.

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Post by Xana » Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:42 pm

My response is simple...due to the spiritual and emotional experience of the burn (both but especially temple), I think it would be right for ALL to kneel (not necessarily sit) and pay homage to the man, the temple, the playa, the experience, and each other.

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Post by blyslv » Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:59 pm

Russell Scheidelman wrote:By the tone of Unjonhurley's response (and incorrect identification, since I was not "screaming" at anyone), I can see that this subject brings out the same ugly vibes that I was experiencing out on the playa. Behold it, fellow Burners, and ponder...
I wonder if you're just an attention monger. You stand up in front and act suprised when people are upset? sheesh
Fight for the fifth freedom!

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KellY
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Re: yeah, enough with the "sit down" crap

Post by KellY » Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:00 pm

schnoidl wrote: and of course within seconds of the burn starting, everyone stands up anyway, making the whole episode a total farce.
Would just like to reiterate that this was absolutely not true at the Temple, though it may have been at the Man.

This whole thing makes me think "this is why rules get made". As somebody pointed out, one solution is to simply have a "sitting only beyond this point" line at the big burns. The line is drawn and there's no more cause for fights -or rather, one might fight to change the rule if they don't like it, but not at the burn itself. If anyone is behaving badly - standing in the sitting zone, or yelling "Down in front" to people in the standing zone- it's instantly discernable who's in the wrong.

I know (almost) everyone recoils in horror at the thought of a new rule at the event, but can anyone really think of better solution - other than "Everyone should agree to behave the way I say they should"? And aside from the gut-reaction no-rules reflex, is there really a rational reason against it?
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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Post by blyslv » Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:05 pm

Natasha wrote: I notice some people standing and some people sitting, so we just moved around to see the best that we could, and tried to not block anyone else.
Oh great, take all the fun out of it!
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Post by DVD Burner » Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:23 pm

I just thought of something.

Suppose everyone did sit. Would'nt there still be a problem for people with short torso's sitting behind people with long torso's?
How about the long torso people that sit behind people with long/tall/fat heads.
:P
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Post by Russell Scheidelman » Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:16 pm

Well, I now believe that a solution would be for me--or for anyone here--to host or co-host a party to take place simultaneously with the Burn, and that way provide a refuge for people who've already seen it anyway and don't appreciate the ugliness displayed over supposed viewing rights. Such a social event could be listed in the Events Guide, where not much gets listed during the time of the Burn. (I speak here of the Saturday night Burn only; we don't know yet whether anything's being planned to 'replace' the Temple Burn.) Perhaps such a function could serve as a successor to the former "Society Cocktail Party" soirees that I had spoken of earlier? And, of course, it would help siphon off some of the growing population of spectators whose very numbers are contributing to the problems being raised here. (I suppose some of my detractors on this thread would show up just because they would know where to find me and could berate me there. To you--if I'm bartending--I would offer my finest cocktails!!)

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and now a word from mickey rooney

Post by skypilot » Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:12 pm

:( how do you people expect a man like me, mickey rooney, to see when all you tall people stand up and block my view?? do you people know how many porno movies i have to star in, dressed as a clown holding a bullwhip, to afford a ticket to this thing you call burning man? next time i'll kick one of you in the knee, dammit. judy garland wasn't this inconsiderate!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Post by bradtem » Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:46 pm

As I detailed in an earlier post, actually no, the short torso people aren't out nearly so much when sitting as when people are standing. Yes, they will never have as good a view as the tall folks can have, but because the fire spinners are above the heads of the crowd when people are sitting, but below the heads of the crowd when they stand, it makes a huge difference. The shorter folks will see NOTHING if everybody stands, except perhaps what they can catch in the gaps between people's heads. They will see quite a lot, if not some of the action on the very ground, if all are sitting.

No, I'm not short, I am exactly average height for men. But most women are shorter than that.

When the burning starts, it doesn't matter, and people are inclined to stand anyway. (For the burning of the Man, not the Temple.)

One of the reasons the Man was put on a pedestal instead of on the ground was the crowd got so big you could not see him when everybody stood. But the Fire Conclave remains on the ground.

Of course if you sit and somebody stands in front of you, you can't even see the Man or central Temple. (Not a problem with the Man, as all stand, but a big problem with the Temple, where they don't)

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Alpha
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Post by Alpha » Thu Sep 23, 2004 8:21 am

One of my idols bradtem wrote:One of the reasons the Man was put on a pedestal instead of on the ground was the crowd got so big you could not see him when everybody stood. But the Fire Conclave remains on the ground.
And so we finally come to the suggestion I've been wanting to make for awhile. Reduce the headcount in the Conclave and then put the best of the best up on platforms. The best of the best of the best could be around the man itself.

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Post by bradtem » Thu Sep 23, 2004 10:41 am

The Man is loaded with explosives and fireworks, and more years than not, he has gone off by accident, even without people spinning fire on him. So I doubt that's going to happen.

THough I did like it when they would have crimson light the guy in the fire suit and he would run burning to the legs of the man to light him. Who was that guy?

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acl

Post by dj big E » Thu Sep 23, 2004 5:24 pm

Lmao I didn't wan't to sit because my acl is ripped in half and needs to be rebuilt . But i complied for a few moments as i expected when i sat down my knee popped out. I sat theyre for 5 minutes in extreme pain before I stood up.And next time like i said i will stay on the fringe. For me the burning of the man and the temple is exciting . I use it as a way to let go of a bunch of shit thats accumulated over the year.This year i used the temple as a way to release my grandma who's suffering with cancer. Thats specifically wy i stayed by myself during the temple burn. I didn't feel like it was fair to strangers and friends to impose my temple feeling's on them. So i sat in the outskirt's by myself and had a great burn. I stood up and no one screamed. I laughed i screamed i cry'd and no one said anything. What a great burn. What i am saying is david and other's have different feeling's about the temple. And i think were all entitled to them and should act on them. Were all different and i hope we all keep it that way. So if you're crying don't be mad if i am laughing and vice versa.

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Post by samtzu » Thu Sep 23, 2004 6:13 pm

dj big E wrote:
What i am saying is david and other's have different feeling's about the temple. And i think were all entitled to them and should act on them. We're all different and i hope we all keep it that way. So if you're crying don't be mad if i am laughing and vice versa.
Ah ha!!

Thanks, big E. That is the whole point. Make room for others, allow them to live their own life.

On the night of the Burn, I was about thirty feet back in the crowd of standees and I couldn't see the fire spinners; I could see arcs of fire, but that was it, and I am tall (6'2"). I could see a whole ring of 'sitters' around the Man. Those who sat were being polite to those further back. I couldn't see, but not because of rudeness, but simply because there were more people there than you could expect to sit. After all, there is a limit to how far back you can seat people.

And this whole "I got here first, why should I have to sit?" thing, and "Siddown, you slug! I can't see!" is just selfishness.

I do have one solution that I like: I'm going to build a 'trebuchet' car next year to solve the Rude Yelling Issue. We'll just take any offenders and give them a... er... more elevated place to see the Burn from... say, about two hundred feet in the air. It will only be for a moment, but it will be a moment that will last them the rest of their lives.
The revolutionary does not grow up because he cannot grow, while the creative individual cannot grow up because he keeps growing ~~ Eric Hoffer

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Down in Front debacle Ruins Christmas!

Post by burtsboss » Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:22 pm

Frankly, I'm inclined to agree with those who find the whole, "Down in front!" savagery a sad new protocol on the playa. As one who has stood, sat, drank, laughed, danced and festered in those hours leading up to the ceremonial burns, I can only testify that it's a lovely concept which has taken on the unseemly air of a rigid orthodoxy, and who the hell wants more orthodoxy's on the Playa?

1) It doesn't work. Once you sit, you are again blocked by the sitter in front of you. Only the people standing in those first few rows experience any benefit. Good for them. Perhaps the answer is to hang out in the RV hammering wine coolers until 4 minutes before the burn, then mosey out to the circle and commence inciting a crowd rousing round of "SIT DOWN- HAVE SOME GODDAMNED COURTESY!!" til your face explodes.

2) It's profoundly uncomfortable. If you were ambitious enough to get to the burn early, then you are no doubt packed in like a Japanese subway rider in short order. Once coerced to the ground by the passive aggressive mob of seeming do gooders, you are now bound, medieval style, to a 2' by 2' box in which to sit. It's hell on the knees if you are over 30 and lived an even remotely athletic life, and there is usually some kind of wig, headress or mound of dreads right in your face. And, more often than not, a water bottle/camera/discarded glowstick up your ass.

3) It's nasty. Period. Just listen to it. Far nastier than camly standing, enjoying the lovely lad/lass/he/she beside you and digging the stars.

4) It's ANTI BURNING MAN. This is of course, simply my opinion, but, Burning Man, while one of the best things about humanity, is not a Christian Fellowship Camp. It's supposed to be all things unpredictable, and I say, if you didn't get there early enough, as I often don't, then get tough, climb an art car, take your beating, or relish the fact that you were far back enough to escape the unexpected wall of rapidly descending ash while those up front had their latex body paint torched. Whatever you do, don't whine like GW and act like yer owed. Get wiley, be creative, or how about practicing a little acceptance?

FOR CRYING' OUT LOUD- WHEN DID THIS THING BECOME A NEW AGE NAZI CAMP FULL OF PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE GROUP THINK??!

And by the way, anyone know a very cute girl who went by the name of "Super Hottie" this year?

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samtzu
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Post by samtzu » Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:31 pm

Well, another solution is to put the "entertainment" on a stage or platform (or platforms) so that everyone could see. The only people that couldn't see the man were those who were passed out, flat on their backs.... but nobody past the first few rows of standees could see the fire spinners. So it goes...
The revolutionary does not grow up because he cannot grow, while the creative individual cannot grow up because he keeps growing ~~ Eric Hoffer

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:43 pm

samtzu wrote:Well, another solution is to put the "entertainment" on a stage or platform (or platforms) so that everyone could see. The only people that couldn't see the man were those who were passed out, flat on their backs.... but nobody past the first few rows of standees could see the fire spinners. So it goes...


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Post by d6 » Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:06 pm

skypilots post was hilarious!

anyone?
anyone?


anyone?

if you really want to experience BM as a show about a wooden figure burning, get some BINOCULARS.

stayed at camp this year on burn nights to guard against potential theft, and it was the most f!ckin f-u-n in the last 5 years, seeing all the happy peepholes, and telling them to KEPP WALKIN, and laugh laugh laughing.

personal responsibilitarians unite!

d6, no longer a fan of hee-haw.
your witty rejoinder just flew over my head.....

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Post by Bitterman » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:14 am

I've got it! SEGREGATION! Just separate the jack asses that wanna stand from the ass jacks who wanna sit. Split the damn circle of people into two hemispheres.

Stand all ya want grouchy, cause everybody around ya is standin' TOO! Gee, isn't this fun? Standin'? Now we can block each others views, get drunk, shove each other around and talk REALLY loud.

And you passive-aggressive hippy-criticals that wanna sit the hell down? Now YOU can sit all you want cause there's no pressure or "negative vibes, man, from like all those... "standing" people. All you conformists can sit cross legged, holding each others hands, and passing the reefer cigerette / home-made wine around.
Bah! Psshhh!

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Post by technopatra » Sat Oct 30, 2004 12:04 pm

All of these incidences seem to start with someone yelling at someone else. Here's my problem - why can't people simply go up to someone and speak with them, instead?

I had the good fortune to be on a double-decker mutant vehicle for the Temple Burn this year, so my view was unimpeded. But the woman next to me was yakking and yakking and telling her friend what she heard about the Temple burn, which was somewhat inaccurate. I finally just turned to her and said, "I don't mean to be rude, but this is very special moment for a lot of us, a chance to remember and honor and let go of the people we lost this year. I need to say goodbye to my grandfather so would you mind giving us a few moments of silence?"

She immediately quieted down and after a while we started talking and she told me all about how she came to the playa (she was in her 40's and her Dad brought her and her just-discovered half sister, so cool) and she shared her champagne with us and we had a great time.

It's easy to yell at people from even a distance of 10-20 feet because in a sense, you are not interacting with that person. You are not having a dialogue, you are not responsible for reaching out and acknowledging that you are dealing with another human who has their own thoughts, feelings, desires, and motivations for being there - you want, you do not get, therefore you yell.

It's this feeling of entitlement that sickens me. When you scream at someone instead of speaking with them, or ignore them rather than respond to their requests, you are, in effect, saying that your experience is more important than theirs.

Yeah I can have whatever opinion I want about standing for the Man burn, but I do not have the right to put my desires in front (literally) of the 20 or so people behind me. I accept that fulfiling my desires would deny a bunch of people theirs, so I no longer go to the front. It's not up to me to make judgements about whether or not they deserve it because they camp in an RV, it's simply a matter of me doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.

I made the effort to not just tell the woman next to me to shut up (which, admittedly was my first instinct) and instead took the extra 30 seconds and told her why it was important to me. If any one of the yelling folks at that Man burn a few years ago had approached me with the respect we generally show each other as human beings and shared why they wanted what they wanted, I would've walked away from that exchange feeling a whole lot better about participants, the Burn, and the event in general.

Why does it take personal courage and extra energy to be direct, honest and respectful? I don't know. But we all should try it more often. If we can look past our immediate needs and have congress with the folks around us, I believe that most people will be able to bring a better experience home with them.

The fact that it won't always work is no reason not to try.

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Post by Alpha » Sat Oct 30, 2004 1:12 pm

Off to the Crush thread....

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