"Down in Front" Fascism Is Ruining My Burn

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:19 pm

Last year?

Estoy confudido!
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

buzzcut
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Post by buzzcut » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:20 pm

The same situation confronted me last year, 2003. I decided to get there early and sit close, something I never did before. Hey, I wanted to groove on the fire performers they just turn me on. The same obnoxious cries of sit down forcing all of us to sit in the dust, really hassling some sweet old time burners who were sitting on a bench [which was already there]. It was a far far cry from the spontaneous brotherly comraderie I had experienced earlier in the week when the city was being built.
Yahoos. Spectators, Go home and watch TV. Sour taste. Bad vibes. I helped build this city for several years for what?
Missed the burn this year, had a good gig in NYC. But next year when I finally make it home you better believe Ill avoid the actual burn. From a distance is just fine.
Ill avoid all those creepy spectating video camera weilding suburbanites who wanted me to sit in the dust. Hey Im not young and my knees are fucked up besides...respect!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:23 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Last year?

Estoy confudido!


ROTFLMAO
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

Melvynman
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Post by Melvynman » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:54 pm

Sitting and watching is for spectators. You can sell more ticket if everybody gets a good sit. The rangers know what they are doing, they want you to bring the whole family, a blanket and bottle of wine. Pesonsally I seen better shows at Disneyland. Burningman the theme park is coming to you shortly.

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Rabbi Dali Rick
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..............incoming info, prepare to recieve...........

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:05 pm

well just so you know apparently I saw someone who apparently suffered the same fate as you and provided a solution to the problem by erecting a platform out of two twelve foot heavy duty A-frameladders and a padded 8"(inch) x 8'(ft) with built in drink holders and ice chest. You just wait till next year.

"the race doesn't go to the one with the biggest mouth, it goes to the one with the biggest brain!"

engineeringly,
the rebbi

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Rabbi Dali Rick
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.................Apparently about Apparently................

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:08 pm

Apparently I used too many Apparently's, and my stock of Apparentlys are used up. So apparently I will not use anymore Apparentlys.

apparently,
the rebbi


(apparently i lied)

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drowned_saved
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Post by drowned_saved » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:02 am

buzzcut wrote:From a distance is just fine.
much better than fine. the three of us (not counting LEOs) who were out at the trash fence (ca. 11:30) had a wonderful time and snagged a fair bit of moop. see you there next year, perhaps?

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Post by Mars Saxman » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:47 am

Oh yes, all those obnoxious "down in front" people. 2001 was my first year, and I showed up at the man early so I could get a good spot. It put me in a right cranky mood when all the latecomers started in with the "sit down" pressure. As though it was *our* problem for caring enough about it to get there early, and not theirs for getting there late and having to stand farther away. I mean, geez, what are they expecting? Reserved seating? Since when is it cool to get what you want by heckling people until they cave in to the public humiliation?

Forget that nonsense! This year I just showed up late to both burns, hung out near the back, and let all the uptight rules-people harass each other in peace. Sure, they got the good views that way, but I have better things to do with my time on the playa than put up with heckling from some loser who thinks their ticket entitles them to a good view of the burn whether they got there in time to claim it or not.

-Mars

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zeigen
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Post by zeigen » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:44 pm

But every single year the rangers themselves tell the first five(?) rows to sit down. When you get there early, the rangers will warn you not to keep your bike with you, and warn you that you're gonna be sitting.

At this point, that should be everyone's expectation.

If we took a poll, I think more people would vote that they expect to have to sit if they're in the first few rows than be allowed to stand, no matter what the reason.

I agree with some of the earlier posts here that there are some unfortunate bad vibes in the peer pressure (although I wouldn't go so far as to call it fascism), but both times the areas where I sat had a lot of good vibes too.

It's telling to me that the rangers themselves tell people in the front to sit. That makes sitting the default, as much a part of BM experience as street signs, porta-potties, the cafe, and other things that are "expected."

--Z.

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Burp!
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Post by Burp! » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:34 pm

Can't we all just "Sit the fuck down!!!"

This years temple burn reminded me of the 98 man burn, which was about the time the number of people waching the man burn became large enough that viewing issues occured, which then led to alot of yelling and negative energy. I call that the "Sit the fuck down year" That was the last year I attempted to get a good spot for viewing. Now I stand back far enough to avoid that shit. Well guess what the temple burn is no longer the intimate, quite, reflective burn it once was. It has offically hit "Sit the fuck down status" Oh well what ya gong to do?

NF

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Post by GuinivereElise » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:43 pm

As a newbie this year, I don't have the advantage of previous years to use for comparison, however, here's my perspective (take it for what it's worth)...

I was at a distance for both the Man and the Temple Burns... and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. In fact, at the Temple Burn, I was waythefuckout on the playa, far enough away from everything that I'm sure it looked like I was out looking for a decent peeing spot. But, really, everything was so lovely from out there. I didn't have to experience any of the negative vibes that you guys seem to have dealt with. I could experience both burns on my terms, by myself, not even rubbing elbows with anyone else. Just me.

Both events seem more than big enough to view from a distance... I can't imagine myself wanting to be pressed up against everyone in the front when I could be a little farther away and see the same sights...

: my two cents...

Russell Scheidelman
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Post by Russell Scheidelman » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:09 pm

We were there for a long time without any advance word from the Rangers that we'd have to sit down. The first thing we heard from them on this subject was the sitting order itself. I question the judgment behind this policy, especially if their primary mission is to provide security. Forcing people to sit down makes it harder for them to get out of harm's way quickly in case anything weird should happen--pyrotechnical mishaps, wrecklessly moving vehicles, or stampeding crowds. If such a policy has somehow 'worked' in the past, I'd say it's more by dumb luck than by any inherent good sense in the policy. I wish they would re-examine it.

As for what transpired on Sunday night, the Rangers weren't involved in that at all. It was sheer mobocracy at work with all its attendant evils.

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zeigen
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Post by zeigen » Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:40 pm

Russell, how tall are you?

I'm going to guess that it's over 5'10".

Try this: Next time you're at the burn, pretend that you're less than 5'. Like about four or five of my campmates. Kneel down, and see what you see. My bet is that being that height will change your perception of what should be done.

Without people around them sitting down, even getting way early (pre-dusk), my campmates and friends who are short simply would not be able to see. At all. Like the only thing they'd see of the burn is the backs of the people in front of them.

You may have a point about mobility == safety, but in five burns I've never once felt in danger while sitting. And for all five burns, every ranger in earshot has always told everyone around us that we need to sit, well in advance. It's the default custom now. I'm sorry that didn't happen in your case.

I agree that there were no rangers for the Temple burn, but since a lot of us have the expectation from the Man burn that the first five rows sit, that seems to be the default expectation at the Temple burn as well; certainly 99% of the people around me wanted and expected the first dozen rows to sit, and with only one lone exception, everyone around me did indeed stay seated for most of the Temple burn (with a bit of an exception when it started to torch).

So, give stooping a shot, and maybe you'll be more sympathetic to the "fascists" who want people to sit.

I do think you're going in to this with a lot of expectations. The very title you gave to this thread is a bit of a giveaway to me: You admit that you're being overly provocative by using the word "fascism" and the way you're calling it "my burn" smacks of a bit of an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. The reality is both you and me can't always expect to get what we want. Instead, try and be adaptable, try and be sympathetic, and we'll all end up a lot happier.

Good luck next burn!

--Z.

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Sobretta Franjipan
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Post by Sobretta Franjipan » Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:20 pm

Folks. I'm going to try to take a departure from smartassing to skool y'all. Front row or anywhere near is for first-timers. Find yourself an art car to stand on (bribing with good tequila/whiskey=smart) or stand back enough that you can move if the occasion of a freak out "participant" occurs (most likely). People, get over the seriousness of the burns. If you want to enjoy-be flexible. Other people don't ruin your experience (although they can do a damn good attempt)-you allow it. Move. There is no "perfect" viewing spot, et. al. Haven't we all seen the firedancers? Just relax and enjoy your freaky neighbors. If you can giggle profusely while watching anything burn you have succeeded.

Next.

ccsallie
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Post by ccsallie » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:14 am

I have always take the perspective of:
If there is an inconsiderate ass standing in front of you, ask him\/her nicely to sit down, if that doesn't work, then move. Remember, you are in charge of your own experience, why let some spectator ruin it for you.

If you are an inconsiderate ass insisting on standing on the front row so that you can have the best possible seat, remember that the people who are performing and working actually have better seats than you and what would you do if they were standing...Also, remember you are part of a community. Are you there for your own solitary experience and comfort? If so, please go to Disneyland next year, you'll be happier.
Love and nibbles,
CC Sallie

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Post by wonderbuns » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:50 am

At the burn, if there had been ten rows of people sitting, even people in the tenth seated row could have seen the fire spinners.
Where I was, there were five rows of sitters, and I was in the third row of standers. Occasionally, I was able to catch a glimpse of the spinners, but far less than half the time.

If the two rows of standers in front of me had been willing to become the 6th and 7th rows of sitters, many more people behind them could also have sat down, and many more would have been able to see well. My row could have become the 8th row of sitters.

I was wondering: what is the mindset of people asserting their right to stand? The attitude seems to be: I got here early enough to have a good view, so why should I inconvenience myself by sitting down so that later arrivals can also see?
The attitude could have been: I could prevent people behind me from seeing and maybe teach them a lesson about arriving early; but instead, I'll sit down and give the people behind me a gift -- the gift of a clear view.
Gifting seemed to fall way off after Friday ...

On Saturday night after the Man had fallen, I was watching the huge pile of embers when a guy came up behind me with a bicycle and used the front tire to bump my leg as a "move out of the way" message. I suggested that he, like everyone else, leave the bike 20-30 feet back. No way you can force me to do that, he replied, adding that he bumped me with the bike because I stepped in front of his view.
Possibly I had shifted a couple of feet to the right to make room for the person who just arrived on my left, with no intent to block the view of anyone on my right. I had not seen the guy on my right because his body was 2-3 feet back, as he sat on his bike. He then escalated the situation with some very aggressive remarks ... one of those "Inner City Macho" raps that seem way out of place on the playa.
Can't we leave all that I-win-you-lose attitude at home and -- just for a week -- gift our fellow man with something as simple as a view?

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Rabbi Dali Rick
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............they made me put the dress on sir........

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:03 am

Facts:

1. Getting there early gives you nothing, but getting there early.

2. There are no preconcieved manners to be followed at burning man.

3. Nobody owes you anything.

4. There are no preconcieved ways to do anything at burning man.

Everything everybody does (including you) is right, and simply because everyone is in harmony it all works. The simple answer to the problem was when the person who was standing was asked to sit down, realizing they were impacting some one else negatively , they should simply have done it. Too many times we get caught up in the "me-me-me" and for get that at burning man we are practicing "we-we-we".

5. You're not always first, and it's not always you're turn. Share in someoneelse's exeperience for a change.

Of course these are just opinions and YMMV.


"be prepared to be apart of someone else's experience."

nudgingly,
the rebbi

herpy hancock
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mooper

Post by herpy hancock » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:11 am

stuart wrote:once again Lydia tempts me to violate my self imposed crush thread boycott.
your such a poser -


clean up your MOOP!
In Yo Face!

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:52 pm

"I showed up early and I should be able to stand and block everyone else's view".
That's bullshit about being concerned about "safety" and not wanting to sit and let everyone enjoy the burn. There AREN'T any vehicles anywhere near the front, there's no room. You aren't gonna get run over, nor will it take you an extra half hour to get the hell moving if a big pile of hot embers is coming. By your logic, I should show up super-early and park my boat right up front and really block everyone while I sit on top and watch. I bet you'd be one of the many people telling me to pull back. I know it would block other's view, so I put it way in back. Even if I got there soon enough to be closer at other's expense.

Explain exactly what is different about blocking others with your standing-in-front self and blocking others with an art car? Inconsiderate is inconsiderate, whatever method of accomplishing it you choose. Maybe I'd block more people, but hey, fuck 'em, I got there first.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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KellY
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Post by KellY » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:34 pm

Selfish "I wanna stand no matter what" Assholes Are Ruining My Burn.

A few comments, though the good Captain has summed up a lot of what I wanted to say nicely.

To be blunt, anyone who insists on standing in the first few rows is a being a complete asshole, pure and simple. If you're concerned about your costume or your bad knees, move a few feet back. It won't hurt your view to be a few yards farther away from the burn, but your presence gets in the way of of a lot of other people's views.

The more rows of people that can sit, the more that can see, period. When everyone sits, it has the dual effect of evening out the height of the crowd by eliminating the difference in leg lengths (not to mention the heights of your platforms), and changing the perspective of the sitters such that the Burn is viewed as if it was on a raised stage. I'm about 6'5" in my boots, so I've always got a pretty good view no matter where I am. Every now and then I'll crouch down in a big crowd to remind myself what it would be like if I was shorter; my conclusion is that it sucks ass.

Saying, "If someone's standing in front of you, you can just move" is one of the stupidest remarks I've ever heard on the board. In the front rows, you're closely surrounded by other people on every side. There's usually no where to move to unless you leave the circle entirely.

Also, I completely agree that a whole lot of bad vibes are created by people yelling "Sit the fuck down" over and over again, and I place the fault of this 100% on the people who insist on standing. To do otherwise is like blaming WWII on Poland. At the Temple Burn I saw a lot of people who insisted on standing after everyone else around them had sat down, and it was painfully obvious that they were standing because to actually sit by that point would be admitting that they were in the wrong, something that their egos would apparently not allow them to do.

If anyone qualifies as "fascists" in this discussion, it's the people who insist on their right to stand, no matter how much it adversely affects other people's experiences. They would rather block people's view and stir up all kinds of shit than simply join the crowd of other standing people. Sort of like the NRA insisting that assault weapons remain legal because they like to play with them, no matter how much damage they may cause. They remind me of WSPR and the other trolls who've shit all over this board, then whined about their freedom of speech being infringed on by the "eplaya nazis" when they're stopped.

Oh, and the rangers were asking people to sit down Sunday night, by the way. The "mob" only got involved because people were ignoring them.
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

trulybinky
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Sit for Safety

Post by trulybinky » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:36 pm

Ok, I hate to be the geek of the conversation, but there is a safety dimension to the sitting down thing as well.

Most of the time, the crowd tends to surge forward during the burn, especially when the structure is about to topple. If people are sitting in front, they're not going to get trampled. They will effectively hold the crowd back (and they do, year after year). If the whole crowd is standing, however, it is much easier for the whole group to move forward, even unintentionally, which makes it much harder to hold the perimeter. Once part of the perimiter goes, the whole thing pretty much breaks down and then you've got people in harm's way, some of whom do not want to be there. Also, when people are seated there's less opportunity for shoving, bumping, and other physical misunderstandings which can lead to unpleasant confrontations. It's just a little more tranquilo.

The comment about Rangers enforcing the sit-down preference "by any means necessary" was pretty funny and perhaps uncannily accurate, since the "means" available to us consist pretty much entirely of persuasion, courtesy, explanation, begging, pleading, flattery, negotiating, and whatever other creative means we can come up with to get folks to think about the greater good.

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playasnake
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Post by playasnake » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:50 pm

the romans had the same problem...

they invented raked seating (on a slope)

do you think the 5th row of sitters can see any better? you are comparing 2 linear lines of sight... one from a standing position, one from a sitting position. the only people with a "good" view are possibly the first 2 rows of sitters and the first 2 rows of standers. everyone else is probably looking at the back of someones head, or trying in vain to see around the head in front of them.

fuck down in front.

UP IN BACK!
e pluribus unimog

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..down in front!

Post by zcheeze » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:41 pm

I was up in front for both burns...
I had no problem with sitting down, but I did have a problem getting yelled at to sit *before* anything was actually happening. We had been sitting there for hours and needed a few minutes off our asses! As soon as the ceremonies began we sat.

Everyone just needed to calm down and chill out! Some people seemed angry on the playa this year...

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Post by Russell Scheidelman » Sun Sep 12, 2004 8:48 pm

To all the various points made, challenges raised, and questions asked since my last post, 99% of them had previously been addressed by what I had already written. I see no point in repeating myself, especially to those who may not be reading what I say anyway. The only new point that I can discern concerned my height. This may be irrelevant, but I have nothing to hide. I'm just shy of six feet tall.

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:03 pm

Russell Scheidelman wrote:To all the various points made, challenges raised, and questions asked since my last post, 99% of them had previously been addressed by what I had already written.
Nuh uh...
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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PetsUntilEaten
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Re: ..down in front!

Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:12 pm

zcheeze wrote:Some people seemed angry on the playa this year...
Only this year?!

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Sobretta Franjipan
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Post by Sobretta Franjipan » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:48 am

This may be irrelevant, but I have nothing to hide. I'm just shy of six feet tall
This is irrelevant, but I have nothing to hide. I'm just shy of 5'4".

Cordially,
SF

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Captain Goddammit
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:10 am

Sobretta Franjipan wrote: This is irrelevant, but I have nothing to hide. I'm just shy of 5'4".

Cordially,
SF
It's a clue for me...
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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I hope this isn't off-topic...

Post by roland brown » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:22 am

I had a wonderful Burning Man experience this year (My 4th): I came to experience the confluence of intensely creative people and projects, and then watch them collide in random ways. It found this to be a delightful affirmation of the unpredictable fertility of life, and a clear example of the idea that the sum can be greater than the parts. Since the burning of the Man is the only planned, expected, and predictable spectacle in the whole event, I did what I always do: I put in my earplugs and got to bed early on Saturday night. When I woke up, the Man was just ashes, and I could continue to enjoy the presence of my fellow humans without bitterness or resentment.
I'd rather be poor as a result of generosity than rich as a result of greed

ardaliz
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Post by ardaliz » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:54 am

The sitting down bothers me too...so I just keep moving back until I hit a wall of bikes that I narrowly avoid knocking over like dominos. But whatever...I move back because I don't want to sit. No biggie. The thing that GRATES on my nerves is that woman, who I manage to be close to every year, screaming "DOWN IN FRONT" over and over and over and over again. So next year I am looking forward to what I'm hoping will be a peaceful view from the Esplanade.

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