"Down in Front" Fascism Is Ruining My Burn

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:08 am

A person sitting in a sand chair would Uh... be dead?
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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:36 am

Skimming a thread leads to redundancy in response.

Do everyone a favor and *read* first. Then, if you are just going to post the same point that has been made 9 times already, how about boiling it down to a: "Yeah! What s/he said!"

The basis of the argument is that there is a disagreement about whether sitting improves the view or not. Some, like the author, believe that a seated person behind a seated person is as visually impaired as their standing analogs. So, having x number of seated rows really only improves the view for row x + 1 -the first standing row.

Others feel that if everybody sat, everybody could see. Personally I don't see the logic, as the height differential in relation to the man is negligible, i.e. not capable of 'raising' the man as has been suggested. The point Kelly made about platforms is a good one though, IMO. Also, having a mix of seated and standing provides good views for row 1 and row x + 1 which does increase the view of a greater number of people.

However, all the mudslinging, social shaming and name-calling, -both here and at the burn, are far more distructive to the experience than a stubborn stander. You yell about being inconsiderate yet think nothing of casting insults like 'asshole' and 'fascist' around? Does someones inconsideration entitle you to outright hostility? How does it feel to have an your perception of an 'asshole' assume your emotional reins and ride you like a circus pony? It's laughable to scold someone's "me-me-me" attitude because it gets in the way of "you-you-you."

You are not entitled to a clear view of the man burning any more than the stander is entitled to make even irrational decisions regarding the cleanliness of his robes, his safety or his line of sight. You *can* move if you want to, but apparently there is some ego tied up in holding your own ground and forcing down the miscreant.

BM is supposed to be about self-expression, not just expression of that which is commonly held belief or considered polite.

The way to teach has always been through example and understanding.

What you lot are aiming for is conformity.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

Troy Van Berry
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Go back to school

Post by Troy Van Berry » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:18 am

Look folks, the geometry is pretty simple. The closer you are, the more your going to see if your lower(therefore more angle) of what your looking at. Since the burn happens on a fixed plane and above, you have 3 options. If your on the ground then viewing from a low angle is better, if your above the ground then a higher angle gives you a better view, or you can all chill the fuck out and give each other a little more room. This mentality that we all have to be packed like sardines or we might miss out on something is beyond ridiculous. Out on the fringes around the art cars its more loosely packed and better views because of it. I've also been with the sitters up front and witnessed the same bullshit of which you speak 8 burns and I've done it every which way. Personally I find being back and up on my mutant vehichle is the best, and so does everyone in our camp and everyone else that there's room for. Your not going to be able to see and take in everything afterall, the shits going down in 360 around the man, so all you can do is take in your little slice of it, and most slices of this pizza pretty much taste the same, just grab one and dig in. And please get over your "self" already. Try doing something in stead of just passively sitting or standing or....uh.....spectating.
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PetsUntilEaten
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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:32 am

Yeah! What Don Muerto said!


Troy - huh? Ah no.

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Post by bartholomew » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:07 am

After reading through this fascinating discourse on body position (I myself prefer to watch the Burn in a semi-fetal position in a bunker 2 miles away), a few people have mentioned the bikes that are scattered thickly throughout the crowd. I always looked on them as at most an annoyance until the marvelous Rain of Fire from the Sky incident at the Temple Burn Sunday night. As the flaring embers began raining down on those around us, I had a flash of how messy it was going to be if the surging crowd tried to get away from the firefall by clambering over and arround these entanglements. If the crowd had panicked, it could have gotten serious Real Quick. Shades of the Who concert.

I'm not suggesting rules here, just a broadcast suggestion to leave the bikes out beyond the crowd range (locked, sadly).
Dispite the sizzling shower of sparks, or maybe because of it, the Temple Fry is one of my favorite memories this year.

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Post by sfgreenfire76 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:22 pm

This was my first burn and i had a great time. From the thread it seems like people keep trying to assert their "rights" and express their rights. Like, i was here first, i assert my right to stand, i dont have to leave my bike back there, etc. I know that not all these statements were made by the poster, but by some of the individuals on the playa. Regardless, I came to BM thinking that this was supposed to be a community created on the playa based on expression, open mindedness, and acceptance.

I wasnt able to see the burn up close. But hey, it was super tall, it was kinda hard to miss. Actually, I could see it better from far away anyways. I got some pictures taken of the man burning by a guy on stilts. After he toppled, the man not the man on the stilts, i was able to run to the middle and get really close.

At the masoleum burn, a few couples ended up in front of me and the men lifted their ladies onto thier shoulders. We thought of a compromise by having the couples move back toward an art car so they wouldnt block peoples views behind them.

Basically, i felt that BM is a community where agressive self expression is accepted. But in a community, does when that expression affects anothers ability to participate, is that BM is about? Or am i just being an idealistic 1st time newbie burner

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Post by sfgreenfire76 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:23 pm

This was my first burn and i had a great time. From the thread it seems like people keep trying to assert their "rights" and express their rights. Like, i was here first, i assert my right to stand, i dont have to leave my bike back there, etc. I know that not all these statements were made by the poster, but by some of the individuals on the playa. Regardless, I came to BM thinking that this was supposed to be a community created on the playa based on expression, open mindedness, and acceptance.

I wasnt able to see the burn up close. But hey, it was super tall, it was kinda hard to miss. Actually, I could see it better from far away anyways. I got some pictures taken of the man burning by a guy on stilts. After he toppled, the man not the man on the stilts, i was able to run to the middle and get really close.

At the masoleum burn, a few couples ended up in front of me and the men lifted their ladies onto thier shoulders. We thought of a compromise by having the couples move back toward an art car so they wouldnt block peoples views behind them.

Basically, i felt that BM is a community where agressive self expression is accepted. But in a community, does when that expression affects anothers ability to participate, is that BM is about? Or am i just being an idealistic 1st time newbie burner

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Post by sfgreenfire76 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:27 pm

This was my first burn and i had a great time. From the thread it seems like people keep trying to assert their "rights" and express their rights. Like, i was here first, i assert my right to stand, i dont have to leave my bike back there, etc. I know that not all these statements were made by the poster, but by some of the individuals on the playa. Regardless, I came to BM thinking that this was supposed to be a community created on the playa based on expression, open mindedness, and acceptance.

I wasnt able to see the burn up close. But hey, it was super tall, it was kinda hard to miss. Actually, I could see it better from far away anyways. I got some pictures taken of the man burning by a guy on stilts. After he toppled, the man not the man on the stilts, i was able to run to the middle and get really close.

At the masoleum burn, a few couples ended up in front of me and the men lifted their ladies onto thier shoulders. We thought of a compromise by having the couples move back toward an art car so they wouldnt block peoples views behind them.

Basically, i felt that BM is a community where agressive self expression is accepted. But in a community, does when that expression affects anothers ability to participate, is that BM is about? Or am i just being an idealistic 1st time newbie burner

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:47 pm

You want free expression? The desert out there a big place. No matter what community you show your ass in, There are rules like or not. If you want to be antisocial take the shit the community hands you. Don't come to a board of your peers crying you were fouled. The original poster to this thread committed an antisocial act. Then came to this board to vindicate his actions. By labelling the rest of the community " shell I say "as nazes". Tell us we should not attend the event if we didn't like his standing up.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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Post by Juju » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:23 pm

We generally have "good seats" in the 3rd to 4th row at the Man & temple burns. I love watching the Fire Conclave, and I sadly missed that this year. I didn't want to miss the temple burn, so I biked out there just after sunset and sat right in front near some photographers' tripods. Considering how effin HOT the burn was and the fact that the Rangers made everyone on our side move 10-15 feet back once the middle started burning, I don't think I've missed out by not being *directly* up front. I was a little taken aback at the potshots and shit-talking going on by a guy and a group of people who wanted him to sit down, but after having something thrown at his female companion, I can understand why the guy was pissed off. The yelling and cursing did add a negative twist to the burn, but I have to admit, hearing him tell the people behind him that "standing burns calories, why don't you fatasses try it" kinda brought some levity to the situation and made me smile through my tears.
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Post by Rich » Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:31 pm

Don Muerto wrote:
The basis of the argument is that there is a disagreement about whether sitting improves the view or not. Some, like the author, believe that a seated person behind a seated person is as visually impaired as their standing analogs. So, having x number of seated rows really only improves the view for row x + 1 -the first standing row.
I disagree with Don Muerto's assertion. I've just spent a bit of time drawing sketches and messing with triangles. The question is how much of your view is blocked by the person in front of you?

The answer is dependent on how close you are to the person in front of you, how high up you each are, and amusingly, the distance from your eyes to the top of your head.

Assuming for simplicity that all seated people are at the same level, it appears that the most important factor for determing what is blocked is how far you are from the blockage. The closer you are the more of your view is blocked.

It seems to me that people have larger personal space boundaries when seated than when standing, and so will stand much closer to each other than they will sit.

Someone with a block 60 inches in front of them will be able to see more than someone with a block 24 inches in front of them.

Assuming you want to see the burn 50 feet from you, then a person sitting 5 feet from another person will be able to see everything from about 6 feet on up.

The person standing 5 feet from another person will see everything from about 9-10 feet and up.

Reducing the spacing to two feet, the sitter will see things from about 12 feet and up, while the stander sees 17-18 feet and up.

I _think_ that people will regularly stand within 2 feet of each other, so their view of something 50 feet away will be limited to the top 15-16 feet, while the person sitting 4 feet from the obstruction can see everything from about 7 feet on up.

If we assume that people space themselves more widely while sitting we can also show that more sight lines are available to sitting people through slight movements of their heads. Leaning slightly to the left and then to the right will allow the seated person to see the full field, while that slight movement on the part of the standing more compressed person will only allow for a small improvement in view.

This is meant to support the hypothesis that sitting allows more people to see. Whether or not that is actually a good thing is another issue. As is the question of whether being an asshole of any sort is a good thing at a Burn.

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Post by KellY » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:15 pm

Very interesting post, Rich. My one editorial comment is that during the two big Burns people are very close to each other, sitting or standing. In fact, in my experience, if you're sitting the odds are that you will be in physical contact with at least one other person, if not two or three. People seem to be okay with rubbing knees with a stranger at the burns in a way they wouldn't necessarily be in the outside world. People sit in ireegular enough patterns that usually nobody is right in front of anyone else though.

It finally occurs to me that this thread is really about the inherent conflict that seems to be a the root of almost all societal problems: the conflict between the rights, desires, etc of the individual and the rights, etc. of the community. The smaller the community, the less conflict because there's simply more space for everyone to do their own thing. ( I realize that this is more true for frontier situations and developing societies; I've known plenty of people who come from small towns that were absolutely suffocating in their intolerence of difference). Burning Man is suffering from major growing pains and I think this is the source of a lot of them, that people feel Black Rock City is a place of complete individual freedom and they need make no compromises for the greater good.

I think Burning Man suffers from this doubly, becuase on one hand you have the people that remember what it was like when the event was much smaller (or heard about it and are sorry they missed it), and on the other a whole "Me first, fuck everyone else" attitude that's been infecting American society for the last couple of decades, something I largely blame the psychology of the Reagan revolution for. This year I saw lots of people who got offended when told they had to be even slightly inconvenienced because of "the rules" - specifically, they couldn't lock their bikes to the guy wires on the outside edge of the cafe, even when I explained that the wires had to kept clear for safety reasons.

Anyway, that seems to be the heart of the problem, IMHO. What to do about it? Ya got me, aside from try to enlighten one individual at a time.
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:19 pm

Cool trigonometry work, rich, and you are spot on in theory. However, given the height of the man, I would argue that *nobody's* line of sight is impaired while the ground-level fire-spinners perform so low as to guarantee that standing or sitting, only the front can see well. I do disagree with it being easier to adjust your sightline when seated though.

And for the record, it wasn't my assertion you disagreed with.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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Don Muerto
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Post by Don Muerto » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:22 pm

Kelly, the individual vs. community equation will continue to keep anthropologists employed in perpetuity, and it is at the heart of the matter her.

I basically consider that insoluble, but I think both the standing and shaming behaviors can be dealt with provided people can remain civil and listen to each other.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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bottom line

Post by dj big E » Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:00 pm

Rangers and org should make safety line and thats it. The orginization and asking people to sit down was a drag wtf allmost raised my hand to go pee. wtf the fire conclave show was cool but much better when they were all running around independant. Great some people got to see without moving around , totally killed all the energy i brought with me out theyre. I never want to get close again what a fucn drag..................... dj big "E'

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Post by Bitterman » Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:10 am

Just sit the hell down buddy! What's wrong with you? If people stand up, the only people who get a view are the people in the very front row. Everybody else gets to see someone's greasy head and dusty ass. Jeeze man, I mean, how the hell can we have the "Peace In" if we aren't all sitting down and holding hands, duh.
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Post by manowar » Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:22 am

Last year was my first year and I got to the burn a little late and had a hard time seeing anything. So this year I got out there early and had a front row seat. Anyways being out there early we happened to be right next to a group of rangers when they got a quick orientation from a more experienced ranger. From that discussion I give you......
The real reason that everyone is asked to sit. At burn time there are 30,000 plus very excited people and maybe 30 rangers on the perimiter. One ranger can not control 1,000 people especially since it just takes a few to set off a whole mob rush mentality. Also as has been noted here earlier it's very difficult to manuver through a lot of seated people. So the rangers ask everyone to sit down to create a physical barrier to control everyone. As the one ranger said "Once you get 6 or 7 rows seated that will hold everyone back and everything should be secure." The rangers don't really care if people can see better or not, they just need a solid bunch of bodies to keep everyone under control.
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Re: bottom line

Post by gibbon » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:25 am

dj big E wrote:Rangers and org should make safety line and thats it. The orginization and asking people to sit down was a drag wtf allmost raised my hand to go pee. wtf the fire conclave show was cool but much better when they were all running around independant. Great some people got to see without moving around , totally killed all the energy i brought with me out theyre. I never want to get close again what a fucn drag..................... dj big "E'
In 1998 I was with old burners who liked to watch from the top of an RV. When the man went up all at once it was so bright you could read a newpaper. After that it was kinda down hill.

Now since you can't go up and lick the man anymore, I'm just not interested. I spent the last few times poking around looking at art cars, and running into to friends. This year I never actually got within a 1/4 mile of the man during the whole event. At least the last three years I've managed to pee under the man, this year I wasn't even interested in that.

But whatever, people still have a good time. Me I just wish they'd be more casual about it. Nothing is ever going to happen the way you want or expect it too at burningman. (With the exception of Man and Temple burns, which is um... why they are boring)

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...........Take time to stomp the roses.....................

Post by Rabbi Dali Rick » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:03 am

Sounds like it's time to start you're own event Gibbon.


quite remarkably,
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Post by playasnake » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:12 am

next year ill be running a workshop on how to construct makeshift bleachers out of all the bicycles sitting around the burn.

imagine if everyone could see and there wasnt a "bike problem"

what would people bitch about then...

down in front. UP IN BACK!

tastes great. LESS FILLING!
e pluribus unimog

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Post by DVD Burner » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:13 am

Looks like the OP has a nice little thread goin on here but I think everyone is kinda missin the point of the OP.

He's just uset because nobody noticed what a lovely BUTT he had.



I think when he stood up in front of everyone y'all made him feel like it was too big or something.
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Post by isiseyes » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:26 am

manowar wrote: The rangers don't really care if people can see better or not, they just need a solid bunch of bodies to keep everyone under control.
You know, I don't really care what their reason was... I was just frustrated that no one beyond the first row could see anything. Heck, I'm 5'10" and I'll be damned if there weren't three guys over 6' right in front of me, AND when I tried to scoot over to see between them some guy put his girlfriend on his shoulders so she blocked the view for everyone for about 7 rows back. What, it wasn't possible for him to move back before doing that, he absolutely had to do it in the 4th row?

This was my first year, and I have to say that the only dissappointing experience was the burn. Not because it was anti-climactic, but because this community that's supposed to help each other out didn't even care enough to sit so everyone behind them could see the man burn. Every other day that week was about helping each other and being part of something bigger, and the burn was just about a few rows of people getting stuck in a "me first" mentality and refusing to sit. That really sucked.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" ~ Elenor Roosevelt

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Post by Chai Guy » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:56 am

Not really wanting to be so intimate a part of the Saturday Night Pagan Melee that is the burn, my girlfriend and I brought our blanket and a bottle of champagne to toast the festivities from a great distance (1/2 mile or so) away in a nice secluded spot all to our selves. Just before the man was about to be lit a couple walked directly in our line of sight, about 10 feet in front of us, and blocked our view. We jokingly called out "DOWN IN FRONT!" they turned around and were startled to see us, and began apologizing profusely, we all laughed and invited them to join us.


During the Temple Burn, we got there early and found a place close to the front, but still several people back. We were asked to sit by the Rangers, and so we did. Then a group of people waded through the sitting crowd and began to stand right next to us, one guy had on a rather large backpack that nearly took my girlfriend's head off. He sort of apologized and then threw the backpack at her feet (gee thanks). They remained standing for the duration of the burn.

So the lessons here are:

1. No matter where you go, no matter how much you try to isolate yourself, someone will, inevitably, invade your personal space.

2. No matter what rules or guidelines you follow, no matter how fair or reasonable those rules might be, someone (because they are rules) will choose to be selfish and break them to serve their own purpose.

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Post by Rob the Wop » Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:09 am

What, none of you guys bring tazers? It would give a whole new meaning to 'down in front'.

<sigh>But it's the kinder, gentler Burning Man.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:23 am

Rob the Wop wrote:What, none of you guys bring tazers? It would give a whole new meaning to 'down in front'.

<sigh>But it's the kinder, gentler Burning Man.


I see both of your twins are evil. Not unlike mine. Tazer aaaahhmmmma
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Rob the Wop
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Post by Rob the Wop » Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:32 am

"Whhoooo hhaaaa!! Fuckin' right on, yah! Show us your tits! Shit yah, fuckin' right on! Whhhoooo yaaaaa!"
BZZZZT!
<thud>
"he he he he he he he he..."




peace, love, and forgiveness my ass. people taste like chicken.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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Post by Rian Jackson » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:17 am

Russell Scheidelman wrote:On the subject of 'dressing up' for the Burn, this is truly a playa 'tradition.' It goes at least as far back as the (Cacophony) Society Cocktail Parties that used to be held in Center Camp directly after the Fashion Show and before the Burn. Participants wore formal attire for these functions (often in very playa-unfriendly black and gray tones); and 2004 was in fact the first year in which I failed to wear a tuxedo to watch the Man burn (due to a delay in obtaining all of my playa wardrobe). While the parties petered out a couple years ago, those of us who remember them--or who just want to add a touch of personal ostentation to an epically ostenstatious event--will continue to 'strut our stuff' on Burn night. I think it's entirely appropriate. A real 'tradition.'
<snicker>hey, you know what, it's a tradition to get dusty in the black rock desert. <snicker>

oh, and play nice with Lydia and my cats who went to New York, ended up caged in Hazardous Waste areas for 45 hours at a time, or with compound fractures and still in handcuffs, went there so that people would have medical help when they need it. i like a good surly but you're on some shaky ass ground fuckin with the voice in my head.

<snicker>

-



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surlier than thou

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Post by Rian Jackson » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:55 am

Um, hey Unjon?

I really liked meeting you but i'm pretty disappointed in the shit you've been pulling on this thread.

We've all had our bad moments but can i suggest that when a person stoops to throwing shit it's usually because they don't have a strong rational/ logical argument underneath?

You've been pretty insulting here.
And without provocation.

Hope by the time i read to the end of this (yeah, i'm posting before finishing the thread, so there) you've chilled out and had your emergen-c. Dehydrated, are you?

God, we're a bitchy ass group lately.

5htp, everybody. get your seratonin running again. damn.
surlier than thou

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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:06 pm

Hi RI, I think I was pretty nice in stoping this guy from getting his head mashed. I was there and believe me this guy was a real asshole. He was acting out so badly the rangers were about to come into the crowd.
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Post by Rob the Wop » Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:09 pm

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).
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