Notes from this year

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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jadewombat
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Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:39 am

Some notes from this year and a look back at the 11 times I've attended since the year 2000. Things have changed fairly dramatically the last 4 or 5 years from the previous 10. To an observer of pictures, video clips, etc. Burning Man doesn’t “look” much different since the late 1990s since the streets were created but the culture has definitely changed actually being there and experiencing it in person.

There are 2 examples I’ll give as indicators of the gradual change in recent years.

-Twice this year I sat down in some shade at a couple of different streets doing some people watching for about 10 minutes each time. I watched dozens and dozens of people walk by MOOP and not pick it up. Not little coin-sized dusty bits of stuff, like empty plastic bottles and bags people were stepping over, riding around, even kicking. I picked up the MOOP of course. The whole week then I was noticing how few people would pick anything up—at all. I didn’t even want to look at the ground after a while because it was making me crazy. When I approached people (politely) they got really offended or ignored me.

What’s that you say? Be a raving lunatic standing in the middle of the street preaching to people. OK, fine. But I’m 1 person who can be in one place at one time. What about all of the other MOOP floating around everywhere where I’m not?? This is what the culture has become, saying one thing and having quite another in practice. There used to be a strong checks and balances presence of everyone chipping in or someone at least saying something. No more though.

-The second example is of how the atmosphere of people has changed. There was a question my wife and I got several dozen times which piqued our interest—and it was few and far between in past years I was asked this right off the bat. I know people were trying to be polite, but they asked us “which camp we were with.” “Which” is the operative word there, there’s a difference with “where are you camping.” “Which” means that you have to belong to something, know so-and-so, or have contributed something significant. Hmmm.

What I loved for years was the strong sense of anonymity that used to be present even up until a few years ago. Not in the sense that you just put on a costume and become someone else; more so that now there’s a sense that you HAVE to belong to something at BM. None of that used to matter and I loved the lack of snap-judgements for a week a year out of my life. It’s been well documented that the majority or near-majority of attendees are virgins. Most all of the people my wife I and met this year were 1st or 2nd year. The 2nd year people were essentially still 1st year in my mind though and didn't act too differently than virgins.

http://blog.burningman.com/2014/10/tenp ... rning-man/

Not accusing anyone of anything, but if we assume for a moment that the intention of bringing in a very large percentage of virgins every year to expose the world to BM culture (or something along those lines), then at least realize what the effects are having on the culture and community. I really doubt that virgins or 2nd year people are consistently luckier at getting tickets than more experienced Burners during the ticket sale. So I feel simply outnumbered. Try saying something to someone and you look like the crusty, know-it-all burner now because I’m definitely in the minority.

The turnkey camps were discouraged, but their culture was still very prevalent. We saw a lot of shallow plastic people in feather headdresses (dozens and dozens of headdress people). Try going up to a sparkle pony while she’s strutting her stuff on some stage and tell her she’s wearing the wrong thing. A whole bunch of steroid apes will probably jump you.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/09/ ... man-photos

Lastly I compared the What, Where, When guides from years ago and there used to be an intelligent atmosphere of camps with puns and well thought out themes (remember Flight to Mars?). I compare this year’s guide and it has degraded to the lowest common denominator of genitals, drinks, and allures of “doin’ it.” And no, I don’t have a problem with sex, nudity, or people having a good time but there is a difference of genuinely appealing to people’s intellect or their sense of “just out to get fucked up.”

I know I will get flamed here and droves of Burners who believe that the event is perfect or the organizers can do no wrong and I’m the one with the “issue” or misinterpreting things. This is my opinion and just that. No better or worse than your opinion. My point is this, if that is the way the culture is and will stay that way from here on out and everybody is good with it, then I’m out. This just isn’t fun anymore. People do stupid shit and more rules are made--I get that. But I’m not talking about that though. BM has become a Disneyland sausagefest with dildos and stripper poles acting out a giant “like” button in the desert. People have not changed dramatically, the BM culture has. Saying I’m graduating would be saying that BM is more or less the same as it was 15 years ago, if you think so then prove it.

Apologies that this is so long-winded. So with that this is goodbye. A long and slow sad goodbye after all of the years and good times and inspiration. It feels just as though I'm losing a friend. My hope is that this is seen more as an observance like someone on the deck of the Titanic spotting the tip of the iceberg on the horizon and calling attention to steer clear of it. I’m not out to piss on anyone’s parade or purposely look for things wrong or wishing for the good old days or whatever. And I purposely didn’t say anything to ruin anyone’s good time this year on the playa. I’m just hoping that friend will be more like they used to be one day.

gradschoolinsomniac
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by gradschoolinsomniac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:04 am

Thank you for this interesting and insightful post. My first year was 2001. I haven't been recently (have been focused on grad school). After years away, I heard of the development of the concierge camps and rise of comodification so I dropped by to find out more.
Yes, it seems to have changed substantially., more than I expected. Billionaires/millionaires doing concierge camps with paid help, headdresses, more LEOs, questionable rules, entrenchment of the company, huge population, internet connection so celebs can instagram their selfies.
In reading these developments, I feel the same way you do. Sad. I dont recognize it.
I hope you go on to find some great life paths and projects. I did. You'll carry the experience in your heart.

gradschoolinsomniac
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by gradschoolinsomniac » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:16 am

I talked to several rich attendees via instagram during the event, from wealthy Russians to CEOs. It was educational. One CEO posted a photo of a burner with the caption: "Look, a real burner!". Seemed to indicate a spectator factor and separateness - concierge camp /turnkeys see themselves as separate.
Wealthy Russians and other foreigners posted lots of headdresses. One of them even wore that junk on the road in (I guess one of them drove instead of flying), so local Paiutes are seeing this. Yes, I did mention it, that it's not such a great idea and is offensive. Some told me to F* off you stupid American, if they answered at all. Pretty negative.
So, interacting with people remotely has been eye-opening.

DoctorIknow
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by DoctorIknow » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:54 am

jadewombat wrote:My hope is that this is seen more as an observance like someone on the deck of the Titanic spotting the tip of the iceberg on the horizon and calling attention to steer clear of it.
I thought of the Titanic/Burning Man experience in a different way:

I was a member of the band bitter-sweetly playing my instrument on the lopsided deck as the ship was sinking.

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spacetime
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by spacetime » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:14 pm

jadewombat wrote:-Twice this year I sat down in some shade at a couple of different streets doing some people watching for about 10 minutes each time.
I saw this a fair amount, but also vets doing moop fishing, (which I fell for once!) As a first timer last year, I actually did not realize how important micro-and macro mooping is for everyone to do and demonstrate in front of others.

This year, I often found dusty TP pieces near portos starting to roal away and watched people walk past them as I approached. I usually made a loud (it's moop get it!) type comment just before I stooped. I think active mooping as a particular tactic of leave no trace must be personally demo'd to new folks and attention drawn to how beautiful the city is free of moop.

Robbidobbs' instructional signs in the portos were really good this year. I don't remember them being nearly as prevalent last year. Maybe more messaging about "how much moop did you pick up today?" would be good. I can't think of a better place for PSAs than in and on the portos.
jadewombat wrote: they asked us “which camp we were with.” “Which” is the operative word there, there’s a difference with “where are you camping.” “Which” means that you have to belong to something, know so-and-so, or have contributed something significant. Hmmm.
I got this a lot also, although it was mostly from first timers. I don't know if it was as much about a shared identity as much as it was about "how well are you set up?" A lot of people think they need camps in order to make it out there, and frankly many are probably correct. I prepped a ton and it was still challenging to run a tight 2 person camp.

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Token
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Token » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:20 pm

All good things come to an end.

Things really turned when capacity was reached.

The slow evolution of the class system was largely obscured outside of First Camp, fire conclave, thee glitterati, but the ticket crisis really forced the BORG into creating even more privileged classes at the event.

To some it is the beginning of the end, others the end of the beginning.

The culture has shifted to theme camps or bust for directed sales of tickets and apeal to the affluent as the "in" thing to do.

Culture erosion is slowly taking over as you observed so well and the basal levels of let's party become the norm.

The experiment in culture has ended in a very predictable way.

econnnn
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by econnnn » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:37 pm

This was my first year. I camped with 3 friends, 2 of us were virgins, 2 were second year. We didn't have anything fancy .. no camp name, tents in the open sun and a monkey hunt oriented right up the chuff of the wind so we got DUSTY. We had a generator though and made snow cones for people. We were careful about carrying gray water out (we didn't have an evap pond) and making sure we left no trace. To me the event wouldn't have been the same if I didn't build my own camp and try to contribute something beyond a cook shift in a big camp or something like that.

I think a lot of the problems you cite are issues of education and expansion. I met way more international people than I expected, for example, many of whom were in organized camps. Often they said this was because they didn't have the resources to build and truck a bunch of stuff out from thousands of miles away or more. And often there is a perception that you need to be camping with an established camp. Most of this is hearsay.

I even felt the atmosphere change from Sunday to about Thursday or so..more moop in the porto potties, fewer people saying hello on their way by, more tourists / spectators. I even met a couple who came in on Saturday morning to leave Saturday night at 1am after the man burned..they weren't even going to spend one night!

I don't know...it kind of seems like demonstrated commitment to the community outside of the group sale should make it easier to get tickets for people who want to build their own camp and do something small. Maybe even just showing an understanding of the 10 principles / survival guide.

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some seeing eye
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:46 pm

Excellent summary Token! The organizers, and they are good people, view the event as an experiment. So as long as it doesn't create too much risk and doesn't embarrass their legacy they are OK. They also realize they can't control it.

I have been an advocate of getting a better 3rd year yield out of virgins by face to face in person recruiting of virgins and then preparing them. When the broadcast for new virgins goes out over the wide Internet web, with the festival culture message, you get what you get what we have. I'm also an advocate of camps and regionals for in person guidance. No one is going to say, "I heard about Flipside on the Internet, so I have to cross it off my bucket list".
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

maladroit
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by maladroit » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:01 pm

If I see someone sitting on their ass watching a piece of moop in front of their camp, I assume they're moop fishing and walk on by. It doesn't cross my mind that they're too lazy to go out in the street and get it, and are feeling indignant that someone else isn't picking it up.

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A-RockLeFrench
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:10 pm

I heard about Flipside on the internet (here!) and I have yet to cross it off my bucket list...



But in all seriousness, I appreciate this perspective from a veteran burner. Even though my tenure at the event is less than half the OP's I can read the same writing on the wall, however I'm not done with Burning Man... Yet. It may well be more and more infected with default world sicknesses like status/class display, partying to get loaded rather than forge connection, exclusivity and disengagement and on an on..

But I still have yet to find anywhere else that compares as far as freedom for personal expression and connection.

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Token
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Token » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:38 pm

Says mountain-man LeFrenchie.

I got total freedom of expression on my ranch.

Just don't g shirt-cocking in the pigs area is all the advice I usually give. ;)

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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:32 am

Thanks everyone. I'm glad to see the general consensus of experience helps preserve and develop the event. In no defense of the super rich or those they bring them along, let's call them "Turners" (hey, I just coined that term, you heard it here first! :) ) there have been other forms of stuff like this long before the last couple of years when so much attention grew around it.

There were sparkle ponies long before someone came up with a nickname for it--my favorite was about 8 years ago some chick said, "Being beautiful was her gift to the playa." Yeah, barf. There have long been frat boys riding around in undecorated golf carts, drunk off their asses, and wearing no shirts. And then giant circles of diesel-pusher motorhomes closed off to the rest have always been there, mostly out near the sound camps though.

I'm not trying to get the last word in here, I'm leaving the party, not this forum necessarily nor my friends from the playa. 8) No one's asked, but I'll throw out some suggestions I came up with of how to "fix" BM.

That being said the organizers would have to recognize that there's a problem (a few problems at that). I'm not of the opinion that things are out of the organizers control. Sorry, you do this for almost 30 years continually, then you had better know what's going on and have some influence over it.

The people around the organizers are most likely continuing the echo chamber of the same ideas. Again, I don't think they're welcome to other ideas or complaints and have said so publicly a few times. Seriously, Larry Harvey has told interviewers with strong criticisms to just start their own festival. Fair enough.

Anyhoo, for the 60 second elevator pitch of ideas:

-Eliminate the ticket black market. It's easy to do. 1 ticket coded to 1 person. Period. Just like the airlines do. They're already doing this at big events in Europe. You can't go, you sell it back to BMORG or it's voided.

-Cut down on the number of virgins and 2nd year people to a reasonable number. No more than 1/3 of entrants. Again, I don't believe newcomers are consistently luckier than veterans at getting tickets year after year. The questionnaire (which goes in a database) you fill out to buy tickets determines who has been and who hasn't.

-Discourage the "Turner" atmosphere. No one gets into the event (driving or flying) past 10:00AM on Friday morning. They used to do this a long time ago. People who show up "just for weekend" to BM are there just to party. Making more rules that people are already ignoring is about as welcome as another homework assignment to a kid. Instead, establish a few art cars of the MOOP/Fashion Police with some very energetic people to educate and engage cutting the MOOP on the ground and soon to be MOOP that people are wearing.

The organizers have said that they don't want BM to be another Coachella or Bonaroo. Guess what? It's happening already. If they can't see that, well...

http://blog.burningman.com/2015/07/news ... rock-city/

Again, I think this is falling on deaf ears, but I'm hopeful. Thanks everyone. Take care.

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lucky420
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by lucky420 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:16 am

jadewombat wrote:Some notes from this year and a look back at the 11 times I've attended since the year 2000. Things have changed fairly dramatically the last 4 or 5 years from the previous 10. To an observer of pictures, video clips, etc. Burning Man doesn’t “look” much different since the late 1990s since the streets were created but the culture has definitely changed actually being there and experiencing it in person.

There are 2 examples I’ll give as indicators of the gradual change in recent years.

-Twice this year I sat down in some shade at a couple of different streets doing some people watching for about 10 minutes each time. I watched dozens and dozens of people walk by MOOP and not pick it up. Not little coin-sized dusty bits of stuff, like empty plastic bottles and bags people were stepping over, riding around, even kicking. I picked up the MOOP of course. The whole week then I was noticing how few people would pick anything up—at all. I didn’t even want to look at the ground after a while because it was making me crazy. When I approached people (politely) they got really offended or ignored me.

What’s that you say? Be a raving lunatic standing in the middle of the street preaching to people. OK, fine. But I’m 1 person who can be in one place at one time. What about all of the other MOOP floating around everywhere where I’m not?? This is what the culture has become, saying one thing and having quite another in practice. There used to be a strong checks and balances presence of everyone chipping in or someone at least saying something. No more though.

-The second example is of how the atmosphere of people has changed. There was a question my wife and I got several dozen times which piqued our interest—and it was few and far between in past years I was asked this right off the bat. I know people were trying to be polite, but they asked us “which camp we were with.” “Which” is the operative word there, there’s a difference with “where are you camping.” “Which” means that you have to belong to something, know so-and-so, or have contributed something significant. Hmmm.

What I loved for years was the strong sense of anonymity that used to be present even up until a few years ago. Not in the sense that you just put on a costume and become someone else; more so that now there’s a sense that you HAVE to belong to something at BM. None of that used to matter and I loved the lack of snap-judgements for a week a year out of my life. It’s been well documented that the majority or near-majority of attendees are virgins. Most all of the people my wife I and met this year were 1st or 2nd year. The 2nd year people were essentially still 1st year in my mind though and didn't act too differently than virgins.

http://blog.burningman.com/2014/10/tenp ... rning-man/

Not accusing anyone of anything, but if we assume for a moment that the intention of bringing in a very large percentage of virgins every year to expose the world to BM culture (or something along those lines), then at least realize what the effects are having on the culture and community. I really doubt that virgins or 2nd year people are consistently luckier at getting tickets than more experienced Burners during the ticket sale. So I feel simply outnumbered. Try saying something to someone and you look like the crusty, know-it-all burner now because I’m definitely in the minority.

The turnkey camps were discouraged, but their culture was still very prevalent. We saw a lot of shallow plastic people in feather headdresses (dozens and dozens of headdress people). Try going up to a sparkle pony while she’s strutting her stuff on some stage and tell her she’s wearing the wrong thing. A whole bunch of steroid apes will probably jump you.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/09/ ... man-photos

Lastly I compared the What, Where, When guides from years ago and there used to be an intelligent atmosphere of camps with puns and well thought out themes (remember Flight to Mars?). I compare this year’s guide and it has degraded to the lowest common denominator of genitals, drinks, and allures of “doin’ it.” And no, I don’t have a problem with sex, nudity, or people having a good time but there is a difference of genuinely appealing to people’s intellect or their sense of “just out to get fucked up.”

I know I will get flamed here and droves of Burners who believe that the event is perfect or the organizers can do no wrong and I’m the one with the “issue” or misinterpreting things. This is my opinion and just that. No better or worse than your opinion. My point is this, if that is the way the culture is and will stay that way from here on out and everybody is good with it, then I’m out. This just isn’t fun anymore. People do stupid shit and more rules are made--I get that. But I’m not talking about that though. BM has become a Disneyland sausagefest with dildos and stripper poles acting out a giant “like” button in the desert. People have not changed dramatically, the BM culture has. Saying I’m graduating would be saying that BM is more or less the same as it was 15 years ago, if you think so then prove it.

Apologies that this is so long-winded. So with that this is goodbye. A long and slow sad goodbye after all of the years and good times and inspiration. It feels just as though I'm losing a friend. My hope is that this is seen more as an observance like someone on the deck of the Titanic spotting the tip of the iceberg on the horizon and calling attention to steer clear of it. I’m not out to piss on anyone’s parade or purposely look for things wrong or wishing for the good old days or whatever. And I purposely didn’t say anything to ruin anyone’s good time this year on the playa. I’m just hoping that friend will be more like they used to be one day.
Spot on
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Token
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Token » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:32 am

I don't think it is a matter of solving anything.

The beast evolved over the long term and decisions were made that cannot be easily unmade.

Several waves of participants have already churned over; very few folks from the 90's are participants any more, culminating with the Helco years, most have moved on. The Millennium crowd is now also thinning out, 2007 being a major shift, then followed by the ticket crisis.

Its a living breathing thing this construct, and no matter the good intentions of the folks in charge, ripe with unintended consequences.

Time for a tautology.

It is what it is.

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somebodys-mom
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by somebodys-mom » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:21 pm

As we bash virgins, let us all remember that we, each and all, were once virgins too. Thank God for the veteran burners who showed us how it was done. To them, I am grateful even though I am not a birgin. I learn something new each burn from those who have been burning longer than I have.

I'm with you all here that the culture is changing. I call it the Coachella mentality. Newcomers, especially the younger set, seem to have the viewpoint that Burning Man is a giant drug and music fueled orgy/rave in the desert with a little art. It can be but that's not what it is all about. That said, putting active limits on who can participate doesn't reflect the principle of radical inclusion, even the inclusion of those we don't really wish were there.

I don't have solutions. I just wanted to remind everyone, including myself, that each of us started out with less knowledge and experience than we have today. Be kind to each other. We're all we've got.
Beware of inviting trouble. It usually accepts.

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lucky420
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by lucky420 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:26 pm

I don't mind virgins as they taste delicious. It's douchebags I have a problem with, virgin or not
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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somebodys-mom
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by somebodys-mom » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:28 pm

lucky420 wrote:I don't mind virgins as they taste delicious. It's douchebags I have a problem with, virgin or not
Amen!
Beware of inviting trouble. It usually accepts.

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Re: Notes from this year

Post by RedHeaven » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:51 pm

Such a great thread and to the Original Poster, your post made me sad, and it was well said. Tokens post, too. All of these posts.....


I went 7 years and skipped 2010, and 2013, 14 and this year. I want to go back and say bye one more time. But if I do next year, I'm going to be all about going around and giving thanks to the providers and builders I have come to know in my course in this community. I'm going to go and ride my bike and climb on art. I'm going to go play some music at the shitty dive bar I like to frequent. I'm going to see some of my favorite musicians jam in the dusty sunset. I will have to treat it like a big city and watch my back and stay in my neighborhood a lot. I will try to not make a big deal out of it. If I do I absorb all the BS. Who knows, maybe I shouldn't go back. Will it make me more sad than happy?

I dont know what to do......Dumb to contemplate this as much as I do. But it was so beautiful. It was so, so so so beautiful when I first went.
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"
This hippy statement is my only savior! haha
Im so fucking glad I went when I did.
So weird how I couildn't even imagine what was going to happen next. Just went with the flow until it started to take over too much of my life.

Thinking out loud here......My apologies. I just need a space where I can express this. Do I want to go, put all that effort in, only to turn a blind eye? I have a feeling that the creators I have gotten to know in the last decade are still out there making beautiful shit.

Yin Yangs for days!!!!

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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:40 am

This is getting away from what was said. This isn't about bashing virgins (regardless of age) and it never was. My point is that it's the environment that BM currently is and keeps changing and I (me) don't think it's for the better. With the vast majority of attendees being newbies every year (again 1st and 2nd year), how likely are the veteran burners wanting to "train" everyone when they're simply outnumbered year after year if that's what this is about? How many people actually read those pamphlets on the 10 principles they hand out at the gate? Come on, really?

If you think BMORG has no control over who gets to go and who doesn't, please prove it for the rest of us. Again, I wasn't looking for problems or to piss in anyone's Wheaties either. If you're happy and love everything about BM, good for you. More power to you. I didn't go last year. The first 10 years for me (2000-2009) things were "essentially" the same year after year. The art cars would get bigger and more interesting one year, then the art, then the sound camps. The last 3 times I went over the last five years (2010-2015) I noticed things changing and this year things were very different.

In 2000, no one really cared who you were or what camp you were a part or where you lived--for the most part anyway. I could just walk away quietly. Part of me feels indebted to the experience and the community though. This is all opinion about how people interact, but people not picking up MOOP or the event not being more and more like Bonaroo or Lolapalooza--that's a little more real. Agreed? :coffee:

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Aurelia
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Aurelia » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:38 am

Thank you for speaking Lucky !

I think much of the thread deals with people not wanting it to go wrong with moop and stupid

But you know that IS the way of the world..we do have moop and stupid in it

I am an original burner and apparently lifelong burner
I walked around reminding darling newbees "Remember your Mother told you to pick up after yourself"
and by the way I am also an old school sparkle pony
thank you Robbie for the porto care..you and your team are great

Before the start when the wind crested I switched from terror to resignation
I decided that flying away in my tent was indeed a fitting end

xoA.

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lucky420
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by lucky420 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:40 am

jadewombat wrote:This is getting away from what was said. This isn't about bashing virgins (regardless of age) and it never was. My point is that it's the environment that BM currently is and keeps changing and I (me) don't think it's for the better. With the vast majority of attendees being newbies every year (again 1st and 2nd year), how likely are the veteran burners wanting to "train" everyone when they're simply outnumbered year after year if that's what this is about? How many people actually read those pamphlets on the 10 principles they hand out at the gate? Come on, really?

If you think BMORG has no control over who gets to go and who doesn't, please prove it for the rest of us. Again, I wasn't looking for problems or to piss in anyone's Wheaties either. If you're happy and love everything about BM, good for you. More power to you. I didn't go last year. The first 10 years for me (2000-2009) things were "essentially" the same year after year. The art cars would get bigger and more interesting one year, then the art, then the sound camps. The last 3 times I went over the last five years (2010-2015) I noticed things changing and this year things were very different.

In 2000, no one really cared who you were or what camp you were a part or where you lived--for the most part anyway. I could just walk away quietly. Part of me feels indebted to the experience and the community though. This is all opinion about how people interact, but people not picking up MOOP or the event not being more and more like Bonaroo or Lolapalooza--that's a little more real. Agreed? :coffee:
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somebodys-mom
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by somebodys-mom » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:02 am

jadewombat wrote: In 2000, no one really cared who you were or what camp you were a part or where you lived--for the most part anyway. I could just walk away quietly. Part of me feels indebted to the experience and the community though. This is all opinion about how people interact, but people not picking up MOOP or the event not being more and more like Bonaroo or Lolapalooza--that's a little more real. Agreed? :coffee:
Amen. I actually read the pamphlet, the website, and all that and agree with the principles wholeheartedly. I also agree that, from what I gather, the event is becoming just another Lollapalooza or Coachella type event, and that goes against what I've learned from the 10 principles IMO. I haven't been burning as long as others here but even I can see the changes and that the changes aren't necessarily good ones. But...things change and evolve over time, I suppose.
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CyanEssence
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by CyanEssence » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:16 am

jadewombat wrote:The turnkey camps were discouraged, but their culture was still very prevalent. We saw a lot of shallow plastic people in feather headdresses (dozens and dozens of headdress people). Try going up to a sparkle pony while she’s strutting her stuff on some stage and tell her she’s wearing the wrong thing. A whole bunch of steroid apes will probably jump you.
Jadewombat, I left feeling a bit disillusioned this year as well. For me a big part of it was seeing so many people on cell phones. One of the major draws to the event for me was its remoteness - I truly loved the sense of being way out in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of creative people.

I also overheard this gem at sunrise one morning near a burn barrel:

Girl 1: “I'm so cold.”
Me: “Where are your shoes?”
Girl 1: “I lost them”
Girl 2: “We've been looking for them for four hours.”
Girl 1: “I just want to get warm.”
Girl 2: “Did you call them?”
Girl 1: “I just want a clean RV with heat.”
Girl 2: “Let's go over there.”
Girl 1: “Is the RV warm?”
Girl 2: “Yep.”
Girl 1: “Do they have drugs?”
Girl 2: <nods head>
Girl 1: “Let's go. I love plug and plays.”

I made a crack about sparkleponies to someone I met on playa this year who happened to witness this with me (after the ladies left), and his response was an unsarcastic, "Now now, everyone burns in their own way." I suppose they could have been builders, artists, camp organizers, fire artists, musicians or prankster performance artists (maybe this was their shtick?), but then again...

On a more optimistic note, I heard tell of a group of megaphone owners who went around asking people to question their questionable choices in attire - eg. asking the girl in the headdress what tribe she is from.

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Re: Notes from this year

Post by HeatRash » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:10 am

I spent way too many hours watching the PlayaCam this year, and afterwards said to a friend that I had seen only one person all week appear to stoop down and pick something up. Now granted the cam was pointed at the inner playa most of the week so not at camps or streets where people were de-mooping hopefully, and I didn't watch 24/7 but it really struck me.. and of course, maybe all the wind blew a lot of moop out farther from where the cam was. Now if I was actually clever i would come up with a rhyme with stoop and moop

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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Aurelia » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:22 am

stupid and arrogant is not a sparkle pony

The quotes indicate level of stupid

I am an old school sparkle pony and original burner
I also froze and struggled to deal with the stupids
but then I realized again that the playa remains a serious learning experience
for everyone

xoA.

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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:47 am

CyanEssence wrote: On a more optimistic note, I heard tell of a group of megaphone owners who went around asking people to question their questionable choices in attire - eg. asking the girl in the headdress what tribe she is from.
Ha-ha! I love it. I bit my tongue several times, but by the end of the week I started saying to a few guys, "Excuse me, Brah." A lot of them didn't get it. :D

I agree Token, probably too late. Worth a try anyway though??

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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Lonesomebri » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:02 pm

jadewombat wrote:... would have to recognize that there's a problem (a few problems at that).
Even doing this small observational step is opposed by so many people. They believe that if they had fun individually, there must be no structural problems elsewhere of concern. With any complaint they demand solutions, complete break-downs of the issues in details unknowable and unobtainable, or they dismiss the complaint without merit. The simple human act of feeling about something in a negative way is frowned on as being anti-Burning Man.

The past several years when non-Burner people who have gotten the idea somewhere? (FestBlowMe, Bmorg, etc.) that they want to attend have asked me about Burning Man and I start to explain about being able to be myself, and the wonder of open human expression, wide open spaces, absurdism and art... I see their eyes start to glaze over, what they want to hear is how many stages with what DJs. I can only imagine if I started the description with LNT.
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by tamarakay » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:49 pm

I picked up and handed several feathers to a headdress wearing douchebag and told him that if he couldn't clean up after himself he shouldn't wear it. His friend piped up with "I told you so"
There were more cig butts everywhere than I have ever seen. It got hard to get anywhere for all the stopping and stooping. I will throw myself under the bus by saying I eventually just rode past some. It was just overwhelming.
Also, I don't moop toilet paper around the portos. Unless I happen to have gloves with me.

This burn was different for many reasons. The weather kept us pinned down more than usual. The sound camp placed right in the middle of our neighborhood that played full on all night and their rudeness when we asked them to turn it down. The art car at 7&f that was rude and obnoxious. On the other hand the camps holding down the corner of 7&g were rocking it. Best neighbors I have ever had and I hope to stay close to all of them. Most interactions I had were loving playful and joyous. Granted I didn't hang out in the heavily touristy areas, mostly hung out in the neighborhoods and around the art on the inner and outer playa. We looked for smaller camps and bars to interact with and didn't even try the larger camps. The smaller camps were always delighted to have people show up and participate in their little dream.
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by uncle sticky » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:54 pm

I think that in the past, we all planned on coming back year after year, so preservation of the event was important. You moop not because you're amazing and conscientious, but because you knew that a good moop report meant that there would be a burn next year and because it was the culture. There was a social norm and a de facto contract.

So many people now seem to either just assume that the event will always be approved, so mooping isn't important, or that they won't come back, it was just a once in a lifetime deal. Bucket listers don't care if there's a burning man next year.
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by CyanEssence » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:57 pm

aserendipity wrote:stupid and arrogant is not a sparkle pony

The quotes indicate level of stupid

I am an old school sparkle pony and original burner
I also froze and struggled to deal with the stupids
but then I realized again that the playa remains a serious learning experience
for everyone

xoA.
I am pretty new to the event, and still rely on Jaded Review's "Guide to Hippie Watching in North America" in order to identify people at Burning Man. I was using the term sparklepony based on their definition. It seems it might differ from your definition.
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